Social conventions fall anywhere from spending the same on the gift as the couple did on hosting you, to spending more if the couple is close to you. But for some wedding guests, a tough economy makes spending $125 on a close friend, and even a minimum of $50 on anyone, nearly impossible. It’s especially tough if you’re at the stage in life when everyone you know is getting married, and you’re attending a dozen showers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, and weddings a year.

Ultimately, the amount is up to you and what you think fits the occasion. However, there are a few tips you can use when deciding on the amount.

Dollarhide_Rosas_Shelly_Taylor_Photography_249_lowPhoto: Shelly Taylor Photography

Spend more on the wedding gift. If you are lucky to be invited to the engagement party, the shower, and the bachelorette/bachelor party, you will be buying gifts for each event. Regardless of how much you spend, save the bulk of your money for the wedding gift.

Put some thought into it. Even if you just run to a store, you can ask yourself questions like “if I were them, what would I want?” and find something that means a little more. You can make the best decisions for your money that way.

Ask the couple what they need most. If they’re just starting out, they’ll likely need everything. However, there may be one item they want. If that product is still out of your price range, you can combine forces with friends, ensuring you give the couple what they want most.

Regardless of budget, bring something. The bride and groom spent a lot of time and money to make their day special for everyone they invited, so it’s important to show them you care by bringing some token of affection. The general rule of thumb is, the less you can spend, the more time you should put into the gift.

The farther you travel, the less you have to spend. This rule is helpful if you had to buy a plane ticket and a hotel room to see your best friend tie the knot. Though at least a small gift is still proper etiquette, your friend will be more pleased that you traveled so far than if you had bought that $250 food processor.

These guidelines will serve to help you make informed decisions as you puzzle over how much you should spend on wedding gifts.


 

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