How Much Does The Average Cost Of A Wedding Gift: 17 Etiquette Tips and FAQs Answer

average cost of a wedding gift

Knowing how much to spend on a wedding gift can easily be a challenge. While it is definitely an honor to be invited to such an event, you may be at a loss for how to go about selecting a present that the couple will love. What’s more, you might be unfamiliar with traditional and modern gift etiquette for such events. For example, it was once quite common to simply take a look at a wedding registry, select an item from the list, and call it a day. However, it has now become much more common for couples to prefer cash when they are looking for gifts. With so many different ways to go about the decision, you may feel overwhelmed by your choices.

In order to make your life easier, we have put together a comprehensive list of the most common questions you might be asking yourself about gift costs. Take a moment to review these answers and gain some needed perspective on how to make the right choice when it comes to purchasing a present for a wedding.

1. How Much To Spend on a Wedding Gift?

First and foremost, you might be curious about how much you are expected to spend when it comes to buying a gift for a wedding. The answer tends to vary based on factors like how close you are to the couple and your current income.

How Much To Spend on a Wedding Gift
Wedding gift cost is roughly $100 -$200

However, industry professionals typically state that you should spend roughly $100 if you are going to an event solo and $200 if you are bringing a guest. 

2. How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift for a Close Friend or Family Member

If you are attending the wedding of a close friend or family member, then you should definitely spend a bit more than the average costs of a wedding present. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend much more. According to experts, a gift for a close friend or family member typically runs about $150 for someone attending the event solo or $300 for couples. 

3. Is It OK To Give a Group Wedding Gift?

There is nothing wrong with giving a group gift for a wedding. However, some experts believe acceptability comes from who you are sharing the gift with. If you live with friends or family members who were also invited to the event, then a group gift is absolutely fine. If you are trying to join in on another person’s gift simply because you don’t want to find your own, on the other hand, this might not look as good for you. 

4. Can I Give Cash As A Wedding Gift?

You can absolutely give cash as a gift for a wedding. In fact, many couples prefer cash presents these days. Naturally, you want to check the couple’s requirements before giving cash. If the couple has stated on their invitations or wedding website that they would prefer presents from the registry, you should try to buy from the list before giving cash. 

5. If I Have A Plus One: How Much Should A Couple Spend On A Wedding Gift?

How Much Should A Couple Spend On A Wedding Gift
How Much Should A Couple Spend On A Wedding Gift

How much you spend with a significant other on a gift will depend on how well you know the couple. For a standard wedding, it is perfectly fine to spend roughly $200 on your gift. If you are very close to the couple, however, then you should be spending closer to $300 as 

6. Should I Buy a Gift If I Can’t Attend the Wedding?

Experts are split on whether or not you should purchase a present when you cannot be at a wedding. Basically, this decision will come down to your own discretion. If you are very close to the couple and cannot make it for reasons beyond your control, then buying a gift might feel like a natural choice. However, don’t feel obligated to buy a gift for a couple you don’t know that well if you can’t make their event. 

7. Should My Wedding Gift Amount Increase If I Have a Plus One?

Yes, you should definitely be spending more on your gift if you are bringing a date to the wedding. Experts state that you should be spending roughly $200 on a gift when you’re attending with another person. However, you should increase that amount to about $300 if you’re attending the wedding of someone you are very close with. 

8. Should I Give a Wedding Gift That Matches the Price Per Head?

Once upon a time, it was common practice for guests to ensure their presents reflected the price per head that the couple was spending on the wedding. However, this is no longer the case. If you happen to know the price per head of the venue and are close enough with the couple, then feel free to spend more. Most people can get by with simply giving a gift of about $100. 

9. How Do I Address a Check to the Couple?

Writing a check for a couple can prove tricky because many people will change their legal names soon after tying the knot. If you’re not sure about this, you should absolutely reach out to the couple and ask them how they would like any checks addressed. This will save you a headache later if the check doesn’t go through because the name you wrote doesn’t match the name the bank has on file. 

10. How Much To Spend On A Wedding Gift If I Am Invited To A Luxury Wedding?

If you are invited to a wedding that comes across as lavish or luxurious, you might feel compelled to spend more on your gift. However, experts in the industry state that this is not necessary. Etiquette says that you only need to worry about spending $100 for an individual and $200 for a couple, regardless of how fancy the wedding might seem. 

