Not all presents are counted equally. You’d think the most emotional part of a wedding would be when the couple ties the knot, but let’s be real — for the guests, it’s choosing the gift that brings with it a rollercoaster of feels. How much do you really need to spend? Do you even need to buy a gift if you’re in the wedding? Do you have to stick to the registry? Is buying someone bathroom products lame (even if they registered for them)?!
“There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how much to spend on a wedding gift,” says Jennifer Spector, Zola's wedding expert. “It's most important to give a gift that's within your means and that the couple will actually use in their newlywed home, no matter if it’s a $25 picture frame or a $200 set of cookware.” That said, the average wedding gift purchased on Zola is between $100 and $120, so that’s a good price range to stay within. “I also live by the 60-20-20 rule,” says Spector. “I set a total gift budget for every wedding and then I split that budget between an engagement gift, wedding shower gift, and a gift for the big day. I spend about 40 percent on pre-wedding events and 60 percent on the wedding gift.”
Also worth noting: If you’re attending a destination wedding — and paying for airfare and a hotel room — you should still buy a gift. “But it's OK to spend a bit less than you normally would in this situation. Your presence is part of the present!” says Spector.
It should go without saying that if you're super close to the bride or groom (whether a friend or a relative), you might want to spend a bit more than you would for a casual acquaintance. But if you’re still not sure how much to spend or what an appropriate gift idea is, Spector’s got you covered.