(Closed) Cover the Plate: what is your approach to gift giving?

posted 8 years ago in Gifts and Registries
  • poll: Do you "cover the plate" when you attend a wedding?
    Yes, I always try to, I will give a less expensive gift for a less expensive wedding and vice versa : (10 votes)
    9 %
    Sort of. I keep it in mind but usually give the same value of gift : (15 votes)
    13 %
    Not really. I am aware of the convention, but give a gift based on my finances/closeness/etc. : (58 votes)
    50 %
    Never thought about it, but I naturally kind of follow this : (2 votes)
    2 %
    Not aware of the rule, and my gift giving isn't related to the expense of the wedding : (28 votes)
    24 %
    Other, explained below : (3 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    806 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I’ve heard of it, but I don’t worry about following it.  We usually give $100 check for a casual friend, or more for a very close friend or relative.  To us that feels like a generous gift (though I’m sure in many cases our 2 dinners cost more).  I certainly wouldn’t expect to get larger gifts than that at my wedding from that level of friends.

    I think it’s got to be rare that a couple actually “makes back” the full cost of their meal – maybe in certain cultures, but not mine!

    Post # 4
    Member
    5494 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2011

    hmmm none of the survey options reflect what i usually do.  I keep the cost of the plate in mind and make sure/try to cover the cost but i use that as a minimum to go on.  So cheaper wedding does not necessarily equal cheaper gift.  My relationship with the people is also taken into account as well as the travel expenses.

    Post # 5
    Member
    5778 posts
    Bee Keeper

    http://www.theweddingenvelope.com/

    Now THIS is interesting! I just did it and the suggested amount I should give for ‘close friend’ is $270.! For a relative its $392.

    Its really a regional thing anyway. The cover the plate  is really a made up practice that’s only surfaced in the past 15 years or so.

    Post # 6
    Member
    240 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I just tried the wedding envelope quiz and I feel like it is spot on for the weddings I am attending this summer.

    Post # 7
    Member
    5494 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I just tried the wedding envelope quiz and the answers were CRAZY!  I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding, i’ve gone to three other parties and given gifts for all, it’s a destination wedding on a Sunday and it said I should give $400.  I almost had a heart attack.  I’ve already spent $1500 on the wedding and that’s pre-wedding gift.  Insanity.

    Post # 8
    Member
    722 posts
    Busy bee

    This really drives me crazy! It is my biggest wedding pet peeve. It seems to me equivalent to   selling tickets to the weddings.

    Post # 10
    Member
    617 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Wow!  That calculator is sorta crazy…I just played around with it and it said i should be giving $325 for a wedding this summer for a close friend.  That seems like a LOT.  Also, when I changed it to off peak, it said we had to give $275.  WTH?  haha

    Post # 11
    Member
    2214 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I ususally keep the cover your plate thing in mind, but like someone else said, I use it for a minimum.  If someone is having a bbq wedding for $30 per person, I am most certainly not just going to give $30.  But if someone is having a wedding for $150 per person, then I will try to give as close to that as possible.  Everyone in my family does it, so it doesn’t seem like a weird thing.  I definitely think it’s regional.

    Post # 12
    Hostess
    18637 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I had never heard of that before.  How are you supposed to know how expensive someone’s meal was?  For me, it depends on who is getting married and how good out relationship is.

    Post # 13
    Member
    129 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    So I just heard of this rule on this site a little while ago and not to offend anyone but it sounds very petty and kind of rude. A bride and groom or their family throws a wedding to invite all that are close to them to be a part of their day. As a guest I have always felt honored to be invited. Basing the cost of my gift on how much money I think they shelled out on my experience there seems ridiculous to me. It’s as if it matters more how much money they spent on me as a guest on the day rather than the couple. Not everyone can afford to throw a wedding for tens of thousands of dollars, and frankly, based on calculations, I wouldnt be able to afford to gift those of us lucky enough to spend hundreds of thousands on theirs! I think a gift should be based on what you can afford, and how dear the couple is to you. At least those are parameters that have some heart in them instead of just dollar signs!

     

    PS. this of course, is as long as the couple would want their guests to come regardless of what kind of gift they can give. I read a few places of brides preferring a guest not to show up at all rather than come and bring a gift that costs less than their plate. In the face of that unseemly sentiment, I as a guest would rather not go!

    Post # 14
    Member
    1046 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    I actually think this is in pretty poor taste. The point of a gift is to celebrate a marriage, not to buy your admission to the wedding. Plus, people throwing a less expensive wedding don’t deserve any less of a present! I have a general rule of thumb for how much to spend and then I do something nicer for closer friends.

    Post # 15
    Member
    1046 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    Wow, and I just used the calculator and it gave me a figures for upcoming weddings are at least twice what I’d probably spend. Who made this up anyway?

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