Are you due to attend a wedding and offering cash as a gift? Perhaps the couple has specified they are looking for cash specifically, maybe you just want to give them some money for them to put toward something they want (or need). Either way, what is a fair and reasonable amount to gift?
Well, having been in this difficult position too many times, I decided to create a handy wedding cash gift calculator that gives guidance as to how much you’ll want to give.
It takes into account the most important factors, including whether you are even going and your relationship with the couple.
So, without further ado, let’s get calculating!
Please note: The above cash gift calculator should be used as a rough estimate only. What is an appropriate amount will differ depending on muliple factors, such as the formality of the wedding and the culture too.
What Is An Appropriate Amount Of Cash For A Wedding Gift?
An appropriate amount of cash for a wedding gift can vary from as little as $50 all the way through and upward of $250.
That’s because how much you should give will depend on so many different factors, which we will now explore further below.
Nevertheless, you should always offer a gift that feels right and comfortable for you. Don’t feel pressured to give more than you can afford – this is not the purpose of a wedding gift.
Factors That Influence How Much Cash To Give As A Wedding Gift
There are several factors that should influence how much you offer as a wedding gift. These factors should be considered and influence the $50-$250 baseline accordingly.
Whether You Are Attending The Wedding
If you are attending the wedding, then you should look to offer more as a cash gift than if you are not invited, or cannot attend.
This is to help show gratitude for all that you will receive on the wedding day itself, and will help cover any cost the couple incur.
Whether You Are Attending The Ceremony Or Reception
If you are attending the wedding as a day guest (and are there for the ceremony and breakfast), again you should look to offer more of a cash gift.
If on the other hand, you are only invited to the evening, then your cash gift total should likely be less.
Whether You Are Bringing A Guest
If you are bringing a guest, it is recommended to offer more of a cash gift.
Again, this will help to cover their expenses and also to show gratitude to the couple that you have been allowed to do so.
Your Relationship To The Couple
The more you know the couple, the higher you should generally offer as a cash gift.
For these reasons, family and close friends tend to pay more than distant relatives and co-workers.
The Formality Of The Wedding
Typically, the more formal the wedding, the more you should look to offer as a cash gift.
If the wedding is low-key, cash gifts are not generally expected to be as high.
Different cultures have different traditions and expectations when it comes to wedding cash gifts. So, it’s essential to know and consider any, ahead of time.
It may not just be on cash gift amounts either, but the way they are offered, presented, and how they are given on the wedding day itself.
Where The Wedding Is Being Held
If you are going to a destination wedding that is requiring expensive travel and accommodation, you still need to offer a cash gift.
That being said, most couples will understand that their cash gift will likely be lower as a consequence of this.
Ultimately, you should only offer what you can afford.
You shouldn’t break the bank in order to attend a wedding, not feel pressured into offering a certain amount ‘because a calculator said you should.’
So, offer what you can afford, realistically, and remember that this is a gesture – whatever the couple receives, they should appreciate.
Other Suggestions To Consider With A Cash Gift
- Ask other friends/guests going to the wedding, what they are giving as a cash gift. Often you can get a rough idea of what to pay by comparing people in a similar position to you.
- Send the cash gift following the wedding, this will help you budget and ensure you give them what you want. It is commonplace and also can be more personal depending on when and how you give the gift.
- Package the envelope nicely, to make it stand out a little. You can do this with a nice pen, a nice bow, etc.
- Ensure the envelope is secure so that any money doesn’t fall out. This is especially important if you are ‘posting’ the gift in a postbox or equivalent at the wedding.
What Should You Do If You Don’t Want to Give Cash?
If you don’t want to offer cash to the wedding couple, you do not have to. However, if the couple has specifically stated they want cash, it is generally best to try to do so.
Otherwise, you can always try to work out, or perhaps even ask the couple, why they are looking for cash to begin with. Maybe they want it for their honeymoon or a particular experience.
In those instances, you could actually purchase a gift related to such experiences instead. Maybe even a prepaid travel card.
Of course, you are going to want to be sure.
So the best thing you can do if you don’t want to give cash is to speak to the couple; this way, you may be able to find out if you can contribute differently.
Be sure to check the wedding website (or gift registry – if they have either of these). You might get some insight into things they need, and this may help you work out what gift voucher/card to get.
Ultimately, there are many different options to cash should you feel uneasy giving this as a gift.
These best however, are those that align with the wants (and/or needs) of the couple.
There is no one exact figure and amount all guests should give.
It varies on so many different factors, including your own finances too.
Not to mention, some couples may outwardly state that a cash gift isn’t mandatory to attend the wedding; instead just being appreciated should you be so kind to contribute.
Nevertheless, assuming you do intend to give a cash gift, use the above calculator and perhaps alter a little accordingly.
Ultimately, whatever you decide to give; your presence at their wedding and enjoying the day should be the ultimate gift of all.
Other Calculators You May Be Interested In:
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!