How much should you spend on a wedding gift, and is a cash alternative ok? We reveal all...
Wedding season is back and guests across the country will be asking themselves the same questions as every year: how much should I spend on a gift and is it okay to give cash?
Here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we have investigated this modern day gifting dilemma and pulled together some ideas to take the stress out of wedding gift giving so you can just relax and enjoy the day.
Especially in today’s climate, not everyone can afford to splash the cash as readily as they would like. However being generous comes in different forms - it’s not about how much you spend but how you spend it. On average in the UK, we spend about £44 per person on a wedding present, versus the happy couple's expectation of just £30.
Under 25’s are the least 'generous', spending around £20, whereas the over 65s are prepared to spend a whopping £100 or more! However it’s good news for wedding guests on a tight budget as almost a quarter of would-be brides and grooms don’t expect a gift or cash at all… just everyone there to share their special day.
Sometimes it's easier to gift cash if you don’t have the time to pop out and pick up a present, or if you don’t want to restrict the couple to a certain shop with a gift voucher. In today’s society, many couples already share a house together, so are likely to have everything that was once traditionally gifted to a newlywed couple. Plus, more and more couples are now taking on the modern approach to wedding gifts and asking their guests for a small monetary contribution towards their honeymoon with a quirky poem being sent out with their invitations to let their guests know in advance of the big day. All in all, it's usually perfectly acceptable to opt for cash.
Buying a gift voucher for the happy couple is a bit more personal than gifting cash, whilst still allowing them the freedom to purchase whatever they want. Even though it is a bit more restrictive than cash, it may encourage to them spoil and indulge themselves instead of putting cash towards household bills. Gift cards such as Love2shop can be used across a broad range of stores such as M&S, Virgin Experience Days, House of Fraser and many others. Even Thomas Cook are now offering gift cards which can be used against a fantastic honeymoon or in exchange for travel money.
Wedding wish list
Before you decide on anything, check if the bride and groom-to-be have a wedding wish list, as this may help you find a gift that the couple both want and is within your budget. A Wedding Wish List is usually a list of particular items that the bride and groom have selected together from their chosen stores to prevent duplicate or unwanted gifts being given as well as helping their guests have a stress free gift buying experience.
Hand picked gifts
Many people are conscious about how much they spend on a gift, not wanting to appear cheap or overzealous. Wedding blogger Alison Tinlin said: “It’s not about how much you spend, it’s about showing the couple you care. Something that is both personal and unique to them can become something to be treasured and that trumps an expensive gift with not much thought.” So sometimes it is better to shop around until you find that perfect gift that you know they will love and cherish or you could go a step further and hand make your wedding gift showing the couple how much you really love them.
Finally, you could help them make the most of the Big Day memories and help them get over the post-wedding blues by giving the gift of a once in a life time experience. The range of experiences on the market is vast with Virgin Experience days offering everything from a Dark Sky Stargazing to a Lovers Leap Tandem Bungee Jump and everything in between with experience to suit a range of budgets. Prices start at £15 and range all the way to £5,000.
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