With around a quarter of a million marriages taking place in the UK every year and an average of 82 guests per wedding newlyweds could find themselves scooping almost £7,000 worth of gifts on their big day!
According to a new investigation from Admiral Home Insurance couples could find themselves entering married life together by counting out the cash, as it's revealed the UK's wedding gift giving habits are changing and the traditional wedding list is dying out. The investigation found that British people are more likely to have given money (36%) at a wedding than any other type of present at weddings over the last 10 years, including an item from the once popular wedding gift list (29%).
On average wedding guests will spend £85 per gift, dropping to £70 if they're only invited to the evening reception. By contrast, most people said if they were getting married this summer they'd expect their guests to spend at least £62 on a present, rising to £94 for gifts from immediate family and dropping to £47 for presents from distant friends.
Those who are currently engaged would expect to receive presents valued at £91, from guests, almost double the expectation of those who are single, who thought £52 was the right value for a guest to spend.
Blood isn't always thicker than water
The research found that guests spend the most on immediate family members, with Brits spending an average of £137 on siblings and parents. Meanwhile, more money is spent on close friends than distant family members with the average wedding guest spending £96 for friends and £76 on family.
Guests who are engaged are also more generous, spending an average £90 on a gift, compared to divorcees who spend a third (31%) less at £62. Work colleagues draw the short straw, with guests spending an average of £57 on a gift for those they work with.
Like day guests, evening wedding guests across the board said they'd spend more on immediate family; £105 on average, compared to colleagues who they'd spend £50 on by comparison. Londoners spend the most on evening reception gifts (£132) compared to evening guests in Yorkshire who spend 68% less with an average of £42.
What couples want
The popularity of the wedding gift list has fluctuated throughout the decades, peaking for those who got married in the 90s when a third of couples shared a gift list with guests.
In true humble Britishness, 42% of those who are already married say they didn't ask for anything at their wedding. Meanwhile, the popularity of asking for cash has risen steadily with a fifth of those married this decade saying they asked guests for money. Similarly, couples asking for a donation to a honeymoon, or other fund, has also risen in popularity since the 1970s.
Those married most recently were also the most likely to have asked for a charity donation, with 13% of those getting married in the 2010s opting to pay their gift forward rather than keep it for themselves.
Charity donations on the rise
Younger guests (25-34) are significantly more likely than any other age group to think outside the box when it comes to gift giving. Almost a third (28%) of this generation would give a voucher compared to 17% of Brits on the whole.
Meanwhile 21% would give an experience compared to just 6% of Brits on average, and almost a fifth (19%) would give a charity donation compared to just 7% of Brits on average.
A fifth of those surveyed (21%) said they'd been upset over a wedding gift they'd received, with men more likely to have been upset than women (20% vs. 11%).
One in 10 gift-givers also admitted feeling upset, saying the couple's reaction to their present had upset them because a more expensive gift had been expected (6%) or the couple didn't like the present given (4%). Meanwhile, almost a fifth of people (18%) said they'd even fallen out with someone over a wedding gift, including arguing with their partner over how much they should spend on the happy couple.
Whilst 23% of respondents said they normally give a gift of their own choosing as a wedding guest, the personal touch isn't always well received. 12% of wedding guests in Aberdeen admitted they have re-gifted an unwanted wedding present, making them three times more likely than the national average (4%) to give away a wedding present.
It IS unusual
The investigation revealed that British couples had received unusual gifts on their big day, with guests handing over unorthodox gifts including; a box of electrical fuses, cat food, a stepladder and some white chocolate mice. Meanwhile, others admitted to being the ones who had gone off the beaten track with their wedding gift to newlyweds, with peculiar presents including; a pottery parrot, a dog, some shells and an old fashioned telephone.
Noel Summerfield, Head of Home Insurance at Admiral, said: "We all know weddings are expensive to host, but the costs can soon mount up for guests too. New outfits, accommodation and of course a gift for the special couple all add to the bill, and at an average of £85 there are some pretty pricey presents being given.
"It seems that cash is king when it comes to gifts given, although those getting married most recently are bucking the trend by ask for donations to charity, honeymoon funds or to support other purchases.
"With couples receiving gifts to the tune of £7,000 on average it's important that presents are protected. Our gold and platinum home insurance includes Celebration Cover as standard, and automatically increases the contents insured at your property to give peace of mind when you hop off on honeymoon."
For more information of the most popular gifts by decade visit https://www.admiral.com/home-insurance