Amount of cash wedding gift?

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gd
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Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by gd »

Relative at niece/nephew level I have good feelings towards but barely know and see once / 5 years or so at important family gatherings is getting married. I was invited but not going for irrelevant reasons. Both up and coming professionals in very expensive region, living in small, fully stocked apartment saving for future absurdly-priced housing, so requested cash gifts via Zola. Wedding registries give you a push towards what feels appropriate, but this is sort of cold-blooded and I'm not confident of my judgement. Curious if there are conventions or opinions people would like to share.
GingerandPiper
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by GingerandPiper »

Well, that is a dilemma. I'm guessing the relative is not a child of one of your siblings - therefore, not a niece or nephew. So I would think about $100. I wouldn't do less - but $200 seems silly and $500 too much. Too bad they aren't registered - like with Macys or William Sonoma, etc. Then it becomes easier.

But I'm a Boglehead. Best of all, you didn't ignore their cash request and send them a toaster...:-)

Now! Just hope you get a handwritten thank you note...seems like those have gone out of style though.

Ginger
KyleAAA
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by KyleAAA »

$100 seems reasonable
KlangFool
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

For certain cultures, there is a market price for the cash gift as per the closeness of the relationship. In those cases, you should ask folks that shared your cultures, what is the current market price?

<<this is sort of cold-blooded>>

In those cultures, this is normal expected behavior.

KlangFool
sailaway
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by sailaway »

We usually send about $100 dollars. It is a number we picked out of our arses, rather than an etiquette book, though. I do it whether they register or not, as I know they need to pay for the wedding and life, I don't know whether or not they will use the crap they put in the registry.

The last two weddings (hah, no fingers, not weedings), that we were invited to had a fake registry to split the difference. You chose what you were contributing to, in one case honeymoon add ons, in the other, moving expenses vs honeymoon. I assume the newly weds just received discounted currency from the organizing website, with no obligation to spend it on the thing I had chosen. I would have rather they had told me how to send them money directly, rather than with a, I don't know - if charities are any guideline, probably at least a 5% surcharge for the service of pretending like I was paying for something specific.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

You’re not going - a nice card with $100.
If you are going, different story altogether.
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dbr
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by dbr »

KyleAAA wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:00 pm $100 seems reasonable
I think so too. We have done that in a couple of recent cases (but not close family).
lukestuckenhymer
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by lukestuckenhymer »

I've given $200 for really close friends, but I'd give $100 for "normal friends."
FireFool
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by FireFool »

I think conventions and opinions on appropriate dollar amounts for wedding gifts are really relative to your and their family's wealth. If your net worth is in the 10's or 100's of millions then a $100 gift is completely out of line as being the ultimate cheapskate, but if you/they are lower blue collar with no appreciable net worth's than $100 could be considered quite quite generous. I guess one measure might be how much you spend on your spouse for their annual birthday (gift and dinner out) - you do this every year, whereas this is a once in a lifetime gift to the newly married's. Note this advice is on the basis of you not attending the reception - if you attend the reception you should factor in your estimate of the costs of your attendance and something above and beyond that.
stan1
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by stan1 »

Gifts are always personal. Family and cultural customs come into play. Sometimes families are very large (dozens of nephews, nieces, cousins). The giver's financial circumstances should also be considered.

That said I'd do $250 for a niece/nephew unless you don't want to set a precedent that dozens of others will expect you to meet and if you can afford it.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by twr »

Joining the chorus of $100 cash with a nice card/note. :dollar
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Plano »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:02 pm For certain cultures, there is a market price for the cash gift as per the closeness of the relationship. In those cases, you should ask folks that shared your cultures, what is the current market price?

<<this is sort of cold-blooded>>

In those cultures, this is normal expected behavior.
+1

Also, if there is a lucky number, use it in the gift. For example, 8s in Chinese culture and multiples of 18 for Jewish culture. OP, if they are Jewish it's easy: send $180.
Irisheyes
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Irisheyes »

Is it a niece/nephew or not? Your wording is vague.

