How Much Money Should You Give At A Wedding?

A helpful guide to wedding do's and dont's

As wedding bells ring and the invitations are sent, there’s a big issue that hangs in every guest’s mind: how much to spend on a wedding gift. Of course, every couple will say that your attendance is more than enough, but as common courtesy, you should get them a great gift that shows you’re wishing them well.

The situation gets a bit sticky if you’re not attending the wedding, or if you’re not sure how valuable your gift should be. Giving an extravagant gift when the ceremony is simple can be just as embarrassing as giving a cheap gift when the wedding is fancy.


If you’re confused about the proper etiquette for giving gifts, we have some handy tips so you will avoid making a faux pas.

How Much Money Should You Give At A Wedding?

It depends. As a general rule, these are the factors you should keep in mind when considering how much money to give at a wedding:

  • your relationship with the couple
  • your financial situation
  • whether or not you’re attending

If you’re a single person attending, the safest minimum amount you should spend on a present is $100. However, this amount can be adjusted based on your own financial situation. Don’t feel pressured to cough up a large sum when you’re in between jobs, or when you’re facing multiple wedding invitations in a short period of time.

RELATED: 20 Non-Cliché Wedding Gifts They’ll Actually Use


How Much Should You Give If You Are Related To The Couple?

The closer your relationship to the couple, the larger the minimum amount for your gift. If your son or daughter is the one getting married, you should spend lavishly.

Is A Cheque An Acceptable Wedding Present?

Yes! Australia couples will spend an average of $51,000  for the festivities. So trust us: your cheque will be very welcome! That’s a lot of money, and writing a cheque will be considered a thoughtful way to help them pay for the expenses. Some couples may even prefer getting cash and cheques over receiving material gifts.

Hot tip: make sure you give the cheque ahead of the wedding ceremony itself. Events can get pretty hectic, and you don’t want to risk it going missing in the middle of the reception.

Should I Get Them A Gift Even If I Can’t Attend The Wedding?

As a general rule, if you’re a very close friend or relative of the couple, you should send a gift anyway. But if you’re not particularly close to the bride or groom, and you won’t be attending, it is also considered acceptable to send your congratulations through a simple, well-written card.

You may still choose to send a gift, but you can spend a bit less on it than if you went to the wedding. Don’t worry – your $50 picnic hamper will still be a lovely token of good wishes to the couple.

If You’re The Bride Or Groom, How Do You Let Guests Know It’s OK To Give Cash?

A: It’s better to add a couple of lines at the bottom of your invitation, so no guests are left guessing about the propriety of giving cash. Such a line could go, While your presence is already a present in itself, if you wish to give us gifts, we’d like to request money as we are saving for our beautiful future together.”

Can I Give A Gift That’s Not On The Registry?

If the couple had taken the time to let you know what items they need, then you shouldn’t steer too far from their suggestion. However, this isn’t an unbreakable rule. If you’re particularly close to the couple and you think your choice will be a perfect gift, go with your gut and feel free to buy an item that’s off the registry.

When Do I Give A Wedding Gift?

Make things easier for yourself and the couple by having gifts sent to their home. There’s already a lot to keep track of, and the last thing they need is to think about the logistics of how to bring a heap of presents home. Most registries have shipping and tracking services, so this will make gifting a breeze. However, if you’re giving a gift that’s not on their registry, it’s acceptable to bring it to the wedding ceremony itself.

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