(Closed) How much is appropriate to gift for a wedding?

posted 6 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 3
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Generally, gifts are supposed to be in proportion to the formality of the event, so a backyard BBQ means less money can be given than a Black Tie event at a swanky hotel with a full plated dinner, open bar, etc. SOme people use the “cover your plate” rule to try to figure out a good price, but it’s can be hard to estimate how much it’s costing the couple to host you and those invited under you (spouse, kids, etc.). So, many just give the same amount all the time (maybe giving more to super close people). But, of course, there’s always the “give what you can afford” rule, too. 

If you are doing okay financilly, I think $100 per person invited is always an appropriate amount, but if you are living paycheck to paycheck and sometime wonder how the heck you’ll buy groceries, then knock that down as much as you need.

Post # 4
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Give what you can…

Ok I know this is a corny answer (and not the one you wanted)… BUT it is the truth.  Everyone’s financial circumstances are different.

Personally I would never go a Wedding and give less than $ 100 and it isn’t uncommon for us to give substantially more if it is a family member (at this point in our lives Neices, Nephews etc), or someone we know well (or are close friends with… good bunch of folks at are age are Divorced or Widowed and remarrying)

It can be a gift in cash or something off the Registry (depends on the couple, their ages, and their “wishes”)

Although as I said, gift giving really depends on one’s own circumstances.  We are an older couple (semi-retired) and are at a position in life where we can do more too… (ie NO Kids, NO Mortage etc)

Hope this is somewhat helpful,


Post # 6
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@mrsSonthebeach:  Sorry I disagree with this totally.

And, truth be told I am a bit of an Etiquette snob (blame it on my age) 

There is NO RULE that says a gift or the value of a gift should be in proportion to the formality of the event… it should reflect HOW WELL you know the person getting married for sure… AND how much you can afford to give.

That’s it.. that’s all !!

As for the “cover the plate” idea, that is something that the WIC = Wedding Industrial Complex and Modern Brides seem to be touting nowadays, in some sort of “lets make back” what we put out there effort.  It is certainly something that “some” folks take into consideration… but it really is a “tacky” practice.  There is no obligation to do so (etiquette or otherwise)


Post # 8
582 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I am having an issue with this for my own brothers wedding! He proposed 4 months ago and their wedding is in 10 days..in ALASKA! So I had to buy an $800 plane ticket up there and I am in a very tight financial situation right now so I really don’t know what to do. I just found out his fiance is having her bridal shower the saturday before the wedding and they didnt register anywhere…I really don’t have $ to give I dont even have money to pay my own bills next month…and this is all while I am planning my own wedding for next summer getting ready to put down major deposits…idk I may just have to send a gift later or just give a card…I feel bad but what can i do?

Post # 9
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

If it is family I think $100 or more is good.

Close friends $75

Friends $50.


Some people did not give us anything, maybe they could not afford it?  This is just how I feel.

Post # 10
5668 posts
Bee Keeper

I’ve always gone by the $100 per person attending “rule.” I put rule in quotes because it’s realy not a rule as much as a rule of thumb. Give what you can afford to.

Post # 11
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

We commonly give $50, but that’s the norm (actually generous) for the weddings we go to. Give what you are comfortable giving. That’s really the best you can do!

Post # 12
1128 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I say give what you can afford, within reason. If your having a hard time financially, but yet you go and eat and drink everything in sight…that would just be rude. So, if you can’t afford much, give what you can but take it easy at the open bar. Personally, Darling Husband and I do not have much money so we can’t afford to give $100. Actually, in the area where we live the average wedding gift is $50. In our cards for our wedding we received $30-$70 as the norm. We only got $100 from my grandpa and $400 from my grandma. Some people gave us a $5 gift card, or a gift from our registry, some people gave nothing. It definitely varies!

Post # 13
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We typically adjust it based on our relationship with them as well as what we assume is about the cost per plate. We don’t necessarily cover our plate but we generally give more if it’s fancy wedding at a 5-star resort versus a desserts-only reception. We start off at $100/person and go up or down from there, depending on these factors.

That said, only give what you can comfortably afford. If our guests covered their plates, I would be shocked as we are spending quite a bit per person. We’ve gotten gifts from people who RSVPed “no” that are worth $100 and we got gifts from people who RSVPed “yes” are are gifting $35. We also have couples that are gifting $50 and we have single people gifting us $300.

Post # 14
5763 posts
Bee Keeper

@This Time Round:  I completely agree. Formality has nothing to do with anything. You give what you can depending on your relationship and closeness to the couple. (or ask a family member you know that is also going and give the same! lol)

Post # 15
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I usually start at $150 if I’m attending with dh. Then go up or down from there based on how well we know the people and the formality of the event, the cost of attending and if im being honest small consideration to how mich they gifted us  I don’t completely subscribe to the “cover your plate” idiom but I do give a bit of thought to how much I’d like the couple to have left over after they pay to feed us. 

Post # 16
2163 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My family always practiced the “cover your plate” rule, just in order to make sure that the bride and groom received a gift as well as giving back what they paid. Fiance and I went to a wedding about 2 months ago, of pretty good friends of ours and for the 2 of us we gifted $250. I know that the bride and groom paid at least $100 a plate for us, and to give them 50 or $100 I’d feel like I was mooching.

The topic ‘How much is appropriate to gift for a wedding?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors