Dear Annie: Is there a new standard for how much to give at weddings? – MLive.com

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Dear Annie: I have a question I hear many people ask about wedding gifting.

The old rule of thumb was the gift should cover the plate. Others say it’s a gift and you’re not responsible for paying for the couple’s wedding.

Recently, my husband and I attended a family member’s wedding; we put $200 in an envelope and gave them a lovely wedding frame. We couldn’t afford a hotel so we drove 2.5 hours each way.

We truly couldn’t afford what we gave as it was. And we never heard a word after the wedding.

It was lovely talking to friends and family, but I truly wished I hadn’t attended.

Is it a gift, or must we pay for all expenses for each of us? When our children got married, many people were very generous, and some were not. — Confused

Dear Confused: As far as the amount to give, it varies. Cultures have different ways of handling important events like a birth, a wedding or a funeral. You mentioned an “old rule of thumb” stating that “the gift should cover the plate.” That sounds fine for some people, but perhaps not for you. It sounds like your gift was as generous as it could be. In other words, it was clearly your intention to honor the couple the best way you could. The $200 gift you gave, along with the frame, sounds very generous in view of the circumstances you described. The fact that you had a good time at the wedding with your family and friends would seem to indicate that they had a good time with you, too. Clearly, your presence was enough. You mentioned that the couple did not acknowledge your gift. That might not be a reflection of your gift but perhaps a reflection on the couple.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected].

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