Here's How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift, According to Data

Our study reveals exactly what wedding guests are gifting.
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Associate Editor
  • Sarah is an Associate Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Mar 02, 2020

If you find yourself wondering how much to spend on a wedding gift, you're not alone. It's a common question for wedding guests—and it's not hard to see why. While you're not technically required to give a wedding gift, it's customary to give the to-be-weds something, whether it's a gift off their registry, money for a cash fund or a charity donation.

With so many options, it can be tricky to figure out how much to give for a wedding or how much you should spend on a wedding gift, which is why we're here to help. An internal study recently surveyed 1,000 adults who attended a wedding in the past year, which means the results can help you determine how much to spend on a wedding gift.

In 2019, the average guest spend on a wedding gift was $120. However, this number oscillates based on the relationship between the guest and the to-be-weds. Guests who are closer to the couple reported spending about $130 on a wedding gift, which is the same spend as a family member. Wedding party members averaged $115 on a gift (outside of bachelorette party and other event-related costs), while casual friends spent an average of $80 on a gift. The average price of a wedding gift factors into the total cost of being a wedding guest, which is approximately $430.

Of course the question of how much to spend on a wedding gift is more of an individual decision as opposed to following the average. It ultimately boils down to your relationship with the couple, your personal budget, the type of wedding that's held, in addition to other factors. However, we recommend the baseline of fulfilling the couple's wishes by purchasing a gift from their registry. (After all, they took the time to think it through!) Of those surveyed, 42 percent purchased a gift off a registry, while 29 percent gave cash or a check in a wedding card or envelope. About 14 percent of respondents gave a physical gift that was not on the couple's registry. Rounding out the top five most popular wedding gift categories were gift cards. Approximately 10 percent of respondents got a gift card from a retailer the couple was registered at, while six percent gave a gift card that was not a registry retailer.

Perhaps you already know how much to spend on a wedding gift. Next, you'll have to figure out when to actually get the present. According to our data, two-thirds of guests typically purchase a gift within three weeks of the wedding. About 30 percent of guests found the gift a month or more before the wedding, while only three percent of those surveyed selected one after the wedding.

The study also indicates that it's common for most couples to create more than one wedding registry. Results show that the most popular registry retailers are Target, Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond. While price is a top consideration for guests, purchasing a gift the couple will use is of equal importance, as is getting something they know couple actually wants. In fact, that's the most popular reason why guests choose to go off-registry. So while couples are focusing on making their weddings ultra-personalized, guests have the same exact consideration when purchasing a wedding gift.

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