(Closed) Has being a bride changed your feelings on the cost of attending weddings?

posted 14 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 17
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

I don’t think I’ve really changed my gift giving since planning our wedding.  We try to give what we can.  We are not asking our guests for gifts though we registered at a charity just in case. Mostly, it’s my view of weddings has changed since becoming engaged.  I am now much more interested in everyone’s wedding details- friends, strangers, everyone.

Post # 18
33 posts
  • Wedding: July 2007

Planning a wedding and receiving such generous gifts has made me want to ‘pay it forward’ as it were.  And depending on how close we are to the couple, we’ll probably be very generous within our income in the future (and how much it costs to travel to the wedding).

We just got married in July in Ohio and most people had to travel to come, although we did our best to make it as affordable as possible. Many of DH’s friends are recent college graduates and have not a lot of money, so we were just excited that they came.  However, like Mrs. Radish, we had a number of guests (Including the Bridesmaid or Best Man and GMs)give us no present, which drives me crazy! All I wanted was a card saying, "your wedding was beautiful. we wish you all the happiness in the world.  thank you for making us part of your day."

Bottom line, having just received so many wonderful gifts ourselves, regardless of cost, I think giving a thoughtful gift or just a heartfelt card if that’s what’s in your budget, is what counts.  

Post # 20
63 posts
Worker bee

bunnybride, what do you mean if there is something that they really WANT from the registry? I’m genuinely curious. Several of our guests did not give us gifts, and two said to me later, "Oh, we wanted to wait to see if there was anything you really wanted." Er, we wanted everything on our registry – that’s why we put it on there in the first place!

(These people don’t even know each other, so maybe this is a common thing of which I’m just not aware?)

Post # 21
1 posts

This isn’t entirely related – But…Now that I am a bride and have seen my friends be brides, I ALWAYS eat wedding cake – I never knew how much time, thoughtfullness and money went into them.

Post # 22
11 posts
  • Wedding: June 2008

I think it’s almost worked backwards for me in that being a guest at so many weddings/showers/engagement parties over the past few years has changed my feelings on being a bride.
I’ve been stuck in a couple of situations where I’ve been made to feel like an invitation was only extended to me to get more "loot" (seriously, I got invited to a bridal shower where I was expected to show up and just drop off a gift because the bride was not even attending). These past experiences have not only left a bad taste in my mouth but put a great deal of financial strain on me as I am still relatively young and do not have a great deal of extra cash at my disposal.
Therefore, I’m trying to do the responsible thing and limit the number of present or money related events associated with our big day. Bachelorette party where I get to hang out with my friends? Great! Expensive bar crawl requiring tonnes of drink money, a new outfit and a hotel room? No.
I love my friends and the greatest gift they are giving me is being there for an important event in my life. 🙂

Post # 23
5 posts
  • Wedding: September 2008

I’ve generally gifted ~$100 per person (i.e. $200 if i brought a date) because I was told several times that was how much dinner costs.

Now that I’m planning a wedding, I realize the whole shebang costs much more per guest, but I probably won’t gift more in the future because as a bride, I realize that most of the wedding costs (decorations, flowers, venue, photog, music) are decided by me to make myself happy, so I don’t expect anyone else to pay for my decisions.

On the flip side, does anyone gift couples who didn’t have a wedding? I know a couple who had a civil ceremony, and this year have been using other parties (birthday, housewarming) to mention a registry in the invitations.  I respect their hints for gifts because I am happy for them, but the monetary value I give is way less because I know they don’t have to "offset" any wedding expense.  I admit that without their nudging I wouldn’t have given them anything, but it seems a bit tacky.

I would probably feel guilty about not giving them anything if they were to give me a wedding gift, but we’re going to discourage our guests from gifting since it’s a destination wedding.

Post # 24
11 posts
  • Wedding: August 2007

All of the weddings I have attended have been in western/central NY or Ohio.  (They tend to cost a bit less than say NYC/NJ where we live now).  My (now) hubby and I are both grad students, and live 7 hours from where we & my friends are from.  Last summer, we took vacation time, and drove 7 hours to the wedding.  Our gift was a blanket I made for them and their new house that cost me $130 to make.  I also spent $30 on a shower gift for the shower I was unable to attend.

