If your friends are just starting to get married, you may wonder what an appropriate amount is to spend on a gift for the happy couple. Luckily, you no longer have to use old rules to figure it out, because there’s a simple answer: whatever you can afford.
Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-host of Emily Post’s “Awesome Etiquette” podcast, says the price of your gift does not need to “cover your plate,” one of those widespread “rules” you might have heard before.
Post’s reasoning is that it’s impolite to ask how much the couple is spending on the wedding. So instead of worrying about how much the open bar costs, mind your own budget. “Your gift should always be within your personal budget,” says Post. “You decide that based on your connection to the person getting married, your own gift-giving style, desire and generosity in that moment and what’s feasible for you to do.”
So just how much pressure do people feel to spend big on a wedding gift? TD Ameritrade’s 2018 Millennials & Money survey found that 53 per cent of millennials say they’d be willing to go into credit card debt to attend a friend or family member’s wedding, reports CNBC. There’s no question that a brace of weddings can eat away at your discretionary spending, but when it leaks over to your credit card, it’s time to rethink your gifting.
So what should you spend? There’s no golden rule. A lot of it is dependent on your relationship to the couple. And as CNBC notes, “you aren’t obligated to spend the same amount on every wedding, even for couples who run in the same group of friends.” Finances change. If you really want to put a number on it, here’s what The Knot recommends:
- Coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $70 – $100
- Relative or friend: $100 – $150
- Close relative or close friend: $150 – $200+
And if your friends are really worried that you didn’t spend enough on a gift – well, they’re probably not great friends anyway.