5 Tips to Help Determine How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift
December 1st, 2021 by Catherine Marqueses
If you’ve recently been invited to a wedding, there’s a good chance you are wondering how much to spend on wedding gift.
It’s natural to want to be generous and give something impressive. It’s also natural to want to avoid spending way too much, especially when you have multiple weddings to attend in the near future. The cost of all those gifts can add up quickly.
How do you know where to start, what’s the range you should work with? There are no firm traditions or rules for a standard wedding gift amount, but there are a few helpful guidelines to follow.
Is It A One-Time Gift?
Subscription based gifts are a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Subscription wedding boxes provide the bride with helpful planning resources, bridal apparel, and items that help her celebrate. But how much do you spend?
It’s helpful to start with an option like Miss To Mrs bridal box that provides month to month cancellation options. Once you’ve determined your budget, you can pay up front for a certain amount of months and give the bride the option to continue on or not. Another benefit of bridal box subscriptions from companies like MissToMrs is the ability to customize the delivery frequency. If you are buying early, you can spread the gift box over the months. If you are buying last minute, you can choose accelerated options.
In short, once you’ve determined your actual budget you will have to calculate how much per month you can spend using the subscription model.
Photo credit: Liza Litvinovich
Toronto Wedding Photographer Liza Litvinovich
Relationship With The Couple
Another factor that goes into determining your wedding gift amount is your relationship with the couple. If you are a casual acquaintance, you can spend less. If you are a close family member, you are expected to spend a little bit more. If you are a good friend, you’ll probably land somewhere in the middle. Makes sense right?
Conventional wisdom states that the range is $100 to $200. However, as we’ve been discussing, there are other factors. If you are going with diy wedding gifts, for example you’ll have to consider the materials as well as your time. That’s worth something too.
Registry Vs Cash
There is perceived value in the item that you choose and that time you put into the process. When the couple is requesting cash or it’s a choice you are making, that additional value isn’t included. So, it’s best practice to land on the high end of your budget when giving cash.
On the other hand, many of the registry items may far exceed your budget. In these cases, it’s perfectly acceptable to give a gift card which the couple can use towards purchasing what’s left on their list.
You should always consider the total list of expenses when determining how much to give for a wedding. If you only have one wedding to attend that season and the venue is a short drive away, you can likely afford to give more.
However, if you are attending a destination wedding and on the hook for new clothes, lodging, meals, and flights, it’s normal to compromise on gift costs. The couple is well aware of this dynamic and will consider your presence part of the gift.
What You Can Afford
The final and most relevant tip to figuring out how much should you give for a wedding gift is your lifestyle. Working class guests are expected to work within working class budgets making a $100 to $200 gift quite meaningful. Wealthy guests attending a wealthy couple’s wedding, however, could be viewed as rather cheap at that price point.
Whatever your current income level is, it’s not wise to spend more or less than you can afford. Spend what you are comfortable with and do your best to ensure that the gift is meaningful.
Author: Valeriya Istomina is a Wedding Forward expert on wedding budgets, etiquettes, ceremonies, and music. If you need tips for wedding planning, she will guide you all the way. She collects analytics and surveys, talks to experts; creates checklists, templates, and gives her take on wedding planning. Her other passions are yoga, photography, and reading.