Wedding season is upon us. And with invitations arriving for destination weddings and Pinterest-perfect affairs let’s talk a little about how much you need to spend on a wedding gift these days. And let’s not forget the important union – of your opinions – we’d like to make sure you and your spouse agree on that gift amount.
Business Insider says, the average amount spent on a wedding gift is $200. Also a wedding guest spends on average $888 to attend a wedding. That includes far more than your gift: the travel, your outfit, your accommodations, etc. With 13% of all marriages occurring in the month of June, you may be looking at an expensive summer.
Consider – with your spouse – these three questions when giving a wedding gift this year:
1. How much should you spend?
So much thought goes into a gift for the happy couple, but for your pocketbook, you and your partner need to focus on spending the appropriate amount.
Start by considering how close you are to the couple, how much you see them, and what you feel is appropriate. If you know the couple through work, or you’re vaguely friends, spend between $50 and $75 on a gift. We feel $50 is the least you should spend on a wedding gift. So no less than $50.
From that baseline, you hop up to the next tier, “mid-level friends”. Try to keep that gift within the $75-100 range. With your close friends or family, look for something on the registry between $100 to $150.
Combining funds with another family or friends or coworkers on a more expensive gift is a good idea. This helps the couple get some of the larger things on the registry.
In just giving cash or a check, there are some different schools of thought. Scott enjoyed receiving cash and checks when we got married in 1998, while I preferred an actual gift. It seemed more personal to me, but Scott (not surprising for a Security Seeker) found the cash practical and awesome. Your Money Personality (and your spouse’s) will greatly affect how much you feel comfortable giving as a wedding gift.
2. You Can’t Take It With You
Modern marriage is changing in a variety of ways- from the average ages of the bride and groom, to food trends (cupcakes instead of cake, anyone?), to how you’re supposed to give your gift to the happy couple.
With today’s world of Amazon Prime and online shopping – it is commonplace now for the gift to be delivered to their future home. It appears people no longer bring gifts to the ceremony and reception. In fact, the wedding gift tables look oddly bare.
Another gift-giving “rule” that changed is, 15 years ago it was fine for gifts to be delivered within a year, nowadays, the timeframe is two months. So ensure your gifts are getting where they need to be shipped as soon after (or even before) the wedding as possible.
3. Make Sure Your Spouse Says “I Do” (To Gift Amount)
In the discussion of what to wear, how you’ll be getting to the venue, when to tell the babysitter to come, make sure that you discuss the pricing of the gift with your spouse. It’s so important that you both understand and agree with what the gift will be costing you, so you don’t have strife on the day of the wedding or while shopping for your gift. Don’t let their happiest day be one of frustration and annoyance for you.
We know one couple that got in a huge fight on the way to a wedding because he felt his wife had spent too much on the gift. They arrived at the ceremony mad and had a horrible time while they were there because they didn’t communicate about the money beforehand.
Enjoy the season of weddings. Give your spouse’s hand a squeeze when the new couple says their vows. Remind your honey you’d marry them all over again. And avoid those pesky fights about money by discussing the amount you’ll spend on a gift and ensuring the gift is delivered correctly.
Agree on the amount and then enjoy blessing a new couple starting out.
We stopped by the Fox 31 Denver studio to discuss “Rules For Giving Wedding Gifts”, here’s that video. We’d love to hear about your favorite wedding gift.
Scott & Bethany Palmer
The Money Couple
Creators of The 5 Money Personalities