My niece is getting married in a few months and is also requesting cash gifts. We are mulling $500-$1000 range...she is the daughter of my sister, and so I feel like I should be generous.

If it wasn't my sister's child though, I'd be a lot more parsimonious.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Trader Joe »

gd wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:49 pm Relative at niece/nephew level I have good feelings towards but barely know and see once / 5 years or so at important family gatherings is getting married. I was invited but not going for irrelevant reasons. Both up and coming professionals in very expensive region, living in small, fully stocked apartment saving for future absurdly-priced housing, so requested cash gifts via Zola. Wedding registries give you a push towards what feels appropriate, but this is sort of cold-blooded and I'm not confident of my judgement. Curious if there are conventions or opinions people would like to share.
A nice card with a crisp $100 bill in the envelope.
SurfCityBill
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by SurfCityBill »

DW and I were ponding a similar issue with an international twist. Normally, the $100 / $200 amounts sound find for us. In our case we're headed to Australia for a 2nd cousin wedding. Not incredibly close but part of a few family members we have overseas. We're thinking for this one $200 but since the exchange rate US to AUS is so good perhaps we should consider more. What do you think?
Katietsu
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Katietsu »

As long as you are financially stable, I would consider $100 to be the minimum. Total guess is that $150 or more might be more in line with other gifts from Aunt/uncle level of a non attendee.

Recent bridal shower, about 40 people, guessing typical salary of attendees was around $75k, a majority of gifts were $100 and up. And this was a shower where about $20 was spent per guest on hosting the event.

Niece/nephew married a few years ago. Same socio economic demographic. Aunts/Uncles with stable finances gave gifts of $250-$400 but all attended wedding.

As KlangFool said though, expectations are going to vary widely between “cultures”.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by dukeblue219 »

We got married in 2015 at an age where we both had plenty of the usual items couples registered for in the past. A crisp $100 bill was by far the most common gift received. It's enough (especially as a Benjamin) to seem like a generous gift without breaking anyone's bank too badly.

For family members, and especially if you are gifting to a younger generation and can afford it, a little more would be a nice touch but hardly expected.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

GingerandPiper wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:58 pm Well, that is a dilemma. I'm guessing the relative is not a child of one of your siblings - therefore, not a niece or nephew. So I would think about $100. I wouldn't do less - but $200 seems silly and $500 too much. Too bad they aren't registered - like with Macys or William Sonoma, etc. Then it becomes easier.

But I'm a Boglehead. Best of all, you didn't ignore their cash request and send them a toaster...:-)

Now! Just hope you get a handwritten thank you note...seems like those have gone out of style though.

Ginger
+1. Millennials don’t always take time to write handwritten thank you notes and they don’t always send them on time. I know life gets busy but I think it is polite to let people know that you appreciate the gift and that you received it. I am a Millennial who tries her best to write thank yous through snail mail.
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fasteddie911
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by fasteddie911 »

Minimum $100/pp if we're going. If not going, it varies but certainly less than $100/pp.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Sandtrap »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:02 pm OP,

For certain cultures, there is a market price for the cash gift as per the closeness of the relationship. In those cases, you should ask folks that shared your cultures, what is the current market price?

<<this is sort of cold-blooded>>

In those cultures, this is normal expected behavior.

KlangFool
+1
For some, a nice bottle of wine or other is appropriate.
For others, $100 to $1000 works well.

As you are not "close" as in your own child, I wouldn't worry that they'll even remember who gave them what.
So, I would stress too much about it. The more you stress about it, the more you will stress about it.

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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Sandtrap »

BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:52 pm
GingerandPiper wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:58 pm Well, that is a dilemma. I'm guessing the relative is not a child of one of your siblings - therefore, not a niece or nephew. So I would think about $100. I wouldn't do less - but $200 seems silly and $500 too much. Too bad they aren't registered - like with Macys or William Sonoma, etc. Then it becomes easier.

