Wedding season is about to begin, and guests are spending more than $600 on everything that comes with just one wedding, according to a Bankrate survey.
With the high costs, 30 percent of guests are declining the wedding invite, because they simply can't afford to go.
Wedding costs include travel to the destination, which can often involve purchasing flights and a hotel. There may be additional costs for a new outfit or babysitting, and of course, a gift for the couple.
It all adds up, and experts say not to go broke for a wedding.
Wedding planner Lauren Smith, with Hour Glass Productions, says whether you attend or not, giving a gift is a must.
"If it's a relationship that you want to continue with, you should still give them a gift,” Smith says. “If it’s someone [who’s] ‘ehh’ and we probably aren't going to talk or see them again, then don't give a gift," Smith suggests.
But how much should you spend? Most experts say it depends on your relationship with the couple. Smith says whatever you think the meal costs.
"Plated meals cost more. Buffets cost a little less, and if you go to a food truck wedding, it’s even less than that," she says.
While cash used to be frowned upon for some, Smith and recent bride Sarah Valencia say money is a great gift.
"They just gave us money for our honeymoon fund, which was awesome,” says Valencia. “And maybe it was $25, $50, or whatever, but it was fine with us."
While a gift is a nice gesture, Valencia says she was just happy her guests attended.