How much to give as a wedding gift?

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What's the standard wedding gift these days? My wife and I are invited to the wedding of a daughter of a co-worker who we see socially on ocassion. I figure a reasonable amount is something between $75-100 a person. I know for my kids bar/bat mitzvahs, $50 a person was very generous, and these people did not give at that level.

Suggestions? They are registered at Macy's and there is a 20% off coupon at the moment so I can get more for my money than I normally would <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0>.

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InMyOwnWay said: <blockquote><hr>StLucieLady said: <blockquote><hr>I'm just curious. For those from the South, do you a... (more)

StLucieLady (May. 09, 2006 @ 6:09p) |

InMyOwnWay said: <blockquote><hr>Have you called it see if it has shipped yet? Maybe not and you can get it all back.<b... (more)

billrubin (May. 09, 2006 @ 10:24p) |

I think you should give at least what it will cost for your plate, i.e. the meal and drinks for you and your date.

pks9374 (May. 12, 2006 @ 3:51p) |

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I guess it depends on the wedding. $75 to a $100 a person does sound about right though. Bringing a gift is nice if a bridal shower was not given. Different nationalities and regions are also different. I'm originally from the Philly area and you just don't bring a gift to a wedding, at least not a Polish or Jewish or Italian wedding. Cash only please. I have been to weddings in the South and it seems that gifts are acceptable there. Hope that helps.

StLucieLady said: [Q]I guess it depends on the wedding. $75 to a $100 a person does sound about right though. Bringing a gift is nice if a bridal shower was not given. Different nationalities and regions are also different. I'm originally from the Philly area and you just don't bring a gift to a wedding, at least not a Polish or Jewish or Italian wedding. Cash only please. I have been to weddings in the South and it seems that gifts are acceptable there. Hope that helps.

I totally agree about the gift thing. Being from an Italian family from the Boston area, we NEVER gave gifts, just cash. But since moving down south, I see that it's very common to give a gift.

Well, I would not normally think to give a gift, but they have a bunch of stuff in their registry that is not cheap (place settings at $139 each) and I cannot imagine that they are going to get those for the shower (which my wife is not going to). Also, I'd have it shipped to them so I don't need to bring it to the wedding. I agree that could be a logistical problem (even though Macy's rips you off for $15+ on shipping).

2 thoughts

-ignore the registry and get a "heirloom" type gift from Tiffany (or something comparable) ... a crystal bowl or something like that is about a $100 and while a bowl for $100 is not in the fat wallet spirit, it's a nice gesture since it's something they probably wouldnt have bought for themselves and they can use it in any room and they'll probably keep it (plus everyone loves that blue box)

if you dont get a gift

-give $75 for co-workers, friends (if you're not in the wedding party)
-$give $100 in your in the wedding party or if you bring your kids to the wedding reception
-give $200+ for brothers/sisters

as for the registry information and choose something not taken already that you feel comfortable purchasing.

Clashed said: [Q]
-give $75 for co-workers, friends (if you're not in the wedding party)
-$give $100 in your in the wedding party or if you bring your kids to the wedding reception
-give $200+ for brothers/sisters
Are these per person or per couple/family (seems low for per couple)? And my kids are not invited (which is a little disappointing since my almost 19 year old daughter was friendly with her when we used to go out to brunch with them, but they have not invited any kids and I guess they figure they could not invite my daughter and not invite my younger son).

lalagimp said: [Q]as for the registry information and choose something not taken already that you feel comfortable purchasing.
Yeah, as I said, I have that and there is some reasonable stuff there.

Clashed said: [Q]2 thoughts


-give $75 for co-workers, friends (if you're not in the wedding party)
-$give $100 in your in the wedding party or if you bring your kids to the wedding reception
-give $200+ for brothers/sisters

Has to be per person, it's way too low for a couple. Children should also be counted as half a person and a gift given accordingly. So a single mom with a small child would give $150, unless it's a small wedding at their house then I wouldn't bother with the extra amount for the kids.

Unless you just don't want to deal with it, don't worry about the logistics of delivering the gift. If they are registered they should be expecting gifts and there will be a gift table set up at the reception. Just take the gift in with you to the reception, not the wedding and save $15. The gift table is typically located just inside the entrance. It will have bows at either end and be conspicuously empty.

I am southern and for us cash would be considered crass. We also don't spend as much on weddings/gifts as northerners do. I work with a bunch of New Yorker's and the differences are striking. I had never been to a sit down dinner at a wedding reception. Now I have been to half a dozen. That just isn't a southern thing. We would have a ton of food but it is usually an informal buffet. On the other side of the coin, my New Yorker friends were horrified with the 'lack of style' average southern weddings have. We don't spend 80k on a wedding. It just isn't typical.


