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How much exactly do I have to pay if I am invited to a wedding?

The first search results that appear in Google when you put “wedding invitations” are websites that read like this: “The best phrases to ask for money in your wedding invitation”, “how to ask for money as a wedding gift?”, “texts to ask for money as a gift in a wedding invitation”… Another of the most common searches related to money and weddings is: “How much money should I give at a wedding?”.

If the links are a celebration of one of the purest feelings that invade the human being, love, neither the Internet nor the millions of users who surf the Net every day have found out. Iván (37 years old, physiotherapist) got married last year and one of the things that brought him to his mind about the organization of the wedding was how to elegantly put his current account number on the invitation: “We wanted the guests to give us money and no gifts because my wife and I had to pay for the wedding without the help of our parents: we were up to our necks in expenses. The problem is that we didn’t know how to indicate it on the invitation without being violent.

In the end we opted for: ‘ For those who want to have a detail with us, this is our account number.’ It seems like a very simple phrase, but we spent days thinking about it.” Amanda (31 years old, pedagogue) is on the other side, that of the guests. She has her best friend’s wedding at the end of July and she has been thinking for days how much money to give as a gift. “I have no idea how much I should give him and I’m worried, because I don’t want to fall short, but I don’t have too much money either,” he explains.

Amanda’s is the most common case. Before, with the wedding lists where the bride and groom had previously selected the products they would like to receive as a gift, everything was simpler. However, nowadays wedding lists have become as outdated as an encyclopedia by volumes. What the contracting parties want to receive is money. The key question is: how much do we have to pay when we are invited to a wedding?

On average, according to data collected in the Essential Book of Weddings, the expense per guest assumed by the bride and groom is 169 euros at weddings held in Madrid. The total amount of these weddings is around 24,000 euros. In Asturias, the Basque Country or Navarra the cost per guest exceeds 200 euros. In these communities the total cost of the wedding is around 25,000-30,000 euros. Hence, to cope with the disbursement, the couple cross their fingers to receive money.

It is striking that only 37% of couples are satisfied with what they received and consider that the guests, in general, are generous. In the face of dissatisfaction, we find that 5% of the guests attend the link and the subsequent celebration without giving any gift. This translates as follows: two guests for each wedding do not have any type of deference with the contracting parties. “Today, it is almost a miracle that the couple manage to recover all the money invested,” says Diana Rubio, Director of the Mediterranean Institute of Protocol Studies (IMEP). Affirmation corroborated by Vanessa Moreno, director of the company specializing in wedding organization Elite Wedding Planners: “It’s not that it’s no longer viable to make money with a wedding, it’s that you don’t even cover expenses.”

If you are a direct relative of one of the bride and groom…

If the one who is getting married is your brother or a very close nephew or cousin, we have to tell you that, as you probably imagined, the wedding is not going to come cheap. “In these cases, at least 500 euros per couple should be given. Between 500 and 1,000 euros per couple is stipulated,” says Moreno. “The money you give must cover the cutlery and, in addition, it must be left over for a good gift. In no case should it be less than 250 euros per person,” agrees Diana Rubio. Although Moreno clarifies: “It depends on the economic and personal situation of each one. The idea is that in these cases the gift is something greater because the ties that unite us are stronger, but it is not always possible. There are many people who despite if he is a direct family member he gives 150 or 200 euros because he cannot afford to give more and nothing happens”.

If you are the best friend of one of the boyfriends…

The protocol dictates the same as when the one who marries is a direct relative. “Always within the possibilities of each one. It is clear that you are not going to ask for a loan to go to your best friend’s wedding, but in these cases the economic sacrifice is important. The normal thing when the relationship is so close is to give a few 500 euros per couple. Whoever is more comfortable contributes more and whoever is in a hurry tries to stay at that figure, but it is not always reached and the contribution may be less, “explains Rubio to ICON.

If you are a distant relative, friend or co-worker of one of the bride and groom…

“There is a basic rule that stipulates that, at a minimum, when you go as a guest to a wedding, whatever the relationship you have with the bride and groom, you must give 150 euros. And from there on up,” says Moreno. In the case of a family group of four, for example, about 100 euros per child are calculated. “The correct thing in this case is not to give less than 500 euros. 150 for each adult and 100 for minors,” says Moreno. The reason is that in this way the cutlery is covered with the money and something remains as a gift for the newlyweds. “With the amount you give, the cutlery should be covered and 50% left over for the bride and groom,” explains Rubio.

If you are a direct family member or best friend and you cannot go to the wedding…

Not going to your sister’s wedding or the one who has been your friend since you were 10 years old does not free you from beating around the bush. “At least you should contribute what the cover costs. Translated into euros: in no case should you give less than 100 euros,” Rubio sentences.

If you are a friend or colleague and you cannot go to the wedding…

“It is the only case in which you can afford to risk giving a gift that the bride and groom have not asked for. Although, as I say, it is still risky and less and less is done,” Rubio explains to ICON. Rubén and Clara, 36 and 40 respectively, are a clear example that, no matter how well you mean it, that vase with an indefinable shape that seems like a jewel to you can horrify the bride and groom. “A coworker who didn’t come to the wedding gave us a vase/sculpture that both my wife and I thought was a joke when we saw it. In addition to being ugly, it was so big that we had nowhere to hide it.

The only thing that What I appreciate is that he sent it home instead of handing it to us because our face when we opened it was a real poem”, confesses Rubén. What the expert in protocol Rubio recommends in these cases is to have a detail with the couple: “Ideally, if possible, it is to give them an experience such as a dinner or a getaway or something that you know they like. In this case, if If you are in a very tight financial situation, there is also the option of not giving anything away”.


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