Registry and Gift Forum

How much do I, MOH give?

I'm the MOH and am attending with my partner. I was thinking b/t $500-700 for the both of us. Is this reasonable, too little, over the top? I read threads that people should give what they could afford. My job situation changed recently (for the worst) so this is a bit steep for me at this point in my life but anything less I feel wouldn't be ok with. Am I ok with $500 only? I'm not asking my boyfriend to chip in as we just went to his friend's wedding 2 weekends ago and he covered the entire gift (it doesn't help I have 2 more weddings immediately after this one where the bride is my friend so I'm offering to cover the entire gift - maybe this should be a different thread altogether b/c now that I"m reading this, I am thinking my partner should offer to help, esp knowing my financial situation right now?!) The bride isn't a family member nor is she my best friend. Its a smaller wedding (80 people). 

Re: How much do I, MOH give?

  • If you're comfortable giving $500, then I think that's more than generous.  
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  • I think you need to give the gift that you can comfortably afford. If its not $500 dollars or upwards of that, don't stretch yourself financially. When I have been in weddings, my gift is not as large as you are describing. I come from a gifty circe, so I always buy a physical present, and I can tell you they usually rangle from about $200 or $300. I don't think the bride would think anything of it if your gift was not as large as you are describing. If it was me, I would pay for the gift myself and not ask my boyfriend to pitch in. Its your friend, so I think you should pay for teh gift.
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  • I give at least what I estimate they are spending per plate and add a little extra. This may not be what everyone does on here, but in my circle it's customary. The idea is that the bride and groom shouldn't be gifting you- you should give the money back that they spent on you and then a little more. Most weddings, I've been to I've assumed they spent around $150 per plate (based on the venue, etc) and if I am going with a date, that's $300 per couple plus a little more- so like $400. If I have to travel, I give less because of airfare and hotel. 
  • That is way more than I would give as a wedding gift.  I have never even given a gift that cost $100.  It comes down to what you can afford and I couldn't afford more than that. 
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  • I think that is a very generous gift, but if you can't afford it, it's fine to lower the amount.  I woudln't expect that big of a gift from my MOH, so I'm sure your friend isn't expecting it of you. 
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  • I think $500 is way over the top. $100 to maybe $150 at the most but probably closer to $100. You already have a lot of expenses with this wedding so even giving a $50 to $75 gift wouldn't be (in my opinion) out of line.
  • Whew, ok I will stick with $500, thank you!! I have heard several brides talk about best men giving gifts around the $1,000 mark but I haven't heard of a MOH giving that much, unless it was a sister or other close relative
  • Are you in NYC?  That would be an awful lot of money in my circle.  I am planning to give my MOH $300 for her wedding.
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  • edited August 2010
    My MOH gave me absolutely nothing for my wedding so I'm no help here.

    Edit:  I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  My MOH volunteered to help me out with numerous wedding related projects.  That in itself was a gift to me. 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:374b72e3-d072-41ce-876c-c237f5e77558">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Whew, ok I will stick with $500, thank you!! I have heard several brides talk about best men giving gifts around the $1,000 mark but I haven't heard of a MOH giving that much, unless it was a sister or other close relative
    Posted by Miss_Freckles[/QUOTE]

