September 26, 2023
From traditional wedding gift-giving etiquette to unique cash gift ideas and alternative experiential gifts, this guide provides tips on how much to give for a wedding and how to make the gift personal and memorable.

The Ultimate Guide to Giving Wedding Gifts: How Much is Enough?

Wedding season is upon us, and if you’re like many guests, you may be struggling with the question of how much money to give as a gift. It can be difficult to navigate the expectations of gift-giving etiquette, especially when budgets are tight. In this guide, we’ll explore some traditional guidelines, discuss some creative cash-giving ideas, and explore alternative gift options that are sure to impress the happy couple.

Traditional Wedding Gift-Giving Etiquette

Traditionally, couples would register at a department store, which provided a convenient guide for guests on which gifts to purchase. However, today, cash gifts have become increasingly popular and more widely accepted. According to The Knot, the average amount most guests spend on a wedding gift is around $100. However, the gift amount can vary depending on a few different factors.

First, the relationship you have with the couple: close family members or longtime friends may give more than a casual acquaintance. The type and size of the wedding can also play a role; for example, a lavish wedding in a big city may merit a more generous gift than a smaller, more casual ceremony in a rural location.

To help you determine an appropriate gift amount, consider the following:

  • Your budget
  • Your relationship with the couple
  • The size and formality of the wedding
  • The cost of travel and accommodations for the wedding

Remember, the most important thing is to give what you’re comfortable with, whether that be a heartfelt card or a more substantial gift.

The Cost of Attending a Wedding

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of attending a wedding can quickly add up, especially if it requires travel or a hotel stay. This can impact how much you’re able to spend on a gift. When budgeting for a wedding, consider the following expenses:

  • Travel or transportation costs
  • Hotel or accommodations
  • New outfit or attire for the wedding
  • Wedding gift

To help prioritize your expenses, identify what you’re willing to spend, and budget accordingly. If your budget is tight, consider giving a smaller cash gift or getting creative with other gift options.

Creative Ways to Give Cash Gifts

If you decide to give cash as a wedding gift, there are several fun and unique ways to present it. Consider the following:

  • Contribute to a specific wedding expense, such as the honeymoon fund or photography package
  • Create a DIY origami gift using folded bills
  • Present the cash in a personal card or engraved money clip

By putting a little extra effort into your gift presentation, you can still make a cash gift feel personal and memorable.

When to Give More Than Money

While cash and physical gifts are great, there are times when non-monetary gestures can be even more meaningful. Consider what the couple might need, and look for ways to offer support beyond a gift. For example:

  • Offer to help with wedding planning or preparations
  • Cook the new couple a special meal or host a post-wedding party
  • Give a personalized or sentimental gift that has special meaning to the couple

Showing the couple that you care and are invested in their future is a gift in and of itself.

The Gift of an Experience

For those who want to gift something more unique, consider giving an experiential gift. This is a great alternative to a cash gift, and it provides a fun and memorable experience for the newlyweds. Some examples include:

  • A romantic getaway or weekend trip
  • Couples spa day or massage package
  • Cooking class or wine tasting experience

By giving the gift of an experience, you’re also giving the couple a chance to create unforgettable memories together.


When it comes to giving wedding gifts, there are many factors to consider. Ultimately, the gift you give should be personal and thoughtful, whether that’s a monetary gift or otherwise. Remember, it’s not the amount of money that counts, but the sentiment behind the gift itself.

By being creative and open-minded, you can create a gift strategy that takes into account your budget, the couple’s needs and preferences, and your own personal touch. With these tips in hand, you’re sure to give a gift that will be appreciated and cherished for years to come.

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