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Guests spend more on winter weddings

Guests spend more on winter weddings

Weddings outside the peak summer months may be more cost-effective for the happy couple but guests spend more according to new research from American Express. I

In the first half of the year, guests tighten their belts when it comes to wedding expenses, spending an average of just over £320 to attend each celebration in spring or summer. As summer holidays are done and the weather cools down, spending goes up, with winter celebrations being the priciest to attend.

Season average spend per wedding

Spring £322

Summer £323

Autumn £396

Winter £476


When it comes to the number of invites guests receive, dates in summer months are the most popular, with 61% Brits attending at least one wedding. This compared to less than one in 10 (8%) attending at least one wedding in winter. Gifts are the most expensive outlay for people attending a winter wedding, spending double the amount they would in summer – perhaps due to the fact that they attend less weddings in winter. After a day and night of celebrations and dancing, a room for the night is the second biggest expenditure. Wedding outfits in winter cost more than in summer, as guests layer up with shawls and accessories for cooler evenings.

Top costs for winter and summer weddings:

Item | Average spend winter/summer

Gift £139/£58

Hotel £81/£57

Outfit £68/£55

Travel £46/ £37

Hen/stag do £75/£53

Drinks £45/£42

Hair and beauty £22/£21

TOTAL £476/£323


American Express provides some top tips to avoid the wedding costs snowing you in:

Reinvent an old outfit – you may want to splash out on a new dress but why not revamp something you have in your wardrobe with new accessories such as a stylish stole or wrap, or warm up a summer outfit with stockings and a smart coat.

Make the most of the seasonal sales – take advantage of key winter sales to buy a wedding gift or outfit at a fraction of the price.

Plan ahead to avoid hiked up Christmas costs – booking your hotel and travel in advance can save you from forking out on last minute accommodation and train tickets.

Use and earn points or rewards – if you have a credit card that earns rewards, check your balance and putting those towards your travel or accommodation costs. Also, using a card that offers cashback or rewards is a good way to spend smartly, and will allow you to treat yourself later on.

Offer your skills as a gift – instead of buying a gift for the couple, if you bake, can design cards, are a keen photographer or a hairdresser, offering your skills as a wedding gift will not only cut costs for the couple, but they will also cut your expenses.

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