Deciding on a wedding gift seems easy—browse the registry, pick something you like, and you're done!—but there's more to it than simply clicking "purchase." The gift you choose (and how much you spend!) says a lot, from your relationship with the couple to how many weddings you've already been to this year. So how much should you be spending on a single wedding gift? Our experts have some insights that you might find surprising.
"How much the average person spends on a wedding gift depends on where he or she is located, as well as the season," says Jeff Beil, CEO and cofounder of Tendr, a new digital platform for giving and receiving cash gifts. "We looked at 10,000 gifts on Tendr from 2016 and noticed that states with major urban centers tend to have higher averages in the amount guests are giving and spending on gifts." New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut all saw averages around $200 per gift, with similar trends in Dallas and Miami. "This isn't to say that you must give more if you live in or near a big city," Beil explains. Phew! "What it does show is that people give in accordance with what they can afford and how close they are to the couple, as well as how much of an impact they want to make. The geography is closely tied to income levels and may reflect that people in those areas are more used to and comfortable with larger and cash gifts."
Makes sense, right? Well, here's something you might not have thought of: "The average amount given peaks in August, at $183," Beil reveals. "It is a huge month for weddings, with more people attending weddings and giving gifts." In September, the average drops to $159, and it's down to $144 by the holidays—definitely proof that people get burned out after a season of weddings! "In January, when everyone is reeling from holiday spending, we see the lowest average—just $121," Beil says. "So while I wouldn't recommend scheduling your wedding to optimize your gifts, if you wanted to do so, shoot for August!"
See More: 45 Unique Bridesmaids' Gift Ideas