    <div>To be fair, the Best Man usually doesn't drop as much pre-wedding as a MOH. Renting a tux and paying for a few drinks and a stripper is nothing compared to the ladies' bridesmaid attire, beauty, showers and a bachelorette party. You've probably already shelled out at least a few hundred, so $500 is more than generous on top of that. </div><div>
    </div><div>I also agree about the "cover your plate" guideline. It's NOT a rule, but it definitely does help determine the appropriateness of a gift if you're unsure. I'm not sure what your friend's wedding will be like, but $500 assumes that her wedding is $250pp which most likely covers you and your guest. </div>
    "I liked it, so I put a ring on it" - future Mr. Box
  • Oh my goodness!  $500 seems like a LOT to me and my family, so I would definetely stay well underneath that.  If the bride is close to you, she should definetely understand your situation.  Plus, you can always chip in other things (i.e. putting together favors, programs, etc.).
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:357ba207-2e8c-460b-be5f-7c1240cd18bf">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How much do I, MOH give? : To be fair, the Best Man usually doesn't drop as much pre-wedding as a MOH. Renting a tux and paying for a few drinks and a stripper is nothing compared to the ladies' bridesmaid attire, beauty, showers and a bachelorette party. You've probably already shelled out at least a few hundred, so $500 is more than generous on top of that.  <strong>I also agree about the "cover your plate" guideline</strong>. It's NOT a rule, but it definitely does help determine the appropriateness of a gift if you're unsure. I'm not sure what your friend's wedding will be like, but $500 assumes that her wedding is $250pp which most likely covers you and your guest. 
    Posted by BlueBoxBride[/QUOTE]

    But why should my gift be at all determined by what the bride and groom CHOOSE to spend on their wedding. 

    The "cover your plate" foolishness says that I should give more to a couple who has a $250 pp reception than the person who has a $90 pp reception.  And that makes no sense at all.

    No one forced anyone to spend $250 pp.  That was completely their choice.  So how is it right to reward them for what may well have been a bad choice on their part?

    I know of people who go into a wedding expecting to "earn back" what they spent in wedding gifts.  And that's just poor decision making, IMO.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • mkruparmkrupar member
    5000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited August 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:5b4fb205-50d4-430a-816d-8920e384c491">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How much do I, MOH give? : But why should my gift be at all determined by what the bride and groom CHOOSE to spend on their wedding.  The "cover your plate" foolishness says that I should give more to a couple who has a $250 pp reception than the person who has a $90 pp reception.  And that makes no sense at all. No one forced anyone to spend $250 pp.  That was completely their choice.  So how is it right to reward them for what may well have been a bad choice on their part? I know of people who go into a wedding expecting to "earn back" what they spent in wedding gifts.  And that's just poor decision making, IMO.
    Posted by trix1223[/QUOTE]

    I agree with Trix on this one. The "cover your plate" doesn't make sense to me. I don't know who's actually paying for the wedding. It could be the parents of the Bride. So for that logic to work, I should be gifting the parent the amount it cost THEM to throw the party, not the B&G. I will give what I can comfortably afford at that time, and if any B&G decide to complain about it not being enough to "cover my plate", then that is just rude on their part. They chose to have the extravagant wedding/reception, not me.

    ETA: I'm also not going to short-change them on a gift because they decided to have a less extravagant affair.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:3bdb998f-6d9d-4066-b5fb-1d545f1f0c44">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How much do I, MOH give? : I agree with Trix on this one. The "cover your plate" doesn't make sense to me. I don't know who's actually paying for the wedding. It could be the parents of the Bride. So for that logic to work, I should be gifting the parent the amount it cost THEM to throw the party, not the B&G. I will give what I can comfortably afford at that time, and if any B&G decide to complain about it not being enough to "cover my plate", then that is just rude on their part. They chose to have the extravagant wedding/reception, not me. ETA: I'm also not going to short-change them on a gift because they decided to have a less extravagant affair.
    Posted by mkrupar[/QUOTE]

