Wedding – a celebration of love, unity, and the promise of forever. While choosing the perfect gift for the happy couple is a heartfelt gesture, the question lingers: How much money to give at a wedding? Join us on a journey through the delicate art of wedding gift protocol, where cultural nuances, personal connections, and your budget converge to create the perfect present. Whether you’re a seasoned wedding attendee or a first-time guest, Viva Wedding Photography’s guide is here to ensure your gift reflects not just your generosity but also the joy you share in the couple’s new beginning.
How much should you spend on a wedding gift?
According to wedding gift etiquette, it is customary to determine your spending on the reception based on the estimated cost of hosting you. If you believe that the couple getting married is spending an average of $100-$150 per person at their wedding, it would be appropriate for your gift to be of a similar value. However, the drawback of this reasoning is that it is based on a price per person. This means that if you estimate the couple is spending $100 on food and drinks for each guest, then you and your plus-one should consider spending $200 on the gift.
Factors to consider when deciding how much money to give at a wedding
1. How close you are to the couple
Close Family and Friends
Your best friend forever is getting married! You have been planning this day together for years. Now comes the question of what to get them as a wedding gift. It is common for wedding guests to be willing to spend a significant amount on a monetary or cash wedding gift for a loved one. Based on our experience, close friends tend to spend an average of $200 on such gifts. However, if the guests were part of the wedding party, they typically spent around $170, as they’ve already significantly contributed to helping the couple organize the nuptials.
If you’re uncertain about the appropriate amount to spend on a wedding gift for a coworker, wedding gift etiquette recommends selecting a present within the price range of $50 to $100. If you have been working together for more than a year, you may feel more inclined to spend toward the higher end of this scale as long as it fits within your budget.
In case you’re still unsure about what to get your coworker, you can always consider giving them a cash gift or a gift card. Giving cash as a gift is completely acceptable on its own. We highly recommend including a monetary gift along with a wedding card, as this will ensure that the couple knows who the gift is from.
The wedding day of an acquaintance or distant relative is just as celebratory. Even if you don’t have a close relationship with them, you can still choose a wonderful gift to celebrate their love. However, it is not necessary to spend a significant amount of money on this present. Wedding gift-giving etiquette recommends looking at gifts within the price range of $50 to $75.
2. What you can afford
Although it may appear simple, it is worth noting this particular factor. It is important only to spend an amount that you can truly afford, even if it is less than what wedding gift etiquette may suggest. If you are unable to find a single item that fits within your budget, you may want to consider purchasing multiple smaller items that, when combined, will amount to a total that is suitable for you. It is also an excellent opportunity to assist the couple in stocking their home with frequently overlooked items, such as measuring spoons or cutting boards.
The couple would love you to join them in celebrating, so prioritize your budget accordingly. If necessary, consider opting for a smaller gift in order to cover the cost of attending the wedding.
3. Your role in the wedding
Another important factor to consider is whether you have given your time, energy, or money, which helps the couple realize their dream wedding.
Have you helped with any of the following: the wedding shower, the bachelor/bachelorette party, the bridal party makeup, or anything similar? If that’s the case, the amount you give may be lower due to your other investments made on the couple’s big day.
4. What you’re spending to make it
Certainly, it is important to keep in mind that you are already spending a lot of money to be there, particularly if it’s a destination wedding or taking place during a busy time of the year. It’s safe to presume the bride and groom are aware of the costs you’ll incur for things like lodging and transportation to the wedding. Therefore, when you find yourself spending a significant amount just to attend an event, consider reducing the amount you spend on the gift. After all, your presence itself is a valuable gift!
If you’re able to spend around $100, that’s a good general place to begin. Is that a bit too much? Then, according to the destination wedding gift etiquette, $50 to $75 is a safe range for you.
>>> Recommend reading: Destination Wedding Etiquette: Guide To Navigating Your Big Day
5. What kind of gift do you intend to give
Gift from one person
In case you are the sole giver of the gift, consider beginning with a budget of $100. Again, take into account your relationship with the recipient and your personal comfort level with spending that amount of money. If you have a good relationship with the couple, spending $100-$150 is a perfectly acceptable amount. If that’s too much for your budget, you may spend between $50 and $75 instead.
Are you thinking about splitting a gift among multiple people? Then, each person can contribute an amount between $50 and $100, depending on what works for them. According to gift etiquette for weddings, the total amount for a group gift should land somewhere from $150 to $300.
It’s completely up to you to increase your spending or allow each individual to spend according to their own comfort level. By opting for a group gift, you can give the couple a relatively expensive gift without spending a significant amount of money per person, depending on the number of people involved.
There is no hard and fast wedding gift etiquette rule regarding the appropriate amount of cash to give as a wedding gift. However, wedding experts do advise starting at $100. After considering various factors, such as your relationship with the couple, your budget, and the cost of attending the wedding, you may want to consider adjusting your gift amount to up to $500. If you are unable to spend up to $100, you may want to consider giving the couple a smaller gift from their registry instead.
6. Number of wedding events you attend
When considering how much money to give at a wedding, it is crucial to take into account the number of gifts you plan to purchase. This will enable you to establish a suitable budget that aligns with your preferences and financial comfort. Generally, it is customary to buy gifts for the bridal shower or couple’s shower (if invited) and also for the wedding. If you’d like, you may also bring a small gift for the engagement party.
We understand that several challenges can arise regarding gift costs when invited to multiple wedding celebrations. So, it’s highly recommended to adhere to the 20-20-60 rule, dividing your budget for presents as follows:
- The engagement present: 20%
- The bridal shower present: 20%
- The wedding present: 60%
How much money to give at a wedding when you aren’t attending
Here’s a quite tricky question: What is an appropriate amount to spend on a wedding gift when you are unable to attend the actual event? Even if you are unable to attend and need to RSVP “no,” it is still recommended to send the couple a gift as a gesture of gratitude for inviting you.
There are various reasons why you might decline a wedding invitation, and if the cost is a significant factor in your decision, it’s understandable why you cannot afford to give an expensive gift. We recommend checking the couple’s registry for gift ideas that suit your budget, regardless of your financial status.
Consider exploring flexible options such as gift cards, cash funds, or reasonably priced home items. You can also consider pooling funds with other guests to contribute towards a group gift, which can help reduce individual costs.
Viva Wedding’s suggestion on how much to give at a wedding
|Considerations||Money to give for a wedding gift|
|Relationship||Acquaintance to close friend range $50-$200|
|Destination wedding||About $50-$150|
|Gift from one person||About $100 – $150|
|Group gift||About $150 – $300|
|Cash Gift||About $100 – $500|
|Multiple events||About $50-$100 per event|
|Financial situation||Vary based on your budget|
>>> Maybe you’re interested in:
- Wedding Etiquette: Top 12 Rules You Should Always Follow
- Wedding Guest Etiquette: 16 Best Guides Manners And Customs
- Must-Know Wedding Plus-One Etiquette For Zero Awkwardness
In conclusion, how much money to give at a wedding depends on several factors, such as your relationship with the couple, your budget, and the cost of attending the wedding. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Whether you give a monetary gift or something else, what matters most is that you’re there to celebrate the happy couple’s special day. We hope the above information is helpful for you, and if you have any concerns about wedding etiquette, be sure to check out other articles on Viva Wedding Photography!