Wedding Gifts: Wedding Gift Value Etiquette?

Q:

We are paying for most of our wedding, which is quite lavish, and so far most of our wedding guests have given wedding gifts costing around $40 per couple. My sister's husband's parents gave us a $16 gift from our wedding registry. Is this an acceptable gift? What is the wedding etiquette for biting our tongues?

A:

Bite hard. Although people generally do give them, wedding gifts are not mandatory. Their gift isn't necessarily of normal wedding-gift caliber but calling attention to that fact would be extremely rude. You don't necessarily know what their circumstances are; maybe they simply couldn't afford something more expensive. But even if they could, just let it go and send a gracious thank-you note. And remember that the amount of money you spend on your wedding -- and the amount the majority of your guests choose to spend on gifts -- has absolutely no bearing on what kinds of gifts you are "supposed" to get.