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How much to spend on a wedding gift.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm sure in different parts of the country and different countries spend different amounts.

We have two upcoming wedding to attend.
The first is this Friday and it is the youngest son of his first cousin. We see his first cousin I would say maybe 8 times a year -their son about 4 times a year at various gatherings. I do not think I've met the bride to be.

The second wedding is in three weeks and is the oldest son of Neil's high school and college friend who stood up in our wedding. We haven't seen this boy in over 20 years and have no idea of the bride. I think we are invited due to being old friends.

So I'm planning on not spending as much as I would if it would be a niece or nephew-about 2/3 of the usual amount.

What do you do if attending wedding of friends children or more distant relatives??
post #2 of 19
For me it depends on if i'm close to the person or not. If it's a really close friend or family member i'll spend a good bit if I've budgeted for it and DH doesn't mind.

For my good friend Abby's wedding back in July I spent probably a $80 on her wedding gifts (I got her a huge corningware set and a picture frame that she really wanted. (She had got me the same picture frame for my wedding and I loved it, so I got her one just like it that she liked too! As for the corningware- that was probably my favorite gift I got from someone at my shower and I use it almost daily -so I got her a nice set because I knew it would last her for years, she'd use it a lot, and it was good quality.) She had registered for both things so I knew I was getting her something that she would like too! For her lingera shower I got her like a $20 teddy....so all in all I spent about $100 -but she is a VERY close family friend so I was more than happy to do so and she was so greatful.

Now if it was something for an aquaintance i'd say I'd probably spend between $20-50 depending on the individual person and the circumstance. If it's someone who is just starting out and doesn't have alot then i'll spend a little more than I would for someone who is already established and doesn't need a lot. I always shop by the registry so I get them something they'll like.
post #3 of 19
Are you going to the wedding? Will there be presentation where you gift them with money during the reception? If there is a presentation you don't buy a wedding gift. However if there is no presentation, than a wedding gift should be given. I would say $40 or $50 would be adequate. If you can find something on sale, all the better
post #4 of 19
We just went to a friend of my hubby's wedding (Italian so money instead of a gift). We gave $200 and I felt a bit guilty since that barely covers the cost of the dinner. I passed on the shower since I did not know the bride at all.

Our nephew is getting married Thanksgiving weekend (October 11) and we plan to give them $200 as well. Considering the cost of the food per person at weddings, that's not a huge amount after they pay their costs.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow foods cost for the weddings you attend are tremendous compared to here!!.

The wedding this Friday we won't be attending the ceremony as its over an hour away one way and Neil's working so then we would have two vehicles.
The other wedding ceremony I'm not sure yet as Neil has his colonoscopy the day before so I don't know how he will be doing (bathroom wise) but the receptions and dinners for both.

I got some Macy's coupons in the mail today so I might check out what they have!!
I like getting something that I know I have received as a gift or purchased for myself and used alot that they might not think of vs something off a list.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Wow foods cost for the weddings you attend are tremendous compared to here!!.


I like getting something that I know I have received as a gift or purchased for myself and used alot that they might not think of vs something off a list.
When hubby and I were getting married 30+ years ago, the price per person for food was around $25 each then so I imagine it's much more than that now, especially an Italian wedding where it's not unusual to have 7 courses.

It seems to be getting to the point where a lot of couples now want money instead of gifts so gifts are given for showers and money for the weddings. Shower gifts have gone crazy too - no longer does a set of sheets do - one must buy the whole bed package from duvet to shams. In my day we would get electical appliances as wedding gifts - now those are shower gifts.

ETA: I just checked out a website in Wisconsin which stated one should expect a wedding to cost more than $45 per guest for a formal wedding and less than $45 for informal.
post #7 of 19
Even tho you may love something and use it often, if it isn't on the registry, don't get it. The bride and groom spend hours choosing their registry. They know what they need and want.

