How much money should you give for a wedding gift? – WTOP

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The amount of money you should give as a wedding gift depends on a range of factors, including your budget, your relationship with the bride and groom and the cost of attending the wedding.

Cash is often king when it comes to wedding gifts. Gone are the days when guests arrive with beautifully wrapped boxes containing gifts they picked from the department store registry, Nichol Burton, founder of Confetti Creator, said in an email.

“While wedding registries have gone digital and any tangible items are typically shipped straight to the couple’s residence, one gift remains the same — cash,” she said.

[Read: The New Wedding Registries: What Newlyweds Want Now]

Cash can help newlyweds afford some of their top priorities, such as going on a honeymoon or paying off wedding bills.

But how much should you give if you decide to gift cash? Here’s what the wedding experts have to say.

How Much Money Should You Give for a Wedding Gift?

While the amount you should gift a couple depends on a number of factors, the latest available data from The Knot reveals that U.S. wedding guests spent an average of $160 on a gift in 2021. Adjust that for inflation and you’re looking at about $187 in 2023.

“It’s common to give anywhere from $100 to $1,000. I often see the card box on the gift table oozing with overstuffed envelopes,” Burton said.

“As a bride myself, I received one $1,000 check. However, this was from an uncle who is well off. For the rest of us, a range between $100 to $500 per guest is considerate,” she added.

Factors to Consider When Deciding How Much to Give

Here are four main factors to consider when determining the size of your wedding gift:

1. Your Relationship With the Couple

Your relationship with the bride and groom should factor into how much you gift them. Generally speaking, the closer you are to one or both people, the more you should give.

For example, if you’re attending your brother’s wedding, you’d likely give a larger amount than if you were attending a colleague’s.

“The exact amount might depend on the relationship the guest has with the couple but it shouldn’t be any less than $100,” Dustin Sitar, managing editor of The Groom Club magazine, said in an email.

[READ: How to Save for a Wedding.]

2. Your Budget

Your budget should also play into your decision. Run the numbers to see how much you can afford.

“If you have more to spend, then a greater sum would be appropriate. However, if you are on a limited budget, smaller amounts should be expected,” Carissa Kruse, a wedding planner and the founder of Carissa Kruse Weddings, said in an email.

If your budget is really tight, you may want to consider buying a gift instead of giving cash.

[Read: How to Make a Budget — and Stick to It.]

“Attending a wedding might require a significant cost for a family, leaving minimal funds for a cash gift,” Karen Riley-Love, owner of AMI Beach Weddings, said in an email. “In that case, I suggest purchasing an item from the registry as a family gift, and they will think fondly of your family each time they use the present.”

3. Your Role in the Wedding

Another factor to consider is if you’ve gifted your time, energy or money leading up to the wedding.

Did you, for example, plan the bridal shower, organize the bachelor or bachelorette party, do the makeup for the bridal party, or something similar? If so, the amount you give may be lower because you made other investments in the couple’s big day.

4. The Cost of Your Attendance at the Wedding

Traditional etiquette says that your wedding gift should be at least enough to cover your attendance at the wedding.

While the average cost per wedding guest in 2023 was $304 according to The Knot 2023 Real Weddings Study, a better starting point might be to think about the cost of your meal at the reception.

“Gifting the amount that the couple paid for your meal should be the bare minimum. Say it’s a catered barbecue buffet — the couple likely paid $50 to $100 per person for catering alone. So, if you brought a plus-one, you should be leaving anywhere from $100 to $200 in that envelope. Using those calculations as your base will help set a minimum,” Burton said.

There Is No Rule Regarding Cash Gifts

Bottom line: There’s no hard-and-fast rule on how much cash to give as a wedding gift. Wedding experts advise starting at $100. From there, you may want to adjust up to $500 based on factors such as your relationship with the couple, your budget and the cost of your attendance at the wedding.

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How Much Money Should You Give for a Wedding Gift?
originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 06/07/24: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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