Guidelines For What To Spend On A Wedding Gift
Welcome to Wedding Guest Wednesday, an occasional feature in which Solo-ish explores the joys and woes of attending other people’s weddings. Because it’s not all about the happy couple – it’s a big day for guests as well.
Out of all the wedding traditions, deciding how much to spend on the gift appears to be the biggest source of confusion for guests.
According to a recent survey from the Knot, 47 percent of Americans reported needing help figuring out wedding gift etiquette. In an informal survey of my Facebook connections, responses ranged from spending as little as $40 to $300. The most common amount mentioned was $100, which is in line with the national average, according to surveys from the Knot and American Express.
This all-over-the-map gifting is standard among millennials. According to a recent study from Bankrate.com, people ages 18 to 29 were both the most likely to go the inexpensive route – one in four spent less than $50 on a gift for a close friend of family member – and most likely to splurge and spend more than $200 on a gift for a close friend or family member.
I spoke to wedding etiquette experts, financial planners, serial wedding guests and even a friendship expert and found six guidelines to buy by:
1. Is there a standard amount?
2. The greatest gift of all
3. No gifts please
4. Paying for the plate
5. Set a range
Doll adds, “I think we get confused because we want to do the right thing. But the right thing is not commoditized.”
How Much Money Should You Give As A Wedding Gift
If the couple have asked for money as a wedding gift, it can be difficult to know what the rules are. We’ve covered how much money you should give and what to expect if you’re going to a wedding from a different culture.
Cash gifts are becoming more popular at weddings as couples move away from asking for traditional homeware items. When a couple already live together, it might make more sense to save up for a big purchase like a home deposit, future children, a new car or even a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon.
But it can be tough to know exactly how much money to give. Choosing a fancy candle they put on their wedding gift list is one thing, but handing someone cash – where they’ll know exactly how much you gave – can feel like a minefield. Some people have rules, like to cover the cost of your meal or to give equal to what they gave you, but others factor in how much they’ve paid in hotels and travel and give much less. So what exactly should you give?
If you’ve been asked to bring a cash gift to the wedding or to contribute to a honeymoon fund online, we’ve broken down what’s expected of you below. There’s ideas for what to do if you feel uncomfortable about giving money and some hints for the best ways for couples to go about asking for cash gifts.
Whats Your Personal Budget Or Current Financial Situation
First and foremost, you should never spend more than you can afford on a wedding gift. If money is tight, adjust your gift budget accordingly. The couple is more concerned about your presence than your present.
If youre not in a comfortable financial space, then it doesnt matter what anyone suggests regarding how much to spend, said planner Summer McLane of My Simply Perfect Events. There is no need to overextend yourself financially in order to keep up with social norms.
If you have several weddings to attend in a short span of time, particularly if youre acting as a bridesmaid or groomsman in any of them, be sure to take that into account as well. You dont want to rack up major credit card debt just to be there.
And if youre really in a tough spot financially like a grad student on a shoestring budget you have a few options: Give what youre able to give, chip in a smaller amount towards one of the pricier items on the couples registry or just write the couple a heartfelt card expressing your congratulations. You can also get creative and do something thoughtful that wont break the bank.
If you are on a tight budget, a simple card is absolutely acceptable, said etiquette expert Elaine Swann, founder of the Swann School of Protocol. Otherwise you can, perhaps, download some photos from their social media page and give them one photo in a nice frame or create a photo booklet from an online resource.
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This Is How Much Cash You Should Ideally Give At A Wedding
Wedding season might bring with it a lot of questions for the engaged couple but the biggest question for the wedding guests remains how much to give at a wedding?
The question is even more significant if you want to gift cash as a wedding gift- plain cash or a check, irrespective.
If you are thinking of giving cash as a wedding gift then it could be due to any of these three reasons below.
The couple requested for cash instead of gifts which is not too uncommon these days, you didnt find anything in the registry that made sense or you genuinely believe cash is any day better than any other gift.
Average Wedding Gift Per Couple In 2021
When people invite to their wedding, you are first thrilled about the fact that someone remembered you and that you would actually go and have some nice time there, enjoy with our people, eat and drink. However, as the wedding approaches, many people are getting stressed out by the gift they should buy for the bride and the groom.
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Think About How Close You Are To The Couple
A wedding guest should always give what they feel best celebrates the occasion, taking into account their budget as well as their closeness with the couple, says wedding etiquette expert Sara Margulis, co-founder of the wedding registry website Honeyfund. The average wedding gift amount hovers right around $100, which is a great place to start, and you can increase or decrease that based on how close you are. If youre very close or related to the couple , you may choose to spend moreabout $150 per guest .
If youre not quite as close , you may opt for a less-expensive gift or might make a smaller contribution to the purchase of the gift.
Should You Give A Gift At Destination Weddings
The couple is still getting married and guests will still want to congratulate them with a gift for starting their new life together, she says. Some guests tend to reduce the amount they give at destination weddings factoring in the cost of travelling this is also fine, Andrews says.
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Acquaintances And Night Guest: 20
Going to just the evening event instead? Many couples will say on the invite that theyre not expecting you to bring gifts and it’s perfectly acceptable to take this seriously.
However, if you would like to bring something along as a gesture, spending around the £20-30 mark is standard.
Ocean Finance says that some fool-proof ideas include soft furnishings or a personalised candle.
However, when purchasing something for their home, consider their taste.
Do they prefer pattern and colour, or a more minimalistic style? When choosing a present, keep this in mind as you dont want to waste your money by choosing something theyll never use.
