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What is an appropriate amount to spend on a present for a wedding? It's possible that you're debating whether or not it's necessary for you to get a present for the wedding. Read on for our entire advice on wedding gift etiquette.

As the go-to resource for anything and everything related to wedding registries, we at Zola hear many queries from guests trying to select the ideal wedding present for the newlyweds. The question "How much should I spend on a wedding gift?" is the one that we get asked the most frequently. The correct response will change depending on some aspects, including the degree to which you are acquainted with the engaged couple and the variety of wedding-related activities to which you have been invited.

Perhaps some of you are even questioning whether or not you must give a present for the wedding. Please continue reading for our comprehensive guide to the proper etiquette for wedding gifts.

Everyone who has ever been to a wedding will agree that there are quite a few costs associated with celebrating the marriage of a close friend or family member. If you are at the wedding party, your budget may be depleted before you even receive the formal invitation because you will need to spend money on things like attending the bridal shower, travelling to the bachelorette party, and conforming to the dress code.

In spite of what you may believe, "an invitation to a wedding is not a request for a present," according to the executive editor of The Knot, which is one of our go-to sites for finding wedding ideas and planning tools, and other related topics. "As a guest, you are under no need to purchase a gift for the couple," she continues, "but the chances are that you are enthusiastic about the two of them and want to show them some love."

In the next section, we pose all of our most pressing queries to the executive editor of The Knot regarding the appropriate amount of money to spend on wedding gifts, regardless of who is getting married.

What’s The “Cover Your Plate” Rule?

Once upon a time, it was regarded as proper etiquette to buy a wedding gift with a price tag similar to the cost per plate (your meal) at the reception. This was because it was thought that the couple would appreciate the gesture. Even though it's out of date, this subtle piece of wisdom is still being spread like a piece of wedding gospel by the guests who attended it.

Here are a few reasons why it's time to let it go:

  • Using this approach necessitates asking around (or outright asking the couple) how much they're spending on each plate at their wedding, which is an awkward subject to spread.
  • Even though it's not true that everyone has to give the same amount of money, it implies that you, as a wedding guest, must do so.
  • Attending a wedding isn't a food-for-gift swap; it's a time to celebrate and unite.
  • As a result of this technique, the couple will know that you are solely interested in giving them a present that suits their catering budget.

Wedding Gift

What Is A Reasonable Budget For A Wedding Gift?

The amount of money you should spend on a wedding present depends on different aspects, as opposed to the cost-per-plate, which is no longer a consideration in the selection process for wedding gifts. The following are some general pointers to keep in mind:

  • Giving a wedding present isn't about how much money you spend; it's about showing the couple that you care about their special day by providing them with a keepsake they may cherish throughout their married life.
  • Look for a present that is both meaningful to you and within your price range.
  • Even though big-ticket goods can be thrilling, most couples also want smaller gifts that have just as much significance in their daily lives.

When it comes to wedding gifts, you can follow a few loose principles, but remember that a smaller gift from the heart is just as important!

  • $50-$75 if you're a coworker, friend, or distant family.
  • If you are a $75-$100 friend or relative
  • $100-$150+ if you're a close friend, immediate family member, or a member of the wedding party
  • If you received a +1 on your invitation, you would receive 1.5-2x the value of the gift.

5 Tips To Help Determine How Much To Spend On A Wedding Gift

No one likes to appear cheap when the wedding gifts are opened; thus, accepting a wedding invitation is a contractual responsibility to buy the happy couple a gift. In addition to the travel and housing expenditures, accepting a wedding invitation might leave a serious dent in your wallet. How can a wedding guest give the happy couple a memorable gift with so many financial commitments?

Consider These Five Ideas If You're Unsure How Much To Spend On A Wedding Present. Follow Tradition

According to the convention, the amount you spend on the reception should be proportional to the expected cost of entertaining you. According to the planner of Liven It Up Events, "If you assume the couple getting married is spending an average of $100-$150 per person at their wedding, the price of your gift should equal that amount," This argument, however, has a drawback in that it is based on a per-person cost. This means that if you estimate that the couple will spend $100 on food and drink for each visitor, you and your plus-one should give them a present of $200.

Consider What You’re Spending To Attend

If the wedding is at a popular location or during high season, you'll likely have paid a significant amount of money to attend. A wedding gift app's CEO argues, "It's fair to presume the bride and groom are aware of how much everyone is already spending" because you are likely paying for accommodations and flights. As long as you're willing to spend a lot of money to be there, you don't have to spend a lot of money on the gift.

Consider Your Relationship To The Couple.

According to a wedding etiquette expert and co-founder of the wedding registry service Honeyfund, wedding guests should always donate what they feel best commemorates the event, taking into account both their budget and their relationship with the couple.

The typical wedding present is roughly $100, which is a good starting point, but you can go higher or lower depending on your proximity to the couple. If you're connected to the couple or good friends, you may want to pay a little more—around $150 per guest (or $200 from the couple)—if you're able to.

Understand When It's Unnecessary To Provide A Gift

Even though gifts are expected at weddings and bridal showers, remember that you don't have to bring one when you can. At an engagement celebration, for example, no gifts are expected (though a card congratulating the couple is a nice touch).

