Expectation for how much you should spent on a wedding gift?

Discussion in 'General' started by Buttercup1, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Buttercup1

    Buttercup1 Well-Known Member

    I'm in my friend's wedding in June and honestly being in her wedding is just a big hassle for me since it's out of state. So we'll have to make arrangements for someone to take care of the twins and the whole ordeal from buying a bridesmaid dress, buying gifts, traveling for the shower and the wedding itself, hotel rooms, etc, etc... is going to cost me a lot of money I don't really have to spend. So now she's telling some of the bridesmaids that the amount of money they should spend on a wedding gift should be equal to the amount it costs per plate at the wedding per guest!! So in other words, if her wedding reception costs $150/plate that means that I have to spend $300 on her wedding present because my husband will be going as well (and don't forget I still have to buy a shower gift). :woah: Does this sound right?!?! Or is this just a crazy bridezilla talking? I got married 7 years ago and I never heard of this before and I don't think times have changed that much since then.

    I know I should have just told her I couldn't be in the wedding in the first place but I said yes because I didn't think she'd understand and be offended.

    So please let me know if spending this much is customary and if I'm just totally out of line... but I still don't think I'll spend that much!
  2. cjk2002

    cjk2002 Well-Known Member

    I've always used the cost per plate as a gage on how much to give the bride and groom. But that only applies to non family members.

    I do find it very rude for her to "tell" you how much your "GIFT" should be. IMHO, just being in her wedding should be more than enough.

    If someone told me how I much I should give them as a gift, they would get nothing. :aggressive:

    It annoys the heck out of me when I hear stories like this. We paid for our entire wedding ourselves and did not care what we recieved in gifts. We invited people to our wedding to share our day, not to make a profit or to break even.

    Give what you can afford and if she does not like it, she can always give it back.
  3. MLH

    MLH Well-Known Member

    I think I've heard something like that before, but that is just so rude to tell people that. We didn't expect anything from anybody and if people were going out like you are with the dress, travel, hotel, etc. then I sure wouldn't be telling people how much of a gift they had to give. I have never followed that rule. We don't go to a ton of weddings, but I don't believe that most people around here follow that rule either. We generally give $50-$100, depending on what we can afford at the time and if we also purchased a shower gift.
  4. Buttercup1

    Buttercup1 Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. I invited guests to my wedding not because I was expecting gifts from them but because I wanted them so come and share our special day with us. We got a lot of great gifts and some not so great ones too but I never had the expectation that guests had to "buy" their spot at the reception.

    I did a little research on the internet and found that spending the amount on a gift equal to the cost per plate was a myth.
  5. MichelleL

    MichelleL Well-Known Member

    I've heard the same thing over the years, from many people. That's exactly how we gauge what we are giving for a gift and how my family does it, as well as many friends I know. :good: Not to say you have to spend that much though. To each his own, spend what you can.

    But, I agree with pp's, to actually come out and tell people she expects that is a little bridezillaish.
  6. summerfun

    summerfun Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have heard that before, but I have never heard of anyone (around here anyway) following that. :pardon: Everyone I know gives $50-100 for the gift or gives that much money.
  7. allgood2000

    allgood2000 Well-Known Member

    A gift should be the amount you can afford and one that you feel is appropriate. I think it is beyond tacky for the bride to even MENTION anything about her wedding gifts or how much they should be 'worth'. You are not required to buy yourself a spot at the reception. ICK!
  8. newpairofschus

    newpairofschus Well-Known Member

    TOTALLY agreeing w/ Judy and Allison here. "Expectation" and "gift" are two words that should never, ever be used in the same sentence, imo. That's repulsive enough to get a big fat zero check from me. :nea:
  9. momof5

    momof5 Well-Known Member

    Rude, rude, rude. I think $50 is plenty.
  10. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    How on earth do you know how much they're spending "per plate?" If they're talking about it, I find that extremely tacky!!! And I just went to a wedding this weekend that had a very small buffet that they did themselves. They also did all the flowers (all silk, not real) and decorating themselves. And there were lots of people. I don't know the groom really at all, but the bride is from a very poor family and her folks are going through a divorce. I don't think either of her parents contributed much of anything at all. So do I just buy them something tiny because they did the best they could? I think the expectation of anything is lousy. You're inviting people to come celebrate your special day with you. It's fabulous if they can and do bring a gift and even more of a treat if they get something expensive. But among most of the people I know, $100 for a gift would be extremely excessive. I think it's appropriate to give what you can, and maybe base it a little more on the kind of relationship you have.
  11. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    For weddings we usually spend about $100, regardless of the cost of the wedding.
  12. ktfan

    ktfan Well-Known Member

    Exactly this. One of the best gifts we received was a plate to hang that had a "gold" circle in the center with our names and the date engraved. Not expensive but very special. If she's going to be bent out of shape because of what you give her, drop her. You don't need people like that in your life.
  13. moski

    moski Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I've always heard that you should "cover your plate", but really, you give what you can afford and according to what you want to give. A wedding is about celebrating the marriage with friends and family, not how much loot you can get. And for her to tell you that, after you are supporting her by being in the wedding, by travelling (with your husband) to the wedding and incurring that expense is just tacky and insensitive.

