I have a wedding coming up, the first one I’ve attended in a few years. It seemed like there were weddings for me to attend all the time about a decade ago, and that probably happens for a lot of people. As we pass through a certain age bracket, it seems like that’s when many of our peers go through this stage of life.
Now that it’s been a while, I remembered that I would need to buy a gift. Should I go off the registry? Or, should I give something else. Perhaps, the gift might even be cash. Clearly, the type of gift to be purchased is a decision to be made.
Related to that, it also comes to mind that we need to make decision on how much to spend on a wedding gift.
Now, I’m not sure that there is a right or wrong way to approach this. Perhaps there is some sort of etiquette or standard that be followed by some, but there are different guidelines that we might follow. Here are a few ways to decide how much money you should spend on a wedding gift:
How Close You are to the Couple
Taking this approach, you spend money on a gift based on how close your friendship is to the couple (or either the bride or groom individually). For example, it you are going to the wedding of a longtime close friend, you would spend more than you would on an acquaintance. You might spend differently for family members or coworkers as well.
How Much the Couple is Spending on the Wedding and Reception
This way of determining how much to spend takes into account how much they spend. As in, the more the couple getting married seems to be spending on their big day, the bigger the gift you would give them. A couple having a simple wedding and reception in a low-cost locale with modest food would get a lesser gift than the couple who is spending big bucks for a first class reception hall with expensive food.
How Much You’re Already Spending to Attend the Wedding
Let’s say that you have two weddings to attend, for Couple A and Couple B. You’re equally close to each couple, and both will have equally grand weddings. However, for Couple A you don’t have to leave town, and for Couple B you’ll have to fly across the country and pay for airfare and lodging. Using this approach, you would pay more for a gift for Couple A.
Spending the Same Amount for Every Wedding
In this case, you would treat everybody equally in terms of how much you spend on a gift. Nobody can get offended (hopefully), and your conscience can be clear. However, this ignores the other aspects noted above.
Bottom Line: There are different ways to decide how much to spend on a wedding gift, and we can choose the one that works best for us. Personally, I like the idea of treating people the same way and giving a roughly equal gift to everyone.
My Questions for You
How do you decide how much to pay for wedding gifts?
What do you think of these different approaches?