Gifts And Presents
How Much to spend on a gift for wedding?
How much should I spend on a wedding gift? You might be thinking if you even need to buy a wedding present. Continue reading for a comprehensive guide on wedding gift etiquette.
As the go-to site for everything wedding registry, we get a lot of queries from visitors seeking for the ideal wedding gift. "How much should I spend on a wedding gift?" is the most common question we hear. The answer depends on a number of criteria, including how well you know the couple and how many wedding festivities you've been invited to. Some of you might be questioning if you even need to buy a wedding present.Continue reading for a comprehensive guide on wedding gift etiquette.
Anyone who has attended a wedding will agree to the fact that there are several costs associated with celebrating your loved one's wedding. If you're in the wedding party, your money may be depleted before you even receive the formal invitation due to attending the bridal shower, traveling to the bachelorette party, and conforming to the dress code.
According to Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot, one of our go-to sites for wedding inspiration, planning information, and more, "an invitation to a wedding isn't a request for a present," contrary to popular belief. "As a visitor, you're under no duty to buy the couple anything," she continues, "but chances are you're happy about the pair and want to show them some love."
We asked The Knot's executive editor all of our burning questions regarding how much to spend on wedding presents, regardless of who is getting married.
How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Gift?
In today's world, when cost-per-plate is no longer a consideration, how much you should spend on a wedding present is determined by a number of criteria. Following are some general guidelines:
Choosing a wedding present isn't about the price tag—about it's giving the newlyweds a personal acknowledgement of this wonderful time from you that they'll remember for the rest of their lives.
Try to choose a present that has personal meaning for you and is within your budget.
While big-ticket purchases are fun, most couples choose smaller presents that have just as much significance, purpose, or delight in their daily lives.
If you're still looking for cash amounts, here are some general guidelines for how much to spend on wedding presents (although keep in mind that a lesser gift from the heart is just as valuable!):
$50-$75 if it's a coworker, friend, or distant family.
If you’re a friend or family of $75-$100
If you're a close friend, family member, or part of the bridal party, expect to pay between $100 and $150.
If you get a +1 on your invitation, the gift will be 1.5-2 times larger.
5 Pointers for Deciding How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift
Accepting a wedding invitation almost obligates you to buy the happy couple a gift, and no one wants to appear cheap when the presents are unwrapped. Accepting a wedding invitation, on the other hand, entails accepting the expenditures of travel and housing, which might put a serious hole in your budget. So, how can a visitor manage all of these financial responsibilities while still giving the couple a wonderful gift?
Here are five suggestions to help you decide how much to spend on a wedding gift.
According to traditional etiquette, you should spend based on the projected expense of hosting you at the wedding. "If you estimate that the couple getting married would spend $100-$150 per person on their wedding, the price of your gift should be similar to that amount," explains Liven It Up Events coordinator Anthony Navarro. The disadvantage of this approach is that it is a per-person charge. That means if you assume the couple is spending $100 on meals and beverages for each visitor, you and your plus-one should spend $200 on the present.
Consider how much it will cost you to attend.
Of course, keep in mind that you've already paid a lot to attend the wedding—especially if it's a destination wedding or during high season. "You're probably paying for lodgings and even airfare, so it's safe to presume the bride and groom are aware of how much everyone is already spending," says Jason Reid, inventor of Giftagram, a smartphone app that makes gift-giving easier. If you're spending a lot of money merely to be there, you may cut back on the present—your presence is a gift, too!
Consider your relationship with the couple.
"A wedding guest should always contribute something they believe best commemorates the event," says Sara Margulis, co-founder of the wedding registration website Honeyfund. The typical wedding present is roughly $100, which is a good place to start and can be increased or decreased depending on how close you are. If you're close to or connected to the couple (and have the financial flexibility), you can spend a little more—around $150 per person (or $200 for a couple).
When It's Not Necessary to Give a Gift
While presents are traditionally given during weddings and bridal showers, remember when you don't have to bring one. At an engagement party, for example, gifts are not expected (though a card congratulating the couple is a nice touch). You are not required to spend money on a present if you have donated significant time or money to the wedding, such as hosting the bridal shower or working as the bride's makeup artist on the wedding day. The money you have to spend will go a lot farther if you just bring presents to parties where they are anticipated.
Spend only what you can afford.
This one looks simple enough, yet it's worth mentioning: Limit your investment to what you can afford, even if it's less than etiquette recommends. If you can't locate a single item that suits your budget, buy a few smaller items to make a larger purchase (it's also a terrific opportunity to help the couple stock their house with goods that are sometimes forgotten, such as measuring spoons or cutting boards). The couple wants you to be there to celebrate with them, so prioritize your money in whichever way you need to, even if it means giving a smaller present to cover the expense of the hotel stay.