    I remember a friend of mine telling me that on their wedding night they were going to sit back and open envelopes to see what kind of $$ they had to spend on their honeymoon. She got a vase from me...a nice Belleek vase, but I wasn't giving her $$ after that statement.
  14. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    I agree. I had a homemade wedding and we are planning one for my sis right now. Does that mean our gifts should be small because we didn't spend a lot on the wedding? A gift is an expression of love, not something to make up for what someone spent on a wedding.

    Besides, why should what someone else chooses to spend on a wedding dictate how much I spend on anything? The cost is their choice. The gift should be mine.
  15. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I was just in my sister's wedding two weekends ago and I did not get her a gift. I spent over $1000 on air tickets for 4, $250 on my dress/shoes/nails/makeup, $100 on Alice's dress/tailoring and shoes, $125 on Royce's clothes/tailoring and shoes, $150 on Mike's clothes and shoes, and lost a week's worth of wages from taking vacation (I'm a contractor) (not to mention all the other expenses, toys for the plane, parking fees, food). She knew ahead of time that us being there was going to be her present. I think I spent as much overall (including lost wages) on her wedding as mine cost. (But we got married for cheapy.)

    I would explain to your friend that it's very expensive traveling to be in a wedding, and you could either get her a gift or not be able to be in her wedding. Call her bluff.
  16. jromkey

    jromkey Well-Known Member

    That is ridiculous and tacky. The cost of the food per guest should not determine the cost of the gift the bride and groom receive. It should be determined by what you can afford. The bride and groom should be thankful that you are participating in their special day and in my opinion shouldn't be focusing on the loot they'll be getting from friends and family. We generally spend $100 on wedding gifts.
  17. cjk2002

    cjk2002 Well-Known Member

    I remember being at my cousins wedding years ago. Here husband was walking across the dance floor with the bag of cards and was opening them as he walked. I heard him say "geez $50" and still it back in. :aggressive: Apparently that was not good enough for him.

    The kicker was that her parents, my aunt and uncle paid for the entire event.

    Oh and they are no longer married. :rolleyes:
  18. Code

    Code Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on what you can afford to do. I was a bridesmaid in a cousins wedding last year and did not buy anything due to the cost of getting to the wedding, shoes, hair and makeup and such. They did the wedding cheaply but it was beautiful and they didnt expect anything. Although everyone just gave them money as they flew over from the other side of Australia for the wedding as it was to hard to take actual gifts back. I find your friends comment to be rude :spiteful:
  19. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    Wow $150 per person is nuts!!! I normally give $50, that may sound cheap but with the amount of baby showers, birthdays and weddings we get invited to anymore we would be broke if I gave anymore. Now graduation time is rolling around and that is another $20 - $30 per person...
  20. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    We usually go by the 'cost per plate' rule too. That is always how it has been by me, and that is usually how I gauge my gift. Now, with that being said, that is ME. When we got married, I did not expect anyone to give me anything. Give how ever much you can. Do not go into debt over a wedding. That's just crazy. And the bride mentioning how much people should give, that's BEYOND tacky!
  21. akameme

    akameme Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree so much with your second statement. My sister is getting married in two weeks and like Bex we have already spent almost 2500

    850 on airfare
    300 on her shower (no gift)
    115 on becca's dress and shoes
    65 on Jake's outfit (still need pants
    600 on clothes for Jason (he didn't have a suit - to be fair most people do have a suit for a wedding)
    300 on my dress and shoes
    500 on hotel

    Just because my sister opted for an expensive sit down meal of like 150 per plate is not my fault. I haven't decided whether we are giving a gift, i feel like we have too. It will probably be around 200 cash...I really don't know how much more we can do..
  22. missmomoftwins02

    missmomoftwins02 Well-Known Member

    ITA!!! Especially with the bold part! Neither DH nor myself are from a "poor" family, but we also weren't from families that could afford to pay for a huge extravagant wedding either! DH's Mom is a teacher and my Mom and Dad were self employed at the time (convenience store). My whole wedding cost less than $1000...dress, decor, food, flowers, pictures, music...everything!!

