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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 January 2019

The cost of being a wedding guest? Dh5,593

Attending those nuptials can be a costly business, according to a new survey by American Express Middle East

A couple pose for wedding photos in the Central district of Hong Kong. ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP
A couple pose for wedding photos in the Central district of Hong Kong. ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP

Organising a wedding can be an expensive business for the couple in question, but being a guest at those nuptials also comes with a considerable cost.

It is always a compliment to be invited to be a part of a happy couple’s special day, but attending a wedding this year will set guests back by an average of $1,523 (Dh5,593), according to a new study by American Express Middle East. The study revealed that wedding guests will spend an average of $330 on pre-wedding celebrations, such as bridal showers and luncheons, and close to $223 on gifts.

The survey involved 1,655 individuals across Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the UAE, and revealed that respondents expect to attend an average of four weddings this year, whether locally or abroad. That adds up to a total annual bill of $5,500.

Nonetheless, while 48 per cent of respondents admitted to considering the expense before accepting a wedding invite, 38 per cent say they would not turn it down solely because of cost.

The stakes are higher for destination weddings, where 60 per cent of guests would be unlikely to accept an invitation due to costs, unless it's a close family member. On average, travelling expenses for a destination wedding amount to $408, while hotel stays and accommodation cost an average $252. On the upside, if the happy couple chooses a destination that doubles as a mini-vacation for the guests, 57 per cent are likely to show up.

When it comes to gifts for the big day, 21 per cent of respondents say they would opt for items for the home, such as appliances, glasses and cutlery; only nine per cent would go for gifts from the official registry and six per cent would give their hosts a gift voucher. A sensible five per cent said they would like to contribute to the couple’s honeymoon fund.

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Updated: December 13, 2018 03:27 PM

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