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How Much Should You Spend For Wedding Gift at Destination Wedding

Group Therapy: Wedding Gift Cost

This question comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I am in a wedding party pretty soon, for my LIB's sister's wedding. We will be traveling 2,000 miles to be there, and because it's so far, we kind of consider it a destination wedding. We have spent a ton of money on this wedding from airfare, fare for shuttles (a bit too young to rent a car), attire, a pet sitter, etc. We have pretty much blown through our once hefty savings account, and with my LIB's pay cut, it's been rough. At this point, it's getting very hard to afford a gift. Ideally I'd want to pay $100-$150, but at this point, after spending so much money, that amount isn't affordable — even though I know in reality, it's really not that much. If we had the money to do it, we would, and I feel incredibly guilty because we can't. We obviously still need to give a gift, but how much money spent is acceptable?

My LIB thinks $50-$60, but I really don't want to seem cheap. It's family, so I feel like we are scrimping on someone who is important to us. Cost of gifts is not really supposed to matter in life, but it seems like for weddings, it's something people really care about. Do you think spending $50-$60 is okay? Should I give a reason why? 

Thanks everyone.

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Source: Flickr User Joe Shlabotnik

luisamapacha luisamapacha 7 years
People are TOO worried about weddings and who spends how much on what. Spend what you can afford, and choose something personal. A gorgeous engraved frame will mean so much more than a $50 cheese slicer. You also need to get over feeling "guilty" about money. Money doesn't show how much we love someone - being there does.
GregS GregS 7 years
I'd go in a different direction. I'd get something hand made from an artist or a friend who's an artist. A nice pottery dish or plate could be had for 60-80. If the friend is a struggling artist, have them knock something off the price and let them put their card in the gift. I certainly wouldn't say anything about how much you spent or make any promises for future gifts. Like RJ said, you're there. The wedding is about friends witnessing the joining of the pair. It's not about the spoils or booty.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
*typo - it's supposed to say "I know I have purchased cheaper wedding gifts for people when I was in college."
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
You mention that you're not old enough to rent a car, so under the circumstances, I'm sure the bride and groom will not expect a super expensive wedding present from you anyway. I know I have people cheaper gifts when I was in college, and if I were to get married now, there's now way I would expect my college-age cousins to spend $100 on a gift for me. We all know what it's like to be young and poor. Don't point out to the bride and groom the amount you're spending. Buy them whatever it is on their registry that you can afford, and don't feel bad about it.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
or monogrammed dinner ware...this is so personal that no one would think it weird that it only cost 75$
skigurl skigurl 7 years
sorry, I meant casa here it is:
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I think that when you're in the wedding and it's family, the gift should be a little more than just a friend. That said, if you can't afford $150-$200 then I think you should: a) not give them cash, because that just highlights the amount you give, and/or b) get them a gift you can get on sale so you are giving them something that theoretically is more expensive, and/or c) get them something from the heart that will make them think how great and thoughtful a gift it is, as opposed to even thinking of the cost. if you get them like an ugly bowl that they hate and means nothing to them they will just be like, how much did they spend on this? lame. something thoughtful might be like an engraved platter like savvy has once featured. you could get their invitation engraved in it. or get it monogrammed. it would be so nice and timeless and not too expensive but no one would question the cost of it because it's so personalized. I wouldn't bring to their attention how much you're paying for everything and how you can't afford stuff, though. That's just tacky, and frankly they are starting out and just paid for a wedding too, so they probably don't care about your $2000 investment. Being in a wedding is something you agreed to and it's costly and that's just the way it is.
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
I like what Rjs Baby girl said, mention how at their 5 or 10 year anniversary you'll be able to provide them with a better gift. This implies you think they'll be together forever (an endearing statement in itself) and also that you just couldn't afford fancy things at this point in your life. If you aren't old enough to rent a car, I think people will understand you can't afford something in the $200 range just yet. Don't worry, get something meaningful instead.
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 7 years
Since it's a destination wedding for you and you are close to the bride and groom I think they should totally understand about your financial situation. I just got married 2 months ago and it was a destination wedding. Some people didn't give us a traditional gift but I believe the gift was their presence. It meant a lot to me only to see them there on our big day. Just so there's no ambiguity I think you should tell them that you would have liked to give them a bigger gift but the venue being so far it was impossible at the moment and that you keep it in mind for their 5th or 10th wedding anniversary or something. Being honest with a humor twist is always a winner for me.
Hodson2008 Hodson2008 7 years
You're in the wedding party, so you should expect to pay a hefty amount for the wedding itself. Weddings are a big financial burden on those not actually getting married that day. However, if you're young and don't have a high-paying job, the bride- and groom-to-be have to understand that you can't afford that big stainless steel 120-piece cooking set they were dying for. For my FSIL's wedding, I couldn't afford an expensive gift (still in college; books are a more important expense), and they completely understood. Get something that shows it was from deep in your heart, not deep in your wallet.
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