How much for a wedding gift?

<p>My DH's nephew is getting married this summer. Her family is loaded. He has an incredibly well paying job (she's finishing up her residency). The wedding is over $500 each airfare for us. The least expensive hotel in the area is $150/night, the reception is at the $200/night hotel. Four days of festivities have been planned. I could go on.
We love them dearly and would not miss this for anything. However, right now, I'm the only one in the family with a job and it's tough. It's been a long time since we've been to a wedding and I have no idea how much to spend on a gift. I know that our circumstances shouldn't matter. I just don't want to be out of line on this. I'm sure they wouldn say that they're just happy to have us come, but that would be terribly embarrassing for DH. So what would be reasonable?</p>

<p>I don't know what you think is reasonable. I can tell you that I have seen people bring things like homemade baked bread (not kidding) as a wedding gift. I have really seen it all. Some people don't spend a lot, and buy something like a crystal dish (all price ranges), or freezer to microwave/oven baking dishes.</p>

<p>All of that said, I think that we would write a check for $400 for an upscale wedding. I know that does not "cover" the costs and we would not feel we need to cover costs, especially after paying for flights and hotel!!! If $400 is too much, think about buying a smaller priced gift and sending it to their home. JMO. Honestly, If my DH were unemployed and I were nervous about money, I would not attend something this pricey, and I would buy a $100 gift and send it to their home.</p>

<p>$400!!!! Holy cow! I'm not going to anymore weddings if that's the going rate for a gift.</p>

<p>I disagree: your circumstances DO matter. You aren't expected to pay admission to a family wedding! You are doing a huge amount just to attend, and I bet they know it. (Have you considered staying at a motel or a hostel, or a modest local inn? You might well be able to cut your hotel bill in half.) </p>

<p>On the gift, my gut feel is $100-$150, if you are concerned about it not being "enough" and your DH would be wounded in his pride. (Especially if you can reduce your expenses.) Look at their registry to get a feel for the range of things. Remember that two or three dinner plates are actually MUCH more useful than a place setting if they are actually going to use their china. :)</p>

<p>I would never give a check, it isn't in my cultural background, so I have no idea what would be considered appropriate there. I do know that the fanciness or lack therof of the wedding should have nothing whatever to do with the scale of the gift: you are not, repeat not, paying admission.</p>

<p>Youdon'tsay, according to what I have heard and seen in our area, it is the going amount for a couple. Seniors, are giving about $125/pp (I know this through my widowed mother). We live in a high priced area. I am sure in other areas, it is half. Everything in the NE seems expensive. YDS, are you in the NE?</p>

<p>We usually give $400, however I think circumstances do matter. I think a gift can be less costly and more meaningful to a couple that is more financially established.</p>

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I think a gift can be less costly and more meaningful to a couple that is more financially established.

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<p>I completely agree.</p>

<p>herbrokemom, Are they wine drinkers? You can always get them a few bottles that can "age" less exspensive now with the promise of something good for the future! I think that sort of works for newlyweds. I also have a friend who is a potter, she makes beautiful things in a range of prices, useful art really. No one can guess or hopefully care what you spent. but the effort is there.</p>

<p>You give what fits your budget. That's about it. If it's modest, then it's modest -- your circumstances are your circumstances. If it's extravagant, then it's extravagant. The fact that her family is "loaded" and that the festivities are costing an arm and a leg is irrelevant -- that's her family's decision on how to spend their money, and that has nothing to do with you, and you certainly aren't expected to "cover" for how they choose to entertain.</p>

<p>What would you give them if the wedding was held in a nearby location (not requiring travel expenses, just a car ride or so)? Maybe that's a good starting point.</p>

<p>There are many, many gracious gifts that don't cost a lot. Her registry may have small appliances on it. You could get a pretty vase or knickknack. Or you could even give them a gift certificate to a favorite activity or restaurant. Only very small people would be looking at what you send and harumphing that it isn't enough. Spend what you can, write a really nice card, and enjoy!</p>

<p>^^^Anothercrazymom, I love those ideas!!!</p>

<p>I agree with Pizzagirl!!!</p>

<p>If you only want extravagant gifts...only befriend and be related to extravagant people.</p>

