wedding gift value

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decapod10
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by decapod10 » Wed May 08, 2019 12:07 pm

I personally just go by 2 factors:

1. What can I reasonably afford? - The amounts I give now are many times what I would have given 10 years ago, just in a different place in life

2. How close is this person to me? - For my family (close family, not cousins) and my close friends (who are basically like family), I'll give a lot. More than most of the amounts mentioned here. For a coworker or something I will give less. Friends somewhere in between, but I don't have that many "medium" friends though. I'm too tired to maintain relationships outside of my very close friends, lol.

I don't think the cost of the wedding should have anything to do with it IMO. It was their choice on how much to spend, nothing to do with me. If they spend $1k on a wedding, I don't think they should be penalized by getting cheaper gifts, nor should they rewarded for deciding to have a lavish one.

Anyway, I think $200 is fine personally, I don't think any reasonable person should be offended by that (doesn't mean that they won't be of course).

stoptothink
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 08, 2019 12:12 pm

EddyB wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 11:58 am
stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 3:29 pm
bluebolt wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 3:23 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:47 pm
These threads blow my mind. $180/plate?
That number is easy to reach at a nice venue even in a MCOL area. If you are in a VHCOL or at a super fancy venue, it's higher than that.
I don't doubt that in the slightest, what blows my mind is that people would spend that on a wedding. A nice dinner out with the wife, sure. Maybe, even if it was a small event with just family. But for a whole bunch of people you probably don't care about (likely, many you barely know)? I could think of a few ways I'd rather spend tens of thousands. I guess if all the guests are then guilted into bringing $200+ gifts, maybe it all balances out.

Every time I see one of these threads, it's like I live on a different planet.
I feel the same way when I hear about weddings where many of the guests aren't important to the people footing the bill.
I think we all have attended weddings where we barely know, and may not have even ever met, the bride and/or groom. Your bosses kid, a cousin you haven't seen since you were in diapers, your wife's co-worker who she doesn't even know that well, somebody from your church you've talked to 5x in your life...I probably attended 10 weddings last year for people I barely know, if at all. My wife doesn't like to turn down social opportunities, even if they are of the not-so-fun kind like weddings. My wedding was our families and a handful of our closest friends, ~50 people total, but that isn't the norm.

GCD
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by GCD » Wed May 08, 2019 12:14 pm

There's a lot of talk in this thread about people "guilted" into a certain price of gift. I think it's a stretch to argue guilt is a widespread factor in wedding gift giving. Even if you are trying to cover the price of your meal the driving emotion could be generosity as easily, or more likely, than guilt.

I give large wedding gifts because I only go to weddings of people close to me and I want to give them a nice gift to celebrate a big, hopefully singular, moment in their life. Guilt has nothing to do with it.

GCD
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by GCD » Wed May 08, 2019 12:18 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:12 pm
I think we all have attended weddings where we barely know, and may not have even ever met, the bride and/or groom.
Nope, I never have, Nor has my wife. Nor has anyone I've ever met.

Seriously.

We obviously travel in some different social circles!

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 08, 2019 12:25 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:47 pm
These threads blow my mind. $180/plate?
That's nothing. I've been invited to one where the cost is higher than that! :shock:
Would have been better to spend half on wedding and bank the other half for a house (like one you can actually live in).
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 08, 2019 12:34 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:52 pm
How much did your wife's friend give the two of you at your wedding?

(Yes, there are people who keep track of this) :shock:
Watch this.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ8plFxMp40

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lthenderson
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by lthenderson » Wed May 08, 2019 12:39 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:12 pm
I think we all have attended weddings where we barely know, and may not have even ever met, the bride and/or groom. Your bosses kid, a cousin you haven't seen since you were in diapers, your wife's co-worker who she doesn't even know that well, somebody from your church you've talked to 5x in your life...I probably attended 10 weddings last year for people I barely know, if at all. My wife doesn't like to turn down social opportunities, even if they are of the not-so-fun kind like weddings.
I've been to about six weddings in nearly five decades, all for close personal family. For the weddings mentioned above, I just send a card.