Alternatively, after the stress of planning the big day, you could win over the newlyweds by giving them all they need for a cosy night in.
Fill a basket with blankets, popcorn, wine, candles or even a voucher for a takeaway could be the perfect gift without spending too much.
Exceptions To The Rule: Destination Weddings And Older Couples
Katie said couples with destination weddings generally expected less in gifts because they understood their guests had to spend money on travel and accommodation. However, they may still decide to set up wishing wells as options for guests who wanted to give a bit extra, or for those unable to make the trip but still wanting to contribute.
Meanwhile, Katie said she has found couples getting married later in life usually dont expect as much.
Couples from an older age bracket generally expect less from guests, especially if this is a second wedding, she said.
Its not unheard of for these couples to have a wishing well that allows money to be allocated to a charity.
For destination weddings, Monika said she took travel distance and expense required into account when spending on gifts.
I gave differently for a big destination wedding I went to, as I paid to travel to and stay at a resort in Mauritius, so its fair to say my attendance was the main gift. I did give a small present, though, she said.
I also went to a couple of weddings in Bowral and the Hunter Valley, where I paid for accommodation but still ended up gifting around the $150 to $200 mark.
Monika said she had heard horror stories of some over-the-top expectations from wedding couples around how much guests should spend on gifts and travel, but hasnt personally felt too bothered or unable to attend because of cost.
Cover image source: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com
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Know When You Dont Need To Give A Gift
While gifts are expected at the wedding and bridal shower, stretch your budget by remembering when you dont have to bring one. For example, gifts are not expected at the engagement party . And if youve contributed serious time or money by helping out with the wedding, like hosting the bridal shower or serving as the brides makeup artist on the wedding day, youre not expected to spend on a gift, too. By only bringing gifts to events where they are expected, the money you have to spend will go a lot farther.
How Much To Give For A Wedding Gift
Modified date: Dec. 11, 2020
Once you hit a certain agesay, mid to late 20sits not uncommon, between June and October, to find yourself with invites to several different sets of nuptials. While theres nothing more joyful than a celebration of love and commitment between your dearest friends, those celebrations cost. Between your outfit, your travel, and your gift, these shindigs can put some serious strain on your budget.
Wedding gifts are not mandatoryespecially if you are asked to travel or participate in a destination ceremonybut they are customary and most people feel obliged to give a gift.
Reality and your finances, however, may mean that your own gifting policy must be customized to fit your relationships, budget, and creativity. This article will help you decide how much to give for a wedding gift .
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Your Guide To Wedding Officiant Fees And Donations
- Simone Hill is a Technical Product Owner for Estée Lauder Companies.
- A former editor for The Knot, Simone has experience in web development and editorial writing.
- Simone has a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.
Whether you’re being married by a religious or civil officiant, you’ll most likely be paying your dues with a donation to the house of worship or a fee . Here, a rundown of what to expect to offer your officiant.
How Much To Spend On A Wedding Gift If I Am Invited To A Luxury Wedding
What to give as a wedding gift or how much to spend should not be decided by the class of the wedding. The amount of money you will spend on a gift at a wedding at the park is the same amount you spend on a grand castle wedding. Do not turn down invites or feel pressured by an exotic ambiance, the pedigree of the couple, or 5-course meals.
Avoid straining your budget to buy a befitting gift. Your wedding gift cost is absolute by your relationship with the couple. They chose to have a luxury wedding and thats not your problem.
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How Much Should You Spend
That all depends on whether the gift is off the registry, an experience, or cash. Upon consulting the experts, a wedding gift should range from $75 to $750but most agree that $300+ is the sweet spot.
“It used to be that you’d spend approximately what you expected your meal to cost,” explains celebrity and luxury event planner “but I think that’s over.” That adage stemmed from a time where weddings were far more formulaic and centered around one main dinner reception. Now, couples are creating experiences for their guests that include multi-event weekends, interactive entertainment, far-flung destinations, welcome bags, favors, and moreand those gestures merit a token larger than the cost of a catered meal.”
“At minimum, a gift should be $75 to $100 if you are purchasing something off the couple’s registry,” explains Hugh Howser of H Three Events. “That’s the lowest ticket price of a high-end item on an average registry. Most registries now pool money for you, and so if you can’t spend much more, you can at least contribute to something larger.”
“If you’re a very close friend of the couple, it would be typical that you would spend more on that person same would apply if you were invited with a guest,” explains Lynn Easton of Easton Events.
When in doubt, check the registry. “It’s a good gauge of what the couple expects to receive,” Hamilton says. “But, if youre planning to give cashup the ante a bit.”
Average Amount From Grandparents
Like other relatives, grandparents can generally gift between $100 and $200.
While the average for grandparents and closer relatives usually remains around $150 for a cash wedding gift, this amount can go up or down depending on how close the grandparents are with the bride or groom as well as the general cost of the wedding.
Immediate Family Members Or Bridal Party: 100
For the bridal party and groomsmen, or a close family member, £100 is a typical amount to spend on a wedding gift. However, this is just a guide.
Your close family members will likely be aware of what youre able to afford, so dont spend beyond what youre comfortable with. After all, youve probably already shelled out for hen dos or stag dos by this point.
If you do want to spend £100, consider stashing £20 or so away each month leading up to the big day, so you wont be left short when the time comes.
In terms of a gift, if theyre a foodie couple, think about where they like to eat. If they cant get enough of a certain restaurant, you could give them a gift voucher which covers their full meal.
Alternatively, you could book a local Michelin-star restaurant for a real treat or purchase a hamper of all of their favourite things.