But I'm a Boglehead. Best of all, you didn't ignore their cash request and send them a toaster...:-)

Now! Just hope you get a handwritten thank you note...seems like those have gone out of style though.

Ginger
+1. Millennials don’t always take time to write handwritten thank you notes and they don’t always send them on time. I know life gets busy but I think it is polite to let people know that you appreciate the gift and that you received it. I am a Millennial who tries her best to write thank yous through snail mail.
Congratulations and huge appreciation to you.
This sets you well apart from a large crowd. :D

Snail mail rules, especially with fountain pens. :)

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DiploInvestor
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by DiploInvestor »

Growing up I was told that as a rule of thumb, the price of your meal at the reception is a good figure to use. For example, if they (or someone) is laying out $150 a plate, then $150 is a reasonable gift. That's of course if you were going. In my personal opinion, a bit more than that might be reasonable if you're not going, in order to make up for not being able to be there in person. But that's just me.
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gd
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by gd »

Irisheyes wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:56 pm Is it a niece/nephew or not? Your wording is vague.
Deliberately, they might be bogleheads. :D Thanks all, the diverse input was quite helpful.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

The question is timely for me. My niece is getting married in the SE and three of us plan to attend the wedding and the rehearsal dinner. It is going to cost us quite a bit for the flights/hotel and other incidental expenses. I consider her as my daughter and am thinking of something in the range of $1,500.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:42 pm The question is timely for me. My niece is getting married in the SE and three of us plan to attend the wedding and the rehearsal dinner. It is going to cost us quite a bit for the flights/hotel and other incidental expenses. I consider her as my daughter and am thinking of something in the range of $1,500.
Very generous gift!
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

Sandtrap wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:09 am
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:52 pm
GingerandPiper wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:58 pm Well, that is a dilemma. I'm guessing the relative is not a child of one of your siblings - therefore, not a niece or nephew. So I would think about $100. I wouldn't do less - but $200 seems silly and $500 too much. Too bad they aren't registered - like with Macys or William Sonoma, etc. Then it becomes easier.

But I'm a Boglehead. Best of all, you didn't ignore their cash request and send them a toaster...:-)

Now! Just hope you get a handwritten thank you note...seems like those have gone out of style though.

Ginger
+1. Millennials don’t always take time to write handwritten thank you notes and they don’t always send them on time. I know life gets busy but I think it is polite to let people know that you appreciate the gift and that you received it. I am a Millennial who tries her best to write thank yous through snail mail.
Congratulations and huge appreciation to you.
This sets you well apart from a large crowd. :D

Snail mail rules, especially with fountain pens. :)

j :happy
It's basic etiquette. Manners are taught (preferably) at a young age. I think I'll have to get a fountain pen! :D
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Sandtrap »

BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:29 am
Sandtrap wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:09 am
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:52 pm
GingerandPiper wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:58 pm Well, that is a dilemma. I'm guessing the relative is not a child of one of your siblings - therefore, not a niece or nephew. So I would think about $100. I wouldn't do less - but $200 seems silly and $500 too much. Too bad they aren't registered - like with Macys or William Sonoma, etc. Then it becomes easier.

But I'm a Boglehead. Best of all, you didn't ignore their cash request and send them a toaster...:-)

Now! Just hope you get a handwritten thank you note...seems like those have gone out of style though.

Ginger
+1. Millennials don’t always take time to write handwritten thank you notes and they don’t always send them on time. I know life gets busy but I think it is polite to let people know that you appreciate the gift and that you received it. I am a Millennial who tries her best to write thank yous through snail mail.
Congratulations and huge appreciation to you.
This sets you well apart from a large crowd. :D

Snail mail rules, especially with fountain pens. :)

j :happy
It's basic etiquette. Manners are taught (preferably) at a young age. I think I'll have to get a fountain pen! :D
Have fun here:
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http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/

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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by willthrill81 »

I guess we're a little too cheap, but a distant family member that we don't know might not get anything from us at all. If the only real contact we have with someone is them asking for money, that's certainly not enough to warrant a gift. In the OP's situation, we might give $50 but certainly no more.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Jags4186 »

willthrill81 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:00 am I guess we're a little too cheap, but a distant family member that we don't know might not get anything from us at all. If the only real contact we have with someone is them asking for money, that's certainly not enough to warrant a gift. In the OP's situation, we might give $50 but certainly no more.
Do you go to the wedding if you give no gift?

