One4all Gift Cards carried out a survey into the UK wedding guests’ habits, and the etiquette surrounding weddings. The research examined how much attending weddings costs the average Brit, as well as the biggest blunders made by wedding guests when it comes to gifting.

The study highlighted that an alarming number of people have given the happy couple something from their own home and passed it off as a wedding gift in the past, given money in a last minute panic, or even told newlyweds their gift hasn’t arrived yet when in fact they haven’t even ordered it!

It also uncovered the level of discomfort felt by wedding guests when they are told what to give to newlyweds, by means of a wedding list or a request for cash.

How many of us drink too much at weddings? What's the most popular wedding gift? Read on for the full story!


The Wedding Experience:

  • 87% see weddings as an opportunity to catch up with friends and family members

  • 1 in 5 see weddings as an opportunity to share good news and achievements with family and friends

  • 8% of people see weddings as an opportunity to meet potential new dates

  • Almost half – 49% have felt inadequate compared to other wedding guests

  • 30% have spent more than they had planned to on a wedding gift so not to appear ungenerous

  • 1 in 4 – 23% have felt under pressure to seem successful in front of family and friends

  • 13% have told a lie at a wedding about an achievement to appear more successful


Preparing for and attending a wedding:

  • The average amount Brits spend when attending a wedding, including travel, accommodation, outfits and beauty treatments is £170, with women spending just £6 more than men on average (£172 women and £166 men)

  • Those aged 45-54 are the ones spending the most on attending weddings, forking out £191, followed by those aged 25-34 who are spending £172

  • Scots admit to spending the most attending weddings, paying £238, Londoners and those in Northern Ireland came in second  –  spending £212 and £210 respectively

  • The average time Brits spend preparing for a wedding including shopping for and selecting an outfit, shopping for and purchasing a gift, is 6 hours

  • Those aged 25-34 spend the most time preparing for weddings – 7.5 hours, followed by those aged 45-54 – 6.5 hours


Underhand gifting tactics:

  • 41% have given something from their own home to use as a wedding gift

  • 37% have given the bride or groom money in a last minute panic

  • Women are the worst offenders – 47% compared to men – 24%

  • 1 in 5 – 18% have signed their name on somebody else’s wedding gift tag

  • 1 in 10  have told the bride and groom their gift is on its way – when it hadn’t even been bought

  • Those aged 25-34 are the worst offenders – 18%

  • 10% have bought a wedding gift from a petrol station on the way


How Brits feel about wedding gifts:

  • More than half - 55% - would prefer to give the newlyweds a gift for their home e.g. a coffee machine or a vase

  • 15% would prefer to give a financial gift e.g. money towards buying a home

  • 14% would prefer to give money towards a honeymoon

  • 7% would prefer not to give wedding gifts at all

  • 18%  feel uncomfortable with the prospect of being asked to select their gift for the happy couple from a wedding list

  • Wedding lists are least popular with those in the North East, where 1 in 3 (29%) are uncomfortable with them

  • 1 in 10 feel uncomfortable with couples asking for cash gifts


Wedding Faux Pas:

  • Almost half of Brits – 47% -  have drunk too alcohol much at a wedding, with men more likely than women to do so

  • 17% have forgotten to RSVP to a wedding

  • 14% have kissed somebody at a wedding whom they’d just met

  • 1 in 10 have had a one night stand at a wedding

  • 13% have turned up late for a wedding


The average spend on wedding gifts:

  • Betrothed couples on average feel guests at their weddings should spend £52 on gifts for them. Grooms-to-be have higher expectations as to what they feel their guest should spend, compared with brides - men anticipate an average value per gift of £65, while women expect guests to spend £25 less

  • The average spend on a gift for those attending a wedding is £46, with men spending more than women (£40 women and £46 men - £16 difference)

  • Those aged 25-34 are spending the most - £67, closely followed by those aged 35-44 - £50

  • Those in London admit to spending the most - £67, outside of this it is Northern Ireland which came in second - £65 and Yorkshire, which came in third - £59.

  • Those in the East of England and Wales spend the joint-least on gifts, with residents of both spending just £37

  • £32 is the minimum amount Brits feel they can get away with spending on a wedding gift before guests risking appearing cheap


“It’s interesting to see the extents to which selecting and buying a gift can stress people out - and also quite alarming how many people have resorted to quite cheeky tactics when the panic has set in!  “It’s also clear that British adults prefer to go down the traditional route of selecting a gift for the happy couple themselves, rather than being dictated to by something like a wedding list, and that traditional types of gifts - such as homeware and useful appliances - are still the preferred to choice of many guests. “However, in order to be successful in their gift selection, guests need to really consider whether these types of items are what the couple really wants - these days it is very common for people to have been living together for years before they get married, in which case it’s likely they will already have everything they need for the home. “So unless there is something that you know the bride and groom need or want specifically, it’s often safer to give the gift of choice, such as a gift card or money, which they can use to get something they will really enjoy together, such as an experience day, a meal or an activity on their honeymoon.”- Aoife Davey, group marketing manager at One4all, the Post Office Gift Card