This may seem like a selfish expectation to those who have not yet planned a wedding. But when your time comes and you put a year into organizing your wedding and an average of $30,000+ for the day, you may be surprised how your expectations will change.
I have heard numerous people quote an etiquette belief – when attending a wedding in New York for example that your gift as a guest is expected to be equal to the amount that the host is spending per person at the wedding. So if you estimate that the reception price is around $100 per person your gift should reflect the same. I would love to hear from others if this etiquette expectation is true and if so where it is practiced.
I don’t necessarily believe that you have to look solely at cost and numbers when you attend a wedding but I do think that by accepting an invitation, as a thoughtful gesture you should give the couple a gift of celebration. It is assumed you have up to one year to give your gift, so if you don’t show up with an elegant box don’t fret. I remember I received a gift 8 months after my wedding and it was a fabulous surprise and I was just as grateful 8 months later for the thought.
What are your thoughts/experiences on expectations of bringing gifts to a wedding?
My thoughts on this come from the fact that I’d gone to many of my friends’ weddings before they attended ours. I think that getting a gift for someone for their wedding is just something that you do. I did it for my friends so my friends should do it for me.
I think every guest should bring a gift. Someone once put it to me, that they give a gift in the amount of what they would have spent on entertainment that evening, i.e. nice dinner and a movie, etc., usually around $100. As a guest to a wedding you are getting dinner and entertainment for an evening (usually including alcohol which can add up quickly). As a guest you should feel honored that the couple thought of you to share their special day and your gift should reflect that.