Weddings Are Getting More Expensive for Guests – How Can You Save Money?

Wedding guests clinking glasses while the newlyweds drinking champagne in the background.
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After nearly two years without formal weddings, brides across the U.S. are back — and they are ready to party. But nuptials are getting pricier, not just for the happy couple, but for their guests, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.

See: Where To Find a Cheap Wedding Venue Near Me? Try These 6 Wedding Venue Choices
Find: The Average Cost of a Wedding: How Much Should You Spend?

Market research firm The Wedding Report forecasts that 2.5 million weddings will take place in 2022 in the U.S., including new bookings and rescheduled celebrations from 2020 and 2021. Plus, brides are going all-out with their guest lists, including out-of-state guests and more distant connections than they did for the intimate gatherings of 2021.

In fact, the average size wedding last year was 105 people, according to research from The Knot, reported by WSJ. This year, the average wedding will have 129 guests, rivaling pre-pandemic averages of 131 guests.

Unfortunately for those guests, it may be more costly to travel to these gatherings. Wedding Report CEO Shane McMurray said that guests should expect to pay 10% more than 2021 averages to attend out-of-state weddings this year. In 2021, guests spent an average of $660 to attend an out-of-town wedding if they drove, and $1,270 if they flew.

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Airfare is only going to go up through June, according to the travel site Hopper. Hopper says domestic airfares could increase by as much as 7% per month through June, reaching a high of $315 round-trip during what is still traditionally the biggest month for weddings.

Hotel stays are also rising in price, with January 2022 seeing a 23.6% jump in rates year-over-year. That can be expected to rise further as the weather gets warmer and wedding season approaches. Short-term rental analytics firm AirDNA reported that the average daily rate for properties already booked for spring is 7% higher than those booked in the second quarter of 2021.

Marriott International told the Wall Street Journal that bookings for weddings at their properties in Hawaii have risen by 300% since last year.

If you’re planning a wedding for 2022, make sure to negotiate a lower rate on a block of rooms designated for your hotel guests.

See: Planning a 2022 Wedding? Here’s How Inflation Will Affect Your Budget
Find: The Most Popular Wedding Registry Gifts of the Past 25 Years — And How Much They Cost

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Of course, you don’t want your guests to pay more than they can comfortably afford to be there for your big day, either. Encourage guests to book their flights early, as airfare rates are continuing to rise and are expected to reach pre-pandemic rates in April 2022. And if you have many guests traveling from a specific region, you might encourage them to carpool to save on gas costs.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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