And you shouldn't be expected to spend money on a gift if you've helped out with the wedding in other ways, such as throwing the bridal shower or serving as the bride's makeup artist on the wedding day. When you limit your gift-giving to occasions where it is customary, you may stretch your budget much further.

Only Spend What You Can Afford

This one is worth noticing, even if it appears to be simple: Even if it's less than what etiquette dictates, limit your investment to what you can afford. You can buy many products in bulk, such as measuring spoons and cutting boards, that are sometimes disregarded but essential in a home, and they can be purchased in bulk for less money than a single item. Prioritise your money in any way you can to ensure that you can attend the wedding with the pair, even if it means giving a smaller present to cover the expense of a hotel room.

How Much Do You Spend On A Wedding Gift?

Gifts Melbourne

What you give as a wedding present is mostly determined by your relationship with the bride and groom and their family. You'll want to think about how close you are to the newlyweds before you buy them a gift. Regardless of how close you are to the newlyweds, you should never spend less than $50 on a wedding present. Spend according to the relationship you have with the bride or groom in the following categories:

  • $150+ Close Friend or Relative:
  •  $100-$125 Co-Worker, Distant Family-Friend, or Distant Relative: $50-$100

When Bringing A Date, Should You Spend More On A Wedding Gift?

Guests who plan to attend the wedding with a date should budget a bit more for their wedding gifts to cover the cost of their guest's meal and drink. With a second person accompanying you to the wedding, you'll have to think twice about what to get them. If your date is contributing to the wedding present, you should talk to them about it in advance so that you can create the appropriate gift from there.

Is It Required To Bring A Gift To A Shower?

A present for the bride-to-be or the newlyweds (if it's a co-ed shower) is anticipated if you've been invited to the bridal shower. The bridal shower gift can be reduced if you plan on spending a modest to a large amount of money on the wedding present.

Avoid the temptation to go overboard while buying a gift for the bride-to-wedding shower; it's quite appropriate to stay within your budget for this special event. You can get the job done with a modest gift and a sincere card for the bridal shower. Make a unique pillow for the bride and groom to use in their new home together.

Should You Bring A Wedding Gift If You're Going To Several Events?

Wedding gift etiquette requires you to buy a gift for the newlyweds, regardless of whether you're at the wedding party or invited to several wedding events. For example, if you're attending multiple occasions that require a present, such as an engagement party and a bridal shower, budget accordingly and allocate a set amount of money to each gift. Keep in mind that non-wedding presents should cost less.

  • Engagement Gift: Spend 20%
  • Shower Gift: Spend 20%
  • Wedding Gift: Spend 60%

Is Cash Acceptable As A Wedding Gift?

The current wedding practice allows for more and more cash to be given as a wedding present. Consider giving them cash or a check if the pair is already living together rather than gifts for their home. If the couple has set aside money for their impending honeymoon, you might want to consider gifting them some extra cash.

Do You Have Enough Time To Give A Wedding Gift?

After the wedding, you can present a wedding gift for up to three months. When it comes to wedding gifts, it's best to get them to the newlyweds as quickly as possible, thanks to the simplicity of internet buying and some shipping alternatives.

One to two weeks before the wedding, you can ship your present to the couple's address (or whoever is responsible for handling gifts). You'll have to wait three months following your wedding if you're unable to comply with this guideline.

FAQs About Wedding Gift

You can toast the newlyweds with a bottle of champagne or celebrate the big day with a gourmet gift basket by sending them either of these items. We have ideas for wedding presents that are sure to put a smile on their face, and we also have lovely greeting cards to go along with them.

Other Wedding Gift Tips

  • Use the wedding registry of the couple. Look to the couple's wedding register when deciding what to get them as a present. Many couples choose to keep a registry to make things as simple as possible for guests who aren't sure what the couple wants or needs. Gifts on the registry are guaranteed to please the couple and typically include goods for the home, such as decor, kitchen or bath necessities, and entertainment. Even so, you're under no obligation to make a purchase from the registry. Consider a present that reflects the couple's personality or a favourite pastime, even if you don't utilise the registry.
  • Before you buy the couple a gift, think about your relationship with them. Make sure you have an excellent relationship with the pair before investing a penny. Don't let yourself become overwhelmed when it comes time to buy the couple a gift by budgeting for it in advance. Don't overspend if you don't know the couple, but do your best to make the present memorable.
  • Send a wedding present through the post. Modern wedding present etiquette dictates that visitors mail their gifts instead of bringing them to the ceremony, making things easier for the newlyweds. As many couples receive a lot of gifts, they can save time and money by mailing your gift directly to the couple or the gift handler's home. To give a wedding card with cash to the newlyweds, you can hand the card over to a wedding gift-giver authorised by the couple. The couple will be busy meeting their guests and having fun at their reception, so don't give them cards directly.
  • Weddings that take place in exotic locations. For a destination wedding, consider the cost of travel and lodging when purchasing a wedding present. Because you've spent so much money on the trip, the couple will be more accepting of the fact that the value of your present is lower than usual. Give the newlyweds a gift at a destination wedding, but only spend what you can afford.
  • You can begin making arrangements for the happy couple's wedding as soon as you've decided on a budget. Don't worry if this is your first time buying a present for a newlywed couple; there are some simple guidelines you can follow to help you get it just right.
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