Money·2 min read

How Much Should You (Really) Spend on a Wedding Gift?

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Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
Aug 4, 2022

When it comes to figuring out how much you should spend on a wedding gift, tradition calls for basing the decision on “plate price.”Aka the idea that the amount you spend on a wedding gift should be equal to the price the couple paid for your plate at their celebration. But that rule is outdated. So, how much should you really spend on a gift for the happy couple? Here’s what you need to know.   

So exactly how much should I spend on a wedding gift?

Today, the average wedding guest usually spends around $100 on a wedding gift. But the truth is there’s no one-price-fits-all answer. Finding the right price to spend on your gift is a process that starts with your budget. Think: When you consider all of your costs for the month, how much can you afford to spend? And which part of your budget will that money come from?

Next, think about how close you are to the couple. If you’re super close to the bride and groom (think: family or close friends), it’s normal to spend up to $200 on a wedding gift. But if you don’t know them all that well, don’t fret: You can still find a thoughtful wedding gift for under $100.

So how low is too low to pay for a wedding gift? Experts say you should try not to go below $50. If that feels out of your budget, consider pooling funds with another guest (or several) to give a joint gift. 

Is there anything else to consider when searching for a wedding gift?

Don’t overlook the couple’s registry (even if you can’t attend the actual ceremony), which has all the items on their wishlist. And consider cultural norms before you splurge on a gift. Because in some cultures, cash is the traditional wedding gift.For example: Traditional Japanese wedding gifts are usually somewhere between $300 and $1,000 in cash.And traditional Jewish cash wedding gifts should be given in multiples of $18.


When it comes to buying wedding gifts, experts say we should forget the old rules. Instead, think about your budget.Your bank account will appreciate it. As will the happy couple.

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