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Poll

What do you usually spend on shower and/or wedding gifts?

Under $25
6 (6.5%)
$25-50
23 (24.7%)
$50-75
18 (19.4%)
$75-100
20 (21.5%)
$100-150
14 (15.1%)
$150-200
7 (7.5%)
$200+
5 (5.4%)

Total Members Voted: 93

Author Topic: Wedding gift norms  (Read 5934 times)

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LadyL

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Wedding gift norms
« on: May 27, 2014, 05:32:32 PM »
When LordL and I got engaged, we'd already lived together for 5 years. We opted to have a low key engagement party where, upon my family's insistence, we were given a kitchenaid mixer that several dozen relatives got us as a group gift. We declined to have any sort of wedding shower, and our actual wedding registry was small (maybe 20 items). Since we didn't quite do things the normal/traditional way I don't have much of a frame of reference for gifting practices.

My cousin is engaged and just had her bridal shower. Her registry had lots of gift options when I checked it ~1 month before the party, there were about 150 items listed, so I was very surprised when by the week of the party, the majority of gifts had been bought. Of the 50 guests at the shower, many people bought fairly big ticket items ($150-300) or several (3-5) less expensive items totaling around that amount. I'm not good at gauging the norms for these things and I had the sense that many guests spent more than LordL and I did on our gift. So, I tried to remember what this cousin got us for a wedding present to use that as a barometer for what to plan on giving her at her wedding. I checked what we had down in our thank you card spreadsheet (we logged what people gave so we could write personalized notes) and it turns out this cousin didn't actually give us a gift, so that was no help.

So, if you don't mind me asking about the rather impolite subject of money, please reply to the poll regarding what you usually spend on a shower or wedding gift (assuming both require spending in  a similar range). Also, does it have any bearing on your gifting practices whether the couple in question gave you a wedding gift? My sense is that unlike birthday or holiday gifts, which are often reciprocal, wedding gifts are not and a couple's gift to you should have no bearing on your gift to them. At least that's how I'm operating in this case, but feedback/etiquette standards would be appreciated.

gollymolly2

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 05:40:12 PM »
I usually spend around $200 for weddings, and yes I would adjust based on past gift practices. And I don't give gifts for wedding showers (personal quirk; I don't attend them either).

heartmug

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 05:48:15 PM »
I try to spend between $50 - $75 per person ($150 - $250 if DH, DD and I all attend) for a wedding, but I refuse to go into debt.  Never again.  So if it has to be less because the budget is tight that month, so be it.

I spend $25 - $50 on a shower gift.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

BigBadBetty

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 06:19:43 PM »
I generally go cheaper for a shower...$25 to 30. The wedding I will spend $50 or $100 if it is a joint gift with my boyfriend. I am childless and live alone but my earnings are barely middle class.

Peregrine

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 06:49:13 PM »
It depends on who's wedding.  For a close family member, I will gift more.  My DH's siblings and my sibling are all married already and have children.  So we are on to the weddings of nieces and nephews and my 2 younger cousins (my DH has over 200 cousins and isn't close to any of them, so we don't really have to worry about them).  For a family wedding I would probably budget in $150-$200 range.  if it's a wedding that is going to involve significant travel, I would probably take that into account as well.

For a friend wedding, I would budget somewhere between $50-$75. 

For a shower, I would spend no more than about $30 or so.

I am guessing most people would term us upper-middle class. 

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 06:56:06 PM »
This totally depends on who is getting married. I'll give a much bigger gift to a sibling or a cousin or a friend I am close to than to a second cousin once removed I only see and hear about once a decade or a slight acquaintance.

gramma dishes

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 07:10:27 PM »
This totally depends on who is getting married. I'll give a much bigger gift to a sibling or a cousin or a friend I am close to than to a second cousin once removed I only see and hear about once a decade or a slight acquaintance.

That's how I feel too.  I give much more to nieces and nephews than to the children of old work associates or other people I don't know well.  I rarely attend wedding showers, but on those few occasions I have, I then give 'less' for the actual wedding gift so that it all equals out in the end. (About the same amount of money spent in total for each individual within a given category.) 

We were lucky that all our nieces and nephews got married quite close together.  We were able to give them all the same amount exactly.  Had there been a wider space, we'd have had to adjust for inflation.   ;)

Violet17

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 07:19:02 PM »
We usually spend $25-50, for a shower gift, if its my family we'll chip in with my parents and sister so that we can get a bigger ticket item, or do a 'theme basket' type of gift of things from the registry.

For Weddings we usually give cash in a nice greeting card, usually $40-50.00.

katycoo

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 07:25:25 PM »
Shower around $30.  Wedding $75-$100 ish. 

bonyk

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 07:48:47 PM »
Shower gift: $75ish
Wedding: $100-$150ish per member of my family attending.

Yes, I live in 'cover your plate' territory, why do you ask?   ;D

Tea Drinker

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 08:29:08 PM »
It depends on who the people are, and on the context. I spent about $10 on a wedding gift for some good friends years ago: most of what I spent was on the flight across the Atlantic and hotel rooms for the wedding itself and for a few days beforehand; the maple syrup was a not-quite-token gift, something I could easily get in New York and they couldn't in Wales. The other reason for getting a small gift is that I knew they were moving a few months after the wedding, so they not only didn't need new furniture, linens, etc. then, they actively needed not to be given such things: the goal was less "inexpensive" than that the gift be either physically small and easy to transport, or consumable within the following few months. But our shared social group not only isn't in cover-the-plate territory, the concept wouldn't occur to most of the people we spend time with, as an expectation in either direction.

If my friends who were getting married were furnishing a shared home after living with parents or roommates, I would be likely to buy them household stuff, or write a check to help them pay for such things. The size of the check would probably depend in a hard-to-quantify ways on my current budget, my perception of theirs, and how close we were.
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shhh its me

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2014, 06:44:47 AM »
  It depends on who is getting married.

My general rule is if I don't want to give you $100 I don't attend.  *I chose the word want specifically, I have given less when I was out of work*. For close family and friends I like to give $300-500 between shower and wedding.

menley

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2014, 06:56:58 AM »
In my social circle, unless the shower is themed (such as a "stock the bar" party), the wedding shower is where you would bring the wedding gift. Meaning, instead of bringing the gift to the wedding or having it sent to their home, if you're invited to the shower, you bring it there. So there are generally not separate shower and wedding gifts.

I voted for $50-75, and generally that's my range for friends and more distant relations (such as cousins). For my sister, for example, I spent around $100, and same for my closest friends where I was in the wedding party or have known them since childhood.

cicero

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2014, 07:12:51 AM »
I live in israel where salaries tend to be lower (comparitively speaking) and COL is high (when you compare prices of food/housing etc) and I am poor. i don't go to many events but when i do, i usually give the equivalent of 75$. the norm here is to "cover your plate" more or less. In the past (and today in certain specific cultural groups) people gave tangible gifts (pots and pans etc) but nowadays most people give cash.  for closer family i will give a bit more (100-150$ ). also, if i do attend a wedding/bar mitsvah for one of my siblings' children, then it usually entails flying to the US, staying at hotels etc, so i do spend more for the wedding.

I will give a bit more for a wedding than a bar mitzvah/bris (circumcision)/baby naming. we don't have showers here (yet) and very few engagement parties. In fact i don't think i've ever been to an engagement party. i have been to a number of Henna parties (takes place a few days before the wedding - used to be done in the mother's home and was mainly for women but nowadays it's usually in a wedding hall).

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MummySweet

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Re: Wedding gift norms
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2014, 07:24:54 AM »
I spend about $50 on a shower gift, and about $100-120 on a wedding gift.