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How Much to Give For Bridal Showers

Ask a Savvy Bride: How Much to Give For a Bridal Shower?

This Ask a Savvy Bride is part of a wedding season series of advice from a savvy soon-to-be bride. The post is by reader ginamb in our Ask Savvy group — she wants to know the appropriate amount to give for the bridal shower. If you need an outsider's perspective on a wedding dilemma, be sure to submit your questions to the Ask Savvy group.

My friend's shower invitation said to "please provide a monetary gift" so that the couple may enjoy their honeymoon. There was no itinerary to know what their honeymoon will entail or what the monetary gift will exactly go towards. Aside from it being tacky to send out a blanket invite requesting money (IMHO), how do I determine the appropriate amount to give? $50 in the country where their honeymoon will take place will go a lot farther than say $50 in New York City. I read a recent article here on this site about what folks give for wedding gifts, but what about bridal shower gifts? Thanks!

To see the savvy bride's advice, read on.

The Savvy Bride says: Ginamb, that is a great question. I do agree with you that it is a touch tacky to ask for money, but weddings and honeymoons are not cheap. To me, all weddings are unique and there are a lot of factors to consider such as your relationship with the bride, how far you have to travel for the wedding, and the number of preparties there will be before the actual big day. Rather than being concerned with how far your money will go, I would just try to work within your budget. It might be helpful to set a gift budget for the whole wedding, keeping in mind the different events and parties like the wedding day, bridal shower, engagement party, and more. Once you know the total budget of what you want to spend, divide it among the different parties. A good rule of thumb is: spend the most on the wedding gift.

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out. If you are planning a wedding, already happily wed, or still looking for Mr. Right, start sharing your big day with our community.

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lauren lauren 5 years
@ginamb, that sounds like a great plan! A budget always seems to be the key! Great question btw!
nanashee nanashee 5 years
I am a Singaporean Chinese, and for us, we get red packets; red envelopes with money or cheques, for our weddings. The idea is that instead of giving presents, you get cash to do whatever you want with; paying for the wedding, the honeymoon, renovations for your new house, that sort of thing. And how much we give depends on the venue of the wedding dinner (usually hotels). There's an unspoken minimum of $100, unless it's a really, um, economical affair, like a buffet in a casual location. Most of the time, the couples "make" money off weddings. The red packets (or ang pows, as we call them) cover the cost of the dinner, and there's usually some extra to cover a little bit of the honeymoon. I used to think it was kinda tacky too, but then the idea of receiving toaster ovens and casseroles seems a little...unnecessary. Maybe it's a culture thing. :)
ginamb ginamb 5 years
Savvy Bride - Thanks for posting/sharing my question :) Appreciate your feedback, as well as EvieJ's. I need to finalize a budget for how much I can spend on everything for this wedding and go from there. Thanks again for the feedback and advice! :)
EvieJ EvieJ 5 years
I disagree with Savvy Bride. I think a gift budget is a great idea, but it's my understanding you are only obligated to give one gift, whether it's at a shower or a wedding gift. This keeps things from getting too expensive for guests! (Although, multiple showers should not include the same groups of people, I don't think!) This advice from Savvy is what you need to follow: Rather than being concerned with how far your money will go, I would just try to work within your budget. OP, decide how much you can afford to give and give that amount. I agree it's tacky to ask for money, but if that's what they've requested you can either give it, or give a traditional gift, or give nothing.
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