The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That's why we launched #MannersMondays, a series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week's question below!
“The wedding present: Is there criteria for how much are you expected to spend? Friends, family, single, etc.?" - @giselliful via Twitter
Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Find out what she had to say below:
No, there isn’t. If you ever read a chart with numbers assigned to how much to spend for whom on a wedding present, just ignore it. Everyone’s budgets and relationships are different, so no chart could ever get it right.
Here’s what to think about: your budget, your relationship to the couple and what you think they might like. That’s it. In fact, that’s the case for any present you get anyone for any event ever. It’s entirely possible that you might spend more on a close friend’s wedding present than on that of a more casual acquaintance -- I certainly have. Or you might spend less on a gift if there are heavy travel expenses involved in attending the wedding. As the choice of gift is always up to the giver, it’s also fine to purchase off-registry either because the registry doesn’t have items in the right price range for you or because there is something else you would like to get for the couple.
While most people who give checks or cash pick nice round numbers, it’s up to you what that number is. (Note: If giving cash, opt for clean, crisp bills fresh from the bank.) I hear from many people that they worry about comparisons when it comes to how much they spend or give. My only advice is: don’t worry. Just spend what feels comfortable and appropriate to you based on the criteria listed above. These are people you care about, and who care about you, and it’s not about comparisons.