- How much should I give?
- Who do I send the money to?
- When do I send the money?
When Deciding How Much Money Is Appropriate, Here Are the Factors to Consider:
- Your salary range
- If you’ll attend the wedding
- If you attend, how far will you travel?
- Will you have a +1?
- Have you helped with the wedding?
- What’s your relationship to the couple?
While it’s not a hard and fast rule, people will typically expect your salary and your wedding gift amount to correlate. However, if you find this unfair, feel free to break from the norm.
If you’ll be attending the wedding, give more as a gift. This will cover the expense of hosting you for the celebration. If not attending, feel free to give a smaller gift. If you must travel a great distance, the couple shouldn’t expect you to give a large gift. After all, it may have cost thousands to attending their destination wedding in Bali. If you bring a guest, be sure to give extra as your gift will help cover their cost. Plan ahead of time if both of your names will be associated with the monetary gift.
Have you helped with the wedding arrangements? This means you may have donated Friday to help set up the venue. Or perhaps you volunteered to write hand-written invitations. If you helped out a lot, you may even let your time and talent be the gift and give zero cash.
What kind of relationship do you have with the couple? This is the biggest determining factor in the value of a gift:
A coworker or distant relative/friend: $50-$75
Relative or friend: $75-$100
Close relative or friend: $150+
Who should I send the money to?
Do not give a cash gift at the wedding reception. There is too great a chance of it being stolen. Instead, send a check or electronic funds transfer (preferably). Here are a few simple ways to pay:
PayPal: It’s free to send/receive money transferred from one US bank account to another.
Venmo: Venmo is free as well.
Popmoney: Popmoney is similar to Venmo. It’s what banks usually push if you have small payments you’d like to send and receive.
When should I send the money?
The rule of thumb has always been within one year. However, time moves quickly and so do divorces. Waiting for a year after the wedding is now seen as tacky because some couples will think you’re just holding out in case they get a divorce. Send your cash gift within two months of the wedding. By doing this, you know exactly who to send the money to. By then, legal names will have been changed and the wedding dust will have settled.