Attending a wedding now costs guests nearly 20% of their monthly salary


  • The average cost of attending a wedding is now £451, which is 19% of the average UK monthly salary 

  • Increasingly extravagant Hen and Stag Dos mean the Maid of Honour and Best Man are bearing the brunt of increasing costs, paying on average £211 more than other attendees  

  • Those getting married aren’t escaping the financial burden either, with the number of people taking out loans for weddings increasing 6% in the last two years according to Experian data


UK, 21 May 2024: New research from Experian reveals that the average cost of attending a wedding in 2024 is £451, setting guests back on average a whopping 19% of their monthly salary. This hefty price tag has led to nearly a fifth (19%) of guests having to decline a wedding invitation due to the costs involved.

Gifts (£108), accommodation (£103) and outfits (£92) are set to be the biggest expenses, with many looking for savvy ways to keep costs down. Over a quarter (27%) admit to cutting back on luxuries, such as meals out, to be able to attend celebrations, while a fifth (21%) will only attend celebrations that don’t require an overnight stay and one in ten (10%) don’t buy gifts as they can’t afford them alongside the cost of attending the wedding.  

The financial pressure is particularly challenging for those attending Hen and Stag Dos, with three in four (73%) attendees believing pre-wedding celebrations are getting more extravagant and now cost too much. The Maid of Honour and Best Man bear the brunt of the financial burden, spending on average £211 more than other attendees due to making upfront payments and never getting money owed back.

Hen and stag do attendees are also feeling the pressure from the Bride and Groom, with a third (33%) of these guests saying they felt they were expected to cover the entire cost of the trip for them. In fact, the same number (33%) don’t believe the Bride or Groom took the income of their guests into consideration when organising their Hen or Stag Dos, leading to 37% of attendees believing it’s unfair for those getting married to expect guests to pay for their share of the celebration. Concerningly, one in ten (11%) attendees have even admitted going into debt because of the money they had to spend at a Hen or Stag Do. 

But those getting married are facing their own financial concerns, with Experian data showing a 6% increase in the number of people taking out loans for weddings between 2022 and 2023. And this trend for expensive weddings shows no sign of slowing down, with further analysis from Experian revealing a 10% increase in applications recorded between January and March of this year, compared to the same period in 2022. 

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian said: “Weddings and the accompanying festivities are wonderful moments that should be celebrated with family and friends, but not at a serious financial cost to the couple or their guests. The fact some people are accumulating debt due to wedding celebrations is particularly concerning and highlights the pressure guests feel around these events.

“If you’re attending a Hen or Stag Do this year, it’s important to speak up about any financial concerns you have so the couple are aware. Remember, people usually prefer to have the people they love at their wedding than a flash celebration with nobody there! And for those taking out loans to cover the big day, remember to only borrow what you’re able to repay in a timely manner.”



Notes to Editors:

Research carried out by Opinium of 1,000 UK adults who are attending a wedding this year / attended a wedding in the last year, between 24th-29th April 2024. 

Data from Experian’s CIS Marketplace analysing loan applications from March 2022 – March 2024 

The estimated median monthly pay in the UK in February 2024 was £2,331. 

£451 is 19.34% of £2,331 

Top five money-saving tips for wedding guests

  1. Wear the same outfit to multiple weddings (74 per cent)

  2. Cut back on luxuries like holidays and meals out to save money (27 per cent)

  3. Share a hotel room with someone to half costs (25 per cent)

  4. Only attend weddings that don’t require an overnight stay (21 per cent)

  5. Make a wedding present, rather than buy the couple a gift (13 per cent)

Media contact:

Brands2Life for Experian

Tel: 0207 592 1200 / Email:

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