Do you give more $ as a gift based on wedding cost?

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 31
8659 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think the idea of “cover your plate” is gross for so many reasons. If you’re the bride or groom, it’s basically saying people who keep their spending reasonable don’t deserve as nice a gift as someone who likes flaunting their wealth. And if you’re the guest, it means No Poors Allowed. It also encourages people to scrutinize and speculate about how much people are paying for stuff. That’s none of my business, and if I was throwing a party I would not want people trying to figure out how much it cost. My gift-giving is always based on my budget and my relationship with the recipient and I assume the same of the people around me. I would be so sad if I invited someone to an event and they felt like they couldn’t or shouldn’t because they couldn’t afford to repay me for hosting them.

Post # 32
2023 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Souzie :  Heeeeeey, wanna come to my wedding. But really that’s very generous of you  of you! 


Post # 33
6014 posts
Bee Keeper

No. My gift is based upon my own idea of what is appropriate and increases based upon my relationship with the couple. 

Post # 34
4277 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

For me it’s based on the relationship with the couple and our budget.  For close friends/immediate family I will give somewhere between $50-100, whereas for other weddings it will typically be around $25-40.  We can’t afford much more in our budget.  I definitely don’t think there is a steadfast rule, as we had a very wide range of monetary gifts given to us.

Post # 36
240 posts
Helper bee

Generally I give at least enough to cover my plate (based off the average cost in my area, which is around $100-$140pp, so I usually give $150). However, if it’s a close friend or family memember, I give more. My family friend that I have known my entire life recently got married and I gave her $450 (for my Fiance and myself). I would have liked to give more, but I was I in the wedding party and there were a lot of expenses, and unfortunately that was all I could afford. However I was also very generous with monetary gifts for her engagement party and bridal shower.

Post # 37
35 posts

I’ve never heard of the “enough to cover the plate” approach to gift giving. I also kind of think that the expense of the wedding is truly up to the bride & groom and that they shouldn’t expect guests to give more just because they chose to throw a more elaborate and expensive wedding. My gift would be the same regardless of the cost of the wedding and would be based solely on relationship to the bride and groom, along with my financial ability to give. 

Post # 38
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I typically don’t take budget into consideration but there is one exception. We were invited to a reception dance. No food at all, guest-pay food truck, cash bar. The only thing covered was really bad wine and a candy bar. That’s all they could afford and that’s okay. We aren’t close to them. So we probably gave half of what we gave to the other wedding we went to that year. 

Post # 39
1008 posts
Bumble bee

I average around $150 these days for Darling Husband and myself.  I have no way of knowing how much plates costs.

Post # 40
2183 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

depends on the person, our relationship, other expenses (ie destination wedding/super expensive cross country trip/3 night minimum in a fancy hotel), and a million other things but yes in general if you have a big “fancy” wedding I will give you more than if you just had punch and cake in your parents yard.

partially I guess this comes from growing up with a loose “cover your plate” rule but part of it is also because if you feed me, give me free booze and I am up till midnight dancing and having the best time with all my (our) friends/family then I will feel more in the party spirit and therefore be more generous.

if I have to pay for my own drinks, and the go pay for my own dinner later or whatever then honestly I am not going to feel like I was really hosted in the same way and my gift will likely reflect that.

obviously there are some exceptions to that – for instance I had a very close friend have a very budget wedding and I still gave a “big” gift because I knew they really needed the cash

you can say I am rude or mean but honestly it is the truth – I am not saying that its bad to have a smaller wedding or that it is impolite or anything just that in my mind it isn’t the same and therefore I will likely consider that when I make out my check (I will also add that it isn’t like I am sitting there with my calculator saying oh only chicken no steak -$10, only cake for dessert -$5, plastic chairs instead of chivari -$8 etc however I tend to think in “tiers” if you have a garden bbq with kegs of beer and someone playing an ipod it is obviously a very different type of wedding than a 6 course gourmet dinner with matching wines for each course served by waiters in a tux and gloves)

Post # 41
9750 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

No, I wouldn’t give more.  But I live in the midwest and the “cover your plate” isn’t a thing here.  Plus I’ve been to plenty of cheaper weddings where $15 would cover my plate.  Virtually no one here gives $100-$200 with the exception of maybe some close family members (when I say midwest, I live in a city but both of our families are more rural midwest).  I just look at how close I am and our budget at the time.

Post # 42
5132 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

In general, I would say that it isn’t my problem how much money the couple (or their families) decided to shell out on the party. I will say though that it might vary depending on the local wedding culture. For instance, as we can see from this post most bees are giving hundreds of dollars as a standard gift. This would also be pretty standard for the area where we live. The last wedding we went to we bought off the registry something that was about $150. However, a gift that large for a wedding in my family would be absolutely bonkers and would probably be seen as trying to show off your wealth. A typical wedding gift there is $25, maybe $50 if you’re really close to the person. So yes, we may give less in that case, but not necessarily because the cost of a plate is less (most of my family weddings are self-catered or potluck anyway), if that makes sense. 

Post # 43
202 posts
Helper bee

Souzie :  ummm, you are invited to mine! Haha : )

I doubt anyone in my area bases gifts off of plate cost.  I’m doubting that my parents will even give us a gift and I am not expecting even half the plate cost from anyone else.  I think it’s very dangerous to plan a wedding with that expectation.


Post # 44
2704 posts
Sugar bee

They’re getting $150-$200. I do not care who they are or how much the plate cost. The food served at a wedding is based on what’s in THEIR wallet, not mine and it isn’t as if I am going to eat the food THEN sit there and write a check based on how lavish the offerings. That check is written several days prior at home.

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