I am talking with a friend at work about his wedding. The cost for the food is approximately $7000 per hundred people.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets View Post
Even tho you may love something and use it often, if it isn't on the registry, don't get it. The bride and groom spend hours choosing their registry. They know what they need and want.

I am talking with a friend at work about his wedding. The cost for the food is approximately $7000 per hundred people.
That's $70 per person so a $200 wedding gift would actually only end up to be $60.
post #9 of 19
Wow, i'm astounded by how much some folks spend on the food costs. I just got married back in March and our food costs were no where near that much. (We had a gourmet coffee bar and the guy who did our coffee also catered out through this really nice local Italian resturant Fina Villa - it was an afternoon wedding (about 100-120 people) so I didn't opt for a full course dinner but still....we had bruschetta, rosemary chicken skeurs (sp?) tons and tons of Italian appetizers and finger foods- the food was amazing as was the coffee (we had "wedding gown lattes" "tuxedo frappuccinos,etc" - we got a lot of compliments on the food too! Even though we didn't have a sit down meal I think everyone still had enough to get full on and we didn't run out of anything. I think for the whole food portion of our wedding (including tips for the catering) was under $700.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Wow, i'm astounded by how much some folks spend on the food costs. I just got married back in March and our food costs were no where near that much. (We had a gourmet coffee bar and the guy who did our coffee also catered out through this really nice local Italian resturant Fina Villa - it was an afternoon wedding (about 100-120 people) so I didn't opt for a full course dinner but still....we had bruschetta, rosemary chicken skeurs (sp?) tons and tons of Italian appetizers and finger foods- the food was amazing as was the coffee (we had "wedding gown lattes" "tuxedo frappuccinos,etc" - we got a lot of compliments on the food too! Even though we didn't have a sit down meal I think everyone still had enough to get full on and we didn't run out of anything. I think for the whole food portion of our wedding (including tips for the catering) was under $700.
So basically $700 for hors d'oeuvres for 100-120 people which I would guess is about right. Sit-down dinners are much more expensive so if the wedding you are attending is having a sit-down dinner take that into consideration when deciding what/how much to give.
post #11 of 19
If the person is not a well known relative or friend, then a smaller gift or gift certificate would be fine. I don't put money amounts on things. I get what we feel we can afford to get. In fact, if you are talented, a homemade gift is even better.

In addition to some cash money for furniture for our son who just got married, we gave them a framed "Marriage Rules" picture; one we created for ourselves and have hanging in our bedroom.

The "Marriage Rules" has been given to a few coworkers (and a framed copy for a coworker wedding) and to relatives/friends that have asked about our famous Marriage Rules We are very happy to share them.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
So basically $700 for hors d'oeuvres for 100-120 people which I would guess is about right. Sit-down dinners are much more expensive so if the wedding you are attending is having a sit-down dinner take that into consideration when deciding what/how much to give.
That's true, I forgot to take that into consideration. It could also be that the costs in different parts of the country are considerably different in some areas. (You're in Canada if i remember right aren't you?) Even down here though, you will rarely pay over $1000 for a sit down dinner if you do a reasonable one (some of the more elaborate ones, i'm sure you could go up in cost as much as you want to though.)

All in all for us it was about $700 (USD) for all of the food, the wedding cakes, and the coffee bar. That was the best value we found around here after checking out a bunch of different caters/places.
post #13 of 19
For my wedding, it is $37 a person plus 13% tax and 15% tip. It is going to be about $6,000 for the food. Some places I checked out wanted up to $188 a person.

For a wedding gift, I usually spend about $100. I got my friend a $300 cookware set for her wedding last year but I got them on sale for $99.
post #14 of 19
Well, it's been about a zillion years since we got married and our kids and our friends and relatives are not yet getting married, so I am a little out of touch.

So, just a comment about Italian weddings. I've been to some and there is a lot of food.

Anyway, it doesn't sound like you know the couples very well and may not be able to get to both. You have never met the brides, either.

