So first I’ll tell you what I would/have done in this position. I’m from the camp of giving generous gifts for weddings – especially if I’m close enough to the couple to be in the wedding party. The least I would give is $200 for husband and I as gift and the closer we are usually the larger the gift. Most close friends I routinely give $350-$400.
I once spent close to $3000 on all wedding related functions/attire for a girlfriend, but this didn’t influence how much I would then gift on the wedding date. I gave them $350 and spent what I felt comfortable spending.
My family routinely gifts $500/person when attending a wedding so this is just what I’m acustom to.
Now I also don’t believe you should gift above your means, however, as the Maid/Matron of Honor I would either give money (as most newlyweds can use the cash!) or even better, purchase a gift. Something they will use/keep for years to come and remember you every time. The bride obviously loves you very much to have you stand beside her on one of the most important days.
I’ll speak a bit to my personal situation – our Maid/Matron of Honor didn’t gift us anything on the wedding day, or give a card from her and her husband/family. To say I wasn’t sad or upset wouldn’t be entirely true. It’s not for the fact that I demand or expect gifts/money, but rather I just don’t understand. And I don’t understand the piece of ‘I spent this much on this party and this much on dress …’. That is what happens when you agree to be in a wedding. Most if not all pre-wedding functions are fairly optional and can be done for no cost, or a lot of cost, but you as the wedding party/family drive that, not the bride (at least in my situation). I didn’t ask for a bachelorette, I didn’t ask for the shower, I selected dresses that were on sale for less than $150 even though they weren’t the exact dress I wanted, but they were affordable. I bought shoes, jewelry, paid for hair and makeup, rehearsal dinner, wedding day items and other things leading up to the day that hte bride does in turn for her ‘maids. So to pit this against each other of well I spend this much pre wedding … in our case I don’t think this is even close to fair.
So the parth that is slightly disappointing is not the fact that I feel my Maid/Matron of Honor should have gifted us $1000 cash, but rather that there was no card with thoughtful message, no salad bowl that I associate with her, none of those elements, but rather we hosted her husband and children with what feels like no gratitude or card. It’s just raw feelings that I’m being completely honest about in an anonymous forum, but I have no hard feelings or issues between Maid/Matron of Honor and I.
In the end gift what you can and feel comfortable with.