If you’ve ever attended a wedding, you know that gift-giving is an important part of the experience. But how much should you spend on a wedding gift? There’s a common wedding myth that says the amount you spend on the couple’s gift should equal what the bride and groom spent on you to attend their wedding. While this is not true, there are some guidelines to follow when deciding how much to spend on a wedding gift.
The most important thing to remember is that you should give a gift that the couple will appreciate. If you don’t have anything on the registry that fits your budget, it’s OK to spend less than etiquette suggests, but keep in mind that the couple will still be happy with whatever you choose.
You should also take into account the amount you’ve already spent on the wedding. For example, if you’re in the bridal party, you may have already paid for your own dress or helped with planning and other expenses. And if you’re not in the wedding party but you’ve been invited to the shower or bachelorette party, it’s appropriate to spend on these events as well.
Another factor that can influence how much you should spend on a wedding gift is your relationship with the couple. Generally speaking, the closer your relationship is to the couple, the higher you can go on your gift. “You’re going to want to do more for your bestie than you would a co-worker from several years ago,” international etiquette and protocol expert Julia Esteve Boyd told INSIDER.
It’s also worth considering the couple’s location. The cost of living varies from state to state, which can have an impact on how much you should spend on a gift. But your relationship with the couple should always come first, regardless of where they live.
A lot of couples have opted to elope during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while some of these couples didn’t plan on having guests for their elopement, it’s still appropriate to send them a gift. In these cases, a good rule of thumb is to calculate the cost of your night out for dinner and drinks and multiply it by four, Smith says. “This is a workable guideline for guests to use whether they’re giving a gift from the registry or a monetary gift,” she adds.
In many cases, a cash gift is preferred by the couple. This is especially true if you’re in a close relationship with them and/or if they’re not using the registry for gifts at all and instead asking for money that will be used towards a cause such as their honeymoon or house down payment fund. And remember, you can always give a cash gift without attending the wedding! Just make sure to include a card congratulating the couple. You’ll be doing them a favor as they will save on gifts, travel costs and other fees associated with having guests at their elopement.