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audioaxes
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by audioaxes » Wed May 08, 2019 12:42 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:05 am
toofache32 wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:07 pm
How did you find out the meal was $180?
This question always lingers in my head when I hear "cover your plate". I've probably been to over 100 weddings in my life, I have never once known beforehand (or after) the cost. Nobody asked the cost of mine before they attended. How exactly do people come to know this information? Seriously, is it "hey friend, how much are you spending on your wedding so I know how much I should feel guilted into giving you as a gift"?
I dont know how exactly it was brought up but my wife is close enough to the bride to get this info without it feeling awkward at all. Money earned and spent is a very open subject for them.

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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 08, 2019 12:45 pm

CoastalWinds wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:28 am
My reception revealed some very interesting things about people I thought I knew better. I’m talking about friends and family who didn’t travel very far (little cost incurred in their part), people who’s wedding I drove a great distance for and was generous with gift giving, and people whom I had invested in a relationship with. Some people came, consumed mightily, and left nothing. Absolutely nothing. Others came, consumer mightily, and left me a birthday card (with nothing inside) in an envelope on the counter, giving a blatantly false appearance of care. But they left nothing for in terms of the wedding. To this day, I do not understand what these people were thinking. That we wouldnt notice?? More than anything, it was an embarrassment. To be related to such inconsiderate people. It is the thought that counts, and those acts were thoughtless.
Perhaps inviting people with the expectation of receiving nothing other than their presence is the real gift. If you receive anything additional, then consider it extra generous. For my own wedding that is the expectation I set way in advance. I was not disappointed.
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 08, 2019 12:49 pm

audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:42 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:05 am
toofache32 wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:07 pm
How did you find out the meal was $180?
This question always lingers in my head when I hear "cover your plate". I've probably been to over 100 weddings in my life, I have never once known beforehand (or after) the cost. Nobody asked the cost of mine before they attended. How exactly do people come to know this information? Seriously, is it "hey friend, how much are you spending on your wedding so I know how much I should feel guilted into giving you as a gift"?
I dont know how exactly it was brought up but my wife is close enough to the bride to get this info without it feeling awkward at all. Money earned and spent is a very open subject for them.
Google is your friend. Google the locale of the reception + wedding reception cost or go to weddingwire.com or just type in cost of weddings in your particular state, county or city. You will be amazed about how people who are either shopping for venues, have booked at venues for a future date or have just had a wedding will spill the beans on cost for everything including the tip for the maitre'd. The minimum number of seats to book, I mean everything. The cost of the music, dj or band, the photographer. Wedding industry is huge business. Some of these weddings cost what a 4 year education at a private college costs. :shock:
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 08, 2019 12:50 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:39 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:12 pm
I think we all have attended weddings where we barely know, and may not have even ever met, the bride and/or groom. Your bosses kid, a cousin you haven't seen since you were in diapers, your wife's co-worker who she doesn't even know that well, somebody from your church you've talked to 5x in your life...I probably attended 10 weddings last year for people I barely know, if at all. My wife doesn't like to turn down social opportunities, even if they are of the not-so-fun kind like weddings.
I've been to about six weddings in nearly five decades, all for close personal family. For the weddings mentioned above, I just send a card.
If I don't know them well, but know the parents, I'll mail a card and a nominal check.
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mmmodem
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by mmmodem » Wed May 08, 2019 1:12 pm

I've been to nearly a dozen weddings now. I feel like a guru.

It is easy word of mouth to get the cost per plate. If It isn't easy, consider that you may not be close to the couple and your invitation was only out of respect. The couple did not expect you to accept. You probably don't want to go anyway.

Let's think the best of the couple. They only want you there to celebrate their marriage. They do not require a gift. That is honestly how DW and I felt about our wedding. I feel more people say that and put that on invitations than actually mean it. However, my mom and dad kept tabs on how much uncle Joe and Aunt Jane gave. They needed to know so they knew how much to give at the next wedding.

