How Much Money Should You Spend On A Wedding Gift?

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Weddings are expensive — and not just for the bride and groom. For guests, there may be travel and hotel costs, new outfits, primping, and of course, the gift. Sure, there’s usually a registry to go off of, but those items tend to vary wildly in price, from less than $10 for measuring cups to a set of nice pots and pans for more than $500.
What are people really spending on gifts? RetailMeNot did some research to find out. The results showed that the average wedding present ranges from $45 to $195, depending on the buyer's relationship to the couple. The higher range is for siblings ($195) and besties ($159). The price goes down to $94 for extended family, $89 for regular friends, and drops to $45 for acquaintances. If you're invited to a coworker's wedding, expect to spend around $63. (It bears noting that these averages don't take into account the additional cost of gifts that may be given to the couple for engagement parties or bridal showers.)

Respondents were split as to whether or not just being invited to a wedding necessitates giving a gift if you don't plan to attend; 41% believed it did. A seemingly low number of people surveyed (31%) said they would give cash or a check as a wedding gift, while 33% prefer to buy something off the registry.

The study did not look at spending by age group, but if you're in your 20s, you may be noticing an uptick in the number of weddings on your social calendar, even though your salary remains frustratingly low. And if nearly $200 seems like too much to spend on a wedding gift for your best friend, just remember, it’s the thought that counts — and a well-made set of measuring cups can last a lifetime.