ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s something we’ve all thought about when invited to celebrate that special day – how much to spend on a wedding gift. Before tackling this subject, it’s important to note that giving should be based on both the financial position you are in as well as your relationship to the couple. With that being said, here are some general guidelines to follow.

You really have three options when it comes to wedding gifts. Buy directly off of the couple’s registry, give cash or check, or give a gift card to the store that the registry exists at or a place you know they enjoy. Yes, creativity is wonderful, but most engaged couples have thought through what it is that they need to get started, so don’t stray too far from that.

Money can be tricky, especially because there are so many different reasons for going to a wedding. However, a good rule of thumb is to spend at least $50 on a wedding gift. This lower threshold (under $100) is appropriate for acquaintances, coworkers, neighbors, and distant family members.

I suspect most families don’t track their spending on a daily or monthly basis. St. Croix Advisors clients have access to iAdvise- the most advanced financial planning software. It allows us to track their spending and help establish a monthly budget.

The $100-$150 range is where most people land when purchasing a wedding gift. This amount makes sense for friends, cousins, and those you have a close working relationship with. Anything above $150 is suitable for those closest to you or for people who have the financial ability to give generously.

It is a good idea to try to tackle some of the bigger items on the registry first that may be a bit too pricey for the new couple. For example, you may not be able to afford to give a washing machine as a wedding gift, but maybe you have a good friend going to the wedding who would be willing to combine gifts. It’s a lot easier to run out to the store for some hand towels rather than new appliances.

Don’t forget about the other costs associated with weddings. Are you the type of person who buys a new outfit for a special occasion? Are you invited to a bridal shower, bachelorette party, or similar celebration? Are you going to be giving anniversary gifts? These are all good questions to ask yourself – try not to overshoot or undershoot on the gift.

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