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Expensive “ever after”: The eye-watering cost of being invited to a wedding


Aussies are spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to attend their loved ones' weddings, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,090 respondents found that 27% of Aussies – equivalent to 5.5 million people – have spent money on attending at least 1 wedding in the last 5 years.

For those who attend, stay, dress for the event, buy gifts and participate in pre-wedding festivities, the average cost is a whopping $1,993.

The research shows travellers spent $759 on average to the wedding and back in transport costs.

The cost of having a place to sleep near the nuptials came second at $556.

Putting on a fancy dress or suit is the next most expensive part of attending a wedding, setting the average punter back $259. Wedding gifts cost attendees $240 on average.

Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder, said celebrating a loved one's big day can come with a hefty price tag.

"Beyond the wedding gift, there's a laundry list of costs to consider.

"Attending a destination wedding can set you back the most, especially if it's outside of Australia.

"When deciding on how much to spend on the wedding gift, remember it's the thought that counts. Only give what you can afford."

Finder's research found pre-wedding activities like bridal showers and hens and bucks parties set guests back about $179.

These functions cost women much more on average ($257) than men ($53).

Pike reminded Australians that the point of a wedding is to show the couple that you support them emotionally.

"The financial part is just the icing on the cake.

"If your bank account is in no shape to give, think of other ways you can show you care. You could cook them a special meal after their honeymoon or offer them your time working on something you know how to do better than they do.

"If you know you have a wedding or two coming up, it is best to start saving for them the same way you do for holiday shopping.

"It's a great time to start – high interest savings accounts are free and are paying more than 5% at the moment."

How much did you spend on each of the following categories at the most recent wedding you attended as a guest?
Category% who spentAmount spent
Clothing (e.g. dresses, suits, tuxedos)22%$259
Pre-wedding activities (e.g. bridal shower, hens/bucks party)11%$179
I have not attended a wedding as a guest in the last 5 years73%$0
Source: Finder survey of 1,090 Australians, June 2023

Check out these 50 easy and practical money-savings tips that will help you budget and save money quickly.

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