How Much Should I Spend On A Wedding Gift?

how much should I spend on a wedding gift

I literally have no idea how much I should spend on a wedding gift. Is there a flow or comparison chart I can look at? Seriously, who evaluates this stuff? Is it based on my income level, or how much I love the couple?

Figuring out how much I should spend on a wedding gift shouldn’t be rocket science. Recently I wrote on Fearless Men How Much To Spending On An Engagement Ring. If someone can figure that out (DeBeers tells us to!) then we can figure out how to be generous to a friend or relative and show them some love.

Criteria for How Much I Should Spend On A Wedding Gift:

1. What is your relation to them?

If you’re the wealthy father or aunt, maybe you want to help the happy couple buy their first home. If you’re a distant cousin, you might choose something a bit more meek.

2. Do I scale how much I spend?

So, there really is a scale for how much you spend. One IS your relationship with them. A direct family member or best friend should make a bigger investment in the couple.

Also to consider is your financial situation. If you’re at a tough spot financially, you have no reason to feel bad about being frugal in this season. Later on when you’re a millionaire, you can get them something nice at their 25th wedding anniversary.

When I was exiting my college years I had a sudden swath of friends getting married. Flights, tuxes and bachelor parties were alone a drain on my bank account. Back then, I just let the happy groom know that I had to spend my gift money on the tux and flight. They always understood.

Rule of thumb: Don’t spend more than you can afford.

3. Are you going for meaningful gift, an investment, or something house-warming?

If you are planning on buying a gift with sentimental value, it is the thought that counts. If you are helping them start out their new lives, $25 cash or a big investment towards their new home is fitting.

Note: When people get married, they LOVE getting cash.

…Hence the elusive Money Dance…

If you are buying a house warming gift, again, consider what you can afford.

How much do I spend on a wedding gift if I already unloaded cash on engagement and wedding shower gifts?

A neat rule of thumb is to decide before you start spending any money at all is how much total you want to spend. Create an overall budget according to what feels right to you.

  • 20% on engagement present
  • 20% on bridal shower gift
  • 60% on wedding gift

And if you weren’t invited to those pre-wedding gatherings? I’m going to save my money because I’m not their best friend or brother anyways!

Hey and don’t forget, buy stuff off the couple’s gift registry!

Are you the one getting hitched? Read what JW says about How Much To Spend On Groomsmen and Bridesmaid Gifts!