If a friend or family member has asked you to be part of their wedding party, you've probably begun preparing for the outfit you'll be wearing, the parties you'll be attending beforehand, and the planning you'll be doing with the person getting married. But how much should you spend on a wedding gift if you're actually part of the wedding party? According to wedding planners, that's really, truly up to you.
The good news is that when it comes to buying a wedding gift as a wedding party member, no choice that you make will be considered a faux pas. Your main role in the special day is to support and celebrate your friend or family member who's getting married, not to purchase something. "Chances are, you've likely already spent a ton on your friend," Alexia Crossman, a wedding planner and owner of Wiley Events Co, tells Bustle. Depending on the situation, this could mean that you've already spent money on an engagement gift, a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, your wedding outfit, transportation and lodging if it's a destination, and any beauty treatments like a manicure or professional makeup for the big day.
"Your pal shouldn't expect a gift," Crossman says. But if you still have some room in your budget to get something and would like to pick out a present, between $50 and $100 is a pretty good price range for a wedding gift, she says. "While I'm usually bummed out by how much money I'm spending at the time, looking back, I'm always glad I spent a little more to get my friend something memorable."
"Before you start comparing prices, make sure you choose something personal and thoughtful that will go a long way," Kevin Dennis, a certified wedding planner at Fantasy Sound Event Services, tells Bustle. "Since you'll likely be with one or both of them on the morning of their wedding, this is a great time to treat them to a day-of gift to congratulate them on this new milestone in their lives," he says. For example, gift them a nice bottle of their favorite bourbon to toast the special day or an emergency bridal kit to make sure that they're all set in case of any mishaps.
"If you're stumped for ideas, you can never go wrong with a donation to the couple's honeymoon fund," Dennis says. "You'll be able to contribute to their first trip as a married couple, and you have the freedom of choosing your desired amount that you're comfortable with spending." If this sounds like a great option for you, talk to some of the other members of the party about going in on the honeymoon trip together. They'll also probably be glad for the opportunity to contribute without having to spend a lot more money.
In fact, collaborating with other members of the wedding party can also give you a good feel for what's typical of the group. "I have coached maids of honor to discuss it openly with the bridal party and let them decide as a group if they each want to give a gift or not," Katherine Frost, a luxury wedding planner, tells Bustle. Of course, whether or not to give a gift is an individual choice to make, but getting a read on the situation can always be helpful. "You don't want some people embarrassed [by the fact that] they didn't give a gift because they didn't know others were doing so," Frost says. Sometimes it's fun to collaborate on a gift like a charm bracelet for the person getting married that has a charm from each wedding party member that is significant to their relationship with the person getting married, for example.
If you do feel like you've already spent too much, though, don't feel pressured to buy something, Dennis says. If you don't want to show up empty-handed though, a thoughtful card or letter is a great way to show the person getting married how much they mean to you on their wedding day. Just be sure to give it to them before or after the festivities so that it won't get lost with all of the other wedding cards.
No matter what you decide to do about buying a gift or not, the person you're there to celebrate with is sure to be delighted to have you by their side. That is certainly the greatest gift you could give.