Post # 1
Curious as to what people think. Say you were throwing a wedding for $30/head versus $300/head. Would you expect people to buy more valuable gifts or give more money based on how expensive the wedding cost is? For instance, if your wedding cost $300/head in a big city, would you be kinda pissed off that a couple bought you a $20 crockpot?
Say the expensive wedding is not expensive because you hired trapeze artists and drank thousand-dollar wines, but because that’s just what it costs for a “standard” wedding (the girls in big cities will understand, I’m sure). It all depends on the finances of your guests, but pretend no one is under any financial difficulty of any sort. Would a $20 crockpot be considered great for the $30/head wedding but incredibly cheap for the $300/head wedding?
And on the other side – would your gifting change based on how much the bride/groom spent on the wedding (assuming again, no bells & whistles but that’s just what it costs)? What would be considered “being cheap?”
Of course, no one expecting anyone to “make up” for the per head cost at a wedding, but there are extremes. Discuss away!
Post # 3
I think it is the couple’s choice to throw a $300/head wedding vs a $30/head wedding, and as a guest, I shouldn’t be held responsible for their spending.
The only circumstances under which i’d give $300 as a gift would be a sibling or child’s wedding. I’d stick to $100-150 otherwise, because that’s what’s within my budget.
Post # 4
I’ve always determined how much I spend on my gift by how close I am with the bride and groom. I like to get a few small things off their registry and then buy something well though tof that will always remind them of me. I mean in 30 years, re you going to remember who bought those towels for you off your registry or the person who bought something well thought out that has a meaning to it???? whether you spend $20 or $200+ on a gift is no reflection of the wedding itself. some people also don’t have the means to go out and buy a big gift even if they want to.
Post # 5
I agree with @crayfish. I hate this whole the gift should equal the cost of the plate or whatever. Hopefully, if it is in a big city and costs more, the people attending will make more money and will be willing and able to give more.
I recently spent over $200 on a wedding gift because the couple has mentioned this type of thinking on several occasions to me and I didn’t want them talking about me as a cheap person like they do with others. Can I afford a $200 gift? No, not really. But I would rather do that then have them calling me cheap, especially since I’m the Maid/Matron of Honor. Two of the other BMs went in together on a $200 gift and the bride was telling me how cheap she thought they were, so yes, it would happen.
Maybe I’ll change my mind when I get married but I find it incredibly tacky to judge how much people spend on a gift. You should invite them because you want them at your wedding and you want them to be a part of your special day, not because you want them to spend a certain amount on a gift or get you a gift at all.
Post # 5
I think it’s more like people who are having a $300 a head wedding are generally coming from a background where that’s the norm and their standard of living is higher… so generally their friends and family’s will be, too and they’ll get gifts like that.
I’ve never seen it as recouping what you’ve spent, but I’ve worked with brides and grooms who I know have made enough cash to put a down payment on a house after the wedding. It’s all in your family/friend circle I guess.
Post # 6
I totally get where you’re coming from. Per person cost around here is not $300 but it’s also not $25. Personally I would feel uncomfortable going to a wedding and giving anything less than $100 per person because that is just the standard here. I tend to usually give a bit more if it’s a couple that I’m close to.
Post # 7
@thewheelsonthebus: I have had at least two people specifically mention gifts they have received and complained that it wasn’t even enough to cover their meals. I think you are probably right in some cases, but people definitely do think about recouping the money or something like that.
Post # 8
I base the cost of my gift on my closeness to the bride and groom (within a range that I consider my budget). I don’t base anything on how much the wedding costs.
Post # 9
Regardless of where you live, the host chooses the cost per person. Just because it is the “norm” in that area doesn’t mean that you can’t do less.
Therefore, as an invited guest I feel that it doesn’t matter at all what the cost per head is! The hosts chose that and I tend to assume that that is what they felt comfortable spending. I do NOT think it is my job to pay for my own plate or increase the gift I was planning on giving for that reason. On the flip side, I would NEVER give less of a gift because the cost of the wedding was less expensive.
Post # 10
I might give more. We normally already give $200 for Fiance and I which covers even a pretty elaborate plate in my area. I never give less even if I know the plate is less than that though.
Post # 11
I agree with @crayfish. I don’t have anything to do with how much a wedding I attend costs. Actually, I’d prefer to go to a $30/head wedding than a $300/head one.
In fact, I’d probably be more likely to buy a cheap gift for someone who I know is spending a TON on their wedding and an expensive gift (or more cash) to someone who’s being super frugal, because in my mind they are the ones who need it. If you can afford to drop $50k on a wedding, are you really going to care about the difference between a $20 crockpot and maybe $80-100 gift I might have gotten you? Chew on that, lol.
Post # 12
I’d never consider how much the wedding cost when purchasing/giving a a gift. As PP’s have said, its the bride and grooms choice to have whatever event they want and it should never be expected that the guests would respond in kind with their gift giving. I think it’s pretty nasty that some people expect their guests to pony up to cover their costs for attending… that’s not at all what being invited to a wedding should be about.
Also, I highly doubt that 95% of my guests will even have a clue about how much my wedding is going to cost anyway. The other 5% who might be able to take a gander are my recently married/engaged friends and those involved in assisting with the wedding itself. I’m willing to bet that if many of my guests found out that it’s costing $112 per head (or whatever it is right now, gah), they might rather not attend than give a $112 gift to come see us exchange vows.
Post # 13
l’ve always wanted to know how you’re supposed to “cover the plate”. Do you ask “hey–how much you spending on my food?”
And, then, should it cover just the cost of the food or all of the extras the happy couple decides to add (i.e.–the professional dance troupe, the 12 piece band, the vintage Rolls)?
No, I do it based on my budget and my relationshio with the couple.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t base gift giving it on cost per head… aside from the fact that you would never know what the price per head is unless you ask.. I would never give a gift based on what someone gave me..
Post # 15
Disclaimer: I typically “estimate” how much a couple spend on the wedding meal…I’ve been to enough weddings…and eat out enough to know how much it cost to have a sit down dinner (you can tell from the invite where, when..etc.). It’s not difficult to get a rough estimate and gift accordingly. I also wouldn’t imagine being invited to a wedding unless I’m good friend with the bride/groom, both or their families..i accept invites from those whose occassions I would not miss for the world!
With that said, I give what I considered is the cost of the meal +$50 or more. Obviously if my friends decide to have a $300 meal (out of the norm)..then I would send them a small sentimental gift, thank them for the invition but graciously decline. Luckily none of my friends have been that wealthy to go that route. I like to give generously.