This was before I was engaged and planning our wedding, and aware of the costs of a wedding.  For hub’s cousin’s wedding this year in western NY we drove 9 hours to get to the wedding, were able to skip on the hotel because we stayed with a relative, but we spent $110 on their gift.

Spent a little less for my good friend’s wedding this summer that was 5 hours away that we did need a hotel for, about $100. + $35 on a shower gift that I didn’t attend the shower for.

This may sound cheap to some posters, but we based the gift amount on the cost of our wedding, which was about $45/pp for dinner, plus we got 2 additional hours of open bar for a grand total of about $54/pp.

 I was pretty appalled to receive a gift of $40 from friends of my parents ( a married couple). That’s right, 2 twenty dollar bills.  Thanks for almost covering one of your dinners!  We were a bit under-gifted by all the relatives from Ohio, who gave $60-75/couple… not quite covering their plates either. But maybe weddings cost less in Ohio.

 I think an engagement party, shower, and wedding is excessive.  We did not have an engagement party, and my shower was relatively small (about 20 people, close friends + aunts). 

I was recently a bit appalled to receive a shower invite for my husband’s cousin’s fiancee, who I never met, who lives a 12 hour drive from us. Oh and they requested gift cards only.  I don’t care if it breaks ettiquette, I didn’t send a gift. We’ll send something for the wedding, which they are holding 3 days before Christmas, even though his cousin did not attend and did not send us a gift…

Post # 25
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

No, my gift-giving has not changed at all. A shower gift is usually $35-50 depending on my relationship with the bride. A wedding gift is $75-100 for solo attendance and $175-200 for a couple attending. The gift is either cash or something from the registry.

One of my team mates recently got married but I was not invited to the wedding, actually no one in the office was. I contributed $30 to a group gift. If they had eloped I may have upped the cost to $50.  

Post # 26
11 posts
  • Wedding: October 2008

I love the question!

My husband and I had a civil ceremony 14 years ago, that included our son and a witness.  We mailed announcements and were very surprised to receive gifts.  The ladies that I worked with even threw me a bridal shower. (I was shocked and overwhelmed)

Over the years, we have attended many weddings – I’ve seen people have large guest lists and tried to save money by having mom cook spaghetti in the back room.  I’ve also attended weddings were the family spent $100,000 and 1/2 the tables were empty.

We tend to look over the registry and purchase based on availablity and how well we know the couple. 

What this has taught us is that for our vow renewal ceremony – keep it small and don’t skimp.  Of course, we don’t expect gifts but have been asked to register by family and friends.

We always purchase a wedding gift even if we don’t attend the wedding.  I’m the one who decides how much.  I don’t have a figure to give you – it depends on how well we know the couple.



Post # 27
137 posts
Blushing bee

Wow, this turned out to be really long… sorry!

This is something that has definitely come up for me over the course of our wedding planning (and wedding-having). Before this year, we had no idea about the costs and efforts of wedding planning, and we gave only about $75-$90 per gift, depending on our relationship to the couple, etc. It didn’t matter whether we were able to attend the wedding or not. 

After this whole process, we will be giving substantially more, but it has to do with a lot of things. Mostly, we were grad students last year, this year we are not. Our financial position is necessarily a part of our decision when gifting in any situation, and now that we earn more (only slightly more, since we are both only postdocs now – not a big payraise from grad school!), we can give more.

I had never heard of this policy of your gift paying for your place at the wedding until I read about it here on WB. Frankly, I think it is kind of nonsense, at least from our personal experience. We planned the wedding that we wanted. We invited people that we wanted to be there with us, and yes, we planned things in part to show those guests a good time. Per person, we ended up spending well over what might be considered ‘reasonable’ for a wedding gift. There was never the expectation that we would gain that back through gifts from our guests, or that anyone should pay their way to our wedding through their gift. Our choices were our own – we could have chosen to have a much cheaper event, or we could have had a super-luxurious crazy fancy event, I just don’t see how it has any bearing on what guests should think about when they give.

