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Ask the Editor: How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift?

Jun 04, 2012 09:01PM ● Published by Anonymous

The question they're really asking me is if they really have to "cover the cost of their plate?" There's this old tradition/etiquette advice that says that each guest should spend enough on a gift to match the amount of money the bride and groom spent on their dinner. I have two big problems with this:

1. How are guests supposed to know how much the dinner cost? Of course, one could always approximate based on the venue and formality, but it's certainly not polite to ask how much the family is spending on the wedding.

2. The bride, groom, and their families determine how much they want to spend on their wedding. Would they really rather guests not attend the wedding because their decisions priced friends and family members out of affordable gifts?

My advice: Don't get caught up on how much you "should" spend and instead give a gift that reflects your relationship and financial circumstances at the time. Whether that gift is $25, $75, $100, or more, the important thing is celebrating the couple's love and commitment, not honoring an antiquated piece of etiquette.

Planning