The inevitable question: how much should I spend? When wedding season comes along, we all find ourselves racking up the balances on our credit cards with gifts, outfits, and travel expenses to cover each shower, cocktail party, and the big affair. When it comes to shopping for the actual wedding gift, your budget should depend on a couple of factors.
My rule of thumb is that $50-60 should be the bare minimum that you spend. If you're shopping for both yourself and your significant other, double the amount you would spend yourself; so, $100-120 at least. If you're shopping for a family member or a close friend, or if you are in the bridal party, be prepared to spend more. If the bride or the groom attended your own wedding, it's common courtesy to match at least the amount they spent on you. If you can afford to spend more, by all means, do! Your friends will be forever thankful.
All that said, only spend as much as you can afford. It's not your friends' intention to make their loved ones go bankrupt. But if you do spend a lower amount, make sure it's chosen from the registry. Most couples register at a range of price points because gifts from the registry can be returned or combined for more expensive or desired gifts. If you don't think you can afford a gift, remember that you have one year to give it. So save your pennies the following month, rather than sending something cheap.