How much to Spend on a Wedding Gift?

July 11, 2022

Being invited to a wedding involves some serious shopping. There are clothes to buy, schedule trips, and arrange gifts. But, gifting nowadays isn't the same as it once was.

We now live in a digital era, and everything we need is just a click away, and wedding registries are no exception. They have also gone digital, honeymoon funds have appeared on the scene, and so many partners who live together before marriage already have everything they need. 

So, it’s no surprise that guests have severe issues regarding how much they should spend on a wedding present, if cash is okay, or if bringing plus-one influences what they spend.

But that’s not all; you also have to wonder if destination weddings to modest backyard festivities change the wedding gift-giving etiquette. It can be mind-blowing. 

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the wedding couple. As a result, you must do your best to make their special day memorable.

Luckily, with our helpful wedding gift guide, which is chock-full of advice, you’ll have everything you need to consider to ensure that your gifts are appropriately welcomed.

So whether you give cash or decorative items to the newlyweds, you can be sure they will value the attention you have dedicated to your wedding present.


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How Much Am I Supposed To Spend On A Wedding Gift? 

It used to be that you'd pay about what you expected your meal to cost, but that's a thing of the past. That proverb dates back to when weddings were more formulaic and focused on a single formal dinner celebration.

Couples are now organizing multi-event weekends, digital experiences, far-flung destinations, welcome packages, favors, and more for their guests. Those gestures deserve a gesture bigger than the expense of the wedding dinner. 

The amount that you pay for a wedding gift can vary based on the strength and value of your relationship with the couple and the type of wedding you’re attending.

For example, if you’re attending a luxury wedding, the cost of the wedding gift will be higher than at other weddings. Experts would probably say that you should expect to spend several hundreds of dollars (or more) on a luxury wedding gift. If the couple has created a wedding registry that will help you narrow down their wants and choose a gift that you feel will be cherished and appreciated. 

For standard (non-luxury) weddings, if you're buying something off the couple's registry, a present should cost at least $75 to $100. If you're a close friend of the newlyweds, you'll probably spend more on them, and if you're invited with a guest, you'll probably spend even more.

A general rule of thumb is to consider the length of time you’ve known the couple, how strong your relationship is with them, and of course, what you can afford. Today’s couples will likely have a mix of affordable, practical, and expensive items on their wedding registry, so just choose an item that you feel proud giving. 

Destination weddings do not alter the regulations. Though some may argue that visitors are not excused from bringing a basic or more generous gift because a wedding costs more to attend, this is not the case. Couples organizing more formal, experience-based weddings are a pair you should consider spending extra money on.

wedding gift box

Luxury Wedding Gift Ideas

Here are some of the top wedding present inspiration ideas for you.

Gift Card In A Premium Box

A gift card in a premium box is an awesome luxury wedding gift idea for the couple who has everything! 

Matches Rolex Watches

It is well known that Rolex employs the best materials and most talented craftsmen in the world. Each timepiece is handcrafted by the best watchmakers in the business, who pay meticulous attention to every minute detail.

A Rolex will be much appreciated by the receiver because the brand has a long history of producing some of the most coveted timepieces.

PhoneSoap HomeSoap UV Sanitizer

The best wedding gift may not always be the most expensive one; rather, it may be the most useful and have the biggest positive effect on the lives of the newlyweds.

And this gift, the HomeSoap uses UV technology, is incredible in today's germ-conscious society! This unusual wedding gift is invincible against lurking germs (and we think it's quite brilliant).

To check out the other luxury gift ideas for 2022 weddings, and for more details and inspiration check out our post on 9 Intriguing Luxury Wedding Gift Ideas.

When I Don't Need To Buy A Gift?

If you're not close with the couple, that's a game-changer. Maybe it's a casual friend or a coworker from a different department. It is sufficient to return your RSVP card. You may wish to send them a celebratory card throughout their engagement or quickly after the wedding, but the only thing you actually need to do is RSVP. A handwritten card will be noticed as a kind gesture. You should not feel obligated to send a gift in this situation.

In some cases, skipping the wedding present is acceptable. There's no need to send the couple a gift if they're having a destination wedding, mainly if it's somewhere pricey or requires flights and hotels.

Budget restrictions are another utterly acceptable excuse for not buying a gift. People must understand that giving a gift isn't required. It's welcomed and anticipated, but it's not needed.

How Much To Spend On The Gift If I'm Not Attending The Wedding?

