Luxury Weddings

Tacky money talk

CrazyCatLady3CrazyCatLady3 member
1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
edited January 2014 in Luxury Weddings
So my FI's good friend got married last month here in NYC.  FI was asking me, how much should we give for the gift?  We ended up giving a check for $350 as a couple.  We may have given more but FI spent $1500+ to go to this guy's international bachelor party.  FI just told me that his friend said he "made" $40k from the wedding (nice comment, right?) and now FI feels like he looks cheap, that he should have given more because other guests obviously gave a lot.  I told him that what we gave was fine, that they had 170 guests and some were probably wealthy family members/friends.  Does that seem in line with your experiences?
I just think it's tacky that this guy even made this comment.  
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Re: Tacky money talk

  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    For all anyone knows, one person out of the entire wedding guest list could have written a check for the $40k!! Or maybe said person totally over-exaggerated it. It was rude to even bring it up. I think $350 is super generous as well! I usually do not give that much unless it's family because i'm usually spending a lot to travel to the wedding. I would not feel bad about it at all.

     







    CrazyCatLady3doeydopumpkinsandturkeys
  • I've lived in NYC my whole life, and I think your $350 was totally appropriate- hubby and I give that or maybe $400 so your gift was right in the (locally) average ballpark.  Even if it wasn't, you and your FI should never feel funny about the amount you give, giving a gift of any size is very generous!  (My parents and their siblings give wedding gifts over $1000 when a family member in the younger generation gets married, and they both have large families...this was likely the case with your FI's friend.)

    Hubby and I received more than we spent on our wedding (which is common at least among Irish/Italians in NYC), but we didn't advertise it. It's really rude that your FI's friend was talking about what he "made".  Are they that close?  And does he view a wedding as a money-making opportunity?!  You said it best in your subject- tacky money talk!

     

  • I loathe the "made" talk. Weddings are not businesses.  Also, couples who say that who had their weddings paid for by their parents can STFU.

    Let's pretend a couple spent $40k of their own money on their wedding. To "make" $40k means they received $80k in gifts. Divide that by an average wedding size of 150-200 guests and that is more money per couple than I'd ever dream of giving in my life. 

    If you said you "received $40k", well, golly gee- lucky you. Still tacky to publicly discuss but at least you weren't running your wedding like a business. 


    Yeah, the parents paid, and the wedding def cost more than $40k for 170 ppl in NYC.  So basically the parents paid $70k or so and the couple received $40k in gifts.  He says "made" because he didn't shell out for the wedding.  Really a net loss to the extended family.  But obviously he shouldn't have been looking at it as a money making opportunity.    I will chalk this up to macho men talk and tell my FI that I asked around and our gift was fine.  Thanks for the input everyone.
    thisismynickname2
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I am from NYC, and I think your gift was very generous. We usually give around $350 for weddings. It is really tacky that FI's friend made that comment, though. Where did they hold their wedding?
                                 Anniversary
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  • @vt&dt - I know this is a tacky question to ask, but what is the typical wedding gift in Iowa? I ask because I'm going to a wedding in Cedar Rapids in a couple months, and after the plane tickets and hotel costs, I was thinking $200 from us as a couple, but I don't want to come off as cheap.
  • @vt&dt - I know this is a tacky question to ask, but what is the typical wedding gift in Iowa? I ask because I'm going to a wedding in Cedar Rapids in a couple months, and after the plane tickets and hotel costs, I was thinking $200 from us as a couple, but I don't want to come off as cheap.
    Isn't it interesting that as bride and groom, we're taught to not expect gifts from our guests but as guests we want to give enough to not seem cheap.

    It depends on the circles in which you travel...I'm about two hours north of Toronto and I've seen everything from $500 to $100 being fairly 'standard'.  

    Give what you feel comfortable.
    pumpkinsandturkeysAshleyNicole1218jphil0790
  • CrazyCatLady3CrazyCatLady3 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2014
    pinkcow13 said:
    I am from NYC, and I think your gift was very generous. We usually give around $350 for weddings. It is really tacky that FI's friend made that comment, though. Where did they hold their wedding?
    I don't want to give too many specifics on the off change the guy's wife reads these boards (since she just came off wedding planning)...  They had it at a lovely venue, but it was by no means one of the most expensive in the city.

  • How incredibly gauche!  What a classless thing to say.  I don't understand why people say things like this.

