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How Much Should You Really Spend on a Wedding Gift? Top Budgeting Tips

How Much Should You Really Spend on a Wedding Gift? Top Budgeting Tips

Written by: Make Memento


You've been invited to a wedding, and you can’t wait to get dressed up and celebrate your friend's big day. But, it’s got you thinking, "How much am I supposed to spend on the wedding gift?". This is a common question—trying to figure out the right amount to spend on a wedding gift without overspending or feeling cheap.

Don’t worry, this post is packed with tips and budgeting advice to navigate the tricky territory of wedding gift spending. And it's not just about the gift itself; other wedding-related costs, like your outfit, the stag or hen do, and even travel expenses—all add up. We'll guide you through balancing these expenses so you can enjoy the celebration and gift comfortably without stressing over finances.

Wedding Gift Budget Breakdown I How Much Should You Really Spend on a Wedding Gift Top Budgeting Tips I Make Memento

Let's Break It Down – Wedding Gift Budget

The "right" amount to spend really depends on a few things – your relationship with the couple, your personal budget, and what’s generally expected in these situations.

  1. Close friend or family? You might lean towards spending a bit more. Think in the range of £50 to £100. It shows your affection and support for their new chapter.
  2. A colleague or a more distant relation? £30 to £75 could be your ballpark. It's considerate and respectful, showing you care without breaking the bank.
  3. Plus-one? If you're bringing a date, doubling up on that gift or at least adding a bit more can be a good move. It’s about contributing from both of you, after all.

The 60-20-20 Rule for Wedding Season Budgeting

Wedding expenses aren't just about the gift; you might have hen or stag parties to attend, outfit costs for the day, travel costs, and more. To keep your budget in check without missing out on the fun, try using the simple 60-20-20 rule:

  • 60% for the Wedding: Allocate the majority of your total budget here, covering the gift, your outfit, and any significant travel costs.
  • 20% for Pre-Wedding Events: This slice of your budget goes towards engagement parties and pre-wedding celebrations.
  • 20% for Additional Gifts or Costs: Set aside the remainder for other gifts or unexpected expenses.

And remember, If you're worried about meeting expectations or can't afford to participate in every event, honest communication is key. Most friends and family will understand your situation and appreciate your effort to contribute in ways you can.

Extra Wedding Budgeting Tips

  • Early Planning: Begin saving as soon as wedding season looms on the horizon.
  • Travel and Accommodation Hacks: Book early and consider sharing costs with friends.
  • Gift Buying Strategies: Keep an eye out for sales and discounts, and don’t shy away from group gifts.
  • Outfit Costs: Re-wearing or renting your outfit can slash your expenses dramatically.

What If You Can’t Attend the Wedding? Should you still send a Gift?

Can’t make it to the wedding? It’s still a nice gesture to send a gift to show you're thinking of the couple. 

Here are some tips for sending a wedding gift when you're unable to attend the celebration:

  • Choose a gift that fits within your budget, aiming for the £30 to £50 range as a guideline.
  • Write a heartfelt note expressing your congratulations and regrets for missing their special day.
  • Check and plan for shipping times if you're ordering online to ensure the gift arrives timely.
  • Send the gift directly to the couple's preferred address, which might be listed on their wedding website or invitation.
  • Consider the couple’s preferences or items from their wedding registry to select a gift they'll love and use.

What If You’re Really Tight on Cash?

We’ve all been there. Times when the budget is tighter than a jar lid that just won’t budge. If that’s your current scenario, here are a couple of tips:

  • Group Gifts: Team up with other friends or family members. Pooling your resources can allow you to give something truly special without any single person shouldering the whole cost.
  • Heartfelt over High-cost: Sometimes, it's not about the price tag but the thought. A heartfelt, personalised gift can mean more than the most expensive item on their registry.

If your budget is really tight and spending money on a wedding gift just isn’t feasible, consider these meaningful alternatives:

  • Offer your skills or time as a gift, like photography, baking the wedding cake, or DJing.
  • Create a handmade gift, such as a scrapbook of memories with the couple.
  • Write a thoughtful letter or poem, reflecting on your relationship with them and your wishes for their future.

These personal gestures can be incredibly meaningful, highlighting your effort and thoughtfulness, which often hold more value than a monetary gift.

It’s the Thought That Counts

Ultimately, the amount you spend on a wedding gift should feel right to you. Whether you choose something from the registry, contribute to a group gift, or get creative with a personalised present, it’s the thought and love behind your gift that truly matters. Weddings are a celebration of love, and your presence, whether in person or in spirit, is a significant part of that celebration.

About Make Memento

About Make Memento

Make Memento is your go-to destination for expertly handcrafted, personalised gifts. With an emphasis on creativity and attention to detail, our UK-based workshop offers a delightful range of handmade items, shipping not just locally but globally. Whether you're seeking a unique keepsake box, a custom keyring, or something else entirely, each piece is thoughtfully designed to capture your memories and sentiments. Visit  Make Memento to explore our collection of creative, personalised gifts, perfect for every occasion and recipient.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I spend on a wedding gift for a friend?

If you're a friend of the couple, consider spending around £50 to £75. It's a nice range that shows your appreciation without breaking the bank.

Do I need to spend more on a gift if I bring a plus-one?

Yes, it's a good idea to increase your gift budget slightly if you're bringing a guest. It doesn't have to be double, but adding a bit more can account for the extra hospitality.

What if I can't afford a Wedding Gift?

No worries! Think about offering your skills (like making something for the wedding) or writing a heartfelt note. It's the thought that counts.

Should I still send a gift if I can't attend the wedding?

Yes, sending a gift, even something small or a heartfelt card, is a lovely gesture that shows you're thinking of them on their special day.

How can I save on wedding-related expenses?

Try the 60-20-20 rule to budget for the wedding and related events, consider group gifts to save on costs, or get creative with DIY gifts.

Is it okay to give cash instead of a wedding gift?

Absolutely! Many couples prefer cash as it gives them the freedom to use it as they wish, like saving towards their honeymoon or a home.

Can I give a homemade wedding gift to save money?

Yes, homemade gifts are a great idea! They're personal and can be more meaningful than store-bought items. Think about the couple's interests and create something unique.

What if the wedding is abroad? Do I spend more on the gift?

Not necessarily. If you're spending a lot to attend the wedding, it's understandable to give a less expensive gift. Your presence at a destination wedding is a significant gift itself.

How do I choose a Wedding Gift if there's no registry?

Consider the couple's hobbies, interests, or needs. A thoughtful, personalised gift often means more than something from a list. Head to our Wedding Gift Collection for unique personalised Wedding Gifts they'll love!

Is it OK to give a gift card as a Wedding Gift?

Yes! A gift card can be a practical and appreciated gift, especially if it's for a store or experience you know the couple will love, and you can be sure they'll get exactly what they want! Check out our Make Memento Gift Card options here.

Where can I buy unique wedding gifts?

Check out ourMake Memento online store for personalised, unique wedding gifts suitable for every budget. They offer a variety of special items that can be customised for the happy couple, making your gift truly one-of-a-kind.

What's a good wedding gift that won't break the bank?

Apersonalised wedding keepsake box for the happy couple is a wonderful idea. It's affordable, meaningful, and serves as a beautiful place for them to store cherished memories from their wedding day and beyond. Prices start at £25 - check out or full range of personalised Wedding Keepsake & Memory Boxes here.