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Wedding gift--going rate these days?

TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
edited March 2013 in Parent Cafe
We have not been invited to a wedding for a while, so I'm out of the current loop as to cost of a plate, etc. How much would you suggest spending per invited guest? (The event will be in Canada, by the way.) Our whole family will be attending, so we will likely buy one or two large items. Thanks!
Post edited by TheGFG on

Replies to: Wedding gift--going rate these days?

  • moonchildmoonchild Registered User Posts: 3,296 Senior Member
    You might want to do a search for threads on this topic. I'm pretty sure this has been discussed recently.
    I've never thought of the gift as a "per plate" valuation. For DH and I, gifts vary a bit depending on our relationship to the bride or groom's family, but are usually in the $150-$250 range. We're in SoCal, if that makes a difference. If my adult kids are invited, they usually pick out and buy their own gift, although we have kicked in for them if it's a family member. I think the kids spend around $75-100, which is a lot for their budgets.

    An example of differing amounts based on relationship closeness:
    One of my Dd's closest childhood friends was married last summer. Dd was a bridesmaid, but Dh and I couldn't attend the wedding because I was having health issues. We sent a $250 check to go toward a trip fund they had set up. Dd bought her own gift and brought it to the wedding.

    One of Ds's friends was married this summer as well, in another state. Ds and his GF flew to the wedding, but DH and I did not. While we knew the boy somewhat, he had never been a big part of son's life. I think my son went to the wedding because his GF had been close to his family, and he had become closer since leaving home. We chose a gift from their registry in the $150 range.

    I really don't think there is a right or wrong way- just what feels right to your family.
  • nj2011momnj2011mom Registered User Posts: 2,885 Senior Member
    I gave my cousin's daughter $250 for a wedding earlier this spring. They are located just ~25-35 miles east of the NYC metro area. (this was just H & I, our teenage kids weren't invited). In our teens & 20s, we were close as some sisters - have drifted apart in past 10 years w kids, etc.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,470 Senior Member
    There were some posts on this recently and it varied widely by location and circumstances, I saw numbers from $50-$500
  • snowballsnowball Registered User Posts: 2,722 Senior Member
    I always have a hard time with a gift amount when I also participate in hosting a party for the bride and groom. In the last few years I was part of the brunch the day after the wedding for my niece, at a cost of $400 and then this month we hosted an evening party for my nephew; that turned out to cost $280 per host.

    While I wasn't forced to be a party of these parties, I didn't intend to spend that much on the party and then spend more money on shower gifts and a wedding gift. Money is tight right now so I am thinking my nephew will get something small, although I feel guilty about that. My SIL and I might go in together on a gift so I won't look so cheap!
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,727 Senior Member
    You give what you can afford. The cost of the reception is irrelevant. If I were a student, I'd probably try to get something in the $50 range. Nowadays, I think our presents (mostly for dh's grad students) are usually are around $200-$250.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    Thanks for the input. Money is tight for us, but we'd like to be relatively generous to this couple and just wanted an idea of what "generous" might look like by today's standards.
  • blueiguanablueiguana Registered User Posts: 7,496 Senior Member
    I believe this was the link given on a thread that talked about this recently:

    The Envelope

    On a personal note, never feel obligated to give more then you are financially comfortable with.

    Edit: The Envelope just calculated that the appropriate amount to send to a cousin (whom we haven't seen in 15yrs), and a wedding we won't attend @ $355. Hummmm, that isn't even close to what we can afford, or will be sending.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    Cool website! Thanks so much. I ran it 3 times, tweaking one response each time, and came out with $165, $195, and $205 for DH and me. The highest number came up when I said "no" to the question about attending pre-wedding festivities. I did not attend an engagement party or shower, but we'll be coming a few days early to spend time with family. I wasn't sure if the question was designed to assess how close of a friend or relative you are to the ones getting married from their point of view, or whether or not you already bought a shower gift etc. It seems to be the latter.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,765 Senior Member
    Wow, that's crazy! Just out of curiosity I put in attending a wedding of a friend of the family and it says $255 - not in our world!!!!! Yikes!

    And time of the year or day of the week matters???
  • shellfellshellfell Registered User Posts: 2,688 Senior Member
    I just ran that for the son of good friends of ours who's getting married this month. We won't be able to attend the wedding that's halfway across the country. I was thinking in the $250 range, and that website came up with $45! There's no way I could ever give that little to anyone who's wedding I was invited to.
  • moonchildmoonchild Registered User Posts: 3,296 Senior Member
    What a fun site, blueiguana. Coincidentally, after plugging in the info, the amount we gave matched the amount they suggested for my examples within $5!

    I wouldn't consider it gospel, however. You probably can't go wrong using your gut.
  • nj2011momnj2011mom Registered User Posts: 2,885 Senior Member
    hah! it said I should have given $405. I think the big drivers were that she's a relative and my income. I'm good where I ended up - it was not a fancy wedding. (& i haven't received a thank you nearly 3 months later).
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,396 Senior Member
    It depends upon the relationship, and also how much you can afford. It makes sense that older, more established couples can give more.
  • insomniaticinsomniatic - Posts: 1,287 Senior Member
    You should give what you want to give and you shouldn't feel like you have to give a certain amount.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,769 Senior Member
    Wow. The amounts are much higher than seem to traditionally be given around our state.
This discussion has been closed.