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How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift

Your Guide For How Much To Spend On A Wedding Gift Along With Wedding Gifting Etiquette

So, you were invited to a wedding, how exciting! Now you probably find yourself asking, should I give cash or should I gift a gift? And what should my wedding gift budget be?

Deciding on an appropriate gift depends on a few different factors, like whether you’re in the wedding party, how well you know the couple, etc. Keep reading for our guidelines for gifting, including a wedding gift budget breakdown, whether you should give cash or a physical gift, plus some general wedding gift etiquette that will help you give the perfect wedding gift.

What should my wedding budget be?

As a wedding guest, you may have a certain amount you think you should spend when it comes to gifting the newlyweds. It’s important to keep in mind how close you are to the couple and how much you personally can spend on the gift. The general rule of thumb is to spend around $100 – $150 as a minimum for a gift but you might need to take into account how close you are to the couple or if they are family or a close friend. If you are more of an acquaintance say like a friend from work you could spend closer to $50 to $75 for a gift. But bottom line, you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford.

Should I choose a gift or cash?

Now that you have set a budget, how do you decide between cash or a gift? Cash is a great option for modern couples, especially because it allows them to spend the money on whatever they want. Also, cash is practical if you have already given a gift off the registry at another wedding event (like the engagement party or bridal shower). Many registries, such as Blueprint Registry offer a cash gift option as well which is a pretty clear indication the couple would appreciate cash over other items and makes it easy to give.

However, you may decide to gift an actual gift. The best place to hunt down ideas for your gift is the couple’s registry. This makes gift-giving easy and it gives you peace of mind that you know it is something they want and will love! Plus, you have the option to ship directly to the couple, eliminating the extra items you (and the couple!) need to carry to and from the venue.

What is the best for to give cash as a gift?

If the couple has a cash gift option through their registry it is probably best to send the money that way but if they don’t you are able to send or give at the reception a personal check. It is not the best idea to give straight cash in bill form as it could easily be lost or misplaced.

How to address a check to the couple?

So it would make sense that since you just watched the couple say “I do” you would make the check out to the couple but it might actually be tricky for them to cash the check if it is not made out correctly. Many banks will not allow for two names to be on the same check unless they have a joint bank account already opened and there is no guarantee the couple will be merging their funds. The other issue that you can’t assume the couple will be sharing a last name as well. The best option to make the check out to one person in the couple and use the memo line to write a happy note.

Do I buy a gift if I can’t attend the wedding?

Even if you can’t attend the wedding etiquette states you should still send a gift to the couple as a way to celebrate their union. If you are not attending the wedding the best way to send your gift is to select an item off the couple’s registry and it will be shipped directly to the couple.

If I am attending a destination wedding do I still send a gift?

If a couple decided to host their wedding in a destination and you have serious travel costs to attend in person you can reduce the amount you are spending on a gift but you should still send a gift in some form.

Do I need to give more if I am bringing a plus one?

There is no hard and fast rule that states you need to give more than you normally would just because you were given the option to bring a plus one and you did. If you are giving a physical gift you can select any gift that you feel is appropriate off the registry but if you are giving a cash gift you could consider increase the amount slightly since you attended with a guests but it is not mandatory.

Should I spend more on the gift if I am in the bridal party?

If you are in the bridal party it probably means you are close to the bride or couple in some way as they have asked you to stand with them on their wedding day. There is also a pretty good chance you have already been giving gifts along the way such as an engagement gift, bridal shower gift, bachelorette party goodies so although you are in the wedding it does not mean you need to spend extra on the wedding gift as well.

Is group gifting allowed?

Yes, and many times it is encouraged. Thanks to awesome new registry tools couples can add large ticket items (TVs, appliances, furniture, etc…) to their registry and allow several people to go in on the gift. This feature is awesome for couples as they can get those large items they want but as a guests you can still only contribute as much as you were going to on a single item you would have purchased.

How long after the wedding do I have to send a gift?

Traditionally, guests have up until one-year post-wedding date to send a wedding gift but it seems today the average is closer to anytime up until 6 months after the wedding. Most couples do prefer to receive their gifts closer to the wedding day since it allows them to get their thank you notes over and done with and not to have them hanging over their heads.

Is it appropriate to bring a gift to the reception venue?

Many guests like to bring their gifts to the reception and often times couples will have a dedicated space for them but in reality, the more gifts that are brought to the reception create more of a headache for the couple as they need to gather them all up at the end of the night and store them someplace. The best option is to send the gift to the couples home or use their registry!

Is it ok to purchase a gift that was not on the registry?

Yes, many times wedding guests will want to purchase something completely unique and not on the registry and that is fine but do a little research before to make sure you are not gifting something the couple already has.

If you would like to purchase something not on the registry keep a few things in mind:

  1. Take a peak at the registry first to see what the couple is asking for.
  2. Make sure you have the most up-to-date address for the couple
  3. Include a personalized note or card along so the couple knows who has sent them the gift.
  4. Know when the couple will be home – you might want to check in and make sure you are not sending the gift when the couple is on their honeymoon or out of town.
  5. Include a gift receipt or return instructions just incase they need to exchange or return the item.

Can I give an experience?

Speaking of registries, Blueprint is the perfect option for any couple who wants to create a universal registry for all their giftable wedding events. In addition to the typical gifts (like kitchen mixers or Bluetooth speakers), couples can register for experiential or custom cash gifts, too! This could be something like a painting class, a food subscription box service, or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. You can also contribute to group gifts, like a scuba diving lesson or couples massage on their honeymoon or towards a down payment on their first home.

Attending a wedding should be fun and should be a celebration of the happy couple. No matter what gift you give or how much you spend, the couple will be grateful for your generosity and for you helping them to celebrate this special occasion!

Popular wedding experience gift ideas!

Here is a list of a few of our 10 favorite wedding experience gifts that couples will love.

  1. Monthly subscription box
  2. Annual museum passes
  3. A honeymoon perk such as a special dinner, airline tickets, adventure
  4. Masterclass subscription
  5. Cooking classes
  6. Spa weekend
  7. National Parks annual pass
  8. Concert or sporting event tickets
  9. Dance lessons
  10. House cleaning for a year

As the couple’s wedding approaches, explore our assortment of wedding guest dresses at

Featured image uploaded by Alexa

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