There is no such thing as a rule that instructs you to do something or not do something. A wedding celebrates the coming together of two individuals who will share the rest of their lives. It's lovely, and it's all about celebrating life and love.

Once the wedding gift etiquette is concerned, it can be tricky because many couples have pre-nuptial celebrations and several events around their engagement and the wedding. Does this imply that you must provide a present for all these occasions? You are not required to do so, but you may do so if you like.

You are not required to give the couple a present at pre-wedding parties and celebrations. If you want to go, you can, since it would be impolite not to, but it does not have to be an extravagant event. If you are unable to attend, writing a congratulations card would suffice.

Instead of mailing a standard card with a generic greeting, add a personal touch by including a handwritten note. Your closeness to the pair also plays an important role. You definitely should get something for your best friends or close family.

A wedding party isn't like any other. If you cannot attend, you are not required to offer them a present.

However, because the couple was generous enough to invite you, you may like to send them something. It doesn't have to be pricey because the thinking behind the gift is what matters the most. Aside from the postal expenses, you won't have to pay any money. The sky is the limit since your imagination only binds you.

How Much Is Usually Spent On Wedding Gifts?

Although this is difficult to estimate, you can utilize the average amount spent by those listed below to get an idea of what to expect.

  • $50 per person for friends
  • $70 per person for extended family
  • $100 per person for close friends
  • $150 per person for immediate family

The actual amount could be much less or much more. People typically spend roughly $50 per person on a wedding present, while some pay around $500 or more. In today’s modern times, there is no steadfast rule.

Simply give from your heart, spend what you can afford, and do it with love. Follow these general rules and the newlyweds will cherish your wedding present. 

How Does Wedding Gift Etiquette Change Depending On The Situation?

Just An Acquaintance

Let's look at some of the numerous ways you might respond respectfully regarding wedding gifts. If you are not close to the couple, you are not required to send them a present if you cannot attend the wedding.

And you don't have to send them a card if you don't want to. However, you must notify them that you will be unable to attend, and it will also be courteous to phone them and wish them well.

Close family

It would be impolite not to send something to a close relative's wedding, even if you cannot attend. They are, after all, your flesh and blood, and family is everything.

The present does not have to be extravagant if money is a concern. Even a simple handwritten message will suffice. If you have money to spend on a gift, you can look through the wedding registry and find something within your budget.

Close or best friends 

Similar to family, close or best friends' relationships are incredibly significant and have lasted the test of time. Finding the perfect present shouldn't be difficult because you know so much about them.

Choose a present that is both affordable and appropriate for your friendship. Couples frequently feature a wide range of gift options on their register, so check over it early to choose one that fits your friendship level. 

Plan to pay less than you would typically do for a close family member, but the depth of your relationship will determine how much you spend.

For example, you might want to forego the wedding register entirely if it's a close childhood friend. Give a framed picture of the pair or a private cookery class that may be relished at a later date if you want to go the personalized way.

If you cannot go, please get in touch with them and inform them that you will be unable to attend the wedding. You might also plan a get-together celebration before or after the wedding.

bouquet of flowers as a wedding gift

A Wedding Gift For A Destination Wedding? Yay or Nay?

An accompanying guest may incur additional fees due to a destination wedding. For example, there are transportation costs, as well as hotel accommodations.

When you go to a destination wedding, your presence can be a gift to the married couple. However, if you determine that you can afford to attend a destination wedding, you need to consider whether you have enough money for a gift. 

The decision to buy a present has nothing to do with whether or not you would spend money on travel to the wedding. On the other hand, many wedding guests believe that a wedding present is a more significant investment than the expense of coming to a destination wedding — and thus forego the trip.

How Long After The Wedding Can I Hand In My Gift?

The truth is that the sooner you can deliver a present to a new couple, the better. It's more fun to open gifts when the excitement of the wedding is still evident. But don't put any kind of strain on yourself.

Rest comfortably if you aren't financially or emotionally capable of receiving a present during the wedding. You have one year to hand in your gifts after the wedding. 

Accepting a wedding invitation is almost a contractual responsibility to buy the happy couple a gift, and no one wants to be seen as a scrooge when the gifts are opened.

Accepting a wedding invitation, however, can also mean that you are accepting the costs of travel and lodging, which might put a significant dent in your budget.

Knowing how much to spend on a wedding gift depends on several factors, but the most important factors are your relationship with them and how much you can comfortably afford. But, of course, if you choose a wonderful gift with meaning, its cost won’t matter.

Up Next: 9 Intriguing Luxury Wedding Gift Ideas for 2022

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