In 2018, what are US bees spending on wedding gifts?

posted 3 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 16
3357 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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bear123 :  i live in nyc, and got married last june. our standard gift is $100/person (so $200/couple). this is what my husband and i always gave, and this is what we got from our friend group. close family is a different story (we gave my sister $1500, for example).

Post # 17
2785 posts
Sugar bee

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summertime8 :  I think these numbers are skewing really high, as they often do on the Bee. I don’t think $100+ gifts are the norm for most of my social circle. Most people I know have student loans and live in HCOL areas and are grad students or working in nonprofits or artsy jobs that don’t pay much, and simply do not have hundreds to throw around even for their nearest and dearest. 

Post # 18
171 posts
Blushing bee

For the last two weddings I’ve been to (in NY and LA) I believe we gave $250 as a couple. I spent around $60 for a shower gift (which I could not attend). Both these weddings involved travel, overnight hotels – otherwise I probably would have gifted more in the $300-350 range. When I was younger/single I think my gift was $100. 

Post # 19
849 posts
Busy bee

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bear123 :  If we’re traveling by airplane to get there (and paying around $500-$1000 in flights and hotel costs) and the couple is a friend then I’ll choose something off their registry for around $75-$100. 

If I’m not spending a ton on airfare, then I’ll choose something for $100-$150 or give the cash amount.

I’d give more (like $200 or a really sentimental gift) for family or really close friends. 

Post # 20
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I must be really poor because I never give a gift over 100$. I also almost never give cash. I pick something out from the registry that is around 50$. 

I’m a medical resident making the equivalent of minimum wage, with $300K in student loans though, so…

Post # 21
2630 posts
Sugar bee

I’m from a large, very high cost of living city in Canada and the norm is pretty much:

Shower gift = $50-100
Wedding gift = $100 for young couples/young families $200-500 for older, financially stable couples 

Post # 22
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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wolfeyes :  Why do you give more money to people who are financially stable (and probably need it less)?

Edit: nvm. You mean FROM older couples, not to older couples. I read that wrong at first.

Post # 23
13649 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Cover the plate is never an appropriate guideline. That would mean giving more to the couple who can afford or whose parents can afford a more lavish affair. Which is a revolting concept. 

The only thing that should be is budget and closeness of relationship. The cost of travel is connected to ability to attend. 

Rule of thumb is to figure out what you would like to give and if there is a shower, divide the amount you plan to spend between the two events. Shower gifts are meant to be modest and practical. 

Post # 24
410 posts
Helper bee

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browneyedgirl24 :  I want to echo this, because I am afraid that some people read weddingbee and expect to get $300-$500 gifts from everyone. They think they will make a huge profit and have a more elaborate wedding out of their means because of it. This is NOT the case in most parts of the country. I think the higher amounts tend to be from people in higher income areas (NY, LA, Boston, Canada) which makes sense since people annual incomes are higher and they understand weddings cost more. In places in the midwest/south that I have lived, I think $50 a couple is more normal ($100 a couple from people who are closer, and maybe a few $200-$300 checks from family who is really close). I think 25-50 is more normal for showers from casual aquaintances. 

Also, I think its crazy that some people dont let travel costs factor in. Traveling to weddings is very expensive (most weddings I have been to have been at least 1000 to get to after flights and hotels). I think its important to celebrate someones marriage (and give them a token of appreciation, but not everyone has $300-400 to give when they are shelling out a paycheck to travel to a wedding and often times bachelorette parties!)

Post # 25
2558 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I haven’t been to a wedding in a long time. I’d probably gift $75-$100. Most gifts I’ve gotten were in the $30-$50 range. We live in a fairly lcol area, though. I’d be shocked to receive over $100 from anyone who wasn’t close family.

Post # 26
1928 posts
Buzzing bee

We give $300-$400 for most people. More if close friends or family. 

This is the norm in our social circle though based on what we received. 

When we travel, we still do about $100-$150.

we go to a ton of weddings so it does suck sometimes. We had 6 last year and 3 this year. 

Post # 27
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020

$200-300 (from the both of us).  I’d prefer to give on the higher end but money is tight right now for us.

Post # 28
14 posts
  • Wedding: November 2019

I feel that if you dont skimp on a gift but dont over spend youll be fine. Also another key factor is making it memorable and heartfelt not something they will throw out which makes it useless. For example art (mishkalo), photos framed (framology), and other sentimental thins, its not about the price completely for me. 

Post # 29
37 posts
  • Wedding: August 2017

The numbers here are absolutely skewing on the higher side and catering to more of an urban wedding. The hubs and I recently attended a rural/banquet hall type of wedding and gave $200. We later learned from the couple that they were shocked and slightly uncomfortable by the gift, as even their closest relatives gave $100 and on average couples gave $50-$75 (again, this was an affordable banquet hall wedding with a beer/wine bar and cash bar for liqour). 

My husband and I tend to give between $150-$200 per wedding (for both of us) – maybe closer to $300 for a closer friend. However, we do ok financially and don’t have loans.

At our wedding, here’s what we found was the norm (reception was in a suburb of a large city):

Young couples: $100-$125 (combined)

Financially secure older adults or closer friends: $100 per plate 

Close Family: $300-$1,000 (total gift ranging from 1-4 guests total)

Dont let the $200-$300 numbers deter you- unless you live in a super high cost of living part of the country or you’re very well off/a little older, that is not the norm. My husband and I are also a bit younger as were our guests (I was 24 he was 26).

Post # 30
71 posts
Worker bee

I live in Chicago and I’m an attorney at a large firm. My boyfriend is currently in business school but worked in finance before and has a large amount of savings.

If its my friends wedding I’m in charge of the gift, if its his friends wedding he’s in charge of the gift.

We have to travel for 9/10 of the weddings we attend, so I don’t necessarily factor flights and hotels into our gift giving because its the norm for us at this point.

I usually give $200 if both of us are invited, even if only I attend. I will give slightly more if there are events other than the wedding reception. If there’s a rehearsal dinner and I’m invited, but not in the wedding party or if there’s a Sunday brunch, I’ll add maybe $50 per person.

I don’t think I’m necessarily trying to “cover my plate,” but I appreciate the extra planning that goes into hosting 2-3 large events.

We’ve been to outdoor weddings in the middle of Missouri and very fancy black tie events in Miami and our gift giving does not change. If you invite us to your wedding, that’s what we give you.

Neither of our siblings have been married yet, but I’d imagine giving my sister/his brother more than what I usually give.

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