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Here’s How Much To Give for a Wedding Without Looking Too Cheap

How Much To Give For A Wedding

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The old-age question of how much to give for a wedding remains a grey area for many. Luckily, today, our experts put the question to rest.

The wedding gifting etiquette says that the general rule of thumb is spending around $150 on the wedding gift. That sum can go as low as $50 and as high as you want.

Here you will find the exact formula for the right wedding gift amount regardless of whether you plan on purchasing a gift, tucking some cash in an envelope, or giving a wedding gift if you are not attending.

How much to give for a wedding gift?

The secret here is to find something meaningful that won’t break the bank and won’t embarrass you. Consider these factors when hunting for that memorable gift at a reasonable price.

Your relationship with the soon-to-be-married couple: Are you a close relative of the bride or groom? Did you grow up together as best friends, or are you close colleagues? Answering these questions can help you settle for the right amount to spend on the wedding gift.

The closer you are to the future husband and wife, the higher the price tag of the gift should be. Friendly acquaintances can choose something from the wedding registry as a heartfelt gesture, while those related will be better off choosing a larger gift.

The scale of the wedding: If the happy couple decides on having a low-key wedding on a budget, that will substantially affect the cost of your wedding gift. But then again, you don’t have to break the bank when going to a super formal affair —  black-tie wedding.

 It’s the thought that matters: Try to find a wedding gift that is thoughtful and heartfelt rather than expensive. Personal, creative, and DIY gifts always win the battle of the never-ending search for the perfect wedding gift. It will surely mean the world to the love birds.

How much cash to give for a wedding gift?

Giving out cash as a wedding gift is always a good idea if you can’t find the item that stole your heart. You can never go wrong with gifting money on someone’s wedding because the recipients can use it for whatever they want or need.

The adaptability of this wedding gift is so vast that it is invincible — their honeymoon, something new to furnish their new love nest, or cover the expenses of the wedding. Just mind these things when deciding how much cash you should give for a wedding gift.

 Your budget: Find a sum that will not make you starve the rest of the month because your budget matters greatly. Some experts advise that covering your meal at the wedding reception would be fair, and according to your possibilities, you can always multiply that amount by two.

Group gifting: Join forces with other family members or friends and hand out a ‘heavier’ envelope as a group. This is ideal for those who cannot expand their pockets or distant friends who still have to be invited to the wedding.

Group gifting is perfect for coworkers who were invited to the wedding without their plus-ones, and instead of giving ten different pouches, they merge and create a mega gift.

The fun of gifting money: If you already took off the burden of going wedding gift-hunting, you can find some unique way to ‘pack’ the cash instead of just putting it into a simple, boring envelope with a bride and groom on it. With gifts, it’s not just how much cash to give for a wedding gift, but how to give it.

Put it in a piggy jar or roll it into a tube and place it in a tiny glass container to make a ‘cash message’ in a bottle. If you want to leave the couple open-mouthed, fold dollar bills and place them in a chocolate box. For the wow effect, find some cool and creative confetti poppers where the money pops the confetti out of the box.

How much to give for a wedding gift if not attending the wedding?

In absence situations, it is debatable whether or not you should send a wedding gift at all.

At the tail end: According to the gifting etiquette, it would be appreciated if you covered the expenses of your meal if you couldn’t show up at the last minute without canceling your attendance on time.

Timely cancellation: On the other hand, if you RSPVed on time and informed the bride and groom of your absence, you can skip sending a wedding gift.

Wedding invitations are not gift requests (cash or non-cash), especially for a no-show. You can always send a nice card, write your congratulations, best wishes, and regrets for not attending the wedding party.

Gifts are voluntary: You may not be obliged to send a wedding gift when not attending the celebration, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. If you are close to the couple and wish to give them something special, that’s up to you. And you can spend as much (or less) money as you want.

A simple gift card from their favorite store or restaurant would be a nice touch to make it up to them for missing their big day.


When deciding how much to give for a wedding gift, our advice is to trust your gut. Gift according to your means, and always choose creativity over cost. Remember that the greatest present you can give for a wedding is your presence, well wishes, and positive vibes.

I am Megan Nova, a wedding planner and Author based in New York City. My vast exposure in the wedding planning trade and my passion for storytelling has inspired me to share expert advice and creativity on this blog.

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