Be our guest for £400 - Total cost of being a wedding guest stacks up

Men are the bigger wedding spenders, splashing out £51 more on ceremony and pre-celebrations

Wedding guests are being hit with a £377 bill every time they accept an invitation, with the cost of gifts, accommodation, clothing and stag and hen dos stacking up, according to new research from Nationwide Building Society*.  But with many guests attending multiple marriages, saying yes to wedding invitations could cost significantly more.

Figures show that male wedding guests who attend stag dos part with £51 more per wedding than female guests, spending £404 compared to £353 respectively. However, spend also varies regionally**, with a difference of £176 between the area where people spend most (Northern Ireland - £476) and the least (South West - £308). See notes to editors for a regional breakdown.

Total wedding spend is broken down into two elements – pre-wedding celebrations (stag and hen do) and the wedding ceremony itself: 

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Most likely to be reduced/downgraded:

  • Number of guests: 37%
  • Car: 37%
  • Dress: 33%
  • Paid bar: 33%
  • Food: 27%

Least likely to be reduced/downgraded:

  • Flowers: 18%
  • Cake: 17%
  • Wedding party gifts: 17%
  • Suits: 16%
  • Rings: 12%

The national survey, which polled 2,000 adults who have attended a wedding, shows those also take part in the stag or hen do spend an additional £157, although a quarter (25%) spend in excess of £200 on each occasion.  However, stags (£178) spend more than hens (£136) partying, possibly as they tend to go further afield, with double the amount of men (16%) celebrating abroad compared to women (8%). As might be expected, those aged 18 to 24 spend the most at £215, with the amount spent steadily declining as people reach 55 and over, where it nearly halves to an average of £109.

And perhaps in an attempt to keep the costs down, the more traditional night on the town still trumps trips abroad, with half staying local (51%) compared to just one in eight travelling overseas (12%).  People aged 18 to 24 are more likely to celebrate overseas (24%) compared to those aged 55 and over (7%) who prefer to stay local. 

Notes to Editors

One Poll research: total sample size was 2,000 adults, who were either married or in a civil partnership. The survey ran from the 08/05/2015 to 12/05/2015.

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.