How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Gift?

How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Gift?

Being invited to a wedding is a special honor- and that honor comes with some responsibilities. Some sites will tell you that wedding gifts are not a requirement, but that’s a bunch of B.S. Here are the most FAQs answered when it comes to wedding gifts.

How much should I spend on wedding gifts? The average wedding gift is around $100. Here’s the breakdown of the total you and your significant other should spend on the couple getting married:

Distant relative, co-worker, or someone whom you aren’t close to: $50

Friend or relative: $100

Close friend or relative: $150 – $300

Child or grandchild: Whatever you can comfortably give. If you’re paying for the wedding, consider a family heirloom or a sentimental gift over spending more money.

In areas of wealth, these numbers go up, but if you aren’t in that position yourselves, stick to this guide. If you’re bringing kids to the wedding, you should give a little extra on their behalf because each person costs the bride and groom money at the reception.

What about if I can’t make the wedding? Unless you’ve never met the couple getting married, you should send a gift. Invitations and postage cost money, and they extended the offer of being a part of their day, so you should send them something to offer your congratulations. Send a card with a check or gift card, or purchase a gift from their registry that can be shipped directly to their house. You can spend less since you didn’t attend the wedding. You have a year from the wedding date to send a gift. If you don’t at least send a card, that’s pretty rude…you’re basically not acknowledging that they got married!

Is cash okay? I think any bride or groom will tell you that cash is more than okay. They’ve just dropped a ton of money on the wedding, so getting some of that money back to put into savings or put towards their honeymoon is extremely helpful. This is especially true for couples who have lived together for a while and don’t need as many household items as a couple who is just putting together their home. If you’re writing a check, resist the urge to write the bride’s first name with her groom’s last name; not everyone changes their name, and those that do usually don’t do it right away, hindering them from cashing the check.

What about shower gifts? You can spend less on shower gifts than wedding gifts. Spend guideline:

Friend or distant relative: $30 – $60

Close friend or relative: $75 – $150

The big ticket items, such as a complete set of cookware or china, are usually reserved for parents and grandparents, so don’t sweat those items on the registry.

If you are invited to a shower and can’t attend, use your judgment on whether you should still give a gift. It’s certainly not required, but if you’re good friends with the bride, you should still at least send a card with a gift card where she’s registered.

Do I still have to buy a present if I was a bridesmaid? Yes. Being a bridesmaid is no simple (or cheap) task, so you may think that the shower you threw and the help you gave is gift enough. You absolutely should still give a gift, for both the shower and the wedding. If you’re in financial straits, go in on a larger gift with the bridesmaids where you can share the cost, and for the wedding, try giving a handmade gift. It’ll be easy on your wallet and your friend will appreciate the heartfelt gesture.

What about destination weddings? I’m already paying for accommodations! Yes, you still have to give a gift, but you don’t have to spend as much considering the cost to come to the wedding. Destination weddings tend to have a smaller guest list, so remember that when you receive an invitation to one, that usually means that the bride and groom really want you to be there. They’ll absolutely appreciate you taking the time and money to celebrate their special day, so though a gift is just a cherry on top, you should still give one.

Do I have to give a gift at a second wedding if I gave one for the first one? Technically, you do not have to give a gift for a second wedding if you attended and gave a gift at the first wedding, but I highly recommend at least a card and small gift to extend your well wishes to this marriage. Handmade gifts, such as a personalized cutting board or picture frame, are unique gifts the couple will love that won’t cost you a ton of money.

how much should i spend on a wedding gift?

Brides: Don’t assume that every person will follow this guideline, or even that every guest will give a gift! Yes, you will have some rude guests that don’t give you anything…it’s just part of the process. The good news is that some of your guests (especially your parents’ good friends) will be extra generous. Try not to dwell on how much each person gives you and remember that every person’s situation is different. Be gracious about any gift you receive, regardless of value. That’s not the important part of the day.

Wedding Thank You Cards FAQ

Wedding Thank You Cards and Bridal Shower Thank You Cards FAQ

Your guests have not only celebrated your big day with you, but they’ve also (hopefully) given a gift. No matter how small the gesture, a thank you card is a must. It’s tough to get started with the thank you cards, but once you get rolling, keep going every day until you’re done.

Q: Where do I get nice thank you cards?
A: Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, and Exclusively Weddings all have great options for thank you cards. You can even personalize some of them with one of your wedding photos.

Q: How long do I have to send them out?
A: You technically have up until one year after the wedding to get them out, but you really should have them sent within six months before people start to think you aren’t sending one at all. I recommend getting started on them as soon as you’re back and settled from your honeymoon. If you’re sending a bridal shower thank you card, you’ll  need to make sure the card is going to be received before the wedding takes place.

Q: How much do I have to write?
A: This will depend entirely on how close you are and what role they played in your wedding (for example, your MOH thank you should be much longer than a distant relative.) You should write a minimum of a few sentences, and there really is no max: if someone really helped you out and you want to write a thank you letter, go for it! It will be so appreciated.

Q: How do I keep track of who gave us what?
A: Your Maid of Honor should keep a list of what you get/who got it for you at your shower. As you’re opening wedding gifts and cards, keep a list the same as your MOH did at your shower. As you finish writing someone’s thank you card, cross their name off the list.

Q: Who writes the thank you cards?
A: For bridal shower thank you cards, the bride writes them. For wedding thank you cards…this one is completely up to you and your new spouse. The way my husband and I did it: If it was his guest, he wrote it; if it was my guest, I wrote it; and if it was a guest for both of us, I wrote it, because I enjoy writing more than he does… and my handwriting is much better. 🙂

Q: What do I write in the cards?
A: It can be tough to find the right words, especially if you’ve been writing them for a while. If they came to the wedding or shower, thank them for coming, and if they couldn’t come, say sorry they couldn’t make it and that they were missed. Always reference the gift they gave and express lots of gratitude. If you remember a special moment from the event that included them, reference it! Always end it with an additional thank you and that you hope to see/speak to them soon. If you’re totally tapped out on what to say, try giving it to your significant other to write.

No matter what you end up saying, just remember that your guests shared in a special day between you and your spouse, and that will be a memory that you will all treasure for years to come.