How much to spend on gifts?

esradeJune 21, 2004

I vaguely remember a rule of thumb for wedding gifts being to spend as much as you think they spent on you (per plate) and then add depending on how close you are to the couple. So if you think the couple spent $75/plate (typical in my area), then you and your guest should buy a present that is at least $150. Is this what other people have been taught as well?

Also, is there a similar rule of thumb for bridal showers?


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As posted in the thread "Monetary wedding gift"...

Give what you can and what you are comfortable with. There is no set amount anymore. Would you give a couple who has an afternoon tea less than a couple who throws a huge reception with a sit-down 5-course dinner?

I judge more on my relationship to the bride and groom. I would give a casual aquaintance less than a friend who I'm closer to or a family member.

Andrea :o)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 2:53PM
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I get this logic, and I've seen it rationalized this way also but polite society does not always work rationally. If you order a lobster in a restaurant, etiquette dictates that you tip more although you may have received the same service as someone who ordered a hamburger, right?

So I guess I do not base my gift on the reception locale since I find I always start at the low $100 mark for a gift and add to it depending on my closeness with the couple. I don't find this amount to be too high, although I realize many people do. Of course, I may start at this amount since I seem to only go to 'standard' weddings where I think the low $100's is probably how much they spent on my guest and myself.

This is just my opinion of course, but I think it's pretty tacky how people, who can well afford it, start griping about spending an extra $20 or $30 on a wedding present. I was in a wedding and one of the other bridesmaids (also a very close friend of the bride) chipped in with her husband, mom, dad, and brother and bought the B&G a $100 gift. This is the same couple who were saving up for a $400,000 house and "couldn't afford to spend more".

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 3:37PM
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Wow, I just read the 'monetary gift' thread and I am really floored that so many people consider $50 a nice wedding gift. I used the same $100 benchmark when I went to my friend's wedding reception that was held in the basement of his grandmother's nursing home (which was used for free and the food was brought by the guests). Good Lord - I'm going to have to check the etiquette books at Barnes & Noble now.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 3:44PM
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Etiquette doesn't dictate the value of a wedding gift--there is no "correct" amount to spend. A gift is a tangible expression of good wishes, not reimbursement for entertainment.

Yikes! Weddings have become ridiculously mercenary events. The idea that a guest "owes" a certain amount or "should" give a gift of a certain amount is horrible. Yes, weddings cost money. But it's up to the couple who is getting married (and their families if they choose to pay for any of it) to entertain in the manner they can afford. A guest is not the same thing as a paying customer, which is what "covering your plate" suggests. And if the excuse for this expectation is that weddings are expensive, then maybe the guests should be giving their gifts to the parents if they are paying?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 4:40PM
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