Wedding Gifts - How Much $ Do You Spend?

Updated on March 30, 2011
M.D. asks from Washington, DC
17 answers

A good friend of mine is getting married on June 4th and her bridal shower is on April 30th. So I need to get her something. A lot of stuff on her registry is really expensive - $60 or more per thing!! Or they want 12 or soemthing that is $45. I can't do that. I was thinking $30-$40. What do you typicall spend on those gifts??

Okay, so maybe one thing for the bridal showere around $50 and then another thing for the wedding itself? This is such an expensive time of year for me as it is (all of my kids birthdays, dance recital - pictures, trophy, t-shirt, etc, my niece's birthday, and planning for summer.) But I do love my friend and we've been friends for years, so I'll figure it out to make it work for her. I feel bad because when her sister got married, who I'm better friends with, I had just had my 3rd (he was 4 weeks old at the wedding) and I couldn't afford ANYTHING. She understood, I just feel bad.

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So What Happened?

Wow! Thanks everyone!! I think I really like the ideas of the etched wine glasses and then I'll get something for just her for the shower. I'll def talk to her sister and find out what she reallys wants. If I'm going to put out the money I'd like to have it be something she loves and not just a want. I know she is living rent free with her sister right now and her finace owns a home and they really have most of what they need - so it's hard for me to stomach helping them start their lives out, but it's what they are asking for...

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If she registered for 12 wine glasses, it's OK to buy O. -- or two. No O. expects a guest to buy all of the glasses, or silverware, etc!

$50 shower
$75-100 wedding

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

We'll spend 50 on the shower, and 100 for a wedding. Half if we don't go. You can fudge it a little if you buy gifts (versus cash) and keep the value the same, but buy on sale. (like a 50 item on sale for 35).

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answers from Boston on

Good Friend I would do $50+ or so on a gift. You could always get her a $40 gift card to one of the places shes' register for OR get her a gift Just for her, a mani/pedi gift cert to a place you know she goes.
For the wedding gift it depends on if I have to travel, get a hotel, will it be open bar, etc. But Never under $150 for a gift for the wedding. BUT everyones $$$$ situation is different, we arent "comfortable" but when it comes to stuff like this we make and effort. But thats just us.
Good luck



answers from Minneapolis on

For immediate family - we spend $75-100 on the wedding gift and $40-$50 on a shower gift.

Good friends around $50 for wedding and around $30 for shower.

Friend friends (not the best friends - but people we spend time with enough to get invited) we spend $40-50 on wedding. If I'm invited to the shower I try to keep it around $25-30.

I do have a good friend that I often give a "tandem" gift with. Or a group of us girls will all throw in $25 and then we can afford to get something bigger off the registry.

Hope that helps.



answers from San Antonio on

generally about $50 if they're a good friend. Maybe $25-30 on a so-so friend. How about you get her one setting - ie dont get 12 plates. Get one big plate, one salad plate, one bowl, and one glass.



answers from Boston on

For a bridal shower gift I spend a minimum of $50 and if it's a really good friend, closer to $75 or $100. For the wedding, $100 minimum and $150 if it's someone I'm close to.



answers from Chicago on

Really good friends and family, I would usually spend $60 to $80 on the shower gift, and give $100 to $150 check for the wedding.

Casual friends, extended family, I would probably do $30 to $40 on the shower gift, and give $50 to $75 for the wedding.

If possible, it's really nice to get a group of friends together to go in on something for the shower. That way you can get her one of the bigger items that she may not receive otherwise.

If it isn't financially smart for you to spend a lot on a gift, don't break the bank just to keep up appearances. Get her something thoughtful, but inexpensive. You don't have to get something off of her registry, it's just a guide. One of my favorite gifts to give that doesn't cost much is an "Our 1st Christmas" ornament, and you could personalize it with their names and wedding date. If that doesn't feel like enough, then tuck a gift card into the card as well.



answers from Norfolk on

I must be the cheapest person ever. If I buy a shower gift then that is the gift. $50 or less (some gifts look like they cost more than what they do, plus don't forget any and all sales)

If both my husband and I our friends with the couple then we will try to do a 100.

