Wedding Gifts: How Much Do I Give?
Today we are tackling a very taboo subject… wedding gifts! [and money].
I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had about how much to give as a wedding gift with my friends and family. Living in New York, I understand that ‘New York Weddings’ are unlike majority of the country. The pricing I am about to dive into below may or may not work for everyone and I understand that. All the pricing or recommendations listed below are simply that, recommendations.
It’s about to get real raw and real honest so strap in because this is going to be a good one!
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comment below and tell me
what is the weirdest wedding gift you ever received or about your own wedding gifting experiences!
Wedding Gifts: How Much Do I Give?
Before we get started, let me say it is never okay to just give a gift [like an object] without some money. I don’t say this to be harsh I say it for this reason: when you attend a wedding, the bride and groom have to cover ‘each plate’ or ‘per seat’. Those plates, depending on the venue, can cost over $200+ per person. So please understand that even if the gift you give is beautiful and thoughtful, the bride and groom first want to cover the cost of the wedding and then they can worry about what extra money or gifts they received. Weddings cost A LOT and especially in New York. No one wants to start off their marriage in debt so before you decide to just bring a crystal bowl or candlestick to the celebration, understand that the bride and groom more often than not would prefer some serious cash for the incredible event they are about to host. With that being said, we understand there are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding what to give and that each wedding is different.
Some factors to consider:
1. Relationships: First, let’s discuss the relationship you have with the bride or groom or both. Are they your family? Brother or Sister? Cousin? friend? Best friend since pre-school? college roomie? Just met them two years ago? Those relationships can make a difference in the price of your gift and I’ll explain in a moment.
2. Are you in the bridal party: This is the second biggest deciding factor in how much you should give for your wedding gift. If you are in the wedding party, typically, you are expected to give a bit more than the average guest.
3. What kind of venue is it: Is the venue in a backyard? Is the venue at a catering hall? Is the venue a rented space? These all come into play too. If the venue is in a backyard chances are they aren’t paying per plate and the cost may be a little less. If the venue is a rented space, chances are they had to hire staff, rent tables and chairs, etc. If they are at a catering hall or a rented space they are more than likely paying per guest or per plate. A lot of venues charge a price ++ meaning if a plate is $110++ (plus tax and gratuity or something similar) the real price per plate is probably around $140 or $150 per person. Typically in New York venue pricing can range from $95++ to $225++ and higher. Prices can also vary on time of season. If someone is getting married in a ‘peak month’ which is now May to October/November, the price for the venue is more than likely going to cost more than in Dec-April. For example, one catering hall that my fiance and I looked at was going to cost $150++ for a September wedding. My friend booked the hall for January and it was $95++. HUGE difference.
4. Are you riding solo or ready to party with a date: This a lot makes a difference. If you are coming by yourself you are not going to pay the price of two people [or plates]!
Okay, so what do I pay?
First, please note these are recommendations or suggestions. You can choose to give however much you prefer but I am giving these suggestions from a Bride-to-be’s point of view. As someone who is getting married and has attended over 15-20 weddings, I understand that each wedding is different and the costs and gifts will vary. With that being said, these gift suggestions are to ensure that your gift at least covers the cost of your plate. Naturally, there will be exceptions for elaborate, grand weddings at overpriced locations but those I have not attended so I can’t give pricing for those.
Let’s look at the common situations:
- If you are a regular [non-bridal party] single person wedding guest, my recommendation would be $125.
- If you are a single person wedding guest in the bridal party, my recommendation would be around $200 depending on how close you are to the bride/groom.
- If you are a regular [non-bridal party] wedding guest with a date, my recommendation would be $250.
- If you are a wedding guest in the bridal party with a date, my recommendation would be $350. Again, this depends on your relationship with the bride/groom.
- If you are a member of the wedding party and you are a sibling of the bride/groom, I would discuss gift pricing with your siblings. If you do not have siblings I would recommend at least $400 or more.
- If you are a member of the wedding party but are not a sibling but have a significant relationship [besties since pre-k, college bestie, cousin, etc] with the bride/groom, I would recommend at least $400.
- If you are the maid of honor or best man, depending on your relationship, I would recommend at least $500 or more.
- If you are a parent, I really do not have a recommendation for what you should gift your child.
- If you are an aunt or uncle, again I cannot make an accurate recommendation since I am not an aunt or uncle at the moment. If you are looking for a recommendation, through conversations, I have heard the gifts usually range from $350 and up.
One last recommendation, and this one may be a bit rough, but make sure to write down all the gifts you give and receive. If someone only gives you $50 or $100 for your wedding and they came with a guest or even by themselves, then I would recommend giving them the same gift they gave you.
Again, these are ALL suggestions. The gift pricing listed above is mostly to cover the ever-rising costs of wedding guest plates [that’s not even including what is spent on decor and vendors!]. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to tell if a venue is $110++ per plate or over $200++ per plate so these prices are deemed as sort of standard in hopes of covering the costs per plate. The gifts listed above are from personal experience as well as countless conversations I have had with individuals my age [20’s to 30’s]. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope I helped you solve your internal struggle with what to give as a wedding gift!
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