    FWIW I think you gave a very generous gift.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    CrazyCatLady3mimiphin
  • @vt&dt - I know this is a tacky question to ask, but what is the typical wedding gift in Iowa? I ask because I'm going to a wedding in Cedar Rapids in a couple months, and after the plane tickets and hotel costs, I was thinking $200 from us as a couple, but I don't want to come off as cheap.
    Sorry it's taken me a couple days!  I'm not on TK much on weekends :) 

    $200 as a couple is a very generous gift.  That's absolutely not going to come off as cheap!!  
  • LDay2014 said:
    @vt&dt - I know this is a tacky question to ask, but what is the typical wedding gift in Iowa? I ask because I'm going to a wedding in Cedar Rapids in a couple months, and after the plane tickets and hotel costs, I was thinking $200 from us as a couple, but I don't want to come off as cheap.
    Isn't it interesting that as bride and groom, we're taught to not expect gifts from our guests but as guests we want to give enough to not seem cheap.

    It depends on the circles in which you travel...I'm about two hours north of Toronto and I've seen everything from $500 to $100 being fairly 'standard'.  

    Give what you feel comfortable.
    So true.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We received monetary wedding gifts ranging from $50 per couple to $5,000 from a single person. It's a *gift* and we were very appreciative to receive anything. Truly. If you have to worry about whether your friends would appreciate a gift from you regardless of the amount, please reconsider your friendship. If you are concerned about your own appearances please remember there's no reward for "giving the most" or "appearing rich". You were generous in giving a gift.
    thisismynickname2
  • 350$ for a couple is very generous, I don't expect any of our guest couples to spend that much on a gift for us (but would be very happy if it happened). I think the gift amount the guy said, IF it is true, is probably due to family members / parents offered big monetary gifts.

    ***
    @ icecreamcono :

    From a guest's perspective : I know this is a controversial topic, but in my family and social circle in general, you go with the ''cover your plate'' guideline as much as possible. For example, you could expect a wedding to cost 100$/guest, therefore a 200$ gift from a couple is reasonable and generous. But then again, if at that specific moment in your life you can't afford to spend that much, it's perfectly fine too - as I said it's a guideline, not an obligation. It depends on your culture and local traditions, but here it's common that people go by this guideline, because registers aren't a thing here, and most people consider the bride and groom should at least receive enough gifts to cover most of their catering costs. 
    offthemarket915
  • Yeah I agree.. it varies a lot from place to place (ie big city costs of living are higher, people give more). When I was a student I gave less and now that I'm working I give more. Also, when they are better friends I give more! I went to 10 weddings in 2013 and I gave different amounts to every couple depending on where the wedding was, how close they were to me, and how many of us were going (2 of us or 4 of us). 
  • I actually completely disagree with the "cover your plate" rule. I live in Northern NJ, where that is often mentioned.

    The reasons I disagree:  A close relative could be paying for the entire wedding themselves, and have it at a venue where the food is, say, $75 a person. Then, a coworker could have wealthy inlaws, and their "per plate" cost could be $300 per person, but the couple is paying for $0 of the entire wedding.

    Does that mean that you give a close family member $150 as a couple, but a coworker who you might not know as well $600? Just because one chooses to spend a lot of money on an event doesn't mean that the guests need to "repay" that deficit.

    I have been to events where I imagine the per person cost is about $50, and others where I know it is around $300. What the hosts choose to spend should not influence my gift one bit. 

    So, as stated in this thread and in many other places, give what you are able to give.


    OP - your gift sounds absolutely fine. (Any gift is absolutely fine, as well.) 
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Fairyjen1 said:
      Sheesh, I am really cheap then. My friends and I generally give 50-100 dollars per person for a gift. I guess we don't like each other as much over here. 

    A lot of it depends on location... where I'm from $50-100 is normal for wedding gift, except maybe from parents or something. The last wedding I attended was for a close friend.  I gave $100 (on top of travelling cross country to attend) and my parents thought I was being "too generous". 

    I expect a much larger wedding gift from FI's parents than my own (they've both "insinuated" gifts/help already). BTW, we aren't "counting" on gifts or contributions from any of them... we are budgeting solely on our own money.  We've told them we don't expect anything and we are fine if we get nothing.  FI's parents already give Christmas gifts valued 2-3 times what my parents give. Actually, my boss even gives me bigger Christmas present than my parents give. But, my parents live in different, more depressed, part of country and have a different value of money.  My parents keep asking about what we're spending for things with the wedding and everything I tell them shocks them and they think we are spending way too much. Our budget is about $12k, including honeymoon, everything is being paid cash, not credit. I don't think that outrageous at all. But, the last couple weddings they were involved in cost closer to $5, so that's what they are used to.

