Weddings-Still customary to “pay your plate?”

Haven’t been to a wedding in a while and have never had my “adult kids” included. Husband and I are going to a family wedding in NY/NJ area tomorrow. My daughter is a bridesmaid and my 20 yr old son and his girlfriend are invited as well. Haven’t filled out the check yet as I’m not sure what’s appropriate. Would love some thoughts!!

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Forget your daughter; she will be paying enough for clothes, weekend, shower, etc. depending on my closeness to the couple. I’ve given between $200-500. I realize I was just paying for my plate, even when I didn’t go (several in past years). I never received an invite with a “plus one”.

It will be interesting to read other peoples responses

We give based on the relationship. Set amount for friends. Another set of amounts for family members (varies by closeness). Not looking at covering anything because its rarely the bride/groom who are paying. And if its a money making proposition better to elope.

Going to a wedding this summer that will cost (I am told) north of 7 figures. Definitely not covering two plates for that one because its about 300 invitees. :slight_smile:


:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

This topic always brings a lot of discussion/angst/ :hushed:/ :moneybag: out of the CC closet!

Some say there are regional traditions.
How does anyone know what a plate costs anyway?
Also I have to imagine different “circles” bring about different “plate costs”.

I agree that if you are putting this huge event with the thought in mind that you are going to recoup costs, then I’d say rethink your event!

We gift based on a combo of what we can afford (first and foremost) and how well we know the couple. To be honest, we thankfully have not had that many weddings to go to!


This New England WASP is horrified by this tradition. I give a present that’s on the registry, now that I’m older my presents have gotten pricier, but I make no assumptions about how much the meal cost.


Oh no! Definitely didn’t want to bring upon a drama thread! I did list the area as I imagine it’s regionally based as well. Thanks for your feedback!

Fully you should ask the question if you have it even if it’s been asked before it may have been a few years…. But it can be a topic that really swings left and right!

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There was a lot of discussion of “cover the plate” in this thread:

I live in the region where it’s a thing, but thankfully I think not at any of the weddings we’ve attended. We went to a very traditional wedding years ago in Bavaria where the bride and groom, had a money collection, which we were totally not prepared for. So it’s a fair question!

We will select something from the registry that we feel is appropriate. What the gala costs is not my concern. And, I would hope that the couple is more delighted by their guests’ presence than presents. IMO, it is perfectly acceptable to simply give a card and well wishes regardless of how simple or lavish the celebration. A wedding is not a pay-to-play event.


Lol this NYC metro area Irish Catholic “covers her plate” just like her parents and grandparents, friends and family. It’s more like the amount is based on closeness of course, the same way I’ll give more $ to a relative than a neighbor for a christening. It was funny when one circle of friends were invited to another friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah and we were so confused how much to give (we’re all Catholic).


We’ll definitely don’t show up with an actual gift.


This Texas Hispanic had never heard of covering the plate until it came up on a thread here many years ago. I was pretty horrified and still feel uncomfortable at the thought that my gift is supposed to somehow match the lavishness of your wedding. Anyone who invites me to an event knows that I am way too sensible/cheap to get caught up in their wedding mania. What I give is based on what I can afford and how close we are.


It definitely is a regional thing. If I was going to a NYC area wedding I would assume a minimum of $150 per person. Certainly could give more- but as it appears you are paying for more than two adults it definitely gets expensive.


The price per plate is pretty mind-boggling. Have heard it’s about $65/person before booze and tax and tip at a cheap venue. No idea about other places. We have just given what we feel moved to give. We often choose an expensive item from the registry and call it done. Sometimes we given inexpensive HI kitchen items with a check.

Yeah we generally do $250-$300 for us but adding 3 more is a new experience. I feel like $500 isn’t enough but $750 is a lot and anything in between just feels like an obscure amount lol


It’s more like folks here have always been generous when it comes to gift for religious events. Therefore, if someone had a communion party in tbe yard, the gift would be the same as if it was held at a venue. My first experience attending weddings was after college, $100 was pretty standard. I somewhat recently saw the list of my wedding gifts (packing up my parents house), most gave a similar amount, with aunts and grandparents giving more, and out of state relatives giving less. I’m happy to live in a cash giving area, homes are so crazy expensive. Many here don’t get married until, their 30’s. It’s funny, I had no idea that folks had receptions in church basements (ours is used for bingo and still stinks like cigarettes even after all of these years). My kids are frugal, I’m hoping for something VERY simple, I think now that the rest of the country has discovered our over the top weddings, simple will start to be more normal, even here.


I tell my kids to give what they can afford, and that’s been something as inexpensive as a 25 buck present.
Now that we are the “older generation” I tend to give more for all events than we would have when we had 3 college tuitions ahead of us.
Anything more than $500 for someone you’re fairly close to but not a close relative or VERY good friend of seems like a lot to me, regardless of the venue. If it was not NJ/NY, I would think even that is a LOT. I’m guessing you’re giving a “family gift” and your son/SO/daughter are not giving a separate gift?


Oh yeah - forgot to say above - I have trouble with the pay for plate concept. If a “generation” is getting married, they tend to get similar gifts from us, whether they have a back-yard informal wedding or a fancy club kind of wedding.


I would not give more than $500 for my family with my adult kids unless we were VERY close and no travel was involved.

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