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Celebrating with the happy couple can lead to a very empty wallet.

Rebekah Lowin
June 09, 2017

Thousands of brides-to-be (and their grooms) turn to The Knot to keep them in the loop about wedding trends, from bouquets to color schemes to invitation design ideas. Well, now the brand's offering us single ladies and gentlemen something just as helpful: A comprehensive guide to wedding guest spending etiquette.

Apparently, modern weddings aren't just ultra-expensive for the happy couple; they're actually a serious, wallet-emptying affair for guests as well. According to the site's 2016 Wedding Guest Study, the average wedding guest spent a cool $888 last year, including gift ($118), attire ($81), travel ($321), and accommodation expenses ($322). But that's just the tip of the iceberg of how much people are expected to dole out when it comes to the nuptials of their friends and family. For bridesmaids and groomsmen, who often take an even greater role in planning and celebrating certain aspects of the wedding, the average spend is $1,154.

The good news? To a large extent, modern guests have figured out how to make all the wedding hoopla work in their favor. After all, if they're going to have to pay up, they might as well be paying for something worthwhile. To that end, guests aged 18-39 often choose to donate to a charity the couple has included on their registry, rather than purchasing a traditional gift. In fact, the majority of millennial wedding guests—a whopping 93% of them—are more likely to purchase a gift from a couple's registry if a charity contribution is included at no expense.

Of course, the actual wedding day (or weekend!) itself is only a small percentage of the costs included here. There are also showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and engagement parties to take into consideration. 

Ladies, the good news here is that you'll likely spend less than your male counterparts when it comes to those bachelorette parties. Bachelor parties in 2016 cost an average of 44% more than bachelorette parties, with bachelor party attendees spending an average of $738 and bachelorette party attendees spending an average of $472. 

Phew.

Plus, when it comes to gifts for bachelorette parties, women paid an average of $125 in 2016, while the guys spent a bit more at $167.

Before you get too stressed out, it's important to note that these things are subject to change drastically depending on where the wedding is hosted as well as who's hosting it. But if you do feel a bit dizzy after reading those stats, just remember: There'll be cake.

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