- Adults expected to attend an average of four weddings in 2018, spending approximately e 5,500 USD in total.
(Beirut – Lebanon, 19th November 2018): While it is a huge compliment to be invited to celebrate a couple’s special day, findings from a new study commissioned by American Express Middle East suggest that the costs can soon add up for guests in the region. The survey which involved 1,655 individuals across, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the UAE showed that on average, a person is expected to attend four weddings this year – be it a local or at a special wedding destination – spending 5,500 USD in total.
1,523 USD – The Cost of Accepting a Wedding Invite this year
Whilst weddings can act as a boost for local economies; from hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and florists, attending the wedding party also comes with a cost for guests. Looking into the average 1,523 USD budget, the study revealed that around 330 USD is spent by guests on attending pre-wedding celebrations such as bridal showers and luncheons alone, while close to 223 USD is spent on gifts. The remaining costs are associated with attending destination weddings.
And although 48% consider the expenses of accepting a wedding invite, 38% would not turn down an invite solely for cost-associated reasons. But the stakes are higher for destination weddings where 60% of guests would be unlikely to accept an invite due to costs, unless it’s a close family member. This links back to the average spend on travelling expenses which reached 408 USD, making it the biggest chunk of a wedding guest’s budget. Hotel stays, and accommodation came next at an average of 252 USD.
On the upside, if the happy couple choses a destination that doubles as a mini-vacation for the guests, 57% are likely to show up.
A Big Gift for the Big Day
When looking for the perfect gift to make the couple’s big day extra special, 21% would pick up home items such appliances, glasses and cutlery that the newlyweds could use in their new house. 9% would opt for gifts off the registry while 6% would present gift vouchers. Funding honeymoon activities was favoured among 5% of respondents, closely followed by paying for wedding services such the wedding cake, photography, DJ or wedding car.
Graziela Martins VP Merchant Business, American Express Middle East said “Being invited to celebrate someone’s wedding can be a great honor, but there are also many costs associated with attending such an event. One of the ways of helping manage these costs is to put your everyday spending on a credit card which offers payment flexibility as well as special offers and rewards points that can be redeemed for wedding-related expenses.”
Cutting Costs at No Loss
Being on the receiving end of an expensive invitation has caused some guests to make more conscious budget-friendly decisions. The survey showed that 66% said they use offers from their card providers when attending a wedding to save money. Another 71% said they shop during sales for their outfits, and 51% save costs by clothes swapping with other guests or mixing and matching new outfits rather than buying something new for each occasion.
More tips from American Express Middle East
- Staying over – if you are needing to find accommodation to attend a wedding, check in with the bride and groom to see if they have negotiated any discount rates at neighboring hotels or are holding rooms for guests.
- Get rewards on your spending – be savvy and put your wedding spend on a card that gives you rewards points to book your next holiday or treat yourself or a loved one at a later date.
- Split the gift – buying the perfect gift doesn’t have to be an expensive process – you could consider splitting the price of a gift with a fellow guest meaning that you can still get something memorable and impressive, without breaking the bank.
- Points make presents – check how many rewards points you have on your credit or charge card. You may well have enough to get a wedding gift with your points, which means you can give a gift without spending a penny.
About the research
The American Express Middle East Weddings Survey was conducted online by YouGov among a random sample of 1,655 adults. The respondents represent the general population of Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, and Lebanon covering both men and women above 18 years of age, across all social groups living in the region.
About AMEX (Middle East) B.S.C.(c)
American Express began operations in the MENA region in 1959 and set up its first office in Bahrain in 1977. In 1992, AEME was established in Bahrain as a joint venture company owned by American Express and Mawarid Investment Limited. Today, American Express Middle East employs a very diverse workforce of more than 500 employees, covering its consumer card, corporate payments and merchant businesses across the Middle East and North Africa region.
AMEX Middle East is a payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business across the Middle East and North Africa.