If I do not want to pay the wedding cost per plate x 2, $360 in this example, I do not go. $180 per plate is not high. Don't get me wrong, its a lot of money but sadly, it is not out of the norm for a wedding. I always write a check in lieu of a gift. I guess there are a few people out there that still think it's faux pas. I don't know any of these people And probably wouldn't be invited to their wedding anyway.

Single adults just starting out in life gets a pass. They don't have to pay anything and it's really great they showed up at all.

stoptothink
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 08, 2019 2:14 pm

audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:42 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:05 am
toofache32 wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:07 pm
How did you find out the meal was $180?
This question always lingers in my head when I hear "cover your plate". I've probably been to over 100 weddings in my life, I have never once known beforehand (or after) the cost. Nobody asked the cost of mine before they attended. How exactly do people come to know this information? Seriously, is it "hey friend, how much are you spending on your wedding so I know how much I should feel guilted into giving you as a gift"?
I dont know how exactly it was brought up but my wife is close enough to the bride to get this info without it feeling awkward at all. Money earned and spent is a very open subject for them.
So, your wife flat out asked the bride? I personally find that very hard to believe.

stoptothink
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 08, 2019 2:15 pm

GCD wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:12 pm
I think we all have attended weddings where we barely know, and may not have even ever met, the bride and/or groom.
Nope, I never have, Nor has my wife. Nor has anyone I've ever met.

Seriously.

We obviously travel in some different social circles!
Well, you definitely live in a different world than I do. We only invited people we actually care about to our wedding, hence ~50, but that doesn't seem to be the norm here. Most weddings I have attended have well over 100 attendees. Outside of family, there might be a handful of people on this planet I really care about (like I would travel for their wedding), yet we get invited to weddings all the time. In the last 4yrs I've had over a dozen employees get married, I've been invited (and attended) every one of their weddings. Probably a similar amount for wife's co-workers. Maybe we are just that cool that everybody wants us at their wedding (doubtful)?

harrychan
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by harrychan » Wed May 08, 2019 3:07 pm

I go by some rule of thumb. First, the min. I will give is the cost of venue of the reception. I can gauge how much each venue costs which can range from $80-150 based on my circle of friends. With my DW, that is double. The most I gave was $500 as they were someone whom I've mentored both the bride and the groom from when they were in freshman in high school.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

EddyB
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by EddyB » Wed May 08, 2019 3:44 pm

GCD wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:12 pm
I think we all have attended weddings where we barely know, and may not have even ever met, the bride and/or groom.
Nope, I never have, Nor has my wife. Nor has anyone I've ever met.

Seriously.

We obviously travel in some different social circles!
Same here (at least for me, and my wife; I can't say whether anyone I've ever met has been to such a wedding!).

mayday23
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by mayday23 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:07 pm

If someone came to our wedding and the cost per plate were similar or less, i'd give exactly what they gave me. If that didn't occur, then I generally cover the cost of the plate - up to range made up in my head of what is reasonable based on my financial situation. It's pretty easy to gauge that a wedding in Chicago Ridge with no alcohol vs the Intercontinental on Michigan Ave.

To OPs question, I'd give $300. If i was poor, couldn't afford that or didn't want to give that much and would prefer to go to Morton's, then i would decline the wedding invitation and send a $50 gift.

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Meg77
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Meg77 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:31 pm

audioaxes wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:52 pm
ohai wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 12:14 pm
$200 is fine. They're not even going to know how much your gift costs. The important thing is to get something that is tasteful and not just an expensive piece of crap.
We planned to give money instead of a gift, even though we are really good at finding stuff on deep discount or just looks much more expensive than what it was. At $200+ I want to make sure what we give is actually used. Even wedding registries can be full of filler stuff the recipient may not really use.
Give cash or get something off the registry. If you get something random the couple will assume it's re-gifted or bought on deep discount. Which you may not care about, but your question implies that you want to conform to general expectations or proper etiquette.

