Reporting Jim Donovan
By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Will you be watching a couple say “I do” this wedding season? Well it’s not just the bride and groom that has to worry about the cost of weddings; guests often have to shell out big bucks too.
When wedding guests receive an invitation they’re excited for the happy couple, but they should also be concerned about the costs. Here comes the bride, now hold on to your wallet!
The latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker survey found 30-percent of adults will be attending one or more weddings this year, that’s 69 million of us.
Wedding guests are planning to spend an average of $539 per wedding. That’s up 59 percent from last year. Of that $167 will go towards travel and $161 for something to wear.
Driving to the destination, rather than flying, may cost you more time but it could save you some cash. If you have friends of family in the area, skip the hotel and crash on a couch.
When it comes to buying a wedding gift, close family members will spend the most, an average of $179. While friends outside a couple’s close-knit circle are expected to spend around $79 and co-workers $66.
Keep in mind you don’t have to give a gift right away. The etiquette experts at Emily Post say while before or on the big day is best, late is better than never. Others, including TheKnot.com, say it’s ok to send a gift up to a year later.
Also, don’t be afraid to say “no.” If attending a wedding is going to be too much of a financial burden, just send a thoughtful gift along with your regrets. By the way, if you agree to be part of a bridal party, expect to spend even more, an average of $577 in total costs according to the survey.
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