    Exactly. I don't care if someone chooses to spend $300 a plate on dinner, or have a small $20 a person affair; they are still getting whatever gift I feel appropriate giving.
    imageimageimage
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:5b4fb205-50d4-430a-816d-8920e384c491">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How much do I, MOH give? : But why should my gift be at all determined by what the bride and groom CHOOSE to spend on their wedding.  The "cover your plate" foolishness says that I should give more to a couple who has a $250 pp reception than the person who has a $90 pp reception.  And that makes no sense at all. No one forced anyone to spend $250 pp.  That was completely their choice.  So how is it right to reward them for what may well have been a bad choice on their part? I know of people who go into a wedding expecting to "earn back" what they spent in wedding gifts.  And that's just poor decision making, IMO.
    Posted by trix1223[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I have to disagree. I follow the "cover my plate rule" but I give the same "gift" to everyone. I pay $100 extra on top of my plate cost. So, if they spent $100 on a plate, I give them $200. If they pay $200 per plate I give them $300. The gift is the $100 the rest covers my approx. food cost. I don't want the bride and groom to have to spend more money on my meal than I am gifting them. That just doesn't seem right. They are the ones that should be getting a gift, not me.

    </div>
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:9fa707c7-a5d2-4db1-b693-fd08e9518786">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How much do I, MOH give? : I have to disagree. I follow the "cover my plate rule" but I give the same "gift" to everyone. I pay $100 extra on top of my plate cost. So, if they spent $100 on a plate, I give them $200. If they pay $200 per plate I give them $300. The gift is the $100 the rest covers my approx. food cost. I don't want the bride and groom to have to spend more money on my meal than I am gifting them. That just doesn't seem right. <strong>They are the ones that should be getting a gift, not me.</strong>
    Posted by MommyMarta08[/QUOTE]

    I don't understand this logic.  The reception is a thank you gift to the guests - the couple is thanking the guests ("receiving" them) for taking the time and effort to celebrate their union.  If they choose to spend $X per person, that is the cost of the gift that they are freely choosing to give their guests as part of the thank you. 



  • I've never heard as a reception being a thank you for the guests. Maybe that was the original meaning- but not in modern times. I think the wedding is about the bride and groom- not the guests. They are starting their life together, we should be giving the gift to them. I can't believe anyone, as a guest, feel they are owed a reception. I would feel really bad attending a wedding and not paying enough to cover my meal. I want the bride and groom to leave the wedding with gifts to start their new life with. I want to give them the money back that they spent on me. If I can't afford to give a gift that at least covers my plate, I skip the wedding because I feel too guilty. 
  • Like I said, it's not an etiquette rule or anything but a good guideline if you're doubting how much you want to give. If you want to gift only $100 a couple, awesome. But if you're unsure about it, just cover the cost of your plate. It's an easy way to calculate the costs.

    It's also a great way to determine a cash gift if you aren't particularly close with the couple. Maybe it was a former coworker or it's a cousin you haven't seen in 12 years.... Totally different scenario than your bestest friend choosing to do a BBQ reception in their backyard, where you would probably give a large gift anyways.

    I also agree that it's stupid to expect $xxx amount back if you CHOOSE to have a fancier reception. You can't expect what people will give and a gift is a gift. I wouldn't be offended if a guest didn't give a gift equal or exceeding our pp, but since the question was about how much to give at weddings I will always cover my plate at least. Mileage may vary.
    "I liked it, so I put a ring on it" - future Mr. Box
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:3e158eab-6d56-4135-85c4-b4d55db12bf3">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I've never heard as a reception being a thank you for the guests. Maybe that was the original meaning- <strong>but not in modern times</strong>. I think the wedding is about the bride and groom- not the guests. They are starting their life together, we should be giving the gift to them. I can't believe anyone, as a guest, feel they are owed a reception. I would feel really bad attending a wedding and not paying enough to cover my meal. I want the bride and groom to leave the wedding with gifts to start their new life with. I want to give them the money back that they spent on me. If I can't afford to give a gift that at least covers my plate, I skip the wedding because I feel too guilty. 
    Posted by MommyMarta08[/QUOTE]

    Yes, in modern times.  The point of a reception is to receive the guests who came to celebrate your union with you.  That's what a reception is. 

    I find it sad that you would skip seeing a beloved friend or family member get married just because you cannot afford to subsidize what they choose to spend on you.  That just baffles me.