Just to put it into a bit of perspective, the typical salary where I work is between 80 and 100k a year (that is southern dollars, they go further! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border=0> ). Fifty dollars is the accepted level for a wedding. For a co-worker's daughter (and not the actual co-worker) they would probably spend less. Another southernism - it is 'tacky' to invite shirt-tail (occasionally social) friends to a wedding and expect gifts of any kind. You invite them to share your joy not furnish your home.

I think finding something on their register and using your coupon is a great idea. Southerners are also known for their thrift!





If you really want a cool and personal gift, try sending a gift to their honeymoon room or cruise cabin. They will remember your gift forever and you can probably get away with a cheaper gift because of all the thought and care that went into it. Most cruise lines have gift shops online so you can order ahead of time. All hotels will allow deliveries from local merchants to a room also.

For what it's worth, gifts at Vietnamese Catholic weddings tend to be cash only and they also tend to be at least a couple of hundred dollars per check. Of course, it depends on your relationship to the bride and/or groom. My parents gave a thousand dollars to my uncle when he got married, which I do realize is different than the daughter of a co-worker getting married. Again, for what it's worth.

Southerners are also known for their thrift!

No wonder my daughter received a five dollar bill in a birthday card for her birthday from a couple of southern school friends. What exactly do you buy with a five dollar bill that an eleven year old would actually want. I couldn't believe it! The party favors cost more than that! I guess I really am a Northerner through and through! I have definitely learned not to be very disappointed when going to parties down here. They are very unimaginative to say the least but you do start to get used to it.

StLucieLady said: [Q]No wonder my daughter received a five dollar bill in a birthday card for her birthday from a couple of southern school friends. What exactly do you buy with a five dollar bill that an eleven year old would actually want. I couldn't believe it! The party favors cost more than that! I guess I really am a Northerner through and through! I have definitely learned not to be very disappointed when going to parties down here. They are very unimaginative to say the least but you do start to get used to it.

(laughing....) Yes, there are those that carry it too far. A twenty would have been more typical for a southern birthday party. Even that would probably be cheap by northern standards, though. Oh - and I spent about five or six dollars for each goody bag at my daughter's 3rd birthday. Just totally different cultures!


You can say that again! But Southerners sure are nice so that makes up for it.

billrubin said: [Q]What's the standard wedding gift these days? My wife and I are invited to the wedding of a daughter of a co-worker who we see socially on ocassion. I figure a reasonable amount is something between $75-100 a person. I know for my kids bar/bat mitzvahs, $50 a person was very generous, and these people did not give at that level.

Suggestions? They are registered at Macy's and there is a 20% off coupon at the moment so I can get more for my money than I normally would <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0>.

Enjoy the wedding buddy. Thanks again for the help when I was purchasing an IBM thinkpad.

InMyOwnWay said: [Q]Southerners are also known for their thrift!
Since others have commented on this, I have a story to add. When my daughter was being bat mitzvahed (6 years ago), a family member had discovered some long lost relatives in Texas (we're in New York). Well, my mother-in-law said that we HAD to invite them, so we did. They gave $25 in dollar coins as the gift. It was unique, but extremely cheap compared to gives that other relatives gave (and did not come close to covering what we paid for them to attend). Not sure that anyone heard from them after that. I know I did not invite them to my son's bar mitzvah.

Thanks Inmyownway, You answered all my questions about the southern wedding I'm attending at the end of the month. Good luck with the gift hunt. I'd say just give money b/c the couple will probably have enough gifts and other things to deal with after the wedding. And it's just a coworker's daughter... you didn't say friend's daughter. A $100 total seems like enough to me for that situation.

I have a question that has been bothering me for awhile that goes along with this thread. I was once invited to a wedding of a good friend at work. At the time, I was making little money and did not have any to spare. What should I have done.. gone without giving a gift? I can't see doing this as it's considered rude. But the alternative was to just not go. Seems like a shame that I could not be there to watch the special event just because I could not "afford the price of admission".

I'm going to guess that the appropriate answer would have been to go and to include a note in the card/gift thanking them for inviting you and explaining your situation. But maybe you would not feel comfortable doing that.

What did you end up doing?

ezletzpla said: [Q]And it's just a coworker's daughter... you didn't say friend's daughter. A $100 total seems like enough to me for that situation.
Well, they are definitely friends of ours (we go out to eat together a couple-few times a year). I work at a large company, there is no way we'd be invited if they did not consider us friends.

look at the LNT thread in HD. you could get them a blender, toaster over, fryer & a coffee maker for < $80 AR. the "<" comes into play if you use the 20% code & place 4 individual orders. & YOU'D get FC to boot!!!

