How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Gift?
Deciding on how much to spend on any gift can be agonizing but especially so when it comes to a wedding gift. After all; you want to show the bride and groom how happy you are for them and the way we typically do that in a capitalistic country is why expensive gifts. Of course, we also should consider that many couples need help from friends and family in order to set-up a household and another consideration is the fact that a wedding and honeymoon can dig pretty deep into a couple’s pocketbooks. So how much should you spend on a wedding gift to show a proper amount of happiness and do your part in helping the couple to get a start in married life?
This author has studied many sources for their suggestions and here is the conclusion reached. If the wedding is of the typical, middle-class variety whether in a Church or in someone’s backyard, you certainly want to spend at least fifty dollars. That would be an appropriate amount if you are a high school friend who no longer regularly hangs out with the bride or groom but you still consider yourself a friend.
For seldom seen cousins or other more distant relatives and co-workers who work closely with the bride or groom, you might want to bump that up to seventy-five dollars. Fifty dollars would still probably be ok if you are a cousin who isn’t that close or a co-worker in a different department.
If the wedding gift is from is a friend or a close cousin, you should probably spend between seventy-five and one hundred dollars.
For close relatives and close or best friends, a wedding gift should probably cost between one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars.
Of course, there are dozens of factors that could change those numbers. Have the gifts at other recent weddings in your group of friends and relatives resulted in more or less expensive wedding gifts? If you know that for sure, by all means adjust the amount you spend! If spending $150 on a wedding present for your sister would make you look foolish and make other guests uncomfortable with their gifts, then spend less. If the wedding you’re attending is for a billionaire’s daughter, you might be very embarrassed to spend $1000!
You might also want to consider asking others how much they plan to spend on their gift. Be careful who you ask though. This activity is often considered “bad form” so only ask people you are very close to like parents, siblings, best friends, etc. You might find that they are just as much “in the dark” about what to spend as you are!
Your last hint as to how much to spend on a wedding gift is what the couple has listed on their wedding gift registry. If they have six $50 items, twenty $100 items, eighty $250 items, and fifty $500 items, you can probably figure that they are expecting guests to spend more than stated above. Hopefully the registry will include more reasonable items and you should endeavor to pick a great wedding gift off the registry and use it for wedding gift ideas.
Of course, it’s still totally your decision how much to spend on a wedding gift or if you will attend at all! If you honestly feel that fifty dollars, for example, is all you should spend and all of the $50 items are gone, you could give the couple cash or a gift certificate. If they are unreasonable about what they are asking guests to spend, you will probably hear remarks from other guests to reinforce your beliefs. And, of course, if they gave you $500 for your wedding two years ago, you probably should reciprocate.
In any case, take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Wedding guests will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 billion on wedding gifts in 2009!
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