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Wedding Etiquette: How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift

Wedding Etiquette: How Much to Spend

The inevitable question: how much should I spend? When wedding season comes along, we all find ourselves racking up the balances on our credit cards with gifts, outfits, and travel expenses to cover each shower, cocktail party, and the big affair. When it comes to shopping for the actual wedding gift, your budget should depend on a couple of factors.

My rule of thumb is that $50-60 should be the bare minimum that you spend. If you're shopping for both yourself and your significant other, double the amount you would spend yourself; so, $100-120 at least. If you're shopping for a family member or a close friend, or if you are in the bridal party, be prepared to spend more. If the bride or the groom attended your own wedding, it's common courtesy to match at least the amount they spent on you. If you can afford to spend more, by all means, do! Your friends will be forever thankful.

All that said, only spend as much as you can afford. It's not your friends' intention to make their loved ones go bankrupt. But if you do spend a lower amount, make sure it's chosen from the registry. Most couples register at a range of price points because gifts from the registry can be returned or combined for more expensive or desired gifts. If you don't think you can afford a gift, remember that you have one year to give it. So save your pennies the following month, rather than sending something cheap.

Join The Conversation
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
Well if you had a gift registry at a store they could pick and chose what to buy within their limits. :) My fiance and I discussed what we would register for and decided that we'd have a few expensive gifts (I really want that knife set) to moderate prices. Our families don't have that much money so we took that into consideration while picking items out.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 7 years
I think it is totally appropriate to spend only what your budget allows. I feel that if you or you and a guest are invited to the wedding the "TRUE" gift should be your attendence in witnessing a friends union and supporting their commitment. It should not be about how much you spend for a gift. If the bride and groom choose to have a extravagant ceremony that is on them and their responsibility. ~It's time to appreciate relationships now instead of $$ as many people are struggling w/ money and jobs~...
bunnyhorse bunnyhorse 7 years
Wow, I'm shocked at how much people spend on wedding stuff! I would say it's completely relative to the purchaser's budget. I just bought a gift for my uncle and new aunt for $40, and that was from me and my fiance together. I know they won't be offended, because they know we are in the middle of planning/paying for our own wedding. Nor would I be offended that someone bought one of the cheaper gifts from my registry! I think too often people forget that wedding gifts are OPTIONAL. I'm not expecting gifts, nor will I be offended if people don't give them, because I told everyone they don't have to. I feel guilty already that my friends and family are traveling to attend the wedding, and the attendants are spending money on attire, etc. I guess I'm more frugal and grateful than some brides to be.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
Depending on the style of wedding (like if it's super fancy or not) and how well we know the people, I would give $100-150 from my bf and I, or if it's someone close to us, $200 from both. I disagree that you have a year to give a gift, especially if you're attending the wedding. If you do attend, you pretty much have to bring what you are giving or else it will seem weird like you didn't plan on giving anything, and then as an afterthought you bought them something a year later. Even if you don't attend, I'd say within a month or two you really should send something or risk being talked about.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I think it also depends on if you ATTEND the wedding. If my FI and I are invited, and we don't go, we send a check for 50 dollars. We'll double it if we go to the wedding and are friends w/ both bride and groom, and give somewhere inbetween if we only really know either the bride or groom. That's my scale.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 7 years
One thing to also consider: don't spend too much. I was invited to my former bosses wedding, but I couldn't go. At that point, I hadn't gone to many weddings, so I didn't know how much to spend on gifts. I decided to err on the side of too much, and then doubled it since it would have been both my husband and I going. Needless to say, I totally overspent, and they knew it. Things were really awkward at work for a while, like maybe he thought I was trying too hard to get on his good side.
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