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How Much Money to Give in Weddings

How Much Money Do You Give a Newlywed Couple?

Although there are many who think cold, hard cash is a very impersonal wedding gift, you have to admit that it's pretty practical — you know the couple will use it. I'm always discussing with friends what the right amount is to give for a wedding, and the most common answer is around $100.

However, that number can jump around a bit, depending on your connection with the bride and groom. According to The Knot, you should spend around $50 to $75 for a colleague or distant friend or relative. If you know the couple a little better, that range hops up to $75 to $100. And if you're super close with the duo getting hitched — like, best friends close — you should consider forking over $100 to $150.

Obviously, your current financial condition plays a factor, and The Knot encourages you to think about what's appropriate for the city you live in (if you're all based in upper Manhattan, for example, you may spend more than a small town in the Midwest). When it comes down to it, rely on your social instinct, or ask someone equally as close to the bride and groom for advice. No matter what, any amount of cash is appreciated by the pair getting hitched! (And for the lovebirds who already have it all, check out this list.)

Amie14559244 Amie14559244 3 years
I personally think the average is around $125-150pp nowadays. I don't think $/head should be factored in, but I also thought $100pp was the norm 5-10 years ago. Don't get me wrong; I'd be more than happy if I received $100. But from what I've been hearing amongst wedding goers is that the trend is now >$100pp. If I'm part of the bridal party, I would give $200+ pp depending on how close I am to the bride.
bisou002 bisou002 6 years
$100 per person. If you're attending the wedding with a guest, shell out $200 total. Weddings are EXPENSIVE. Odds are, the reception you're about to enjoy cost roughly $100 per head, so it'd be nice to give the couple a gift that would help them break even. I'd never dream of spending $50 on a gift.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Jules, as long as you're not judging others (it came off that way when you stated that $50 is not acceptable AT ALL, my apologies for taking it that way), then good for you for being so generous! It actually seems like you agree with the point that people should be generous, but give what they can realistically afford. I just hate the idea that someone would elect not to come to my wedding because she couldn't afford to give me more than $50. I want all of my friends and family there to celebrate, regardless of financial situation! I also forget that there are people who don't go to weddings every month! I have had multiple weddings every wedding season (March-September) for the past few years. I forget that this isn't the norm! (And, thankfully, this is slowing down for me. I have a manageable four weddings to attend this year and one that I was invited to, but can't attend.) FWIW, I have given more as I've gotten older/made more money/can afford more. I used to give $100 to good friends and I now give closer to $200 or $250. I used to give $50 (per person, not couple) to people I didn't know as well, but that was when I was just out of college and literally could barely afford to live on what I made! I know people appreciated that I could make it to the wedding more than they would have appreciated the extra money.
Jules729 Jules729 6 years
I wouldn't be mad if someone gave me a small gift because they couldn't afford a larger one... but I would never want to give one. Actually, I live paycheck to paycheck because I've been paying off student loans (95% of my debt) and a few other debts. It's not like I go to a wedding every month. I just feel that a wedding is such an important event in someone's life.. that it is important to be generous with your gift for such an occasion.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Wow, Vankie! People in your culture are very lucky that weddings don't seem nearly as expensive as they do here. For most people I know, a wedding costs about $85/plate. That's just for the food and drinks, though. Add in the dress, rehearsal dinner, band, limo, etc. and the average wedding costs significantly more than $100/person.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I'm with you, Anonymous. It's actually not considered proper etiquette to estimate how much per plate a wedding costs and give accordingly. Gifts received at a wedding should not pay back the cost of the wedding. How much you can realistically afford to give and your relationship with the couple are the most important factors. If I felt too embarrassed to live within my means in front of someone, I would not consider that person a good enough friend to attend his/her wedding anyway.
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 6 years
I agree with Jules. There is a huge disparity between some of the receptions I attend and a reception is really just a party. The ceremony is separate and you can observe the wedding, give your congratuations and not stay for the party. So I have been to weddings in basements with potato chips and pretzels and I have been to the ultra luxurious and yes, the gift I give does vary. The least I have ever given, was $75 (actually too generous as their registry was around $20) and the most was $350 because I brought a guest and he did not know the couple so I did not expect him to pay.
likethedirection likethedirection 6 years
I think it depends on your relationship to the newlyweds and how much money you earn. I wouldn't expect my friend, who makes $10/hr working at Old Navy to give me $100. Maybe not even $50. So yeah, it's hard to say and it depends on a lot of things.
Jules729 Jules729 6 years
@RoaringSilence I don't think that is always the case. I am far from wealthy (in serious debt actually, living paycheck to paycheck) but I would rather decline an invitation to a wedding than embarrass myself by giving $50. Am I the only one? More comments people! LOL I want to hear what you all have to say.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Hrmm I was hoping this tip would include something about your average income :/ Of course I'd expect someone who's wealthy to spend more on a gift than someone who's not.
Jules729 Jules729 6 years
I do not think $50 is acceptable AT ALL. Unless of course the bride and groom got married in city hall and had a small reception at their house. The proper thing would be to try and figure how how much a plate costs at the venue...and round up. If you bring a date you must double your gift. Say that plates cost around $80 per person and you do bring a date, then you must give at least $200. I would probably give $250 though. If you are in the wedding, you should give even more. I gave my sister $700. I gave a childhood friend $400. I gave my friend's sister $200. Each of these weddings I did NOT bring a date with me. Like I mentioned above, the first thing you need to take into account is how much the couple spent per plate and for the wedding/party altogether. The next most important thing would be your relationship with this person.
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