If I go I gift. If I travel to the wedding I gift less. If I don’t go to the wedding I don’t gift. I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve not gone to a wedding of someone close.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Pu239 »

My wife and I were given $2000 for a wedding gift from one of her uncles back in the early 1980s. It was a very welcome gift. We probably have been a little more generous to our nieces/nephews at their weddings for that reason. For many, it's a once in a lifetime event. Something closer to $500 for a seldom seen relative is probably what we'd spend - an amount made easier by not attending.
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TSR
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by TSR »

For some reason the first number that popped to mind was $150. I think it's because $100 is sort of default-level easy (not cheap, but an easy number to reach for), so the next sort of whole number above that feels appropriate to me.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by nonfacebookuser365 »

Just do nothing if you don’t plan to attend and have no interactions with them.
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8foot7
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by 8foot7 »

You barely know this person and see them once every half decade? Then this is a fishing expedition for a gift. I do not think highly of these types of "invitations" which are clearly sent to solicit gifts and not because my attendance is actually wanted. I might send $50, or perhaps a gift card to Target or something.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by jumppilot »

nonfacebookuser365 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:50 am Just do nothing if you don’t plan to attend and have no interactions with them.
Agreed.

Unless they call you on the phone monthly to see how you’re doing, you’re just one of the many vague relatives they remember seeing every 5 years at important family gatherings.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by willthrill81 »

Jags4186 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:06 am
willthrill81 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:00 am I guess we're a little too cheap, but a distant family member that we don't know might not get anything from us at all. If the only real contact we have with someone is them asking for money, that's certainly not enough to warrant a gift. In the OP's situation, we might give $50 but certainly no more.
Do you go to the wedding if you give no gift?

If I go I gift. If I travel to the wedding I gift less. If I don’t go to the wedding I don’t gift. I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve not gone to a wedding of someone close.
Same.
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FI4LIFE
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by FI4LIFE »

I have seen other wedding gift threads and was surprised at how regional customs differed within the U.S. I can't imagine anyone turning their nose up at $50 from a distant relative.
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dm200
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by dm200 »

KyleAAA wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:00 pm $100 seems reasonable
Yes - perhaps quite generous? Even $50 to me also seems very reasonable.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by FI4LIFE »

8foot7 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:13 pm You barely know this person and see them once every half decade? Then this is a fishing expedition for a gift. I do not think highly of these types of "invitations" which are clearly sent to solicit gifts and not because my attendance is actually wanted. I might send $50, or perhaps a gift card to Target or something.
Sometimes you may be part of a "grouping" where they feel you will be offended to find out some other person was invited and you weren't. I also hate being invited to weddings of people I barely know, regardless of the motivation.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by dm200 »

FI4LIFE wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:47 pm
8foot7 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:13 pm You barely know this person and see them once every half decade? Then this is a fishing expedition for a gift. I do not think highly of these types of "invitations" which are clearly sent to solicit gifts and not because my attendance is actually wanted. I might send $50, or perhaps a gift card to Target or something.
Sometimes you may be part of a "grouping" where they feel you will be offended to find out some other person was invited and you weren't. I also hate being invited to weddings of people I barely know, regardless of the motivation.
I cannot recall being invited to a wedding where the relationship was distant. These days, it seems, most brides and grooms have trouble cutting back on those invited.
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dm200
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by dm200 »

Some friends/acquaintances are planning to be married later this year. Both have all the household stuff they will ever need.

