– Ask Cheryl – Is it Okay to Give a Wedding Gift on Behalf of Someone Else?

We all want to be as generous and kind as possible, but does that mean it’s appropriate to give a wedding gift on someone else’s behalf?

Dear Cheryl,

How much should / would you recommend I give for my daughter’s second wedding? I am not helping pay for it. Also, would it be appropriate for the gift to be from my son and daughter too (age 20 and 21)?

One more question: One of my sisters struggling financially. I would like to give my daughter a cash wedding gift on her behalf. Is that appropriate?

Thanks for your advice.


Hi Sandra,

Thank you for writing. You sound very generous and kind.

It’s not really possible to advise you on how much you should give your daughter as a wedding gift since I don’t know your budget or circumstances. The amount you spend on a wedding gift should be determined by your budget and closeness to the couple. Since it’s your daughter, we can say — very close relationship.

Including your other children doesn’t really change the amount you would give because it doesn’t change how much you can afford. Actually, her siblings are technically adults and I would advise that they buy their own gifts or pool their funds for one gift, however small it would have to be. I’m sure it would mean so much more to her if it were actually from them and not from you.

Most parents try to be generous, but it’s not necessary to “break the bank.” You need to determine an amount that you feel is generous, but that you can still afford. Perhaps you could buy something special from her registry. Choose something expensive that not many other guests would be willing to buy, like the premium cookware set she’s always wanted.

Your other question was, “is it appropriate to give money to your daughter as a wedding gift from her aunt?”  If you are thinking of giving it as a gift from your sister, then there are a few problems that come to mind. Your daughter would be writing a thank you note to her aunt for a gift she didn’t give. That might be embarrassing to your sister.

If someone doesn’t have the financial resources to give a gift, it’s fine if they don’t. Their inclusion and presence are usually more important.  If your daughter is aware of her circumstances, then she should understand. If not, it’s a good teaching moment.

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected].

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

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