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UK wedding guests to spend £15.6 billion in 2022

bride and groom and their guest posing at a field gate with manor house in the background Spending by wedding guests has risen again this year as they enjoy a return to restriction-free ceremonies across the UK in 2022.

New research1 from American Express reveals that British wedding goers will spend £883 on average to attend each wedding this year equating to £15.6 billion2 across the population, with guests spending more on accommodation, travel, outfits and hair, beauty and grooming compared to 2021.

Of those who have or are planning to spend more on weddings this year, a third (33%) say this is because they want to celebrate with friends and family who they haven't seen as much due to the pandemic, while 27% say they are happier to spend more now that restrictions have been removed.

hotel room large bed and Tv on the wall Fashion and accommodation on the up

With over half of Brits (58%) happy to spend more celebrating with their loved ones now Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, costs on hair, beauty and grooming have leapt 41% with guests spending £119 per wedding compared to £84 in 2021. Wedding goers are also choosing to spend more on their wedding outfits this year, rising 22% to £159 per wedding compared to £130 last year.

With this year's wedding season bringing a return to pre-pandemic ceremonies, almost half of guests (46%) said they are likely to put more effort into weddings as a guest now restrictions have been lifted, a sentiment reflected in the increased spend on wedding accommodation. Outlay on accommodation saw a rise of 31% compared to 2021 with wedding goers spending £154 this year, compared to £118 in 2021.

wedding guest names on tags on a ladder More intimate weddings here to stay

While the pandemic prompted a marked increase in smaller weddings to comply with Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021, 46% of Brits said they still expect weddings to be smaller and more intimate even though restrictions have lifted.

These views are reinforced in terms of scale, as of those who plan to attend, or have already attended, a wedding this year estimate there to be 66 guests, on average, in attendance. One-fifth (20%) estimate 51-100 guests to be in attendance, and 18% say between 31-50. Only 16% estimate there to be over 100 guests in attendance at weddings they are attending this year.

pile of wedding gifts Racking up the points

As wedding goers across the country enjoy a return to wedding-normality, the research also highlighted that nearly half (40%) of guests plan to be savvy and use loyalty points when spending on attending weddings this year, such as purchasing a gift or a flight using points from their credit card. Even more Brits (45%) plan to collect loyalty points through their purchases attending weddings in 2022, helping them earn valuable rewards as they celebrate with friends and loved ones throughout the year.

Nikki Edelman, Vice President at American Express commented: "After two years of lockdowns and social restrictions, our research clearly shows that Brits are really looking forward to making the most of celebrating weddings in-person this year, and have adjusted their spending as a guest to reflect that. American Express® Cardmembers can earn valuable rewards from their spending at weddings, whether that's through cashback or Membership Rewards® points which can be put towards treats or experiences for the guest themselves."

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