Covering the cost of your plate is a good baseline. My husband and I give around $300 for very close friends when they marry (in addition to a chearper $100 or so bridal shower gift usually). Usually the weddings are pretty nice affairs, along the lines of the cost of what you're talking about - and we both make good money. Age matters too though. If you're in your 20s starting out in your career, people will expect less when it comes to gifts than if you are 55 and retired early. This is regardless of your actual income. If you're a family member over the age of 50, the couple will expect or at least hope that you'll spring for one of the most expensive items on the registry (who else will, after all?).
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CoastalWinds
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by CoastalWinds » Wed May 08, 2019 6:15 pm

CoastalWinds wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:28 am
My reception revealed some very interesting things about people. I’m talking about close friends and family who didn’t travel very far (little cost incurred in their part), the same people who’s wedding I drove a great distance for and was generous with gift giving. Many people came, consumed, didn’t even come to say hi to us, and left nothing. Others came, consumed, and left me a birthday card of all things. One person gave me a bag of marshmallows (and no, this was not on the registry and it wasn’t a gag gift). And then there are the 20 people who RSVP’d, cost us money to have tables and food for them, and didn’t show up or ever say a word about why they couldn’t make it.

I guess one could say I should lower my expectations, but to me this was some pretty disrespectful behavior and I don’t think I should lower the bar to condone this.
Last edited by CoastalWinds on Wed May 08, 2019 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: wedding gift value

Post by CoastalWinds » Wed May 08, 2019 6:29 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:13 am

Wow. Just wow.
The guests at my wedding were invited to celebrate, not so I could rack up on dishes. Same here. I don't care if they gave me a gift or not. Same here. I made sure my guests enjoyed themselves and had a good time, and that they felt it was worthwhile to come to my wedding. Same here.
I cannot imagine what kind of mental frame is required to spend your wedding keeping tabs on how much each person eats and drinks, and to view your wedding as a business transaction to profit from. Who did this? You should have just charged them for attendance. I cannot imagine what kind of mental frame is required to make false accusations and try to pass them off as truth in a holier than thou, judgmental posture.

toofache32
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by toofache32 » Wed May 08, 2019 7:34 pm

Judgmental? You need to read your post again, especially if you want to see an example of judgmental. Maybe it wasn’t intended that way but I was pretty shocked. Why did you delete it?

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Re: wedding gift value

Post by toofache32 » Wed May 08, 2019 7:35 pm

sorry duplicate post

CoastalWinds
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by CoastalWinds » Wed May 08, 2019 8:54 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 7:34 pm
Judgmental? You need to read your post again, especially if you want to see an example of judgmental. Maybe it wasn’t intended that way but I was pretty shocked. Why did you delete it?
Pretty sure I know the facts of my situation better than you.

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Random Musings
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Random Musings » Wed May 08, 2019 10:14 pm

Weddings, proms, formals, birthdays and every damn event in the world. With so much social media, a lot of people get caught in the "keeping up with the [choose a name]".

Years later, almost of this material stuff is forgotten. You can be creative in planning these events with far less money in many cases and still stand out from the high cost "look at how much we spent" approach. Then, you can use the money for more experiences you will remember, rather than fewer.

However, poor planning, going super cheap, really awkward moments, the highly unusual or bizarre, and truly disastrous situations have a higher chance of sticking in someone's brain.

RM
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whodidntante
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by whodidntante » Wed May 08, 2019 10:52 pm

For a top 6 friend, counterfeit purse. Especially if the friendship is likely to look counterfeit in a few years. But get a good one, made in China.

