Exploding wedding costs for guests

The average cost of a wedding in a large city now inches up toward $40,000. But what gets lost in the shuffle is the cost for the guest.

I just got back from my second, out-of-state wedding in less than two months. For our whole family, the cost really started to add up.

But even if the weddings had been right here in metro Atlanta the cost would still be high. Let's break it down so we can figure out where we can cut costs.

According to "The Knot," a wedding site, the average wedding attendee spends nearly $1,400. On one wedding.  How? Well travel is the biggie - flying, driving, hotels, gas. It adds up. Here how to cut costs here.

       AVERAGE GUEST COSTS: $1,386.22

  1. Fly into alternative airport
  2. Rent a smaller car to save gas
  3. Buy hotel tickets through discount site

If you're flying, try an alternative airport. I did that on a trip to Michigan. I pulled up three options and found a deal that way. I had to drive a little but it was a cost saver.

Got a big gas guzzler of a car? Don't drive it.  Maybe it's cheaper to rent a compact car. And I just cobbled together hotels on one trip this way.  One was a hotel room I got through a discount site; one was a bed and breakfast; and one was an Airbnb which was hundreds of dollars cheaper than Boston hotel rooms.


  • Wedding Gift - $329.55
  • Clothing - $223.67

 The average spent on gifts, according to "The Knot" is more than $329. Wow. Ok, go in on a gift with a friend. Or, you wait until the item goes on sale. You have one year to send a gift. Save for it. Or maybe offer them a service, like housecleaning or petsitting while they're on their honeymoon. And nearly $224 on clothing. Want a new dress? Borrow one from a friend. Do an online dress rental.

And ya know what, if you can't afford to go then don't. And tell the bride and groom. Offer to take them to dinner when they get back.

Don't go into debt for someone else's wedding.