<p>That is not usually the case....all guests have different budgets...and the lovely couple's wonderful assortment of gifts will reflect that!</p>

<p>I would get a small, unique gift. If you shop sales, you can get something nice in the $50 range. Twenty-five years later, I still cherish a lovely pottery bowl my cousin gave us and think of her every time I use it. I know it wasn't expensive, but it's unique and I know she spent time and effort shopping for it.</p>

<p>A word to the wise----don't gift wrap it until after your flight. Airport security often opens gifts, even if they are in check-on luggage. Relax and enjoy the festivities. I think most couples recognize and appreciate the cost of traveling to be present for the wedding.</p>

<p>I am with anothercrazymom on this one. Buy something beautiful at a local art show. I attended a bridal shower yesterday for a young woman who will live in Florida and took two hand made pottery pieces: one a starfish and the other some type of flat shell (if I lived in Florida, I would probably know it!). For the wedding, I will send the larger flat shell that can be used with the smaller one for chips and dip. My point is that the pieces are really neat. The couple will have no idea how much I spent because they are hand made pieces. And they are different and useful. </p>

<p>My aunt and uncle gave me a pair of Fostoria glass squirrels that they had owned for years when I got married. I loved the thought. That dear uncle turned 92 today and has been married to my aunt for 70 years. </p>

<p>Whatever you give, give it with love.</p>

<p>I'm sure that you attending will be what makes the young couple and the rest of the family happiest. No one is unaware of the costs involved in traveling and staying at a hotel for several days, and I don't really think that most people are looking to have expenses covered when they extend wedding invitations. In your place, I'd find an affordable item (you decide what that means - $100? $50?) in their gift registry and send it with a nice note, then go to the wedding and enjoy this happy family time.</p>

<p>I'm helping my oldest d plan a fall 2011 wedding. I'd be shocked if more than a handful of guests wrote $400 checks for wedding gifts - that seems more than generous, and it's certainly not expected in any way. My d is still in the earliest planning stages, but I know she isn't hoping that the costs of the wedding would be recouped through wedding gifts. We're paying for the reception, and it's our pleasure as her parents to give the couple this gift. We have several family members who'll have to stretch to cover their travel expenses, and if they felt they couldn't afford to do more than send a lovely note or a nice card, neither we nor d/fiance would think anything of it.</p>

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My aunt and uncle gave me a pair of Fostoria glass squirrels that they had owned for years when I got married. I loved the thought. That dear uncle turned 92 today and has been married to my aunt for 70 years.

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<p>This is another fabulous idea. Actually, I forgot about this, but my parents were given an antique decanter when they were married. It was given to them by an elderly relative. I only found out about it a few months ago when I commented to my mother about how beautiful it is.</p>

<p>Hey, we could do one of those Mastercard commercials: PRICELESS.</p>

<p>We live far from family so when we attend weddings they understand that we have already spent a lot on airfare/rental car/hotel, etc. Every one of them has always told us how much they appreciate that we came to share their special day. </p>

<p>I would love to be able to spend $400, but we usually spend $100-$150.</p>

<p>northeastmom, another great idea! My grandmother gave me some of her Waterford and silver over different Christmases. She wanted her things to go where she wanted, not be picked over after her death. I think of her with love everytime I see or use these things.</p>

<p>anothercrazymom, very nice! What a treasure!</p>

<p>IMO you are being very generous traveling to this wedding. That is what will be most appreciated by the couple.</p>

<p>When H and I were young and our finances were heavily influenced by student loans, we sometimes gave special picnic baskets as wedding gifts. These can be outfitted with wine glasses, special cloth napkins, cutlery, good quality unbreakable dishes, etc. They seemed to be appreciated. You can send such a gift ahead rather than lugging it to the plane. IMO such a gift can be given at any age. Remeber the adage, "It's the thought that counts" and a thoughtfully chosen gift will be appreciated. The cost of the gift is no measure of your caring for the couple. Accompany the gift with a really nice card and long, warm, detailed personal note. </p>

<p>This seems to be a case in which a monetary gift would just disappear and not make a significant difference to the couple. I do still use some special vases, etc. we were given at our wedding (decades ago), and do remember the friends who gave them to us.</p>