And are any of those things good quality items, or are they all crap? I'd rather buy one high quality item than stuff like that. The only appliance on their list at Macy's is a crock pot.

well, when LNT had their last promo, i got a 9.99AR blender & can't complain. have used it quite a bit & it's well worth it. this time, it looks like its a better model. they all look better. check it out in person if you really want the best opinion. remember, to them you probably paid $40 for each item, not $20 (or less: $12) each.

or maybe you could even get that 12 piece cookware set in the same thread for 100 - 20% - 50mir = 30 for copper bottom pots & pans.

PopTart777 said: [Q]or maybe you could even get that 12 piece cookware set in the same thread for 100 - 20% - 50mir = 30 for copper bottom pots & pans.

GREAT Idea!

Clashed said: [Q]2 thoughts

-ignore the registry and get a "heirloom" type gift from Tiffany (or something comparable) ... a crystal bowl or something like that is about a $100 and while a bowl for $100 is not in the fat wallet spirit, it's a nice gesture since it's something they probably wouldnt have bought for themselves and they can use it in any room and they'll probably keep it (plus everyone loves that blue box)

if you dont get a gift

-give $75 for co-workers, friends (if you're not in the wedding party)
-$give $100 in your in the wedding party or if you bring your kids to the wedding reception
-give $200+ for brothers/sisters

1. what? ignore the registry? are you kidding me? Look when I got married my sister inlaw called me and after beating around the bush said she wanted to get me one of those "heirloom" gifts! WINE GLASSES WITH OUR NAMES because "Everything on your registry is sooooo.... well... PRACTICAL!" No sheet sherlock! duhhh!! that's what we wanted and that's why we had a registry! What would we do with f'n wine glasses as neither of us DRINK WINE! oiy. you people!

Traditionally wedding gifts were meant to get the couple started building their home/family. Hence a lot of traditions give money. Here in the US it has always been up to the bridal party to tell everyone what the couple wants; but w/ the advent of registries that process is eliminated.

2. Amount? I am told at a minimum it is the cost of the dinner. As much as you want if you are not attending and/or not invited. As for the person who can't afford to give a gift? According to Emily Post you have a year to give a wedding gift - can you save a $100 in that year?

I am in the western US and the standard here has been to give the approximate cost per person of their weeding reception. So a more expensive gift if expensive location/caterer of wedding reception or vice versa. But double that if you are a very close friend/relative. If not invited to reception, nothing is expected from you either!

A FW person could buy some 'unique' artsy items so their price would be hard to guess or just recycle a prior gift you received. We have a whole closet of stored gifts just for recycling!

PopTart777 said: [Q]or maybe you could even get that 12 piece cookware set in the same thread for 100 - 20% - 50mir = 30 for copper bottom pots & pans.
Do you then give the gift without a UPC so it can't be returned?

billrubin said: [Q]PopTart777 said: [Q]or maybe you could even get that 12 piece cookware set in the same thread for 100 - 20% - 50mir = 30 for copper bottom pots & pans.
Do you then give the gift without a UPC so it can't be returned?

LOL!!!

StLucieLady said: [Q]Clashed said: [Q]2 thoughts

-give $75 for co-workers, friends (if you're not in the wedding party)
-$give $100 in your in the wedding party or if you bring your kids to the wedding reception
-give $200+ for brothers/sistersHas to be per person, it's way too low for a couple. Children should also be counted as half a person and a gift given accordingly. So a single mom with a small child would give $150, unless it's a small wedding at their house then I wouldn't bother with the extra amount for the kids.Ridiculous. Fifty bucks for casual acquaintances, a hundred for people closer to you. Forget all this "per person" and "per child" crap. All this talk of paying the cost of your dinner and such really pisses me off. If you want to have a party and invite your friends, great, but the thought of doing so as a fundraiser is about as crass as it gets.

Here's a related thread in finance:

Gift Registries (wedding) (How to get cash?)

billrubin said: [Q]I'm going to guess that the appropriate answer would have been to go and to include a note in the card/gift thanking them for inviting you and explaining your situation. But maybe you would not feel comfortable doing that.

What did you end up doing?I ended up not going. This was about 15 years ago and I was young, about 24. He asked me why I did not go. I think I told him a family issue came up and I was sorry I could not have been there. I had this happen one other time as well. Recently I was listing to a radio show where the person getting married was talking about people attending the wedding and either not leaving money or not leaving as much as they spend per person on the wedding. Another person mentioned that it would be insulting to give less then $300. It kind of upset me as it sounded like he thought it only fair to recover the money they spent. I need to help finance any type of wedding I'm invited to? Don't get me wrong, I'd give something but anything I could give would probably just send a red flag up bring criticism.

