Stacey TC
Featured August 2022 Saskatchewan

Guests: How much do I spend on a gift?

Stacey TC, on July 12, 2021 at 14:39 Posted in Wedding reception 0 13
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As a wedding guest how much do I spend on a gift?

(EDIT: Maybe I should have actually mentioned this, but these are all AVERAGES.)


Traditionally, etiquette states that spending between $100 and $200 is appropriate for a wedding gift, but there's other factors to consider.

First consider how close you are to the couple.

If you are quite close $150 is considered the average acceptable amount to spend on a gift.

If you are a friend, family acquaintance, or relative that doesn't consider themselves extremely close to the couple between $75-150 depending on your relationship.

Second consider your budget.

Scenario A: What if your favourite cousin is getting married but you have been laid off (thanks Covid) and you can't afford over $100 for a gift? Consider something personalized. A personalized item or something with sentimental value is a great alternative.

Scenario B: What if I'm in the wedding party? Typically the wedding party isn't expected to give gifts but this depends on the situation. If the couple paid for all of you attire, any hair/makeup, accessories a gift would be a nice gesture, but isn't required! If you've paid for everything yourself, don't feel bad if you can't afford a gift. If you feel you want to give a gift, don't feel you have to follow the "pricing guide".

Are you invited to multiple events?

If you're invited to engagement parties, showers, etc and plan on gifting at each, consider the overall cost. If you're invited to 2 events and determine $100 is what you can spend, maybe look at a few smaller gifts adding up to $40 and then find a $60 gift for the wedding.

Plan ahead!

Did you get a Save the date for next year? Plan to shop for your gift during Black Friday or Boxing Day sales to save some money. This can also allow you to get something more while staying in your budget!


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13 Comments

Latest activity by Amanda, on July 15, 2021 at 21:54
  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda Online ·
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    My fiance and I have been to 5 weddings together and we always give $200 to the couple

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  • Melanie
    Curious May 2022 Alberta
    Melanie ·
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    View quoted message
    Oh, that makes sense!
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  • Stacey TC
    Featured August 2022 Saskatchewan
    Stacey TC ·
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    View quoted message

    It's all about averages. One party may buy a $50 gift, and the in-laws may buy a kitchen aid for $400-500. If you average out the amount spent per gift and factor in the amount of people that bring a gift the standard is $100-200 per person/couple.

    I had no idea that so many people were so literal. Smiley atonished

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  • Melanie
    Curious May 2022 Alberta
    Melanie ·
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    I should clarify that I was talking about myself giving gifts, not my expectations as a bride as I don’t have any.
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  • Melanie
    Curious May 2022 Alberta
    Melanie ·
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    This must depend on location because I’ve never heard of more than $100 per person or $200 per couple as the “standard”. I know of people who give less (one of my friends does $25 per person or $50 per couple which I personally feel is a bit low but to each their own) or more but most tend to be in this range.


    I agree that it also depends on the type of wedding although I know not everyone cares about this.
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  • Rayanne
    Featured January 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne Online ·
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    If I am going alone to a wedding I usually give around $200 double that if I bring a date. I never heard of the wedding party not giving a gift I didn't realize this was a thing. If anything I have given more when I was part of the wedding party and the only time I was in wedding parties were all in the same summer all 3 of them. I started saving very early. It was a lot of overtime.
    • Reply
  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    That is so true! I really hope we can get it across genuinely that we just want our guests celebrating with us! Especially those who have to travel across the country to attend, which is about half our guests!
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    I'm sure many couples are in your boat but gifting is so ingrained in wedding culture that it's hard for a guest to feel a wedding couple is genuine when they say gifts are not necessary. I could literally tell everyone invited to my wedding that they're presence is the present but vast majority of them will not believe me.

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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    For my wedding personally (my Fiancé agrees with this) I could care less about gifts. We are keeping our wedding fairly small (50 people) and everyone is invited because we want them to celebrate with us! I really hope no one declines because they cant afford to get us a gift.
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    And I feel like this is something that's brought up in recent months due to the pandemic, but what if you're only invited to a ceremony and not a reception? I'm seeing a lot of Facebook activity where people are hosting drive through or ceremonies-only events yet still expect the same level of gifts as if they were hosting a formal dinner reception with dancing and open bar.

    And then there are some who would include gift registries for a Zoom ceremony.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Most of the time you know about being invited to a wedding 6-12 months ahead of time and I guess I should have considered covering multiple weddings but I didn't because I've never had an issue with wedding gifts.

    I only brought it up because it happened to people I know. They were invited to eight weddings (plus other events like bachelor/ette parties, stag and does, and bridal showers) and ended up declining three simply because an additional $900+ in gifts and other costs just wasn't doable when they were already committed to $1500+ on other weddings that summer. They made the decision based on how close they were with the wedding couple.

    This is simply a guide for someone who doesn't know where to start. Not a personal consult for what must be done.

    There's no definitive rule since it varies due to cultural and geographical norms. Etiquette varies based on different geographical locations even within the same province.

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  • Stacey TC
    Featured August 2022 Saskatchewan
    Stacey TC ·
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    I can see where you're coming from but in the 12 years of attending weddings from age 21 - now there have been some summers where I've attended 3-5 weddings in two months numerous times.

    Most of the time you know about being invited to a wedding 6-12 months ahead of time and I guess I should have considered covering multiple weddings but I didn't because I've never had an issue with wedding gifts.

    I normally plan ahead of time to make sure I can afford to give a gift, I have contributed to group gifts, and if I can't be bothered to spend/or afford even $50 on a gift, then I shouldn't be attending. Just because you receive an invite doesn't mean you have to attend.

    This is simply a guide for someone who doesn't know where to start. Not a personal consult for what must be done.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
    • Dispute

    Wedding gifts is one of those "unpopular" topics that everyone thinks about but no one dares talk about it for fear of being called greedy or cheap so kudos to you for starting this discussion lol.

    There are a lot of people who balk at giving the $100-$200 range and I would sort of agree. It's definitely appropriate for a multi-course venue dinner with open bar but if I'm invited to a backyard pizza and beer reception or something else equally as casual, I wouldn't be as inclined to gift such a hefty amount and I feel like many people would agree.

    My personal philosophy, and I know this will be controversial, is that if I can't afford the standard $100-$200 gift to attend a formal wedding, I would personally decline and congratulate and celebrate with the couple in other ways. It's like accepting a role in the bridal party: you know it comes with costs and accepting means you are committing yourself to spend money to be a particular part of this celebration. If you can't afford the clothes and wedding events, don't agree to be a part of the party.

    And since you mentioned budgeting, consider this scenario: imagine being invited to eight weddings in a year - it can happen, especially if you're at the age where people are tying the knot! With gifts averaging $300 per couple, it would be super embarrassing of me to attend a formal banquet wedding but make an excuse along the lines of "I blew my budget on the first seven weddings, here's a few bucks. Thanks for the open bar and steak!" Call it pride but I just can't do that.

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