When it comes to weddings, there are lots of traditions, but rarely any hard and fast rules in terms of what a couple has to do, how the day has to look, or what's required of the guests. And that's part of what can make them so personal and unique. But it can also make it difficult to figure out how much to spend on a wedding gift, especially when you're the maid of honor.
Typically, the role of maid of honor includes planning the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, and other get-togethers, plus helping out during the wedding itself. Basically, "anything to take the stress off the shoulders of the bride," Danielle Rothweiler, owner of Rothweiler Event Design, tells Bustle. And seeing as you're so close to her, it can be quite the well, honor, to do so.
But it's also a lot of responsibility, which further adds to the confusion surrounding how much to spend on a gift. "It's a big debate," Lauren Grech, CEO and co-founder of LLG Events, and adjunct professor for New York University's MS in Event Management, tells Bustle. "Some people believe that the wedding party should give more to a couple on their wedding day; while others believe they should give less."
And if you're on a tighter budget, this is one tradition you may start to wonder about, considering how fast costs can add up. "Between attire, pre-wedding events, gifts, etc., a maid of honor [typically] spends over $1,300 on a wedding (slightly more than a bridesmaid), and this can quickly increase to over $1,800 when you include associated costs like dress alterations, travel, and more," Kim Forrest, senior editor of WeddingWire, tells Bustle.
Of course, these price tags won't be accurate for every wedding. But it can factor in when you're trying to figure out how much more to spend. Unfortunately, there is no right answer. So it may be helpful to instead focus on what feels best for you, based not only on your own budget, but also the style of the wedding, and your relationship to the couple.
If you're incredibly close to the bride, a personal — and possibly less expensive gift — may feel right. "The gift should be something that speaks to your relationship with the bride (or couple)," C.K. Alexander Jean, wedding expert and owner of Love Ink, tells Bustle, adding that the cost can be secondary when giving a sentimental gift.
You can also consider other options, such as pooling funds along with the bridesmaids, Jean says, and giving a gift that way — especially if it's a pricer item from the wedding gift registry. This may be something you'll want to discuss early on, so that everyone in the party can start saving, and so that you can all be on the same page.
It's not necessary to blow your budget, or to spend more than you're comfortable spending, in order to be a good maid of honor. And there is no right answer, especially since every couple is different, and every wedding situation unique. "Ultimately, it's personal preference," Grech says. So feel free to assess the situation, weigh your options, and focus on whatever feels right for you — and your relationship with the bride.