You’ve been invited to a wedding – yay! You may be asking yourself “how much should I spend on a gift?” Well, the short answer is this: it depends. Traditionally, etiquette states that spending between $100 and $200 is appropriate for a wedding gift, but there are a few other factors to consider. Here are few:
What is your personal budget?
First and foremost, you should never spend more than you can afford on a wedding gift. Decide how much you are able to give and do so – the couple will (hopefully) be happy you were able to share their day regardless.
How close are you to the couple?
Depending on your relationship with the couple, the more (or less) you may want to spend on the gift. If they are close friends of yours, you may want to aim around the $150 per person range, however, if they are a distant relative, co-worker or family friend, feel free to stay within the $50-$100 per person range.
Are you planning to give cash instead?
It is more common nowadays for couples to live together before getting married, which means that they might already have all their plates and cutlery. It is no longer taboo for couples to request cash gifts over a traditional registry.
When gifting money, be sure to put it inside a thoughtful handwritten card and maybe include a nominal gift (like mugs). If you’re writing a cheque, be sure to check with the couple about how to fill it out so they don’t run into trouble cashing it.
Are you invited to other events?
If you are invited to other gifting events like the bridal shower, you will be expected to give a gift then as well. In this case, decide on your overall budget first, then allocate a percentage (less that 40%) to the bridal shower gift. Usually bridal shower gifts are still part of a registry.
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Is it a destination wedding?
Are you travelling a great distance to attend the wedding, or do you have to pay for airfare, hotels etc? If yes, take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to give an expensive gift. Some couples who have destination weddings will opt to have their guest forgo gifts.
Please note that staying in a hotel for one night does not mean you’re off the hook!
If you can’t make the wedding, do you still give a gift?
Again, this will depend on how close you are to the couple. If you are super close – it’s a nice gesture to send a gift anyways. If you’re not in a financial position to buy a present, sending a heartfelt card will do.