July 11, 2017

Wedding Guests Attend an Average of Two Weddings Per Year and Spend Nearly $1,000 Per Wedding Toward The Gift, Attire, Travel, & Accommodations, According to The Knot 2016 Wedding Guest Study

Wedding Registries Continue to Be the Most Popular Way to Pu­­­rchase a Gift; Cash, Honeymoon and Charity Registries Also Top Gifting Options

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (July 11, 2017) – The Knot, the number one wedding resource and­­­­ marketplace, today released the results of The Knot 2016 Wedding Guest Study. With wedding season in full swing, the study reveals that wedding guests spend an average of $888 if they’re traveling for the nuptials, and wedding attendants—bridesmaids and groomsmen—spend an average of $1,154 per wedding. These costs include everything from the wedding gift, attire and accessories, to travel and accommodations.

As guests are spending a large amount to attend each wedding, they prefer to gift something the couple really wants. When it comes to purchasing the gift, the study shows the wedding registry continues to be the most popular place to select a gift, with 37% of wedding guests and attendants purchasing a gift directly from a registry. Cash and check are also popular gift options, with nearly one-third (29%) of guests gifting money in the form of cash or check. One in ten (10%) wedding guests and attendants give a gift card, and 7% contribute funds to the couple’s honeymoon.

To make gifting easier for guests and allow couples to register for gifts not found on a retail shelf, The Newlywed FundTM by The Knot is now available. In addition to providing traditional retail registry options and charity registry choices on The Knot, The Newlywed FundTM helps couples build their new life together, whether they want cash for the honeymoon, a nest egg to buy a home, or funds for date nights to come. Couples can now register for things they really need all in one place (such as an experience or high-ticket item multiple guests can contribute to) and guests can contribute any amount they choose to the couple’s fund, while also having the choice to purchase off a retail registry.

“Gifting etiquette is a top concern for guests who are spending a significant amount on attending weddings, but The Knot helps take the stress out of gift giving with its all-in-one registry offerings,” said Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. “Our study shows that the majority of guests are purchasing gifts off wedding registries and giving cash. In addition to registering with traditional retailers on The Knot, couples can now register for cash toward a shared experience or long-term goal, like buying a house. Guests have more gifting options than ever—be it cookware, a couples massage or cash—all on The Knot.”

Top Findings From The Knot 2016 Wedding Guest Study

Guests consider many factors before gifting. Before choosing the perfect gift, many guests consider the location of the wedding, the financial status of the couple, and how many wedding events they’re attending. If travel is required to get to the wedding, 41% will spend less on the gift, while 44% will spend the same on the gift, even if they’re attending multiple wedding events like the bachelorette party and bridal shower. If the guest considers themselves very close to the couple, 79% will spend more on the gift, but if bringing a plus one, 66% will spend the same as if they attended by themselves. The couple’s financial status is also considered, with 59% gifting more if the couple is struggling financially.

How much should you gift at a wedding? After considering all the wedding day factors, questions like how much should you actually spend on the gift are top of mind for guests. Nearly half of Americans (47%) report needing help to figure out wedding gift etiquette. Luckily, The Knot has answers to all of the most burning questions. According to the study, wedding guests spend an average of $118 on the wedding gift, while bridesmaids and groomsmen gift an average of $177 per gift.

Bachelor and bachelorette parties tip the scale. The average couple reports having an average of 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen in their wedding party, according to The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study. Bachelor and bachelorette celebrations ring in a big bill, with groomsmen spending an average of 56% more than bridesmaids. Without factoring in travel and accommodations, bachelor party attendees spend an average of $738 and bachelorette partygoers spend $472 on the prewedding bashes. If travel and accommodations are required, bachelor party attendees spend an average of $1,532 and bachelorette party attendees spend an average of $1,106 at their respective celebrations.

Millennial guests want a gift that gives back. Wedding guests ages 18-39 are more likely than guests ages 40-64 to donate to a charity the couple has included on their registry, rather than buying a traditional gift. The vast majority of millennial wedding guests (93%) are also more likely to purchase a gift from a couple’s registry if a charity contribution is included free of charge. As the only registry service that gives back with each retail purchase, The Knot Gifts Back allows couples to select a charity to tie to their traditional wedding registry. Each time a gift is purchased off their retail registry, The Knot donates a percentage of each purchase to the couple’s chosen charity on their behalf.­­­­­­

Registries aren’t just for the big day. Couples and their families host a number of events leading up to their wedding. The majority of wedding guests (95%) also attend at least one other event related to the wedding, be it a bridal shower, bachelor party or engagement party. Among wedding guests who attended a bridal shower (23%), 8 in 10 purchased a gift for the shower, spending an average of $75. Nearly half (49%) of bridesmaids and groomsmen celebrated with the couple at an engagement party, with 23% purchasing a gift for the couple and spending an average of $160 on their gift.

Can I bring a plus one? The majority of wedding guests and attendants (90%) are invited to the wedding day with a plus one, and 78% report bringing a plus one to the most recent wedding they attended. Of those invited with a plus one, 24% report spending more on a wedding gift because they were invited with an additional guest. Of those not invited with a plus one, only 1 in 10 felt they should have been invited with a guest.

About The Knot
The Knot is the nation’s leading wedding resource and marketplace that seamlessly engages, matches and connects couples with the right products, services and local wedding professionals they need to plan and pull off their wedding. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 wedding website TheKnot.com, its mobile apps, The Knot national and local wedding magazines, and The Knot book series. The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely them. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), which helps people navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments—from getting married to moving in together and having a baby. Please visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on TwitterPinterest and Instagram.

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