    You should give within the range that is standard of your location (or location that wedding is being held).  Larger cities (like NYC or LA) have higher cost of living and inflated monetary values, so everything is more expensive, including what is standard for gifts.  But, there is no one-size-fits-all wedding gift amount.

    image 

  • Woah!  Our wedding is going to be about 35-40k and is probably around the norm for the other weddings we've been to.  I can't imagine pulling off a wedding for 5k, and I wouldn't think of giving less than $100 per person for a gift.  And we live in the midwest- not a big city with a high cost of living.

     

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  • OP your gift was very generous IMO.  If you gave from the heart then there is never any reason to doubt if your gift was enough.

    Since I like statistics I will point out that the tacky comment about making money off of the wedding could have included gifts from people that did not attend.  Also when opening our wedding gifts we saw a range of gift amounts but it seemed that $50 per person was the most common (and I think common for MI, OH, and western PA). 

    princessleia22
  • $50 sounds really low for MI, at least anyone I know.  I do think I gave $50 at the first wedding I'd ever been to- the bride and I were both 19, I didn't have much money, and didn't know any better.

     

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  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    csuave said:

    OP your gift was very generous IMO.  If you gave from the heart then there is never any reason to doubt if your gift was enough.

    Since I like statistics I will point out that the tacky comment about making money off of the wedding could have included gifts from people that did not attend.  Also when opening our wedding gifts we saw a range of gift amounts but it seemed that $50 per person was the most common (and I think common for MI, OH, and western PA). 

    I don't think it's really as much a regional thing. I'm in Ohio and I would never give less than $100 for a wedding present, but I've seen people put $20 in a wedding card and call it a day as well. I think it more depends on the individual.
    image
  • OnceUponSnowOnceUponSnow member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    I actually completely disagree with the "cover your plate" rule. I live in Northern NJ, where that is often mentioned.

    The reasons I disagree:  A close relative could be paying for the entire wedding themselves, and have it at a venue where the food is, say, $75 a person. Then, a coworker could have wealthy inlaws, and their "per plate" cost could be $300 per person, but the couple is paying for $0 of the entire wedding.

    Does that mean that you give a close family member $150 as a couple, but a coworker who you might not know as well $600? Just because one chooses to spend a lot of money on an event doesn't mean that the guests need to "repay" that deficit.

    It's not what ''cover your plate'' means. It's not about having deficits covered by generous guests. And it's not about adjusting your gift to the level of luxury of the meal. It's a general guideline that was made according to average costs of wedding plates. I've never heard of wedding meals under 60$ per guest. Looking around for my own wedding, I've seen myself that most places have menus starting at that price and up, and once you add alcohol (wine) for dinner, taxes and gratuities, you're anywhere from 80$ to 120$ per guest. That is average. That is what guests know is average, what wedding planners know is average, this is why guests and wedding planners generally advise to offer (if you can afford it) 100$/guest. If a couple chooses to spend money over 300$ meals, good for them, but it's not an average wedding, and the guideline isn't made for ''non-average'' weddings either. In all situations, the rule of thumb is still to offer according to your means. Obviously, and that is a cultural/regional issue, some numbers will appear more polite than others. While everybody will understand that a student guest might not have enough money and can only offer 20$ as a token of appreciation, a wealthy couple who would offer 20$ would be considered rude. I feel that ''cover your plate'' has less to do with the actual cost of the meal than it has to do with being socially perceived as polite, and this is why the guideline is still considered useful around here.  
  • We paid for daughter's wedding.  Since we live 2000 miles apart, I have no idea who gave what as gifts.  Daughter wrote the thank you notes.  She never saw the total we spent on her wedding, either.
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  • $350 is fine. I hate the "made" talk as well. 
    Bride to Be  8.23.14 - Dominican Republic 
  • That was more than generous. We got on average around $100 per couple. My grandparents gave us a check for several thousand and we had one friend who gave us a lovely Wedding Day candle as he was unemployed at the time. I thought the candle was extremely thoughtful as he did a beautiful trivet with it as well and we knew he couldn't really afford much and honestly weren't even expecting a gift!
  • You gave what you felt was appropriate. 
    Unless the couple *netted* $40k after considering all the costs that went into their wedding, this guy didn't "make" anywhere near that amount anyway. Even then, it's rude to brag about it.
  • Hi Guys;
    This thread is super helpful. I went to a wedding in Texas in which most people gave around $100. In NYC most people give between $250-$350. When I was single (about 5 years ago) I used to give $150 from me. I always struggle with figuring out what to give.

    Any help about what to give in NYC and for Destination Weddings would be FANTASTIC as must of my friends have been married for 5-6 years so their numbers are outdated (as are mine). 

    To the OP- $350 seems right. I don't think I've given more that $$250 or $300 (in the NYC area) but than was about 5 years ago. Is $350 the norm now?

    The fact he discussed the amount with your FI = GROSS!
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