How much to spend on a wedding gift, depending on your invite

Everyone loves a wedding, but they can be costly affairs to attend, as well as host. Apparently, the average cost of being a wedding guest is £541.90. From travel and staying overnight somewhere to a new outfit and drinks, it’s not hard for the costs to add up. Additionally, if you’re part of the bridal or groom party, you’ll likely have even more costs beforehand linked to the hen or stag do.

And all that is before we even think about the gift. Wedding gifting has become tricky ground in recent years – with most couples living together before tying the knot, they likely already own everything they need.

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The biggest trend these days is for couples to ask for donations towards their honeymoon fund in lieu of physical wedding gifts, but this still leaves the dilemma of how much to spend – perhaps even more so, as you know the couple will be able to see exactly how much money you’ve gifted them.

To help out, the personal finance experts at Ocean Finance have crunched the numbers to reveal exactly how much is an appropriate amount to spend on wedding gifts, depending on where you sit in the wedding party.

However, remember this is a guide, not an essential. As the researchers say: ‘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 realise you’ve probably already spent money doing just that.

‘If you do, however, plan on buying them a gift, 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.’

Here’s what they had to say on how much to spend on wedding gifts…

Acquaintances and night guests: £20-30

If you’re just invited to the evening bash, you may not be expected to bring a gift at all. However, if you can’t bear turning up empty handed, the personal finance experts say spending around £20-£30 is deemed standard. This could be a soft furnishing for the home or a fancy candle – just remember if you are buying a physical gift, keep the couple’s taste in mind as you don’t want to waste your money on something they’ll never use.

If you’re not sure of their taste, a food hamper or a voucher for a restaurant or takeaway is an ideal gift.

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All-day guest: £50-100

If you’re attending the full wedding day, it’s often thought that your gift should reflect the cost of the wedding meal. However, it really depends on how much you’re comfortable spending and also how close you are to the bride and groom.

The average acceptable price bracket for this band of wedding guest is around £50-£100. If you are close with the couple, a personalised print or cheeseboard make lovely gifts.

READ MORE: 5 biggest wedding spending regrets from former brides

Immediate family member: £50-100

If it’s your brother or sister tying the knot, you may want to go the extra mile and splash out a bit. Ocean Finance say that, as a guide, it’s typical to spend up to £100 on wedding presents for close family members. However, remember they’ll likely be aware of what you can afford, so don’t spend beyond what you’re comfortable with – after all, you’ve likely already had to fork out for hen/stag dos by this point.

As we said before, your gift could be your decided amount as a donation towards their honeymoon fund, but you could also consider buying them a voucher for their favourite restaurant or shop so they can buy something for themselves.

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Bridesmaid or groomsman: £50-100

Similarly to immediate family, if you’ve been selected as a bridesmaid or groomsman – or even the maid of honour or best man – then we can assume you’re very close to the couple. Again, up to £100 is a typical amount to spend here, but you can always think outside the box for a wedding gift if funds are tight – think homemade babysitting vouchers or the promise to cook them a slap-up meal. Alternatively, if the bride and groom are tight on money, you may want to gift them before the big day by contributing to an element of the wedding.