How much to give for a wedding gift?

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numi's picture

Hey guys,

How much do you generally give for a wedding gift, and what’s your thought process on what’s fair? A few of my friends are getting married in the next few months so was curious to hear what people thought.

For me, I only attend weddings when I’m close to the person, preferably both. Generally these weddings require me to fly and book a hotel. I don’t want to be thought of as frugal but at the same time I still have student loans from business school that I have to pay off (I just graduated a few months ago). I generally just like to sleep well at night and frankly put as little thought into it as possible (which is acceptable since most people have online registries set up anyhow). Therefore, usually I target around $150, or $200+ if I’m really close to the couple. I’ve also heard around $100 is considered an “average” by some people, but I realize everyone’s financial situation is different and was really more interested in hearing how people thought about this stuff rather than just a dollar amount.

Also, for anyone that recently got married, what were your expectations (if any) about the gifts you received?

bromion's picture

That’s fine, I would spend $100-200 unless it was my best friend or a close relative.

Bonus points if you do something awkward like systematically go down the registry buying 3 out of a requested set of 4 for all small items such as wash cloths.

ohai's picture

I think the answer is they probably don’t really care. Seriously, they are getting like 5 million wedding gifts and are busy with all the crazy shit that happens during the wedding. In a couple of days, it’s unlikely that they will even remember what you got them.

But anyway, I think $100 is above average for most people, and maybe around average for affluent people. If it’s like your best friend, then maybe spend a bit more. But in reality, I don’t think it matters, as long as it’s not something ridiculously cheap. 

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

higgmond's picture

I’m well past the attending friends’ weddings phase of life, but I generally gave $100 if I was attending alone (happened a few time sadly), or $150 if I was bringing a date.  If I was in the wedding party, I would give $100 plus a full place setting from their registry (dinner plate, soup bowl, salad plate, etc.).

My job is to reconcile cognitive dissonance.

higgmond's picture

ohai wrote:

I think the answer is they probably don’t really care. Seriously, they are getting like 5 million wedding gifts and are busy with all the crazy shit that happens during the wedding. In a couple of days, it’s unlikely that they will even remember what you got them.

One of the women in the bride’s family will document everything everyone gave the couple.

My job is to reconcile cognitive dissonance.

lockheed10023's picture

$100 entrance fee to booze up and karaoke

frisian's picture

higgmond wrote:

One of the women in the bride’s family will document everything everyone gave the couple.

Ain’t that the truth.  In theory, it’s so that the couple will know who to thank for what gift.  In reality, the wife and her friends will go over the list and bitch about who gave what.

Going to a wedding this weekend myself.  Think I’ll just give a $100 certificate through Amazon.  They’ll find a use for it, I’m sure.

LBriscoe's picture

In the NY area I’d say 150 per person / 250-300 per couple is average. You should at least cover your plate.  And, yes, the couple will absolutely know how much everyone gave.

brain_wash_your_face's picture

I think as long as it roughly covers the cost of your plate at the wedding you’re okay….$100 minimum typically.  And, people do keep track of and remember this stuff.

It was me.  I acted alone.  It was meticulously planned.  I let the dogs out.

bpdulog's picture

$100 typically does the job. 

NO EXCUSES

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bchad's picture

Just give them something worth fighting over if they divorce. The actual cost isn’t relevant. But I do think the idea of linking it to the cost of entertaining you isn’t a bad idea, adjusted for the cost of going, how close you are as friends, and your own ability to pay.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

krazykanuck's picture

I went to a wedding in December for 2 people (young 20s, idiots) who just announced they’re separating. Really glad I only spent like $20 on my contribution to the group gift.

Last wedding I gave a $50 GC. Seemed appropriate since we’re all recently out of school and it wasn’t an elaborate reception or anything.

chibwack's picture

I must be cheap, I just spend as much as their booze I’m going drink.  And I always buy something oriented to my connection which is usually the groom, so something like beer glasses, cigars, whatever.

Alladin's picture

i have never been to a wedding :-\

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FrankArabia's picture

i normally give 150…..

spunboy's picture

My wife and I didn’t have any expectations on gifts because a lot of folks had to travel.  We were just happy they came.  We weren’t even thinking about it because of the chaos in trying to get everything ready.  But out of the gifts we received, we liked gifts cards the best instead of the toaster, blender, etc.  The average price seemed to float around $50 so I think you’re a little high at $100 - unless this is a really good buddy of yours. 

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Wernher von Braun

numi's picture

Hey all, thanks for the thoughts. I figured this would be a good place to ask since many of us are in the same line of work and similar age group.

It seems that a bunch of these wedding websites these days have something set up for their “honeymoon fund” or whatever, where you can basically offer to give various aspects of their trip as gifts. Essentially you’re donating cash but that cash is equal to a pre-determined amount for a particular item that they need on their honeymoon (such as hotels, meals, travel, excursions, etc.). In this case, I know both the bride and groom well and there happened to be an option to “give” a romantic dinner in Florence on their last honeymoon night for $150. I thought that sounded good.

spunboy's picture

numi wrote:

Hey all, thanks for the thoughts. I figured this would be a good place to ask since many of us are in the same line of work and similar age group.

It seems that a bunch of these wedding websites these days have something set up for their “honeymoon fund” or whatever, where you can basically offer to give various aspects of their trip as gifts. Essentially you’re donating cash but that cash is equal to a pre-determined amount for a particular item that they need on their honeymoon (such as hotels, meals, travel, excursions, etc.). In this case, I know both the bride and groom well and there happened to be an option to “give” a romantic dinner in Florence on their last honeymoon night for $150. I thought that sounded good.

Nice!

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Wernher von Braun

chibwack's picture

That’s actually a far better wedding gift than dish towels or all that.  Nowadays, who gets married that doesn’t already have a fully stocked house (that’s age appropriate for marriage, that is)?

former trader's picture

$75 for a friend, $150 for a relative.

Keep in mind I’ve been to 3 firiends weddings so far and they weren’t the closest ones.  For a close friend, I would probably give as much as a relative.

Telling it like it is on AF since 2007.

Sweep the Leg's picture

$70 for a marginal friend. $150-200 for a good friend but non-wedding party. $200-400 for wedding party. $0 if they make me an usher. 

bchad's picture

Sometimes I wish this stuff was covered by wedding insurance. 

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

Blake McCallister's picture

I always give $100 for my “marginal” friends and then a lot more depending upon who they are.  I never realised how generous I was after listening to you zips.

"Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful..."

The Righteous Hacksaw's picture

If I have to fly somewhere they are getting a shit gift.  100 max.

Weddings are usually friend funerals anyway; the only reason to go to a wedding is just to get drunk and bang chicks.  So I don’t usually worry burning those bridges by giving a shitty gift.

No Homo

Alladin's picture

Weddings are usually friend funerals anyway……wow haha…in that case you should just bring some flowers !

______________________________________________________

You must be the square root of two cause i feel irrational around you

http://alphahive.wordpress.com/

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