The title of this is a bit tongue in cheek, however, whilst the vast majority of couples will at least publicly say they don’t care about the presents received and that having you share your special day with them is the most important thing, in reality, the couple will silently judge their guests buying decisions 😂
The most important thing to remember is there is a fine line between, requesting what you want and being a douche so tread carefully!
The unwritten rules for the amount of money guests ‘should’ spend on a gift are as follows:
It’s generally considered that this amount listed below is per individual attending, so if it’s two invited guests attending together and both know the wedding couple double these amounts, if it’s one guest and a +1 that doesn’t know the wedding couple that well you may wish to halve the second amount. If it’s a family attending, only consider the adults in this calculation.
Of course, this is only a rough guide, it will vary dramatically on the people attending, how well they know you, their budgets and so on.
- All day guest – Friend of the bride or groom £50-£75
- All day guest – Close friend £75+
- All day guest – Work friend or distant relative £25-£50
- All day guest – Immediate Family £100+
- All day guest – Bridesmaids / Groomsman ~£100
- Evening guest – All other guests – ~£25+
If the wedding is in another country, involves expensive hotels/flights etc that guests need to pay for, then you may expect these numbers to reduce by 25-50%.
The other alternative gift value idea that some will follow, is to try and cover the cost of the meal with an equivalent valued gift, e.g. some venue will charge £80-£150 per head but others might only charge £25-£50.
A sentimental gift (especially from bridesmaids etc) will often be more important/valuable than the monetary value associated with it.
So how do I maximise the amount?
Again, remember there is a fine line between asking for what you want/need/would like and sounding like a spoilt brat!
- Create a wishlist with certain presents that are in-line with the budgets listed above and not lesser items
- Select/Request vouchers etc for certain retailers that will improve your value for money when you come to use them or that sets a precedent of what you’re expecting
- Allow guests to partially fund a gift (using various tools/websites, see the DIY website info below)
- If you’re going on honeymoon and want cash make it clear on the wedding website/invite so people can give currency/money instead
- Create a wishlist/gift registry of the best products at the best prices
- Find well off friends 😂
Honeymoon contribution Vs Cash Vs Presents?
‘Couples are cohabiting a lot more before they get married, so they already have a number of items that would have probably existed on gift lists about 10/15 years ago says John Lewis’ gift list manager Tasneem Shafiq
This will vary on your life up to this point, what your plan is for your honeymoon and the plans for your future.
If you go down the route of a honeymoon contribution, we highly recommend you give your guests a few examples of the things you would like to do, so those giving money have an idea of A) what you like and B) what their money will be spent on. Even if all the money actually goes towards the holiday or activities as a whole, people like to know what the money is going to be spent on + it makes it easier to write something in the card, examples from our wedding list and the number of people that donated towards it:
- £50-£75 for a meal one evening = 8 donors
- £100 for a room upgrade for one night = 2 donors
- £270 for a whale shark snorkelling trip = 5 donors (split)
- £155 for a sunset cruise = 3 donors
- £65 for an hour’s massage = 2 donors
- £25-£65 for some cocktails = 5 donors
Of the 25 couples that donated towards our wedding DIY gift list online, the average amount was £51.20.
DIY a wedding website = no / low transaction fees + fully customisable
- Buy a .wedding domain name (or the .com/.co.uk version)
- Create a WordPress or similar website (alternatives: Squarespace / Wix)
- Download paid for wedding themes or use a free one to make the site appear professional
- Use a Google Forms to create a free gift list (use this guide) or use other wordpress apps
- Or do a fully integrated system using Give (free to use, but certain add ons are paid for)
- You can also add RSVP forms and various other piece of info to a wedding website
Jump on free promotions to maximise your presents/money raised:
- Get a free £50 Amazon voucher when your guests spend £750 on your personalised wedding list (valid until December 2019)
- Claim a free Premium+ account on Prezola (worth £59) – This allows you to collect cash, custom gifts or flexible funds as well
- Request money to a bank account instead, this removes all fees and allows you to spend it on what you want
- Use sites like Trailfinders Wish List or John Lewis Wish List
- Encourage your guests to group together to buy presents that you actually need/want (e.g. worth more)
- Social Gifting, is where guests pledge to do something for you or your chosen charity instead