Relatedly, people generally are shocked if someone does not attend a wedding and does not send a gift. For me now, post-wedding, I’ve vowed to attend as many weddings as I possibly can, because it was SO awesome that our friends and family made the effort to come to ours. Getting a "yes" reply on an RSVP was a million times more meaningful than receiving a registry gift. If I can’t make it, I will send a substantial gift, probably larger than what I would give if I do attend, maybe to make up for my absence. But, I did not expect the same from those who didn’t come – a few people didn’t send gifts, and that was fine for us. 

In all honesty, I have to admit that I got caught up in it all, and at one point I was disappointed when a group of 10 of my friends went in on a $200 gift. After a few "$20 per person?! Seriously?!?" outbursts, I realized that they were (and some still are) poor grad students. Yet, they came to our wedding, which required a not-inexpensive plane ticket, car rental and multi-night hotel stay. Most importantly, they were there to celebrate with us on the most important day of our lives (so far). How could I expect anything more? I quickly felt so incredibly selfish and greedy, that my the attitude of wanting nothing but good wishes and support returned, and from then on out it was truly genuine. 

Gifts from guests are always wonderful and nice, but I think when we start to feel wronged by a gift that we feel is too small or not enough, it’s time to step back and remember why we are really having a wedding, and why we invited the people we did. I’m glad I did!

Post # 28
31 posts
  • Wedding: November 2008

I think it’s terrible to expect someone to give a monetary gift to cover their cost of dinner. A wedding is not like a club you pay to get into. The bride and groom (parents, whoever) are hosting and the way I see it, as hosts, they are inviting and treating their guests.

If $20 is all a guest could afford, but they made the effort to share with us on our special day, I’d be thankful for that. Frankly if it came down to a good friend of mine having to choose between getting us a gift or covering the costs of getting to our wedding, I’d much rather they make it out to join us.

 In th end it all comes down to being gracious about things. Brides shouldn’t send out invites just to expect a gift, and guests should still show appreciation in being invited, but I don’t think either of those things should be measured by how much a person spends on the gift or on the wedding.


Post # 29
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I am still planning but I feel like I have always given appropriately according to income. As I have gotten older, I stick to cash or giftcard gifts, because that is what I prefer. I feel like I have always given as I would like to be given to. I think after the wedding, in combination with my graduating college and making more money, I will probaby try to give more. Oh. I don’t know if that makes sense. I think the moral of my story is I HATE REGISTRIES and I"D RATHER HAVE GIFTCARDS OR MONEY. I know thats selfish. Oh well.

Post # 30
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Being a bride has definitely changed my gift giving-ness. When I first attended a friend’s wedding, I was still in college, and I gave $50 worth of gifts from the registry. After becoming engaged, we give $200 cash to the couple for each wedding we attend. I feel awful for it, but I’m hoping we get the same generosity when it’s our turn to wed. <–I know I know…i hate hate hate feeling that way!

Post # 31
45 posts
  • Wedding: June 2008

This is a little off topic, but I think the average amount given depends greatly on where you come from.  I was born, raised and married in Iowa, where we tend to give a little less, because life just costs less. 

ABL – I’m a little shocked that you were "appalled" that you *only* received $40 from a couple.  $40 is better than a kick in the pants, isn’t it?  And I’m going to guess that no where on your invitation did you put something like "Dinner is costing us $75 a plate, so please gift accordingly."  Because really, if the point is that the couple pays for their own meal, why don’t we just start charging people to come to our weddings?  That makes sense doesn’t it………

I was so touched that several of my college friends who recently graduated gave me gifts that probably cost them $30.  They are broke… like dirt poor, but still gave me a gift.  I know that they could have possibly emptied their bank account just to buy this for me.  So it’s worth way more than $30.

My point with the post is… as brides… we should be thankful for everything we recieve.  Everyone’s background is a little different.


Sorry… a little off topic… 🙂

The topic ‘Has being a bride changed your feelings on the cost of attending weddings?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors