InStyle.com is teaming up with Style Me Pretty's editor and founder, Abby Larson, to answer your most pressing questions on all things weddings and engagements. Whether you are having trouble picking a wedding theme or have a question about etiquette, email Abby at email@example.com and check back here for her answer every two weeks.
How much you spend on a wedding gift really depends on a few things. First and foremost, your own personal budget. Between travel, accommodations, attire, and multiple gifts throughout the planning of the wedding (think engagement, bridal shower, etc), the fact that you then have to purchase a pricey wedding gift can send some guests over the edge. And that stinks because, in theory, celebrating someone's wedding should be joyous and filled with love, not tainted with feelings of stress and frustration.
So before you go over the top with a gift that is going to bring those feelings—remember that the bride and groom don't want you to spend money that you don't have on something like a crock pot. They would far rather you did something sweet and personal if you don't have the budget—a framed photo of a wonderful memory, a beautiful book about marriage or love or life, a stack of family recipes that you would normally go to your grave with.
Other elements that often come into play when determining how much to spend are how well you know the guest and what you consider to be the normal spend amount in the area or group of friends you are a part of. Most people assume $50 to $75 for a colleague, $75-100 for a friend, and $100-$300+ for a close friend or family member. And you know what? The vast majority of brides want you to stick to their registry. And there's a very good reason for that. Registries, like Newlywish, for example, have become so cool and creative, allowing couples to register for everything from mortgage down payments to butler service on their honeymoon.
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Still concerned about how much you are able to spend without looking like a cheapskate? Consider going in on a group gift with other like-minded friends. This is especially true for the bridal party. It's a great way to get something special, that you otherwise couldn't afford, without breaking the bank!