This is always a tricky topic…what is etiquette when it comes to giving money as a gift at a Baltimore wedding? Many would say, “It’s the thought that counts” but, in all honesty brides and grooms may remember the dollar amount for many years to come.
So, how do you decide? Do you base it on your relationship to the couple? How much money you make? The salary of the couple?
Your Salary Range (Individual/Family) – At the end of the day you have to give what you and your family can afford. But bear in mind that there is also a perception of what that might be so take a look at some of the other factors to help make this decision. The ‘average’ amount given an a Baltimore wedding according to our survey falls between $150 and $250, but if all you can afford is $50 then don’t stress just give!
What’s your relationship to the Bride or Groom? – Typically if you’re close to the couple you give a little more and while the average is between $150 and $250 many close friends or family members that have the means will give up to $1000.
Are you part of the Bridal Party? – Okay, there are typically two schools of thought when it comes to expectations here. Some brides do not expect a gift from anyone in the bridal party since in many cases bridesmaids might be spending a small fortune on dresses, travel, and hosting pre-wedding festivities. On the flip side, some bridal party members feel as though they want to give an ‘extra nice’ gift since they’re so close to the couple.
Will you be bringing a Guest? – If you’re planning on bringing a guest, a good rule of thumb is to put a little extra in the proverbial envelope.
Did you have to travel? – If you traveled a long way to attend the wedding (or perhaps it’s a destination wedding) a gift is often not expected or at the very least a smaller gift wouldn’t be questioned. The couple will be sensitive to the fact that you’ve made the effort and spent the money to celebrate with them.
How many weddings will you be attending this year? – Don’t forget to take this into consideration. If you’re attending several weddings in one season be sure to budget appropriately. Another tip… most groups with a close-knit entourage tend to give the same amount for each couple that is getting married. Just a tip as you may not want one couple to feel less valued than another.
Cash vs. The Registry – Contributing cash versus using a traditional wedding registry is another great option that allows you to control the amount spent. If you’ve ever been stuck browsing a registry where the only thing left is an overpriced toaster, you can appreciate the convenience that cash provides. But it’s usually a good idea to check the registry to see what’s available.
There you have it. You make the decision based on what works for you and your wallet. When in doubt follow Aesop’s famous words of wisdom: “No act of kindness, however small, is never wasted. “