How much to spend on a wedding gift?


It’s exciting when you receive that wedding invitation in the mail. You open it with anticipation wondering when’s the date, time and location. Can you make it? Can you find a sitter? What should you wear? All important details, yet with weddings costing so much ($25,000, $50,000 or more), how much should you spend on the gift?

That may be the biggest question we face. Are you related to the couple, friends, great friends, co-workers, maybe an employee? What if it’s a second or third marriage? I know these thoughts go through my mind when we discuss what gift we going to bring.

Here are my thoughts on how much to spend on a wedding gift:

If you’re the parents of the bride and groom – you’ve probably paid enough. But the gift that makes a ton of memories is helping or paying for their honeymoon. Weddings are so stressful, and I suspect they’d remember more about the honeymoon vs. the actual wedding itself.

  • Casual friends, co-workers, and employees: $50 to $100 per person.
  • Close friends: $75 to $125 per person.
  • Family members: $100 to $150 per person.

Sure, we can focus on a dollar amount, but I’d rather focus on something more special and priceless for a gift. Couples receive all kinds of gifts such as cash, silverware, place settings, etc. Once they write the thank you notes, they won’t remember what you got them. So, let’s change that. Plan something special or memorable for them that will mean more to them than going off a bridal registry at Target.

Here are a few creative wedding ideas:
  • A special picture frame you designed for them that they’ll see every day.
  • A three-day getaway after the honeymoon you used frequent flyer points to pay for. A donation to their favorite non-profit organization in their name
  • If it’s one of your employees, give them an extra week of paid time off.
  • Offer to take their kids for a week while they are off on their honeymoon (maybe not your employee’s kids).

When you stop and think about it, it can be priceless on how creative you can be with a wedding gift. They invited you to their most important day and now it’s your time to think outside the box and have fun with their wedding gift.

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