For some people, being invited to a wedding is super-exciting because they love coming up with clever, creative, and personalized wedding gifts. For others, buying a wedding gift is a cause of great concern and angst. Even when the couple fills out a wedding registry, you still aren’t sure what you should buy and how much to spend. 

We’re here to help you navigate this tricky aspect of a being a wedding guest. We’ll give you some guidelines of price and help you come up with a couple wedding gift ideas that are sure to be a hit.

How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift

There are a lot of different ways to figure out what you should spend on a wedding gift, so let’s break it down.

Rule of Thumb

So, there is a rule of thumb regarding wedding gifts, and that should help you get started. Basically, the rule says you should spend at least $50 on a wedding gift but you should also take into consideration where you live and inflation.

Cover Your Plate

Have you heard of the “cover your plate” rule. The thought is that you should buy a gift that’s similar in value to what the couple is spending to host you for their event. Typically, that means you spend roughly what you think the value of the meal will be.

How Close Are You

Another thing to consider when coming up with a wedding gift budget is how well you know the couple. If you’ve been best friends since kindergarten, then you’re going to want to spend more than if you are just casual work friends.

How Much Are You Spending

Another thing to consider is how much you’re already spending to attend the wedding. Driving one town over for dinner doesn’t cost a lot so you can funnel a bit more into the gift, but a destination wedding where you’re in the wedding party can be pretty expensive so your presence is a large part of your gift.

Speaking of the Present of Presence

No couple should expect wedding gifts from every guest. Yes, it’s customary and considered part of wedding etiquette to give a gift, but not everyone can afford to give one or to give something expensive.

Your guests’ presence is part of your present, whether they give you something else or not. That said, as a guest you shouldn’t use that as an excuse to show up empty-handed but only spend what you can afford to spend.

Wedding Gift Ideas

Once you determine an amount, we highly suggest you check the couple’s register. Years back it was considered rude to ask for a particular gift, but registries are totally the norm now and they’re so useful. No more gifts the couple has to return or pretend to like, and the guests can easily pick something in their price range and make the purchase.

If you simply don’t like the idea of getting an expected gift, then it’s time to get creative. Creative wedding gifts are great, as long as you know the couple well enough to know what they’ll really appreciate. If you do, then you can actually save some money by coming up with something that’s more about sentiment than monetary value.

If the wedding couple is planning a destination wedding, this opens a lot of doors for you, gift-wise. If you’re going to the wedding, typically a small token is gift enough. If you’re not, consider having room service deliver them a welcome basket from you, pick up their dinner or excursion tab for the day, or consider having a gift for them when they arrive home.


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