While some might consider giving cash at a wedding to be in bad taste, many newly married couples appreciate the extra money. Cash gifts can help a couple save up for a big purchase or even pay off the cost of holding the wedding. When it comes to giving a cash gift, there's no standard or set amount. The appropriate gift depends on your budget and relationship to the couple.
It might seem strange to give a person you barely know a significant cash gift because you attended her wedding. You can base the amount of your gift on how close you are to the people getting married, according to SmartMoney. For example, if your best friend is getting married, you might want to give a cash gift around $150. But if it's your co-worker or a very distant relative who's tying the knot, it's acceptable to give a smaller gift, around $75.
The appropriate gift amount also depends on your role in the wedding. If you're the best man or the maid of honor, odds are that you're also paying out of pocket for the costs of the shower and bachelor or bachelorette party. You also most likely had to purchase a dress or rent a tux, as well as give a shower gift and engagement gift. If you've already spent a lot on one wedding, it's acceptable to reduce the amount of your cash gift, according to Peggy Post in the "New York Times."
You Plus One
If your wedding invitation reads "your name, plus guest," and you bring a guest, you might consider doubling, or at least increasing, the amount of your cash gift. When you bring a guest, it's as though you're both giving the gift to the couple. You can ask your date to chip in for the gift so that you're not paying twice as much.
Your budget should play a pretty big role in determining the appropriate amount to give as a cash gift. If you have multiple weddings to attend in one season, you might reasonably spend less on each gift. If you earn around $40,000, an appropriate cash gift from you would be less than the amount a person who earns $250,000 might give. Look at your personal budget and other expenses and set a total for all wedding costs, including the gift, your outfit and travel costs.
- New York Times: Wedding Etiquette
- SmartMoney: The Wedding Gift Etiquette Guide
- Times Union: What Is an Appropriate Cash Gift at a Wedding?
- The Knot: The Gift-Giving Truth -- How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift
- Internal Revenue Service. "Frequently Asked Questions on Gift Taxes." Accessed Jan. 14, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "Frequently Asked Questions on Gift Taxes for Nonresidents not Citizens of the United States." Accessed Jan. 24, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "What's New - Estate and Gift Tax." Accessed Jan. 5, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "26 CFR 601.602: Tax forms and instructions." Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.