We either send a shower gift or a wedding gift not both.



answers from Cincinnati on

showers are generally $30...the wedding is more expensive...about $50 per person...depending on how big the wedding is..usually it seams if its not a big formal weddign you can payless
also depends on who the gift is for. My neighbors daughter got married...dont know them very well but we were invited to the 'reception' this saturday. I spend about 30 on the shower and I am stumped about the wedding gift..I dont want to look cheap you know?? but i dont want to over do it..I think since my hubby, myself and daughter are going, I was going to give them $75....but the couple are big drinkers so I think It may be a better idea to buy a bottle of booze and slip in a $50. :)


answers from Rochester on

I spend according to what I have to spend. Sometimes that means I use gas money and simply get there, other times we spend a little more on a gift (maybe $40--or something inexpensive from the registry and then an additional gift card, etc.). I'm sure there is some etiquette for the amount, and I would love to be able to afford to spend $50 to $100 on a friend's wedding gift, but I don't even spend that much on family holiday/birthday gifts, so couldn't afford to for a wedding.



answers from Washington DC on

close family $100 for wedding gift and $50 for shower gift

good friends $50 for wedding gift and $30 for shower gift

less good friends :) $40 for wedding gift and $20 for shower gift



answers from Boston on

Where I live, everything seems to cost more than other price ranges mentioned on this site but you have to do what you can afford. I spend about $50 on shower and $200 if giving a check (little less if a gift) on wedding.I used to charge gifts all the time but now we have huge cc bills to pay off. I do think you have to give something..... even if it's $25 check for the wedding.



answers from Chicago on

For me, it all depends on my relationship with the bride or groom-to-be (as opposed to how much the happy couple are spending on the wedding or shower).

distant friend and relatives: $25-$50 for showers, $50-$75 for a wedding gift

close friends and relatives: $50-$100 for showers, $100+ for a wedding gift

But this is how much we spend now that we are financially stable and have everything we need. I spent much less when I was in my 20's and still struggling to pay the bills. You've got kids with lots of expenses. If money is a little tight, you could just get your friend a less expensive gift with sentimental value.

You can nicely frame a picture of you and your friend and give that to her for her shower. And for a wedding gift, you can buy a large popcorn bowl and fill it with microwave popcorn, candy, and a couple of fun DVDs that the couple might like. It really is the thought that counts. I really like it when people put thought into the gifts that they give me.

Gift registries are great, but the items on the registry are not your only gift options. If the items are too expensive, then by all means, come up with your own creative gift ideas. I'm sure your friend and her husband will appreciate whatever you give them.



answers from Chicago on

Normally I spend about $25 for a bridal shower gift and for the wedding depending...$75 to $100...Never more than $100. We can't afford it.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I just got married a few months ago and didn't really expect all that much for the shower. it was more about the wedding for me. I think 40 or so for the shower and at least 50 per person that attends the wedding. The wedding gifts are supposed to give you a head start on your new life. Depending on where they're having it, it might cost 50 per person just to have the guest there. It's really nice to come out on top, wish i could have experienced that but we were still very much in debt after we added it all up.



answers from Philadelphia on

I always try to pick a theme gift. This way I feel like I am giving more for less. Where is she going for her honeymoon? If it's a beach, getting a beach bag, hat, lotion/sunscreen, flip flops, and maybe a beach towel would be a really nice and thoughtful gift that she can actually use. Five dollar stores are great for that stuff. But, definitely under $50.
Or, if you know someone else invited to the shower, go halfsies, on something a little more pricey like nice lingerie.
For the wedding itself. Get average priced wine glasses and get them engraved with her new initial. And, if all fails, I always utilize There are many wedding type items to choose from on there and you can choose your price range. Good luck!



answers from Milwaukee on

I did $35 for weddings this past year and $20 for showers. I would spend $150 for weddings & wish I could but we can't afford it. For my husbands best friend (DH was best man) we spent $100 and $35 for the shower.

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