If you’ve ever been invited to a wedding, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. How much should you spend on a wedding gift?
The amount you pay for any present will depend on a number of factors. For instance, you might spend more on someone who you’re close to. You’re more likely to spend a fortune on your best friend than an acquaintance from work, for instance. The timing of the event and how much of a budget you have can be a factor in this choice too.
However, it can be particularly difficult to decide how much you should spend on a wedding gift because you know the bride and groom will be able to compare your gift to the presents of everyone else who attended.
Overcoming Old Traditions
A traditional method of deciding how much to spend on a wedding gift is figuring out the price-per-plate for each person invited to your party. For instance, people frequently assume that if their wedding meal costs £40, then they should spend that same amount on a present.
However, this can be an odd way to go about things. You’re not paying for admission into a private party. Plus, there’s no guarantee that the bride or groom will want to share how much they spent on the food. Remember, gifts for a wedding aren’t a financial exchange. It’s your chance to show the couple how much you care about them, and how happy you are for their love.
Don’t make the mistake of spending extra on a wedding gift just because the wedding itself seems like an expensive affair.
Choosing the Right Amount to Spend
So if you can’t use the “per plate” rule, how much should you typically spend on a wedding gift? Usually, most people agree that around £100 between the couple is a good choice if you’re awfully close to the person. This is usually the amount you would give to a family member or a close friend. If you have a bit more of a budget to work with, then you might decide to spend a little more.
If you’re taking a gift to a coworker or casual acquaintance’s wedding, then you can spend less. Around £50 might be enough, or even less if you can make sure that the gift you get doesn’t look cheap or thoughtless. If your friend asks for something specific, you can give them that item without having to “make up the extra” if you think you haven’t spent enough.
One thing to keep in mind when deciding how much to spend is that you will need to spend the same amount for everyone in your close circle. Just because you have extra cash to splash on this wedding doesn’t mean you should go over the top. Doing so could create the wrong expectations for your other friends.
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When to Spend More or Less on a Wedding
Setting a “typical” amount that you’re willing to spend on a wedding gift will help to keep you on track when you’re planning a gift for a wedding. However, there are circumstances that might push you to take a different approach. For instance, if you’re broke and you just lost your job, then your loved ones will probably understand that you can’t afford a big gift.
If you’re bringing your own guest that wasn’t specifically invited by the couple, then it might be worth adding a little extra to the gift. Remember that the couple is probably paying more for your guest to be there.
If you’re flying overseas or going somewhere very expensive for the wedding, then your loved ones probably won’t expect you to spend as much on their gift. The same is true if you’re part of the wedding party and you have to pay for your own hair, makeup, or accessories. If you’ve got extra cash to contribute to the big day already, you can cut down on the price of your wedding gift.
One other point to remember is that just because it used to be bad manners for couples to request money as a wedding gift in the past, doesn’t mean that this is the case now. Many couples ask for monetary gifts to pay for a honeymoon and other large purchases. When the couple asks for money, you can give them anything that you can afford based on the relationship that you have with both the bride and groom.