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The Price Of Love: UK Wedding Guest Spend To Increase 18% In 2023

May 23, 2023


As summer approaches and wedding season hits full swing, new research1 from American Express has found that UK wedding guests are set to increase their spend attending weddings by 18% this year, compared to 2022.

The average wedding guest is expecting to spend £1,045 on average per wedding this year, equating to £16.6 billion2 across the UK. In 2022, wedding goers spent an average of £883 to mark the first year of restriction-free ceremonies, totalling £15.6 billion3 as a population.

The gift of approval

Gifts for the newlywed couple will be the biggest expense for wedding guests in 2023, with attendees expecting to spend an average of £217.90 on brides and grooms. The most common amount spent on a wedding gift is £25-£50 with 20% of UK weddings guests planning to spend that much per wedding in 2023. 10% indicated they are planning to spend £400 or more.

Accommodation is the second biggest cost for guests at £203.90. Accommodation also saw the biggest increase in spend in 2023, up almost a third (32%) compared to 2022.

Top 5 costs for UK wedding guests in 2023

Increase in cost from 2022

        Gift for the couple (including cash) - £217.90


(2022 - £164.40)

        Accommodation - £203.90


(2022 - £154.20)

        Childcare - £202.70



        Travel - £196.20


(2022 - £160.80)

       Outfits and accessories - £160.30


(2022 - £158.60)

Beyond cash gifts (47%), wedding-goers are most likely to gift newlyweds with couples’ experiences (21%), kitchen appliances (20%) or home décor and glassware (both 18%). Over two-thirds (68%) of wedding guests are looking to get cashback or earn loyalty points from their wedding guest spend.

In addition to increasing guest spend this year, the average number of guests per wedding is expected to rise in 2023. The research found that the average guest count for weddings in 2023 is 74, compared to 66 in 2022.

Weddings will continue to see a positive rebound effect from Covid-19 in 2023, with over one-third (37%) of UK guests planning to attend more weddings in 2023 compared to 2022. Overall, 52% of UK guests will attend a wedding in 2023 that was postponed since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Somewhere beyond the sea

Plenty of UK couples are taking the opportunity to get married abroad in 2023, with Spain and Ireland ranking top for destinations to tie the knot outside of the UK. Over one in ten (12%) wedding guests will be heading to Spain for weddings this year, with the same proportion heading to Ireland (12%) for ceremonies in 2023. 

Wedding guests will also be looking to earn something back for themselves when celebrating marriages this year, with 68% looking to earn loyalty points or cashback when they spend at weddings. American Express offers a range of Cards that earn Membership Rewards points or cashback. For example, the Platinum Cashback Credit Card offers a range of benefits for new and existing Cardmembers. During the first three months of Cardmembership, new Cardmembers get 5% cashback on eligible purchases, up to £125, and up to 1.25% cashback after that. Representative 35.0% APR variable. 18+, Terms Apply, Subject to Status.


1Research was conducted by Opinium. Sample was of 2,000 UK adults (18+). Results were weighted to be nationally representative. Fieldwork took place 17-20 March 2023.

2In a nationally representative survey of 2000 UK adults, 603 said they have or will be attending a wedding this year. 603 / 2000 * 52890000 = 15,946,335 or 15.9 million. On average wedding guests are spending £1045 on attending weddings this year. 15,946,335 * £10445 = £16,663,920,075 or £16.6 billion

3Omnibus research was conducted by Opinium, 2,000 nationally representative adults were surveyed between 14th April and 19th April 2022. In a nationally representative survey of 2000 UK adults, 668 said they have or will be attending a wedding this year. 668 / 2000 * 52890000 = 17,665,260 or 17.7 million. On average wedding guests are spending £883 on attending weddings this year. 17,665,260 * £1883 = £15,598,424,580 or £15.6 billion


Jack Calway:


Nick Richardson, Four Communications on behalf of American Express:

+44 (0)7580 849 673


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