KeenReader (and others) I see your point. I guess I see it from both ways.
In my family, couples usually give one gift (as a social unit), although there are times when they are given 1 gift, and times when a gift is given to each person separately. I think monetary value doesnt come into play as much as what one thinks the couple or person would enjoy/use that year.
I can agree that it unnecessarily burdens a single person if the gift is signed from seven individuals, but only split 4 ways monetarily, but I dont agree that it is unfair because 'married couples generally have more money at their disposal.' What about couples where one individual doesnt work? Or couples that are in a large amount of debt?
I think the biggest difference is that I am coming at it from a different angle - each person/unit has a budget and if the gift fits within that budget, great, if not, then it doesnt get given as a gift. (As opposed to it cost $XX amount so each person/unit should contribute $X amount.) So for example, if it cost $350 and each person gives $50, then great.
But if one couple was only planning on spending $50 (together), they now have to pay $100 - just because they are married (see above example about only 1 person working, etc,). That just doesnt seem fair to me either.
To simplifiy - split it 7 ways if the card is signed from 7 people, but if the $100 per couple or $50 per person lies outside someone's giving budget, I dont think either one of them should be frowned upon. This thought really crystalizes it:
Really, though, it's probably best to leave single/married out of it and just go by whatever each social unit has budgeted for the gift. If that's not enough for the gift, then either folks cheerfully make up the deficit if they can afford it, or they cheerfully choose another gift.
I dont think people's individual financial situations should be used to say "well, she (or X couple) make more, so she (they) should contribute more." I think everyone has a budget no matter what their income level, and the gift should depend on how much can be raised based on that budget.