It's alot like the tipping question we see here on FW alot.

Some people feel offended by 'what you are supposed to do.' They do't like a 15% or 20% so-called tipping rule, try to rationalize a way out of doing it or complain that restaurant management should cover it in some way.

However, the question here is what is proper etiquette, not what is crass. Of course it is all crass, but if you don't want to just waste you money buying something too cheap and have your hosts think less of you, then pay the full price!

On a side note, I have spoken to some people in the gift arranging industry and they say the actual gift total received is about half of the wedding party costs, despite the fact that most people know they should 'cover their hosts costs!' So the average guest only gives half of the expected norm and accepts the consequences!

Thus the 'real' norm is half of what your hosts spend for you to attend their event!
I feel that if you are going to get 'negative points' for your cheap gift anyway, then give nothing or go the whole way to get 'positive points. There is no inbetween. Like the poster above, if you don't want to pay your share, then give some excuse for not attnding the party. Maybe go to the ceremony and not the party or just skip the whole thing with an excuse. This happens alot and your host will understand.


BTW, in my city, only about 33% of invitees actually end up showing up for the reception! I'm sure the 'gift' issue played a large part in that figure.

sloppy1 said: [Q]It's alot like the tipping question we see here on FW alot.
I actually don't see it as being like tipping. Giving 15% when dining out is an accepted norm. The people who complain about it are being cheap. I rarely tip above 15%, and I tip on the pre-tax amount, but I would not consider giving nothing and claiming it should have been factored into the price of the meal. Also, in this case, you do not want to be cheap because people often remember these things. But I do not need to be unnecessarily generous, either.

Well, maybe it is more about the tipping thing than I'd like to admit.
[Q]Thus the 'real' norm is half of what your hosts spend for you to attend their event!
Well in this case I think the groom's grandfather is paying for it, so does that mean I don't have to give anything? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0>.

dcwilbur said: [Q]Ridiculous. Fifty bucks for casual acquaintances, a hundred for people closer to you.
$50 for a couple? Are you serious?

I would be MORTIFIED to show up as an adult over the age of 25 and bring $50 for a couple. You should at least be appreciative to the couple for a wonderful night out. You couldn't go out for dinner, dancing and all you can drink for 4 hours anywhere! Hell the VFW charges more than that and no bar. Get real and stop being so cheap. You know the saying "what comes around goes around". That is very apparent when it comes to gifts. If you don't like getting nice gifts for yourself or your children then give crappy gifts. It will be very embarrassing when your child gets married and your side of the family gives $50 a couple and the other side gives $150. It shows more about your character then about your family and friends. Nobody likes a cheapskate. You don't have to go overboard but have some respect for the couple getting married. If you don't have respect then don't go to the wedding. That's when we usually send the $50......when we don't go.

sloppy1 said: [Q]
On a side note, I have spoken to some people in the gift arranging industry and they say the actual gift total received is about half of the wedding party costs, despite the fact that most people know they should 'cover their hosts costs!' So the average guest only gives half of the expected norm and accepts the consequences!

Thus the 'real' norm is half of what your hosts spend for you to attend their event!


BTW, in my city, only about 33% of invitees actually end up showing up for the reception! I'm sure the 'gift' issue played a large part in that figure.

Huh? 33%? I guess giving good gifts is why everyone except two people showed up at my wedding. Both sides are good gift givers. I think you must be right about the gift issue playing a part in the 33% figure. I guess the guests who didn't show up couldn't substantiate even going because they had to bring a gift. Sad really.

As for the real norm for a gift being around half of what your host spends, that's probably correct in most parts of the country but do most people know how much a wedding is these days. Most people probably think a nice wedding cost $100 a head. Boy are they wrong! If you bring a gift of $150 for a couple then you probably are bringing about half. That's for the average middle of the road wedding. Nothing special.

Yes, I'm serious! In my circles, weddings aren't considered fundraisers. I don't expect guests at a wedding to pay their way any more than I expect dinner guests at my home to pay the cost of their meal when they come through my doorway. Get real.

billrubin said: [Q]PopTart777 said: [Q]or maybe you could even get that 12 piece cookware set in the same thread for 100 - 20% - 50mir = 30 for copper bottom pots & pans.
Do you then give the gift without a UPC so it can't be returned?

it's the FW way

Skipping 52 Messages...
I think you should give at least what it will cost for your plate, i.e. the meal and drinks for you and your date.



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