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Consumer Spending Trends: Wedding Gifts--What Price is Right?

How do Affluent individuals rate as wedding gift-givers?

| BY Donald Liebenson


A new Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner consumer spending trends survey of Affluent households finds that spending on wedding gifts is in line with accepted gift giving etiquette. Four-in-ten affluent respondents (42 percent) said that between $101 and $200 is an appropriate amount to spend on a wedding gift for a close friend of family member, while nearly half (48 percent) said that up to $50 was appropriate to spend for a casual friend or business associate.

Fifty dollars is considered to be the wedding gift-giving threshold, according to The Knot, a website devoted to all things nuptial. “Spend what you think is appropriate to your relationship with the couple, and also consider what’s reasonable in your city. While a co-worker or firend may expect a gift in the $50-$75 range, someone in an urban market may have double the expectations,” The Knot advises.

Here, according to the website, is the ballpark for which you should be aiming:

Coworker and/or distant family friend or relative: $50-75

Relative or friend: $75-$100

Close relative or close friend: $100-$150

Urbanite: $150-$200+

How do Affluent individuals rate as wedding gift givers? Three-in-ten are comfortable spending up to $100 for a close friend or family member, while less than one-fourth (22 percent) think between $201 and $500 is appropriate, according to Millionaire Corner’s consumer spending trends survey..

Women are more frugal than their male counterparts when it comes to wedding gift spending. Nearly four-in-ten 937 percent) are comfortable spending up to $100, compared with 26 percent of men, while a higher percentage of men think a $201-$500 gift for a close friend or family member is appropriate (24 percent vs. 18 percent).

Not surprisingly, married couples spend more generously than their single counterparts on wedding gifts for a close friend or family member, with singles way more likely to opt for the $100 or less range (37 percent vs. 28 percent). Age, too, is a factor, with those under 40 most likely to spend $100 or less than their older counterparts.

When it comes a wedding gift for a casual friend or business associate, four-in-ten (43 percent) believe that between $51 to $150 is an appropriate amount.

The household budget is the most significant factor in determining how much one should spend on a wedding gift, according to a 2013 Millionaire Corner consumer spending trends survey. Half of respondents were guided by the couple’s gift registry or their financial circumstances. Only 15 percent said they based their wedding gift spending on a fear of appearing cheap.

Related story: Millionaires don't believe in 'debt-'til-you-part in paying for weddings


About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.