  • As a bride, I do not expect anyone attending our wedding to "cover their plate". This is our celebration that we decided to have; we decided the date, location, budget for everything - not dependent on what our guests will be giving us in return.

    We wanted our wedding and reception to be a fun, joyous occasion where everyone could just have fun and celebrate us and our marriage with us.

    We certainly do not expect anyone to give us money, or even gifts, for that matter. If they choose to, that's fantastic! If not, the important part is that they are going to be at our wedding to share this with us, which is why they were invited in the first place. Anything above their attendance is a GIFT and gifts should not be expected.

    I personally do not expect anything from my MOH (or from the Best Man for that matter), but if they choose to give a gift, monetary or otherwise, then we will most definitely be grateful for it! If you were my MOH and you gave us $500 I would be blown away and I wouldn't be comfortable accepting that amount.
  • We usually give between $150 and $600, depending on: if both of us go, how well we know them, what we can afford that month, and how much we've spent pre-wedding on them (like for friends I've travelled for pre-wedding parties and got a shower gift, lower end; if it's local, and no pre-wedding stuff, I'll give more). Roughly, people will get the same amount in gifts from me.

    While we generally do the cover your plate rule (as in, if I go alone to a wedding because boy can't go, or vice-versa we'll give less; if we both go, we give a bit more). But we don't sit around and figure out how much they spent per plate or anything like that! We just figure, ok $150 should cover a reasonable "plate" for each of us, and we'll go up from there based on other factors. But we really only do this for people we may not necessarily know very well and thus, have a hard time determining an appropriate gift for. For very close friends, we'll generally go to the top end of the budget (but again, taking into account how much was spent on pre-weddingand on travel, since it all comes out of our "wedding attendence" budget)
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  • For the past 7 years or so, all the weddings I've been to, I've given no less than $150pp. Speaking with either the bride (post party) or other guests (friends, relatives) that was considered "the average", esp if the average wedding totalled around the $40k mark which most of these did. A lot of my girlfriends would afterwards mention how they either "broke even" or made just a bit of money, which led me to believe that weddings are completely like a business. You give with the expectation of getting back without losing along the way. After reading all the replies on this thread, I'm starting to believe that I've either been too generous in terms of gifts or I have some misinformed friends - or possibly both. With that in mind, I couldn't even imagine giving less than $500 initially (and in reply to one of the posts, yes the bride is a former coworker turned friend )  
  • my question reguarding the per plate thing is this, and anyone who goes by this rule of thumb, I'd really like to hear about your knowledge of this... how do you know how much the bride/groom are spending per person for the reception in order to determine how much of a gift to give them? Do you point blank ask them how much they are spending per person? Do you ask the parents of the bride how much per person they are paying for? I see no other way to determine how much you are going to be gifting to them based on the plate cost per person, if you are using this rule of thumb.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_much-moh-give?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:34Discussion:c55d0b4d-d8d2-484a-b7f4-06322f34c264Post:9583211a-8de9-4322-a55a-99171c7c39e3">Re: How much do I, MOH give?</a>:
    [QUOTE]As a bride, <strong><u>I do not expect anyone attending our wedding to "cover their plate".</u></strong> This is our celebration that we decided to have; we decided the date, location, budget for everything - not dependent on what our guests will be giving us in return. We wanted our wedding and reception to be a fun, joyous occasion where everyone could just have fun and celebrate us and our marriage with us. We certainly do not expect anyone to give us money, or even gifts, for that matter. If they choose to, that's fantastic! If not, the important part is that they are going to be at our wedding to share this with us, which is why they were invited in the first place. Anything above their attendance is a GIFT and gifts should not be expected. <strong><u>I personally do not expect anything from my MOH (or from the Best Man for that matter), but if they choose to give a gift, monetary or otherwise, then we will most definitely be grateful for it! If you were my MOH and you gave us $500 I would be blown away and I wouldn't be comfortable accepting that amount.
    </u></strong>Posted by littlemisssara[/QUOTE]

    Ditto both of these.  I have NEVER heard of anyone giving $500 to the bride/groom for a wedding gift if they are in the wedding party.  Personally, I don't want my bridesmaids buying me gifts.  They are already dishing out money for pre-wedding parties, their dress, jewelry, etc.  Why should they get me a gift?  Their gift to me is being in the wedding party. 

