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Ask Cheryl: How Much to Spend on a Gift for an Acquaintance?

When you’re invited to celebrate the wedding of someone who isn’t a family member or close friend, choosing an appropriate wedding gift can be tricky. Read on for my advice.

Dear Cheryl,

I’ve been invited to the second wedding of someone I would consider to be an acquaintance, but not a personal friend. The bride-to-be was an instructor in a beading class that I took a few times a year for the past 5 years. I know her as a proprietor of the bead shop where I buy beads from time to time, but I have never seen her socially.

What amount would be appropriate to spend on the wedding gift?

Thank you,
Meredith


How Much to Spend on a Gift for an Acquaintance?


Hi Meredith,

Thanks for writing. Traditional wedding gift etiquette specifies that when you receive an invitation to a wedding, you send a gift even if you aren’t able to attend.

However, this tradition assumes that you are a friend or relative of the at least one member of the couple – and more than a business acquaintance.

In this situation, I’m going to give you a pass to break the “rule.” If you do not plan to attend the wedding, then I don’t feel that you must give a wedding gift. If you do plan to accept the invitation and the bride’s hospitality, then a gift would be in order.

Here are a few things to keep in mind. Sometimes business owners invite important customers to this type of social affair. Or, perhaps this bride-to-be really likes you and feels you are more than just acquaintances.

If you do decide to give a wedding gift, you can certainly stay on the lower end of your budget. The amount you spend for a wedding gift is based on your budget and closeness to the couple, as well as the customs in your area. These are a matter of your personal judgement and feelings. I don’t know your location or budget, so I can only guess at a specific amount, but an average amount for an acquaintance would be around $50 to $75.

My article, How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift? will give you general guidelines and an average amount spent for all income levels and regions of the country. I hope you find it helpful!


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 AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

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.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

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