Big weddings are back on – and that means fancy dinners, dancing the night away, and celebrating with your loved ones.
It also means you’ll probably be spending quite a bit.
We know that planning a wedding is expensive, but even being a guest can be extremely costly.
In fact, the average cost of being a wedding guest is an eye-watering £541.90 – which includes a new outfit, somewhere to stay, drinks and, of course, a gift.
But how much should you be spending on your wedding gift? Does it depend on how well you know the couple? Will you be judged if you don’t spend enough?
The experts at Ocean Finance have thankfully run the numbers to help wedding guests decide how much is appropriate to spend on the all-important present. And it does seem to depend on where you sit in the wedding party.
‘While people might worry about how much to spend on a gift, many couples are just happy you’re able to celebrate the day with them – and they realise you’ve probably already spent money doing just that,’ says Sarah Neate, editor in chief at Ocean Finance.
‘But we found that people tend to spend more if they’re closer to the couple – with over double the spend for a family member or close friend, compared to acquaintances, such as a colleague.
‘However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to show how much you care, and opting for a personalised or handmade gift (Etsy is great for this!) can be a thoughtful and affordable way of celebrating the newlyweds.’
Immediate family members, or bridal party: £100
For the bridal party and groomsmen, or a close family member, £100 is a typical amount to spend on a wedding gift. However, this is just a guide.
Your close family members will likely be aware of what you’re able to afford, so don’t spend beyond what you’re comfortable with. After all, you’ve probably already shelled out for hen dos or stag dos by this point.
If you do want to spend £100, consider stashing £20 or so away each month leading up to the big day, so you won’t be left short when the time comes.
In terms of a gift, if they’re a foodie couple, think about where they like to eat. If they can’t get enough of a certain restaurant, you could give them a gift voucher which covers their full meal.
Alternatively, you could book a local Michelin-star restaurant for a real treat or purchase a hamper of all of their favourite things.
All-day guests: £50-£100
While many think that their gift should reflect the cost of the wedding meal, it really depends on how much you’re comfortable spending. However, the average price of a meal stands at around £50 – £100.
If you’ve blagged yourself an invite to both the day and night, you must know the couple pretty well, so consider purchasing a personalised gift.
For example, you could buy them a personalised papercut print for their home, or a wine insert cheeseboard. Alternatively, his and her champagne flutes are perfect, and there may still be money left in your budget for a thoughtful card.
Acquaintances and night guests: £20-£30
Going to just the evening event? Many couples will say on the invite that they’re not expecting you to bring gifts. However, if you would like to bring something along as a nice gesture, spending around the £20-£30 mark is standard.
Some fool-proof ideas include soft furnishings or a personalised candle.
However, when purchasing something for their home, consider their taste. Do they prefer pattern and colour, or a more minimalistic style? When choosing a present, keep this in mind as you don’t want to waste your money by choosing something they’ll never use.
Alternatively, after the stress of planning the big day, you could win over the newlyweds by giving them all they need for a cosy night in.
Fill a basket with blankets, popcorn, wine, candles or even a voucher for a takeaway could be the perfect gift without spending too much.
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