    As far as "paying for the plate"---I guess I'm not ritzy enough to be spending $100-$150 on a plate of food (counting venue and such), so I won't be getting gifts this large from our guests, and I'm fine with this.  A guest shouldn't feel like they have to cover all the expenses---I have an aunt who just got laid off (again) from her job, and if she were to show up at the wedding without a gift, I could care less.  A gift is of no importance, no matter what the price.  You should buy a gift that you feel comfortable getting, not getting one you think "covers" costs.  It was the bride and grooms choice to spend the money they did, and guests don't know who exactly paid for what anyways! This whole thread kind of bothers me......
  • $500 is an amazingly generous gift, but if you can't afford it, don't do it.  As a bride, I wouldn't even accept such a large gift from a friend if I knew she was having financial problems. 
    It's wonderful to want to give according to your relationship with the bride, but don't worsen your financial strain to do so, give what you can afford.
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  • edited August 2010
    I would be amazed if any one of my guests gave me $500, especially if they're not in a very strong financial position.  I would definitely be uncomfortable accepting such a large amount.

    As a guest, I try to give gifts that are meaningful.  I've never been big on giving cash, so I'll either ask them what they really like on their registry, or get them something I know they'll like (because usually it's been a very close friend).

    As someone who will likely have a moderately expensive wedding, I would never even think that my guests should gift me something in relation to the cost of the wedding.  That's just not an association I would have ever made because it has nothing to do with the financial means of the person giving the gift. Certainly I'd rather have my friends come and not give me a gift at all if they can't afford anything after travel expenses.

    It's this thinking that had me nervous when my BF and I flew across the country to San Diego, rented a car, and stayed in a hotel for a weekend to see his friend get married.  After all those costs, we couldn't afford more than $200 gift (total trip: $1400).  And her wedding was easily $100,000 with only 35 guests - that would have $6000 to cover our costs!  I even had my BF ask his friend if she would prefer we just send a gift, since we could afford a nicer gift that way.  She was shocked and actually got a little angry!  She said that she wanted people to be there to share her day, not buy her presents.
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  • I think $500 is a good gift as a MOH.  I think this is a very regional issue.  I usually give $300 from FI and I at a wedding, more if I am in the bridal party or a relative.  However, this is pretty standard for the Central NJ/Northern NJ/NYC area weddings that I attend.
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  • $500 is very generous!!  However, I think the amount does depend on the region, type of people, etc.

    As far as the 'covering your plate' rule-- I definitely don't agree!  It's really not my problem what the couple decides to spend per person, and whether or not they come out ahead or in the hole at the end of the day.  I give generously, but never feel obligated to cover what the couple is spending on my plate (etc.).  If this were the case, would I give less to a friend who had a less expensive wedding, and more to someone who had a lavish affair?  That really doesn't make any sense! 
  • This is so regional and differs everywhere.  I gave my MOH $500, but I've known her since we are 16 and we are 40 now.  I was her MOH, she is mine.  This isn't someone who i met 3 years ago.  i've known her and her family 25 years.  (OK, so now i feel really old).


    As far as covering your plate, I think regionally people just make an assumption.  If I go alone, I usually do $150, and if I have my FI with me, it would probably be $250. 
    There is probably no correlation to what they actually paid, but would probably "cover my plate" and then some. 

    I don't know many people in NY/Long Island that do very small casual weddings though.
  • Yea- I'm from NY and I assume everyone spends $150 per plate because that's about average. I've never been to a wedding where they spent anything less than that. 
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