For the first, since it is family, I would give money. Whatever you think is best for you and them. I probably would give in the $50 - $100 price range depending on how you close you feel to them. BTW, if the relative or the bride is Jewish, the money should be in multiples of 6 - lucky number in Judaism - so, $54, $96, etc.

For the second, has Neil kept in touch with the friend? Since they were HS and college buds maybe they still are. Has Neil kept photos of the two of them being buds and at each of their weddings? Are you good at scrapbooking? If I were the bride and groom, I think that it would be fun to know what the father's life was like before they begin their lives.

Lastly, if you went to a wedding recently of a family member or similar relation to your hubby as the first example and gave a gift, you should give in kind. For the friend, is this the first child or just the oldest? Just do the same for all.

I sound so old in this post, and I'm not, really! On the other hand, my husband's family was/is very formal and I had to learn a great deal about wedding formalities. We actually got a truly formal invitation to the wedding of one of the two of my husband's cousins after we were married. It did not come with a response card. You had to write a reply on your personalized stationary (got that) using the correct phrases. I had to look up the phrases.
post #15 of 19
However close you are to the couple or their family, give what you can. If they cannot be grateful for any gift, then they need to grow up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
We just went to a friend of my hubby's wedding (Italian so money instead of a gift). We gave $200 and I felt a bit guilty since that barely covers the cost of the dinner. I passed on the shower since I did not know the bride at all.

Our nephew is getting married Thanksgiving weekend (October 11) and we plan to give them $200 as well. Considering the cost of the food per person at weddings, that's not a huge amount after they pay their costs.
The concept of giving gifts that cost the amount that was spent per person is nonsense, IMO. The money spent on the festivities is the host(s) responsiblity alone. Otherwise you are not really a guest and "paying" for your meal. I lurk at www.etiquettehell.com and there was a couple who had the audacity to "bill" guests whose gift value did not "cover the meal".

When I was growing up wedding receptions I attended were strictly punch and cake affairs.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post
However close you are to the couple or their family, give what you can. If they cannot be grateful for any gift, then they need to grow up.


The concept of giving gifts that cost the amount that was spent per person is nonsense, IMO. The money spent on the festivities is the host(s) responsiblity alone. Otherwise you are not really a guest and "paying" for your meal. I lurk at www.etiquettehell.com and there was a couple who had the audacity to "bill" guests whose gift value did not "cover the meal".

When I was growing up wedding receptions I attended were strictly punch and cake affairs.
Jan, I don't disagree with this reasoning, but I personally would feel bad if my gift/donation did not at least cover the cost the bride and groom put out on my and my guest's behalf. That's just a personal feeling on my part.

Realistically, if one invites one to dinner (in a sense), then the invitee shouldn't have to pay for their dinner so yes you are right in that.
post #17 of 19
It depends on our budget at the moment and how close we are. I'd spend around $50 for someone I was closer to if it's feasable at the moment. Maybe $30 if things are tighter. If it's not someone I'm close to, I'll check the registry and just see what's needed and what fits my budget.

I know when DH and I got married (5 years ago) $50 was pretty much the average for people who gave cash gifts. (I'm trying to figure out how to say what I'm thinking in my head.) I sort of felt overwhelmed that some people gave that much; like they shouldn't have. Does that make any sense? Not that they couldn't or that I didn't appreciate it, it was just kind of...well overwhelming is the only word I can come up with here.
post #18 of 19
My best friends son was married in August and i've known Neil since he was tiny, so i gave them a cheque for £100 ($200). My Directors son who works here but i don't really have anything to do with received £60($120) in vouchers from myself and a co worker

My outfit for Neils wedding was twice as much as his wedding cheque
post #19 of 19
I should've invited you all to my wedding! Holy crap--tis not how it works around here. Our average monetary amount gift was $30.

I'm sorry but if you invite me to your wedding I don't think you should expect me to pay to "be" there. Don't spend so much if you can't afford it.

Leslie
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