How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift? 17 Etiquette Tips (2024)

Bringing a physical gift to the wedding is typically reserved when someone goes off the registry to purchase a wedding gift. When in doubt, follow the instructions on the registry website and avoid the headache of wrapping the present yourself!

11. Is it okay to buy gifts that aren’t on the wedding registry?

Gifting items that aren’t included on the registry isn’t a violation of wedding gift etiquette. Emily Post says that the choice of what to buy or give is always up to the guest, even if the couple has a registry.

If, however, you choose an off-registry item, make sure it’s something you know they will absolutely love. “A couple has taken the time to select items that they need, so it makes perfect sense the majority of the time to simply fall in line with their wishes,” says Carlson. “With that being said, if you are close to the couple and are 100 percent sure that your off-registry item fits the bill, then by all means, do it.”

12. Do I have to buy a shower gift and a wedding gift?

If you attend the bridal shower and the wedding, you are expected to buy a separate gift for each event. The Knot suggests an attendee should spend between 50 to 75 dollars on a shower gift. (However, if you also got the couple an engagement gift, the 20-20-60 rule can also apply—so your shower gift should cost 20 percent of your total budget.)

For those who are invited but are not able to attend the bridal shower, sending a gift is optional: “If a guest cannot attend the shower, he or she may send a gift but is not obligated to do so,” writes Emily Post.

To jump-start your search, here are a few ideas to consider based on various wedding gift amounts.

13. Is it ever appropriate to ask the bride or groom how much money I should give as a wedding gift?

You’re not always going to be familiar with a bride or groom’s wedding customs, especially if it’s not the traditional American wedding you may be used to. According to Cheperdak, it's important to respectfully acknowledge that there may be some gaps in your knowledge about their cultural background. “You want to be really warm about your intentions,” she tells Vogue. She also suggests asking for resources to better understand their customs. “That way you’re not putting a burden on the couple. It’s being gracious in that you’re acknowledging they might have a lot of responsibilities outside of educating you on their cultural norms,” she says.

14. Are there things I can do in place of a gift?

Tight gift-giving budget? It’s time to get creative. Cheperdak suggests exploring more sentimental options, whether it’s a framed picture or a book. She recommends giving something if your financial situation allows it, even if it’s small. But in some cases, you can offer extra hands to help make sure the ceremony runs smoothly, whether you serve as a wedding photographer or a makeup and hair stylist for the bride. “Gifts are about showing how much the couple means to you, and it’s about so much more than money,” says Cheperdak. But if your services are politely declined by the couple, be sure to accept that graciously rather than insisting on helping them.

15. How do I check in on the gift I sent?

Whether the newly married couple has a lot of traveling on their itinerary after their nuptials or you just haven’t received a thank you card yet, you might want to reach out and gently check if your gift was delivered. Cheperdak notes that it’s alright to send a text along the lines of, “I just want to make sure that you received this. If you didn’t for any reason, let me know and I’ll see to it that it’s corrected,” with some added personal flair. You can also ensure the package has a tracking number so you can make sure it arrived safely.

16. Should I contribute to the couple’s honeymoon fund?

This fund is set up for wedding guests to help financially contribute to the couple’s honeymoon activities, from the plane ride to hotel stay. Although it’s still sometimes considered controversial, especially among older generations, a honeymoon fund is a great way to contribute to a couple’s post-wedding adventures. As a guest, it’s also considerate to donate to specific honeymoon experiences, like dinner on the first night or a couple’s massage, says Cheperdak.

17. What if the couple separates before I get them a gift?

Although it’s incredibly rare for the couple to separate within a year of marriage, it does happen on occasion. In the case that you weren’t able to send a check or present within the time frame of their marriage, it’s best not to send one at that point, says Cheperdak. “One of the most painful things can be the tangible items they have and figuring out what to do with them.”

How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift? 17 Etiquette Tips (2024)


How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift? 17 Etiquette Tips? ›

According to Zola, the average person spends 50 to 100 dollars on a wedding gift. They suggest the following breakdown: coworkers or distant relatives should spend 50 to 75 dollars. Friends or relatives, 75 to 100 dollars.

