UK wedding guests set to spend £16.6bn in 2023

guest at wedding sat at table with a glass of fizz

As summer approaches and wedding season hits full swing, new research from American Express has found that UK wedding guests are set to increase their spend attending weddings by 18% this year, compared to 2022.

The average wedding guest is expecting to spend £1,045 on average per wedding this year, equating to £16.6 billion across the UK. In 2022, wedding goers spent an average of £883 to mark the first year of restriction-free ceremonies, totalling £15.6 billion as a population.

The gift of approval
Gifts for the newlywed couple will be the biggest expense for wedding guests in 2023, with attendees expecting to spend an average of £217.90 on brides and grooms. The most common amount spent on a wedding gift is £25-£50 with 20% of UK weddings guests planning to spend that much per wedding in 2023. 10% indicated they are planning to spend £400 or more.
Accommodation is the second biggest cost for guests at £203.90. Accommodation also saw the biggest increase in spend in 2023, up almost a third (32%) compared to 2022.

Top 5 costs for UK wedding guests in 2023 (and increase in cost from 2022)
1. Gift for the couple (including cash gifts) - £217.90 +24.6% (2022 - £164.40)
2. Accommodation - £203.90 +32.2% (2022 - £154.20)
3. Childcare - £202.70 (2022 - N/A)
4. Travel - £196.20 +22% (2022 - £160.80)
5. Outfits and accessories - £160.30 +1% (2022 - £158.60)

Beyond cash gifts (47%), wedding-goers are most likely to gift newlyweds with couples' experiences (21%), kitchen appliances (20%) or home décor and glassware (both 18%). Over two-thirds (68%) of wedding guests are looking to get cashback or earn loyalty points from their wedding guest spend.
In addition to increasing guest spend this year, the average number of guests per wedding is expected to rise in 2023. The research found that the average guest count for weddings in 2023 is 74, compared to 66 in 2022.

Weddings will continue to see a positive rebound effect from Covid-19 in 2023, with over one-third (37%) of UK guests planning to attend more weddings in 2023 compared to 2022. Overall, 52% of UK guests will attend a wedding in 2023 that was postponed since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Check out americanexpress.com/en-gb

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