11. If I Attend a Destination Wedding Do I Still Give a Gift?

With destination weddings, it is not always necessary for guests to provide gifts. Since attending the event itself can prove costly for guests, many couples understand that the presence of their friends and family members is enough of a present. 

12. How Long Do I Have After the Wedding To Get the Couple a Wedding Gift? 

According to tradition, guests have exactly one year to purchase and send a wedding gift to the couple. The goal is to try and get the present before the couple celebrates their first anniversary. Naturally, “the sooner the better” is a rule that definitely applies to getting a present after the event.

13. How Much Money Do You Give At A Wedding?

How Much Money Do You Give At A Wedding
How Much Money Do You Give At A Wedding?

If you are opting to give cash instead of a present, you can follow the same rules as you would for purchasing a physical gift. Give the couple $100 if you are attending by yourself and give $200 if you are attending with a date. You can increase these amounts if you are close with the couple, giving somewhere around $150 if you are attending solo and $300 if you were given a plus one. 

14. Do I Need To Give More If I Am Bringing a Plus One?

As mentioned, you absolutely need to give more money if you are bringing a date to the wedding. Tradition states that you should double the amount you are giving. This means you should give $200 for an average wedding and $300 if you are attending the wedding of a couple you are closely connected with. 

15. Is it OK to Buy Wedding Gifts That Aren’t on The Wedding Registry?

Purchasing presents that are not officially listed on the wedding registry can be a very tricky matter. The couple went through the trouble of creating a registry for a reason, meaning they likely don’t want or require anything not put on the wish list.

Buy Wedding Gifts
Purchasing presents that are not officially listed on the wedding registry

However, you may know the couple well and feel like you have a good idea of what they might like to receive as a gift. If this is the case, feel free to purchase what you think will suffice. 

16. Should I Purchase a Gift for a Wedding I Didn’t Attend That Was Either Canceled or Downsized for Reasons Relating to the Pandemic?

Though not as common as it was in previous years, plenty of weddings were postponed or canceled due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. If you are invited to an event that does not take place because of pandemic-related concerns, you should still send a present to the couple. It is not required, but it is a nice gesture to consider after the couple had to call off their big day. 

17. Should I Carry a Gift to The Wedding, Shower, or Engagement Party?

Whether or not you bring the physical gift with you to the event will depend on the size of the present itself. For example, bringing a card that includes cash or a check is completely acceptable. If you purchased an item off the registry that is incredibly large or cumbersome, however, then it is in your best interests to send the present before or after the event. 

Common Wedding Gift Etiquette Questions, Answered:

1. Tips To Know How Much A Wedding Gift Should Cost?

A gift should always reflect the nature of the relationship you have with the couple. An average present should cost $100 for someone attending solo and $200 for someone attending with a date. If you know the couple well, then it should be $150 for individuals and $300 for couples. 

2. Is It Appropriate To Bring a Gift to the Reception Venue?

While it is perfectly fine to bring a gift to the reception venue, you should definitely consider the size of the present first. You don’t want to saddle the couple with something large or clunky that they need to take home. If this is the case, simply drop the present off in advance or send it in the mail. 

3. How Long After the Wedding Do I Have To Send a Gift? 

According to tradition, you should make sure you send a present to a couple within a year of their wedding. It is best to ensure the gift arrives before the couple celebrates their first anniversary. 

4. Wedding Gift Check Etiquette: How To Send?

Check with the couple before you write a check for them. Some couples go through the process of changing their names immediately after their weddings. This means you could run the risk of writing a check to the wrong name. By asking in advance, you can avoid this problem entirely. 

5. Do I Need to Buy a Gift for Every Wedding Event I’m Invited to?

Etiquette states that you should only purchase presents for weddings that you attend. However, you may feel inclined to purchase a gift for a couple you care about deeply when you cannot physically attend their wedding. 

6. Is $100 Enough for a Wedding Gift? 

Yes, $100 is considered an acceptable amount of money to spend on a wedding gift when you are attending the event alone. If you plan on bringing a date, then it is suggested that you spend about $200 on the present. 

Figuring out how much to spend on a wedding gift can be frustrating. Thankfully, a little research can help you navigate basic wedding etiquette so that you spend enough money.  

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