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How Much Should You Give at Weddings? A State-By-State Guide

How Much Should You Give at Weddings? A State-By-State Guide

Marketwatch.com’s Catey Hill’s article about Tendr and cash gift trends:

While marriage is, of course, about love and commitment, what betrothed couple hasn’t also dreamed about the awesome gifts they’ll get — especially those of the cash variety?

Turns out, who you invite to your wedding might yield you significantly more loot, as guests from certain states are bigger spenders than others, according to data from about 4,000 wedding guests using the site. Tendr, which enables wedding guests to give cash to the bride and groom.

The average cash-gift amount to a marrying couple nationwide is $120 per gift, but guests from Connecticut, the state with the most generous guests, give an average of $229. Meanwhile, guests from Utah, the state with the lowest average gift, gave just $57.

These state-by-state discrepancies may be due, in part, to different norms in different parts of the country, says Jeffrey Beil, the CEO of Tendr. In the Northeast, where in some cases cash gifts have been acceptable for longer, gifts are higher, while they tend to be lower in the more traditional Midwest. It could also have something to do with income levels in the states: Many of the states with the highest, and lowest, median incomes also gave the most, and least, amount of cash, respectively. And, of course, the data didn’t come from a randomly selected group of wedding guests across the nation — instead, they were a group of Tendr users – so that could skew the results a bit.

Brides and grooms hoping to maximize the amount of cash they get should consider the season: Wedding guests give significantly more cash to a bride and groom who get married in spring (particularly March) – traditionally the start of wedding season – than in any other season. Guests gave March couples 36% more cash ($194) than those who were married in September, the month with the lowest cash gifts. “It’s higher at the beginning of the season,” says Beil. “I think there might be some wedding fatigue.”

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been a guest at a wedding in recent years, as simply attending these affairs is getting pricier. The average cost to attend a wedding as a guest has jumped from $539 in 2013 to $673 in 2015, according to the 2015 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. When you’re spending money like that just on one wedding, and you have multiple weddings to attend, you no doubt feel a little less generous as time goes on.

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