Post # 17
It is regional and cultural. Do NOT assume you will get X per guest. Otherwise you might find yourself way over your head at the end of the night!
We give a minimum of $150 for my husband and I to a “American” wedding. If it’s a close friend, even higher. When it’s a wedding for my side (Chinese) that number gets MUCH higher because it’s the norm.
And yes, what I assume they paid for my meal plays to how much we give. In our current city $150 will more than cover our plates. But if we’re going to a NYC wedding I will give a minimum of $200 for American weddings more depending on the feel of the weddings. It’s not silly to assume, if you’re going to a buffet wedding where the meal is roast beef and pasta obvs the pp $ is much lower than sit down 3 course for PR and lobster.
On my side what they gave at our wedding directly reflects how much I gift back at their (or their kid’s weddings) + inflation. On his side we still always will give a min of $150 no matter how little they gave. And it was wee little.
So true for my husband’s side!
Post # 18
Most of my guests gave us $25 if they gave us cash. I don’t think it’s rude to hope for a lot of money, but I definitely wouldn’t plan on it! Try to cut back where you can so you’re not relying on gifts to cover the cost of the wedding.
Post # 19
We usually give $150..but it depends on how is getting married
Post # 20
Ultimately, I think a guest should give whatever they can afford. Believe it or not, there’s some guests who show up to a wedding without anything (not even a card!) I would never do that! I think any amount of money is better than nothing. It’s really the thought that counts, not the amount. If I were to decide how much to give for a wedding, I certainly consider $50-100 very generous if I know the couple pretty well. We were fortunate enough to have lots of generous guests at our reception (especially considering we didn’t invite them to our Las Vegas wedding ceremony).
Post # 21
It’s a complicated process for us. Whose wedding? Friends or family? How close are we? Are they close to both of us or just one? What kind of shower gift did we give if any?
Typically, our minimum is $250 if both of us go (yes, there was a situation after we moved in together where a friend of his invited expressly only him to the wedding. She got $100 cause I was incredibly insulted). It goes up from there if we’re super close, if they’re family, etc. Generally our range is $250-500.
We hope our friends and family will reciprocate when our time comes, but we also understand that we make a lot of money in comparison to most of our friends, so we don’t expect their gifts to be as high as ours usually go. It’s customary here to “cover your plate”, and $100 a head is about average for a wedding in our area, so most people start around $200 per couple. That said, when I was in law school and broke as anything, I definitely gave $50 Target gift cards I got from rewards programs occasionally. I wanted to give more, but I was living on loans and just didn’t have it to spare. I’d never expect people to give more than they could comfortably afford- the reason we’re inviting them is that we want them there, not that we want their money.
Post # 22
For us (we’re Vietnamese and Chinese), we give based on the meal..but not just on that basis alone. Typical chinese/vietnamese weddings take place in chinese family style restaurant with meal choice not fluctuating too much, so if you ever been to one wedding or eaten out, you would know how much the bride and groom fork over to have the reception! For that, everyone typical give base on the per person cost..so average of $50 per person..for us being younger, we use that as the minium and add to it based on how well we know the couple. For our friend’s weddings, we typically give $100 per person (with meal ranging from $45-65 per person), for our good friends and family, we’ll go $150 or more. In return, for our wedding, our friends were giving us $200 average per couple. We paid $75 per person (we upgrade to better linens and premium open bar), but we had a fair share of non asian guests who gave us just a card or nothing which we expected. We had some really generous guests (our favorite aunts and uncles gave us a lot), so overall, we received more in cash than we anticipated! 🙂
Post # 23
I voted for $100, but I’m assuming that’s per person. We give $200 for wedding gifts.
Post # 24
- Wedding: October 2011 - Barn at Valhalla
As a recently married gal myself, don’t plan on anything! Some folks who I thought would write large checks went off registry and got us a toaster oven. We already have a toaster oven.
I mean, I guess it’s the thought that counts, right? Plus in this economy, not everyone is loaded.
Post # 25
Like others have said, it is dependent on a lot of factors for us. We never give less than $100 pp (so $200 as a couple) but we also take into account the cost of our meal AND drink and, if we think it will exceed $100, we give more so that we are covering what we assume are our costs. Personally, I don’t think it is that hard to estimate what the bridal couple is spending on your meal and drinks – like others have said, a seafood and steak dinner is going to cost more than a chicken buffet dinner (you might be off by a bit but probably not a lot). I also take into account where the wedding is being held (e.g., big cities are more expensive) and the venue. This helps you have a good estimate of the costs per person. Obviously if we are really close to the couple, we give more.
Post # 26
I’m actually kinda shocked that your minimum is so low. Within my family (and my SILs as well) our minimum is more like 1K for a couple and more for a whole family. I’m Chinese.
Post # 27
That would mean we would never EVER be able to afford to go to a wedding! My husband is Chinese and his one aunt/uncle gave us $666.18! Our mortgage payment is $1k and I would rather pay my mortgage than go to a wedding!! Perhaps you’re taking in term of other currency! :p
Post # 28
Nope, US dollars.
It’s the norm within my family and both my SILs as well.
I know I’m definitely not remembering it wrong because after our wedding my brother sat down and wrote down the red envelopes into “the book”. I had a cousin get married a couple months after me and we didn’t make it back for the wedding. But I sent gold (I would have been given tea had we went) and a red envelope by way of my mom. She had checked the book to see how much his mom, my aunt, had gifted us at our wedding.
Actually every wedding my SILs go to that’s a Chinese wedding are usually in that range as well. Which is why I was kinda shocked your norm is low. I guess even within our culture there are different norms!
P.S We are by nooo way rich. Average middle class. 🙂
Post # 29
Regional and cultural. In the midwest, people might give a gift that cost $25-40. It also depends on who these people are, what they do, where they live, how well they know you, how close you are and who they are/ their own practices in gift-giving. I would never go into my wedding, personally, expecting any kind of gift. That is not the point to me, and I don’t think I would go to a wedding where the people cared either. I am the gift. (Annoying- sorry. But I guess that is how I feel about my guests. Gifts don’t really matter to me.) However, I am a huge gift giver if I know and love someone- but my gifts are more personal and sentimental.
Post # 30
It must be cultural cause I agree with your Maid/Matron of Honor: You give what you expect it cost them to invite you with a nice buffer for margin of error. Honestly, it’s not THAT hard to figure out what your meal (roughly) cost. I mean if someone is having their wedding up at a cabin, it’ll obviously cost less than the Ritz so yeah… IMO you guess and write a cheque.
Post # 31
@Carolyn72: I believe it’s about $50-75/person