    Dress: Made by Mom and Grandmother---$200 (material and supplies)
    Decor: Bubbles, table decor, cake topper, paper/plastic ware, etc---$250-300
    Food: Cake (free...friend of family made as gift), food---$350-400
    Flowers: Table Decor, Bouqets, Boutineer---Free...friend made as gift
    Pictures: Free---one friend took engagements, another took B&W's at reception, cousin took colors at reception.
    Music: Free---friend made CD for us to be played

    My mom and the friend that made the cake did all the food. Luckily I had friends that did alot of the other stuff for us as gifts. I dunno WHY on Earth someone would spend $150/PLATE for ppl!! Unless they figure "if we spend $150/plate on ppl they will have to give us $150 each as gifts." How could you even spend $150 on ONE PERSON for food?!?!? I just don't get it!

    We did get a couple nice big amounts of checks but that was only from my MIL, GrandMIL, and each of my grandparents. Everyone else gave us $50 or less or gifts worth $50 or less. We are pretty practical people and only registered for things that were less than $50 too. My parents gave us a $150 pots and pans set...but again...that was b/c they are my parents. I would never expect anyone...especially non-family...to give gifts costing that much!!

    When it came time to register for the twins at TRU, I was so hesitant to register for car seats and swings b/c they were SO expensive! But I went ahead and did so b/c Mom told me that maybe there would be ppl wanting to go in together to get something for me...and that is exactly what happened. 3 friends bought one swing and 3 bought the other one. One grandmother bought one car seat and another grandmother bought the other. Another grandmother bought a crib and my mom bought the other crib and the changing table. I never expected to get the "big stuff" (expensive stuff) but did b/c ppl chipped in together for it.

    Again ITA!! I can in NO way afford to give $50-100 for a wedding gift! EVER!! Not even for family! I typically give $25-40 depending on what we afford at the time and how well we know the couple/what relationship we have with them.

    I will be a Bridesmaid in my friend's wedding this summer and will be buying a $150 dress. I won't have to buy shoes b/c we will all be barefoot. We (me and the other Bridesmaid and her MOH) will be taking her out the night before for her Bachelorette Party. We will be going to get mani/pedi's, going out to dinner, and then going to a hotel for a "Slumber Party" Party. All in all I will probably be spending about $300 on her wedding...including a gift. I will probably spend $40-50 on her b/c she is one of my best friends...but I normally can't spend that much. I haven't been in a wedding in 20 years and the last one I was in was my Aunt's and I didn't have to pay for anything (I was 12). I dunno if I will ever be in another one so I am OK with doing this just this one time. And the dress is one that we can wear elsewhere too...which is nice!! I normally wouldn't spend that much on a dress, but at least it's not going to sit in my closet and rot! :D

    WOW! That is alot!! Maybe it's b/c I am from the South and wedding gifts vary from area to area? That just seems high to me...
  23. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It is awful for the bride to tell anyone what they have to give as a gift. With that said I have always hear to try and cover your plate. Depending on the person getting married depends on what we give.
    My BIL is getting married next year. I don't even want to think about how much we are going to spend on his wedding. Flight to Florida where her parents live for the wedding. Flower girl dress for both girls, my dress, DH's tux (even though he owns one BIL wants everyone in the same tux), hotel and rental car for the wedding. Plus if i go to the Florida shower that is another plane ticket.
  24. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    I'm SHOCKED that they are no longer married! I wonder why?

    That is soo tacky and gross and SOOOOOOOOOOOO typical of the way things are here. I was thinking.. wow, I soo wonder if that was here! Ha!
  25. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    I think if you are IN the wedding and you are close to them, you can spend LESS on the gift FOR SURE. You are spending a TON to be in the wedding and going WAY out of your way to do it. I don't even think I would bother. I'm not that nice :) You are too kind. I think I'd say, "Here's a small gift, it's all I could afford.."

    If you are not in the wedding and you are close to them, maybe 100 dollars or 150 on a gift would be about right.

    If you are not as close, $75 on a gift.

    If you are not close at all, you just don't go :)

    Unfortunately, the weddings I've been to (I try to avoid them at all costs) DO seem to be about $. (That's why i don't like them.) And you ARE expected to cover your plate AND give a decent CASH gift. Ugh. I try to be out of town when these come up ;)
  26. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    I think that, again, this totally depends on the gift giver and their fiances. There is no way we could spend $75 on a gift for a dear loved one, much less someone we aren't as close to. Honestly, all we can afford for gifts are about $30 for the dearest people in our lives and less for someone else. $30 out of our budget means that I will be stretching our grocery budget for the rest of the month. $100 would mean we wouldn't have money for a car payment.

    That's why any expectations at all make me very sad and a little angry. A gift is an expression of love! Love can't be measured in dollars! When I spend $30 on a gift, it is a sacrifice. But, I make the sacrifice because of love. To me, that is the important thing.

