Wedding etiquette: How much should I spend on a wedding gift?
by Stephanie


Joseba Sandoval

QUESTION: How much should I spend on a wedding gift?

GINA'S ANSWER: I don’t put a price tag on my guests’ heads and would rather they attend my wedding, gift or no gift. Everyone’s financial situation varies and you should spend what you feel is appropriate and can afford.

I’ve had instances where I only gave a card because I was cash-strapped and/or spent a lot of money to travel to the wedding, and other times I’ve given a gift worth up to $100. Do consider your financial situation and your relationship with the bride and groom, be thoughtful, and stay within your means.

JESS' ANSWER: To the bride and groom, it shouldn’t matter how much you spend on your gift. The couple should have registered for a variety of items at different price ranges. They know not everyone can afford to buy them Waterford crystal!

Find something on the registry at a price point you’re comfortable spending. If not, a great option is to always go in on a “big” present with a few friends.

ASHLEY'S ANSWER: You should always spend what you feel comfortable spending and spend within your means. There is no need to break the bank on a gift!

Many couples put their registries and honeymoon registries on their wedding websites. This is a great tool for both parties, as you can select items you as you wish and the couple is getting items they actually want.

Honeymoon registries are especially fantastic because you can choose an amount to contribute to their desired honeymoon, whether it be a $50 dinner out or a $1200 plane ticket to a remote island. This is a wonderful opportunity to express your excitement for the couple, and to help them in the ways they would most appreciate.

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175
Gina and Matt_web_175

Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she's not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She's an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she's a freelance graphic designer (

Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She's partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she's not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.

Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.