How Much Should Parents Give for Wedding Gift

  • By: Elizabeth Jean
  • Date: March 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

So Your Child is Getting Married?

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     The wedding of your child is a complex event. You are most likely happy about your child finding the love of their life (assuming you don’t hate their future spouse). You are sad that your child is leaving the nest, but most of all, you are anxious about the stress of a wedding. Finding a venue, the flowers, the decorations, the food, working with your future in-laws will be on the task list. Then comes a hard question: how much should parents give for wedding gifts? The answer to this varies depending on the circumstances and the relationship between you and your child.

How Much Can You Afford?

     Let’s be honest, money is a tough topic. You want to give your child everything they want, but your bank account makes that impossible. This is the question that you should put the most weight on. There is no reason to go into debt for a one-day event (especially if you suspect it won’t be the only wedding your child will have). There is no magic number of how much should parents give for a wedding gift. What’s important is that whatever you choose to give your child for their wedding gift, be sure that its usefulness matches its price. A centerpiece made of pure gold might look great, but would spend a ton on a decoration really be worthwhile?

How Close Are You To Your Child?

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     It is incredibly important to remember that money does not equal love. Giving your child material things is not the same as spending time with them. In the television show “Jane The Virgin”, Jane’s mother talks about the relationship she had with her father. She says that her father worked so often, that he was never around. She always got whatever gifts she wanted for Christmas, but realized as an adult that she would have given up those gifts in exchange to be able to spend more time with her father. She was thankful for him working to provide for her and her mother but wished she had more time with him. 

     Of course, no parent’s relationship with their child is perfect. How close you are to your child is something to think about when considering the amount you will give towards your child’s wedding. The closer you are, the more likely you will feel obligated to give them something nice. It is also important to consider if you have gotten a wedding gift for another child. We all know the saying that parents love their children equally. While that’s technically true, we definitely like one child more than the others. Our kids have different personalities and behavior, which usually means we like one more over the other. Unless you are estranged from your children, it would be advisable to try to get gifts in similar price ranges. Failure to do this could result in your kids accusing you of favoring their siblings. You will want to avoid a scene like in the film “Four Christmases”. The main character, Brad, is at a Christmas party with his family and gives his nephew an Xbox as a present. However, Brad didn’t know there was a price limit of $20. The nephew then opens a gift of batteries from his father and asks why he doesn’t love him.

What Type of Gift Should You Give?

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     A wedding gift should be decided upon with one main word: practicality. The gift to give should make sense for your child’s situation. If they are moving into a new place, what might they need? Do they need new furniture for their living rooms or bedrooms? Do they need cookware or dishes for the kitchen? If your child is expecting a baby, do they need anything for that, such as a stroller, or crib? Whatever gift you choose should make sense for your child and their future plans. 

     If you are extremely tight on money, think of something creative. A big, expensive present isn’t always the answer. If you are expecting a grandchild and live close enough, offer to help with babysitting to help the future tired-out new parents. If they are moving to a new home, offer to do any repairs or work on the house. You would be surprised how much help a newlywed couple might need as they are starting out. The key is communicating with your child to see what they need.

Some Tips For the Big Day

     When it comes to the actual wedding, there are some things you should keep in mind. One of the biggest things to remember is that this is your child’s day, not yours. Of course, especially if you are paying, you are entitled to your opinion. But the ultimate decision needs to come down to your child. Your role should mainly be one of support. Be there to fix anything that goes wrong (and trust me, things will go wrong). Also, be there to support your child emotionally. It’s a huge event in your child’s life, and they’re never too old to need their parents. Lastly, try to make sure the day is fun. To have all that planning and money go towards a night that is mainly stressful would be quite a waste. Do your best to make sure it’s one of the best days of your child’s life.

The Point

     There are many things to consider about how much parents should give for a wedding gift. Remember you don’t have to break the bank to show your child you love them. You should give what makes sense for your child. Your relationship with them is also a factor. If you don’t have a great relationship with your child, remember that buying an extravagant gift won’t make up for past mistakes. Only communication will be able to mend a relationship. One last thing to remember is, regardless of what you give your child for their wedding, be sure to say how happy you are for them (assuming you mean that).

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