What they plan to do is "suggest" or "request" that, instead of an actual gift or cash to them, a donation be made in honor of their wedding to one of their favorite charities. This charity is also one of my preferred ones as well.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by IMO »

8foot7 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:13 pm You barely know this person and see them once every half decade? Then this is a fishing expedition for a gift. I do not think highly of these types of "invitations" which are clearly sent to solicit gifts and not because my attendance is actually wanted. I might send $50, or perhaps a gift card to Target or something.
Agreed. You also get these from kids graduating high school or college "announcing" the event. Sure fine if you know and had personal and/or regular interactions with the kids, otherwise it's an annoying announcement because it's not rocket science to figure out why they sent the announcement. What's worse, I suspect it's the parent you do have some interaction with advising their kid to send you the announcement. Many people have facebook, go ahead and post the accomplishment on the site.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by IMO »

dm200 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:02 pm Some friends/acquaintances are planning to be married later this year. Both have all the household stuff they will ever need.

What they plan to do is "suggest" or "request" that, instead of an actual gift or cash to them, a donation be made in honor of their wedding to one of their favorite charities. This charity is also one of my preferred ones as well.
You can always do the opposite for a gift (wedding or otherwise when no charity is even suggested): To celebrate your _______________, in your name, I have donated $x to the following charity _____________.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by dm200 »

My wife and I were 27 and 32 respectively when we got married - and had a nice wedding reception - modest in cost because of various things we did or did not do.

We did not invite anyone - just to get a gift. Neither did we make any adverse judgments about the nature or amount of any gifts.

Many brides and grooms, it seems to me, place a higher priority on the wedding than the marriage!
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by travelspot »

If it is a relative and you are not going to the wedding, I think a card with $100 is the way to go. That’s what we do when not going, and if we are going then the amount is adjusted to be sure the cost of our dinner is covered as well.

Someone above referenced millennials not writing thank you cards... Yes, the last time we gave $100 to a relative we only see every 5-10 years, the check was cashed pretty much the next day and we never heard a word from them. Maybe it’s a different age now but I think writing thank you cards is just common courtesy.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by davebo »

I never send a gift if I can't go to a wedding, but if you feel compelled to then I guess $100 would work.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by apple44 »

Interesting to read about what to do for weddings.

For some reason, I always thought if we are going, we should gift less vs. if we are not going, since going to a wedding (usually out of state and sometimes international) requires time and more money. My own wedding was aborad so everybody had to travel and I told them no need for any gift -- their presence is the most important thing to us.

As for gifts, I also always thought cash is best. I did wedding registry just because it's expected and people were asking for it, but to be honest, I didn't want to have new sets of plates, silverware, glasses, etc. -- the ones I had were perfectly fine! I ended up returning most of the wedding gifts (because I really don't need them) in exchange for gift cards of the store.

With close friends, I always ask them: do you really want a physical gift on your registry? If not, I'll give you cash. They almost always say cash. With not-so-close friends, I'll just get them the things on their registry.
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Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Are BH cheap? Yes I think so.
Pu239
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:24 pm

Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by Pu239 »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:09 pm Are BH cheap? Yes I think so.
Yeah...I almost expect someone will suggest a 1 year free subscription to Bogleheads. :shock:
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Topic Author
gd
Posts: 1638
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by gd »

8foot7 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:13 pm You barely know this person and see them once every half decade? Then this is a fishing expedition for a gift. I do not think highly of these types of "invitations" which are clearly sent to solicit gifts and not because my attendance is actually wanted. I might send $50, or perhaps a gift card to Target or something.
No, that was not what was happening. I gotta just stop posting here.
geno974
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:03 am

Re: Amount of cash wedding gift?

Post by geno974 »

Depends on venue and location and relationship to B/G
I say $50 is cheap. $100 is marginal at best.
Norm is $200-$250.
$500 if high cost event in high cost location.
G
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