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whodidntante
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by whodidntante » Wed May 08, 2019 10:57 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:47 pm
These threads blow my mind. $180/plate?
The plate is crawling with live but slightly sickly lobsters that recently visited an ATM, on a bed of dry aged steaks. Actually, give them that.

bluebolt
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by bluebolt » Thu May 09, 2019 5:40 am

I find that life is far simpler if I give what I want to give and appreciate whatever I get. I am lucky enough to be able to give generously. I often give small gifts ($40-$80) to co-workers and acquaintances who I like even when I'm not invited to their wedding.

runner540
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by runner540 » Thu May 09, 2019 6:39 am

audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:42 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:05 am
toofache32 wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:07 pm
How did you find out the meal was $180?
This question always lingers in my head when I hear "cover your plate". I've probably been to over 100 weddings in my life, I have never once known beforehand (or after) the cost. Nobody asked the cost of mine before they attended. How exactly do people come to know this information? Seriously, is it "hey friend, how much are you spending on your wedding so I know how much I should feel guilted into giving you as a gift"?
I dont know how exactly it was brought up but my wife is close enough to the bride to get this info without it feeling awkward at all. Money earned and spent is a very open subject for them.
It wasn't clear to me if $180 is (a) the total wedding cost / attendee, or (b) the marginal per person cost of your meal/alcohol. I learned that (b) is what you may use to guide a gift amount, not the total wedding cost.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu May 09, 2019 8:58 pm

I'll point out, as usual, what Miss Manners has to say. Your gift is not a repayment for your meal or anything else. You should give a gift like you would any other, based on your relationship to the recipient and your own situation.

SoAnyway
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by SoAnyway » Fri May 10, 2019 12:50 am

audioaxes wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 12:09 pm
My wife is probably a top 6 friend of hers but definitely not a top 3 friend. This friend is also doing a good amount better than us financially. I'm thinking an even $200 should be sufficient. Any opinions?
OP, I'm Gen X so I don't "get" this whole thing of ranking my "Top 6" vs. my "Top 3" friends, or "ranking" my friends generally.
My friends are my friends based on long-standing relationships. In my mind, "friends" are those who (a) have each other's back and help each other out when the other needs a hand, and (b) would sooner sever a limb than keep a "dollar ledger" of (air quotes) who's done what for whom - The latter isn't a friendship; it's a business relationship. Big diff. BTW, as a side gig, I do teach younger folks at the university graduate level, so I do "get" that it's evidently a "thing" amongst the younger set to "rank order" their friends.... Not my jam, but whatever. SoAnyway....

Back to your question: If whomever is getting married really IS a FRIEND, this is NOT a math/dollars issue. Spend what you and DW can afford within your means on the gift. If the couple are truly your friends, your presence at the nuptials will be the REAL gift. What you spend on the "formal gift" will simply be extra. Either way, you and DW can't lose: If you and DW attend the wedding, have a blast, and are brought closer to the couple, you win. :) If you are made to feel later in any way that you didn't "measure up" due to whatever you and DW pick off the wedding registry, you win: You've learned whether or not these people are your REAL friends. :happy

P.S. and a propos of nothing, I blame Facebook for sooo diluting the definition of what a real "Friend" is such that an entire generation wouldn't know the real thing if it bit them in ____, but never mind that lol.... :happy
Last edited by SoAnyway on Fri May 10, 2019 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ClaycordJCA
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Re: wedding gift value

Post by ClaycordJCA » Fri May 10, 2019 2:30 am

Feeling blessed. DD is getting married in June. She and her fiancé live in a VLCOL town (is a population of 9k a city or a town?). Gave her a budget of $10k for 100 people, with the idea she’d be able to keep it at or below $12.5k. I told her I will give her what she doesn’t spend. Looks like she’ll come pretty close to spending the full $10k - catering, DJ, wine & beer and other drinks from Costco or Total Wine, venue, photographer - it all adds up.

As to OP’s question, at weddings we often give a The Wedding Crate + other miscellaneous Penzey’s spices - about $200 total as I recall - and explain that we love to cook together using our spices and hope they are able to experience the same joy when cooking together that we do. So, our budget is about $200 a wedding.

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