This Trick for Deciding How Much Money to Give as a Wedding Gift Works Every Time
When you turn to the Internet for help deciding how much to give as wedding gift (been there) you’ll find a lot of vague advice and arbitrary amounts ascribed to people in your life based on your relationship to them.
Some guides recommend $100 for family and close relatives, $75 for coworkers, $50 for extended family. Then you adjust based on whether or not you’re traveling and staying at a hotel or if the wedding is local.
I don’t know about you, but math was never my strong suit and the idea of running my relationships through an equation like that gives me the shakes, not to mention feels like putting a prices on relationships.
There are also folks who recommend giving the same amount no matter who's on the receiving end. Personally, that feels a bit rigid. You’re giving a gift, not paying a bill - loosen up!
Thinking about why this question is so tough to answer, I landed on the idea that it's because this is an emotional question (not just an economic one). It’s about feelings and finances.
So, instead of approaching it like a math exercise, I bring feelings into it. Here is the one simple questions I ask myself to decide how much to give as a cash gift:
“If I were buying a physical object from a registry or store, how much would I feel comfortable spending?”
See, no matter what we’re giving, we likely have a budget in mind for what we want to spend on it. We’re the only person who knows our cash-flow situation and how much is going to feel generous without over-stretching.
I personally love this method because even though feelings can be complicated, leaving them out of the gift giving process entirely sucks the joy right out of the whole experience.
When thinking of an amount this way, it balances the practical considerations with the love and joy you feel toward your friend or loved-one who's celebrating something amazing. I'd call that a win-win!