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Appropriate amount to spend on Wedding Gift?

Ali de Bold

How much would you spend for a close friend and how much is appropriate for an acquaintance?
Oct 15, 2006 @ 01:51 pm

21 Replies


Re: The appropriate amount to spend on a wedding gift

I just got married 4 months ago, so I recently learned all about this. It actually doesn't matter whether you're a close friend or an acquaintance of the bride. It's polite to make your gift cover AT LEAST the cost of your seat. Most wedding receptions these days cost around $100/head (at least over here on the east coast), so if there are two people attending, that's $200 cash or a $200 gift. If they're a close friend, you might want to spend more. I know, that's expensive, but just think how much the bride and groom, or their families are spending to make the day happen. My own wedding was $35,000, and we cut as many corners as we could.
Dec 14, 2006 @ 08:21 am

Wedding gift

We usually just do the money. Who does wedding gifts anymore? =P Usually its $50 per person if it's an acquantance
Dec 14, 2006 @ 11:49 pm

How much you have...

I think it is important to keep in mind what you have. If you splurge too much, you will regret it later when the bill comes around. Know how much you have to spend on a gift before buying.
Dec 16, 2006 @ 10:26 pm
Martha Lilian

Rule of Thumb

I'm going to go ahead and agree with Unicorn here. I've always heard that the rule of thumb was to at least cover the cost of your plate, so if it is you and a guest, make sure that the gift is enough for both of you. Of course, the cost of the plate varies anywhere from $50 to $150 -- if you're unsure how extravagant the wedding is going to be, you can always send the gift afterwards. You have up to a year to send the gift, be it cash or whatever else, but the sooner the better.
Dec 17, 2006 @ 10:39 am


The last few weddings I attended were for family members. I came with my husband and 2 children, plus a bun in the oven. There was no way I was planning on spending $400, even for family. I can understand the argument that Unicorn and Martha favor, but I have to agree with Artist. I think of presents in terms of the total, so if I've already shelled out $50-75 on shower gifts (I was often invited to more than one shower for the same couple), I will lessen the amount of the bridal gift. If it's a fundraiser people want, then maybe they need to have a social or go with a cash bar. Not everyone can afford to pay out $100/head, especially if it's only an acquaintance. What about people who travel to the wedding and have those costs? Is there a different rule for that? Also, as a bridesmaid at 2 of my last 4 weddings, I had to pay for dress, hair, shoes, nails, bachelorette party, etc. Surely that needs to carry a little weight.
Dec 20, 2006 @ 10:59 am

I'm going to be Honest Here

Listen, what is a gift? Unlike some of the former answers, a gift is something that is given voluntarily without expection of reimbursement and without the item being earned.

Now a wedding is thrown by the bride and groom of their own volition to celebrate their upcoming life together. Whatever they decide to spend on the food or the arrangements has nothing to do with you as an individual. Therefore, to give a gift based upon the approximate value of your seat at the ceremonies is nothing but ridiculous rules set up by brides gunning for high end items.


Now are you ready for my philosophy on gift giving? Regardless of value, spend whatever you feel most comfortable on. It isn't the price of the gift that is important it is the value to the couple. A wedding gift is your contribution towards the well wishes for the couple on their new lives together. So take the time and stop worrying about cost.

I go to Ashley's and shop for homewares. I've purchased wedding gifts for as little as $40 and as much as $150, but, it's more important to take the time and consider what the couple would like

It's a tragedy to spend $100+ on a gift and then it does nothing but sit unused or worst, gets regifted.

There are no rules only good intentions.
Jan 04, 2007 @ 02:02 pm

Thank you!

I agree with karmacake. There was a time not so long ago when there were no such things as gift registries, and you got whatever the guest found that they fancied. That's how some of my aunts ended up with a ton of crystal vases and linens in all the colors of the rainbow.

I often try to purchase something from the registry, but then complement it with something I pick out myself. I put a lot of thought into the gifts I give, trying to match them to what I know of the couple. Price considerations are certainly there, but my point simply is that my gifts come from the heart, not necessarily out of a sense of obligation.

Call me crazy, but I think that is they way it should be. There's too much politics in weddings these days...
Jan 09, 2007 @ 10:50 am

Honesty is the best policy...

I agree that what karmacake says is the way is should be. Being single myself with a crapload of friends who have gotten married in the last couple years, I had started getting stressed out about RSVPing that I was going to attend a wedding that I really wanted to attend because I did not feel like I had the funds to get them a gift of $200-300 for myself and my date to attend.

When you have 6 weddings to go to in a summer you could be looking at close to a thousand dollars if you are going solo to some of them which is a lot of money to spend!I want to attend a friend's wedding because I am happy that they have found someone they want to spend the rest of their life with. I don't think it should matter that I spend $75 or $200 on a gift when a gift is supposed to be something you want to give them because they would like it, not because it costs a certain dollar value.

Just because a bride and her groom's family decides to shell out 30K + on a wedding does not mean that I should spend my last dime on a gift registry item that may potentially never get used anyway. Having said that... I do understand that wedding are pricey affairs and I don't want to insult anyone by getting them less than is expected... I do however think that brides and grooms have to also understand the people who they invite to their weddings and their financial circumstances as well. Isn't the point to celebrate your union with your loved ones and friends? :o)
Jan 10, 2007 @ 04:35 pm
La Isla


hmm....I agree with everyone saying wedding gifts shouldn't be judged by money values but I believe the standard price is a hundred. something about covering the costs of dinner per person. haha. i know sounds bad.
Jan 31, 2007 @ 10:40 am

the standard

Yep you should cover the cost of your plate and your date's plate as well so I guess it depends on how fancy the wedding is!
Jan 31, 2007 @ 02:45 pm

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