My Guests Just Spent What?
Think you’re the only one shelling out big bucks for your wedding? Think again! Did you know that the average wedding guest pays $565 – $686 on expenses related to attending your wedding? I know this seems like an amazing number so let’s break it down:
From information gathered from the knot.com, theweddingreport.com, americanexpress.com, forbes.com, and weddingplannerpro.com, the average wedding guest spends:
Dressing Up $113
Dining Out $70
Pre Party (Bridal Shower) $56
Child / Pet Care $26
And that’s before they purchase a wedding gift for you (averaging $75 plus). Now remember, we’re talking your average wedding guest. These numbers climb real fast if they are a part of your wedding party or a close friend or family member. Don’t forget the engagement party, the wedding dress shopping, the bachelor/bachelorette party, and even more. By the time your blessed day arrives your guests have each spent a small fortune. Compare that to the average amount that you, the couple, spend on your guests, a mere $194, and it’s easy to see why some guests may already be on wedding overload before your big day even starts!
About 20 years ago, before I was a wedding planner, I was a bridesmaid in a good friends wedding. I payed $250 for a lovely dress that has sat collecting dust in my closet and hasn’t been touched since I picked it up from the dry cleaner the week after the wedding. The shoes were $120, the crappy hotel room was about $150. The wedding shower that we threw for her cost us all an obscene amount of money. And, of course, we bought them an awesome wedding present as well. The wedding was held at a beautiful botanical gardens and was absolutely gorgeous. The entire wedding was picture perfect. They had thought of everything – except the guests. We were all a bit shocked when we were each handed a bill at the end of the rehearsal dinner – yep, we actually paid for our own dinner for the rehearsal! And on the big day, we were treated to appetizers of snack crackers, veggies, and fruit at the reception. We were shocked, to say the least. As I snacked on crackers and cocktail weenies, I’m a bit ashamed to say that I started to feel a bit resentful. As I went over the more than $1,200+ we spent on our friends wedding, the packaged ranch dip began to sour in my mouth.
That wedding left a very distinct impression on me. At the time I had no idea of its impact. About a year after that I found myself in the food and service industry as a restaurant owner and eventually, a caterer. Now, as a wedding and event planner, my primary focus is on building an event that makes the bride and groom swoon. But I do not forget about the guest experience! It is so important to the people that are most important to you. After all, they just spent the equivalent of a round trip vacation to Vegas on your wedding. Don’t leave them wishing they had gone to Vegas instead!