Post # 1
Every year I hear the etiquette for gift giving at a wedding keep going up. When we first graduated we always gave $100 and then we started giving $150 after about 2 years on our feet and now that we’ve both been working for 6-7 years and make more money I have been hearing that $200 is standard. Thoughts?
And what are people’s thoughts on gifts for people’s weddings you could not attend? Let’s say an old friend who you may not be that close to anymore.
Post # 3
I think etiquette might be very different from one place to another. So I can tell you what’s usually done where I live, but keep in mind it might not be the same everywhere.
First of all, here it is considered rude not to give something that covers at least your plate + beverages (alcohol included). So if you know it costs about 80$/person, you would be expected to give at least 80$, or more, per adult. Now, there’s etiquette and real life. In real life, you don’t expect everybody to have the same budget either, and of course gifts are at the giver’s discretion. But still, it is considered polite to contribute to the expense with the money gift in hopes the newlywed will ”break even” (here I’ve almost never heard of registries, I think they are common in the US, maybe in other provinces of Canada, but in Québec they are not, people mostly give money).
About acquaintances and people you didn’t really keep in touch with … etiquette would probably say : when you are invited, you have to give something even though you’re not attending (I’ve read this recently on a wedding planner’s blog). I think it’s sounds ”money-grabby”. I really think that’s not what happens usually. Some people might want to give you something still, but some others won’t. Plus, it depends, again, if you’re close to the bride and/or groom. By politeness I would send a card while answering I can’t attend (if it was a childhood friends I’m not really friends with anymore), but I wouldn’t feel obliged to give something.
Post # 4
I never heard of the “cover your plate” rule until I started on the bee. I honestly don’t believe in this. I bet it works out in the wash that some people more than cover their plate while others can’t afford to. The other thing is I don’t have a clue when I go to a wedding what my “plate” would have cost.
As far as my gift giving goes, I do the “I give what I can afford” method. I typically cap out at $100 for a wedding gift and it does depend on the couple and my relationship with them. This sounds low compared to what other people typically spend, but I’m comfortable with this. I usually get a gift off the registry, mostly because I don’t what the B&G to know exactly what I spent by giving cash or a gift card.
I’m torn on the gift giving if you don’t attend. I normally don’t send a gift if I don’t attend the wedding (I only skip out on those I am not close with). However, I have sent gifts to showers before if I didn’t attend (somehow I think that covers for no wedding gift, I’m sure that’s against etiquette). I have had people send me shower and wedding gifts that are not attending, granted I don’t expect it.
Post # 5
Well, here it’s what I’ve been told (try to cover your plate). Of course we don’t know how much it really costs, but on average it’s at least 50-60/adult and we know with alcohol it gets more expansive than that, so people are usually okay giving around 100$/adult for a wedding if they have more money. If not, of course you will adjust accordingly to your budget. But the ”cover your plate” is not a myth, it’s just something we do around here when we don’t know exactly what the ”etiquette” is when it comes to gift ; it’s pretty much a ”safe amount” if you’re not sure how to give.
Post # 6
@xkrsa: Your ranges sound pretty standard. I’m at the “just graduated stage” though, so I might not fully grasp past that, but they sound perfectly reasonable.
My advice is to give what you can afford, but try to aim for the middle of the pack. If you hear that your peers in your area are giving only $100, scale back. Or, if they’re giving $250, increase likewise.
As for weddings I wouldn’t attend, I’m guessing that it’s a relationship that isn’t at the top of my priority list. I might send a $30 gift card to a restaraunt or something like that in that case.
Post # 7
I just want to make sure I’m not too far from the mark and it looks like I’m not.
Thanks everyone! Etiquette is so much fun! 😛
Post # 8
I used to think you were always supposed to give something for weddings you couldn’t attend (I would buy like a $30-50 gift from the registry), but very few of the people who aren’t attending our wedding got us anything.
Post # 9
@xkrsa: We always give a gift in the amount of $50. That’s the norm here. If I wasn’t close to a couple and couldn’t make their wedding, I probably wouldn’t get them more than a card. But that’s me.
Post # 10
ahh! We’ve been sending $100 (from us as a couple so 50 each) if we do not attend. Not that I mind, I love gift giving, BUT that gets sooooo expensive.
Post # 11
I usually try to give $100 (split $50/$50 between FH and I). I think this is about the norm for where I live. FH and I are both in college though so sometimes it’s hard to give $100 to every person that gets married, but I always try to give a gift from the registry, even if I can’t attend.