When it comes to wedding gifts, how much to spend on a wedding gift is determined by the following factors: where the wedding will be held, your budget as a wedding guest, and your relationship with the bride and/or groom. If the wedding is a destination wedding, only a bridal shower gift is usually deemed proper because there is a larger cost for each person attending the wedding. If the wedding is local it is often deemed proper etiquette to bring a gift to the bridal shower as well as give a wedding gift. When attending a wedding either as part of the wedding party or as a friend of the family, you should decide your appropriate wedding gift spend. If you have been invited to be a bridesmaid for an out of town wedding, you should first tally up your costs and then decide what is an appropriate wedding gift spend.
Some people believe it is proper etiquette to spend about the same monetary amount on the wedding gift as the bride and groom paid for the reception on a per head basis. There are two very strong schools of thought on this approach. Some people really believe that this is the most appropriate way to gauge how much to spend on the wedding gifts, while others believe it should depend completely on how well the wedding guest knows the bride or groom and how much the person can afford to spend. Where a person lives can also dictate how much a person should spend on a wedding gift. In some areas of the country the weddings tend to be more formal and would in turn require a more expensive gift, especially if the person is not also attending the bridal shower. If someone lives in an area where the wedding would be less formal the popular belief is that a smaller amount spent on wedding gifts would be appropriate. Most people today have a gift registry set up to let their attendants know exactly what they would like for their home or a fund to which they would like their guests to contribute. Also, because many people live together before they are actually married the need for gifts for the home is often less than the need for cash gifts.