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My kids have lamented more than once about the cost of going to a wedding and the impact on their budget, especially when the invitations from friends seem to come in batches. Expenses included wedding gifts, shower parties, new dresses or suits and potential travel costs.
Recently, the LendEDU financial services firm looked at how much people tend to spend if they’re going to a wedding. The company interviewed 1,000 people in the U.S. ages 18 and up earlier this year, and asked respondents the following questions: Have you gone or are you planning to go to a wedding? And if so, how much money were you spending per wedding on expenses?
The results: The average price per wedding for a guest was $ 1,386.22, when all expenses were considered. LendEDU said that included wedding gifts, clothes, miscellaneous expenses and travel.
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I suspected a big chunk was on travel — and that’s what the survey found too. Indeed, plane tickets, rental cars, gas and hotel rates amounted to an average of $ 529.38 per wedding, making it the biggest overall expense. The survey did not specify whether these travel expenses involved any destination weddings atop a mountain or on a sandy beach.
Clothing was the cheapest of all wedding-related expenses, at $ 223.67 per wedding guest. That covered everything from a new suit or dress to dry-cleaning, new shoes or a new watch.
At the very least, these numbers can serve as a guide for your kids’ spending.
For example, skip the traditional gift registry. If a couple is honeymooning at a resort, a gift of plain old cash or a cheque could be used by the newlyweds for a dinner, an excursion or other activity, such as snorkeling or a whale watch.
That’s exactly what my daughter did for a friend who married last summer. The bride and groom didn’t want fancy china, sheet sets or kitchen supplies. Instead, they asked for cash to spend on their Hawaiian honeymoon.
For another approach, try gift cards. At Honeyfund.com, for example, you can buy a gift card redeemable with partners such as Amazon, Delta Air Lines, Uber, Hotels.com and other travel companies, restaurants and retailers.
If purchasing from a wedding registry — and 33 per cent of the survey participants did exactly that — buy your gift early to get a wider range of choices and prices. Better yet, use the registry to get ideas for gifts, but purchase it elsewhere if you can save some money. I doubt that the happy couple will care where the gift was purchased.