Is $500 a generous wedding gift? ›

Wedding experts do, however, advise starting at $100. From there, you may want to adjust up to $500 based on factors such as your relationship with the couple, your budget and the cost of your attendance at the wedding.

How much money is etiquette for a wedding gift? ›

According to the experts, the average wedding gift amount hovers right around $100 to $150, though that can increase or decrease based on how close you are to the couple and whether or not you're attending with a plus one.

Is $200 enough for a wedding gift? ›

Based on our insights, wedding guests are typically open to splurging on a monetary or cash wedding gift for a loved one, with surveyors reporting an average spend of $200 if it's a close friend.

Is $50 ok for a wedding gift? ›

The average person spends $50-$100+ on a wedding gift, but the amount varies by their relationship with the couple and budget.

Is $300 appropriate for a wedding gift? ›

The sweet spot for spending on gifts for family and close friends is $200 to $300 – one-third of survey participants chose this amount. Another third said up to $200, while 14 per cent said they'd spend $500 or more.

Is $100 too cheap for a wedding gift? ›

If it's a co-worker or a distant friend, recommends guests give at least $75-$100 on the wedding present. If your guest is a relative or a friend, the wedding website suggests somewhere between $100 and $125.

What is proper etiquette for a wedding gift? ›

“The preferred method for gifting is to send it to the couple's home, versus bringing it with you on the wedding day,” says Carlson. “There are just so many things to keep track of the day of the event, that it's appreciated if you can make it a bit easier on the newlyweds.

How much money do you give a bride and groom on their wedding day? ›


She offers these guidelines to wedding-goers wherever they might be: A distant relative or co-worker should give $75-$100; a friend or relative, $100-$125; a closer relative, up to $150. If you are wealthy, are you expected to inflate the gift? No, Cooper says.

How much money to give for a wedding if you are not attending? ›

Garringer advises spending as much as you would if you attended the wedding — which would mean around $100 for a close friend or $150 and up for an immediate family member. For more distant relations, a smaller gift is acceptable (or, as we mentioned earlier, a simple "Congratulations!" will do).

Is $400 enough for wedding gift? ›

How much should you spend? That all depends on whether the gift is off the registry, an experience, or cash. Upon consulting the experts, a wedding gift should range from $75 to $750—but most agree that $300+ is the sweet spot.

Is $2000 too much for a wedding gift? ›

What is a good cash wedding gift amount for one person? If you're flying solo and just a casual friend of the bride or groom, then you can spend $75-$100 on your gift. Even if you're a super close friend of the couple, $500 is the most you should give. $2,000 might be too much.

How much money should groom's parents give? ›

It used to be that the role of the bridegroom's parents was restricted to hosting the rehearsal dinner and leading him down the aisle, but that is no longer the case. In a recent poll by wedding enthusiasts, the Groom's parents cover up to 24% of the wedding costs.

Is it better to give cash or check to wedding gift? ›

Exactly how to give money as a wedding gift is up to you. A wedding check or cash is always an option, though, nowadays, many couples have a cash registry, like The Knot Cash Funds, to accept money digitally, too.

What is the average cash gift for a wedding? ›

Key takeaways. The average wedding gift is $100 per wedding guest. But many factors can nudge that gift amount up or down. Make sure you aren't giving more than you can afford.

Is it rude not to give a wedding gift? ›

In short, the answer is not necessarily, says Swann—you don't have to give a wedding gift if you ultimately send your regrets. Whether you do or don't send a gift, however, will come down to your relationship with the couple.

Is $500 a good wedding gift in 2024? ›

According to a 2019 survey by The Knot, a wedding website, the average person spends $120 on a wedding gift. So if you were to spend $500, that would be a very generous gift.

Is it better to give cash or check as a wedding gift? ›

Some people do use cash and place it in the card, however I have seen gift tables at weddings with obvious cash/gift card/checks inside cards that could fall behind or under a table and be missed. To be safe, I would choose to use a check, because if lost, it could be replaced, and cash could not.

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