Gulf guests splash out $5.5k a year to attend weddings

American Express Middle East reveals average annual cost of being invited to weddings in the Gulf
Gulf guests splash out $5.5k a year to attend weddings
While it is a huge compliment to be invited to celebrate a couple’s special day, the findings suggest that the costs can soon add up for guests in the region.
By Sam Bridge
Thu 13 Dec 2018 02:47 PM

Wedding guests in the Gulf will need to set an average annual budget of $5,500, according to a new study commissioned by American Express Middle East.

While it is a huge compliment to be invited to celebrate a couple’s special day, the findings 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, spending $5,500 in total.

The study said that while 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 budget, the study revealed that around $330 is spent by guests on attending pre-wedding celebrations such as bridal showers and luncheons alone, while close to $223 is spent on gifts. The remaining costs are associated with attending destination weddings.

Although 48 percent consider the expenses of accepting a wedding invite, 38 percent said they would not turn down an invite solely for cost-associated reasons.

But the stakes are higher for destination weddings where 60 percent 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, making it the biggest chunk of a wedding guest’s budget. Hotel stays, and accommodation came next at an average of $252.

On the upside, if the happy couple choses a destination that doubles as a mini-vacation for the guests, 57 percent said they are likely to show up.

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