20, Aug 2023
Money to Spend on a Wedding Gift

Accepting a wedding invitation is pretty much a contractual obligation to get a gift for the happy couple, and no one wants to look like a cheapskate when the presents are opened. However, accepting a wedding invitation also means accepting travel and accommodation costs to attend, which can seriously damage your Budget. How can a guest compensate for all these financial obligations and give a great gift to the couple?

1. Following the Tradition

Traditional etiquette indicates that you should base your expenses on the estimated cost of your accommodation at the reception. “If you think that the couple getting married spends on average per person at their wedding, the price of their gift should be equal to that amount,” says planner Anthony Navarro of Liven It up Events. However, the disadvantage of this logic is that it is a price per person. This means that if you think the couple is spending on food and drinks for each guest, you and your Plus-One should spend on the gift.

2. think about what you spend to participate

Of course, don’t forget that you are already paying a pretty penny to attend the wedding — especially if it is a destination wedding or in high season. “They probably pay for accommodation and even flights, so in this situation it is safe to assume that the newlyweds are aware of the amount that everyone is already spending,” says Jason Reid, founder of Giftagram, a mobile application that eliminates the hassle with gifts. If you blow up a lot just to be there, you can reduce the amount you spend on the gift — your presence is also a gift!

3. think about your closeness to the couple

“A wedding guest should always give what he likes the most to celebrate the occasion, taking into account his budget and his closeness to the couple,” says Sara Margulis, expert in wedding etiquette, co-founder of the marriage registration website Honeyfund. The average amount of the wedding gift fluctuates, which is a good starting point, and you can increase or decrease it depending on your proximity. Being very close or attached to the couple (and having some leeway in your Budget) will help you spend more.


4. know when not to give a gift

Although gifts are expected at the wedding and bridal shower, remember to increase your Budget by remembering when you don’t need to bring one. For example, no gifts are expected at the engagement party (although a congratulatory card for the couple would be a nice touch). And if you have invested a lot of time or money to help with the wedding, such as organizing the bridal shower or acting as the bride’s makeup artist on the wedding day, you shouldn’t spend anything on a gift either. If you only bring gifts to the events you are expected to attend, the money you have to spend goes much further.


5. only spend what you can afford

It sounds simple enough, but it’s worth mentioning: limit your investment to what you can actually afford, even if it’s less than the label suggests. If you can’t find a single item that fits your budget, consider buying a few smaller items to get an amount that suits you (it’s also a great way to help the couple stock up their home with often overlooked items like measuring spoons or cutting boards). The couple wants you to be here to celebrate with them, so prioritize your Budget, but you have to make it happen — even if it means a smaller gift so that you can cover the cost of the hotel room.

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