    I believe that you should give what you can in love and, if someone says it isn't enough, you know in your heart that you gave in love and that is all that matters.
    2 people like this.
  27. BellaRissa

    BellaRissa Well-Known Member

    It is incredibly tasteless for any bride or groom to announce how much they are spending on their guests or how much they think someone should give. Have the wedding you can afford without any expectation of "reimbursement" from your guests. I love, love, love my bride Jessica. She worries about putting anyone to any stress or inconvenience, registered for mostly very inexpensive things & is most interested in her guests feeling relaxed & having fun.

    I will say I have been in conversations with Asian relatives who told me that Asian weddings (at least in their community) are very elaborate, have guests that include any Asian person of any importance whether the family actually knows them or not, are considered community events and cost many, many thousands of dollars are spent. I asked why they would invite people none of the family even knew (like the cousin's new bride's friend's grandfather who was visiting that week) & they all agreed that the bride & groom would end up with a profit because absolutely no one would give less than twice the cost of the plate - which is widely discussed in the community. The cost of the wedding is told to the owners of the local markets so they can spread the word. Apparently, expecting a minimum gift based on the per plate cost is the cultural norm in their community - ....more power to them....I would think it was very tacky if I ever heard a bride or groom say such a thing.
    1 person likes this.
  28. aandax246

    aandax246 Well-Known Member

    My goodness - how times have changed. It almost seems now as if the guests are invited to help recoup the expense of the wedding. I thought weddings were for the purpose of joining two people together who are in love and who want their family and friends to share in that event - not finance it. My husband and I paid for the wedding,flowers, entertainment, photos, and reception of both of our daughters including paying for the bridal bouquets, bouts, etc. that are traditionally paid for by the groom. Gifts of any amount or type were appreciated, but not expected, especially as compensation for being invited to the wedding. We enjoyed the company and fellowship of family and friends. We were very conscientious about the price of outfits, etc. and for out of town attendees provided lodging, meals, etc. We paid for all the jewely and accessories for the attendants. We are not a rich family, but we managed to put together lovely weddings, receptions, and meals for all our guests. If an attendant or guest bought a shower gift, no other gift was expected or vice versa if they bought a wedding gift - no shower gift. Both my daughters registered for gifts and when they did so they registered for items from $5.00 up to some expensive items that family members went together to purchase. I am very proud to say that my daughters were very conscientious about making sure there were items that anyone wishing to purchase could afford. There were absolutely no expectations as to price. I would have never even thought to mention to anyone how much it was costing us for their meals, etc. so that our daughters could recoup that cost on a gift. The only expectation I had was that my daughters send personal thank you notes to the attendants and to everyone that did give a gift. I'm proud to say that they did.
    1 person likes this.
  29. missmomoftwins02

    missmomoftwins02 Well-Known Member

    ITA!! :D As someone said earlier...it's the thought of the gift not the price!!
  30. ljmcisaac

    ljmcisaac Well-Known Member

    I think for someone you are close to, a personal gift is much nicer than something worth a certain amount. Something you make, for example. Around here, a guideline for gifts is $50 and up.
  31. Her Royal Jennyness

    Her Royal Jennyness Well-Known Member

    I'm just amazed at people who expect (sometimes even demand) gifts. You invited them to your wedding, they don't owe you anything. Be delighted with anything you get even if it's "only" the pleasure of their company.

    I'm planning my wedding at the moment and food is going to be the largest expense by far but I would never dream of someone paying their way at my wedding. All I want is for my husband-to-be's family and friends to be there with him so he can be completely happy. I really don't expect any gifts or presents since the cost for most of them to attend is going to be high.
  32. aandax246

    aandax246 Well-Known Member

    I love the way you think!
  33. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    Other than the example given by BellaRissa, or maybe knowing the cost because you're a close family member, I still don't understand how you would know how much a wedding cost per plate. Even if I did plan to buy a gift or give cash that was equal to or greater than that amount, how would I know? This is such a bizarre, tacky idea to me. But then it used to be considered tacky to include anything talking about where you were registered with a wedding announcement, and most of the invitations I receive anymore have that in there.
  34. heathertwins

    heathertwins Well-Known Member

    I'd say $100.00 but often depending if I have ALSO purchased shower gift too, I take that into consideration. RUDE RUDE RUDE of her to say that. Too bad you didn't say NO from the beginning. If SHE chooses to spend THAT much per plate that is HER choice but not YOURs. I paid for our own wedding and told our guest NO GIFTS.

    A great idea would be to spend the money on a donation to a charity !!! I get the feeling you will not feel warm and fuzzy towards your friend after this anyways so at least the money will not be lost of a gift she will likely not want anyway.

  35. ktfan

    ktfan Well-Known Member

    I LOVE this idea! You could buy her a cow through UNICEF or something. You pick the charity and how much, she doesn't even have to know how much you donated. WONDERFUL idea!
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