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Money, Gift Cards And Home Goods Top The Lists Of What Newlyweds Hope To Receive And Guests Plan To Give

May 14, 2007
Riverwoods, IL, May 14, 2007 – With wedding season almost upon us, Discover® Card today released findings from its first annual Wedding Shopping Survey which examined spending habits of groomsmen, bridesmaids and wedding guests.

The survey reveals that the average cost of participating in a wedding party is higher for men than women. Groomsmen spend an average of $1,009 on wedding expenses -including pre-wedding festivities- while bridesmaids spend an average of $963. Almost half (47 percent) of past groomsmen and bridesmaids say that they are happy to take on the financial commitment and that it is worth every penny. However, slightly more than half (51 percent) say that they are less enthusiastic about the costs.

“Wedding season is a busy time of the year for consumers and those in the wedding typically spend about $1,000 to support their friends and family as they celebrate their big day,” said Margo Georgiadis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Discover Financial Services. “Whether you're a groomsman, bridesmaid or guest, we hope that the Discover Card Wedding Shopping Survey helps consumers plan ahead for expenses and gifts that newlyweds want most.”

Wedding Party Participants Open Their Wallets Wide for the Bride & Groom

The Discover Card Wedding Shopping Survey's top findings with regard to groomsmen and bridesmaids include:

• Groomsmen spend on average three times as much on the bachelor party ($289 per person) as bridesmaids do on average for the bachelorette party ($100 per person). However, bridesmaids incur an average expense of $163 per person hosting the bridal shower.

• Not surprisingly, bridesmaids tend to spend more on average for dress, shoes and jewelry ($197) than groomsmen do on average for a tuxedo or suit ($132). When it comes to personal appearance, bridesmaids spend nearly three times more on average on hair, nails and make-up ($74) as do groomsmen ($27).

• The average amount for both groomsmen and bridesmaids to spend on a wedding gift is $234.

• It costs about twice as much to participate in a wedding as a groomsman ($1,009) or bridesmaid ($963) than it is to attend one as a male ($416) or female ($393) guest.

The Perfect Wedding Gift…Giving (and Getting) Has Never Been So Easy
The Discover Card Wedding Shopping Survey also reveals the following trends regarding gift giving:

• Good news for newlyweds. It appears that wedding guests can read their mind when it comes to gifts. The top-three gifts that guests prefer to give are money (39 percent), gift cards (23 percent) and home goods such as bedding, towels and kitchen accessories (15 percent). Likewise, the top-three gifts newlyweds would like to receive are the same: money (50 percent), gift cards (23 percent) and home goods (11 percent).

• Surprisingly, crystal and china - traditional favorites - are low on the list of what newlyweds would like to receive these days, garnering only five percent of the responses. These gifts are equally unfavorable in terms of what guests would like to give, coming in at just eight percent.

• Are gift cards the new Waterford? In addition to coming in second on both newlywed and guests' gift lists, 47 percent of all respondents would be “thrilled” to receive a gift card as a wedding gift because they could buy anything they wanted. An additional 43 percent would be “pleased” to receive one.

• Blood may not be thicker than water when it comes to wedding gifts. Wedding guests say it is reasonable to spend $154 on a best friend, $129 on a family member and $71 on an acquaintance.

About the Discover Card Wedding Shopping Survey
For the Discover Card Wedding Shopping Survey, a telephone survey was conducted among a national sample of 1,010 adults (503 men and 507 women). The research was conducted from February 15 – 18 by Opinion Research Corporation.

About Discover Financial Services
Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million cardmembers and the Discover Network. Discover Financial Services also operates the PULSE ATM/debit network, which serves over 4,400 financial institutions and includes nearly 260,000 ATMs, as well as POS terminals nationwide. For more information, visit www.discovercard.com, www.discovernetwork.com or www.pulse-eft.com.

Media Contact
Matt Towson
224-405-5649
matthewtowson@discoverfinancial.com