That much-anticipated wedding is coming up and it’s time to start thinking about what to give as your wedding gift.
You may have already decided that you want to give cash, but what is the right amount? You don’t want to give too little and seem stingy, but you don’t want to give too much either.
It can be quite a dilemma, and there are a few things to consider. Read on to find out more…
Firstly, Shouldn’t I Choose from the Registry?
If there is an extensive registry on the wedding invitation then you will need to take a look.
If there are no items on the registry that feel suitable or within budget, then giving cash is totally fine. Remember, no couple is going to be unhappy with a cash wedding gift!
Some will blatantly state that cash is their preferred gift which makes things a little easier. While others will set up a honeymoon fund where you nominate a certain amount to go toward the cost of the honeymoon.
Wedding Gift Calculator
- For members of the bridal party, the total wedding gift amount can include other monies you've spent on pre-wedding or shower gifts
- Try to get registry gifts delivered to the couple ahead of time for safety and security
- Try to individually wrapped gifts to the couple ahead of time
- See if you can e-transfer a cash gift instead of bringing an envelope to the reception
- See if the couple wants money donated to their honeymoon or new home fund
- If you want to give money to the couple at the reception, ask if there's a safe area or a person designated to keep cash gifts safe
- Destination wedding guests can spend what they feel comfortable with, as they’re responsible for their travel expenses
What’s the Typical Range for a Cash Wedding Gift?
Whilst there is no maximum amount, think about your financial situation and budget. Ultimately, it is your decision how much money you give.
On average, most guests give between $75 and $200, regardless of the size of the wedding.
But it’s about what feels comfortable to you and will largely depend on your relationship with the couple. It also depends on whether you’re going solo or attending with a partner.
What Happens in Other Cultures?
Cash wedding gifts differ vastly between cultures and it’s interesting to know a little about different traditions around the world.
Money is given in red envelopes at Chinese weddings, and a boxed gift would be very unusual at both Indian and Japanese weddings.
The couple at a Nigerian wedding will perform a “money dance” where the couple is sprayed with money as they hit the dancefloor. Make it rain!
Italian weddings involve the bride actually carrying around a special bag called ‘la borsa’ for guests to fill with cash during the wedding reception!
Despite all these differences, for almost all weddings, the amount of money given is dependent on the relationship with the couple.
How Much Should a Solo Guest Give as a Cash Gift?
If you are attending the wedding solo, then you can certainly consider going to the lower end of the average mentioned above; so around $75 – $100 would be appropriate.
What If I’m Attending with a Partner?
If you are attending the wedding as a couple, then you should probably be looking at around $150 as your wedding gift. Perhaps higher if you are particularly close to the bride or/and groom.
What If I Am Not Close to the Couple?
We get it. You don’t feel that you are personally involved with the spouses-to-be.
Perhaps you only know one of them. Perhaps you were surprised to even be invited. If this is the case, then it is totally acceptable to go to the lower end of the scale for your money wedding gift.
Evening-only guests or colleagues could look at $50 – $75. Just avoid going under $50 if you can!
If you are going as a group of colleagues then you could consider clubbing together and giving a combined present.
What If I’m a Member of the Wedding Party?
If you are an usher, groomsman, bridesmaid, or maid of honor then you may consider giving a little more as a wedding gift.
Though this will depend on how much money you have already spent up to this point, for example, if you paid for the bachelorette party then you certainly won’t be expected to give a large cash wedding gift!
Again, give what feels right for you.
Do I Give Cash, Check, or Bank Transfer?
It doesn’t really matter how you give the money. Giving cash in a card on the wedding day is a nice touch, but if a check or bank transfer is easier for you, then that totally works.
What If I Can’t Attend the Wedding?
Hmm, this is tricky. If you want to give a monetary gift to a couple whose wedding you’re unable to attend, that’s a nice gesture!
We recommend spending around $50, though you should spend a bit more if you’re a close friend or family of the couple.
The easiest route would be just to send a gift from the couple’s wedding registry, but if you’d prefer to send cash or a check, then do so!
We hope this has helped things become a little clearer on how much you should be thinking of spending when giving a cash wedding gift.
If you change your mind about giving cash and want to give the couple something a little more unusual and personal take a look at some ideas here.