How Much You Should Really Be Spending On A Wedding Shower Gift

So, love is in the air and you were invited to partake in all of the festivities. This is such an exciting time! However, with engagement parties, wedding showers, bachelorette parties, and the wedding itself on the horizon, this time can also be overwhelming for your bank account. While budgeting for a wedding is no small feat, being a guest can also bring some financial stress.

While a bride is traditionally thrown a bridal shower that is paid for by the host(s), a new trend is emerging where couples celebrate together with a wedding shower. With so many couples living together before marriage, there is less of a need to simply help the bride set up a home. Popular wedding sites like The Knot are referring to this shift as a "modern twist" since it's more about celebrating the couple as a whole. With the theme of the party often involving "showering" the bride and groom-to-be with gifts, there is also a good chance that the couple will open the presents in front of their guests, making the question of how much to spend and what to buy even harder.

While nobody wants to tell you how much to give, you also don't want to feel like the only person that showed up with an underwhelming gift. Looking into wedding shower norms can be an excellent jumping-off point when trying to decide how much to spend on a present.

Gifts are expected at wedding showers

According to The Knot, bringing a gift to a wedding shower is not only expected of guests but it's assumed that they will spend between $50 to $75 on the couple. Of course, this is just a rough guide and can change depending on various factors like your own personal budget, how well you know the couple, and what specific items you have in mind. There may be a really expensive wedding gift that you want to purchase, which could help you justify a more modest shower gift.

To help put this into perspective, Wedding Wire clarifies that a wedding shower gift typically should be smaller than a wedding present. They use something called the 20-20-60 rule to help us do the math. Since there are so many celebratory parties surrounding an engagement and leading up to the wedding, designating a specific amount of money, in the beginning, can really help you stick to your budget.

For example, if you only have $100 to spare, the math is quite simple: $20 on the engagement present, $20 on the shower present, and $60 on the wedding present. Basically, you just use the 20-20-60 rule as a percentage of your overall budget to help you spend an appropriate amount on each gift. This rule is also helpful because it's adjustable based on the total amount you can afford to spend on wedding festivities. It's also relative because if the couple chooses not to have an engagement party, then the budget for their wedding shower gift just doubled. 

Don't be afraid to budget

While there can be a lot of pressure to spend exorbitant amounts of money on gifts for the bride and groom, there should be no shame in being honest about your budget. An easy way to go about this is to ask yourself how much you want to spend, or how much you can afford to give. This can help you find your own personal range to shop within, even if it looks different than the norm. According to Wedding Forward, there are many memorable wedding shower gifts for an affordable price, including custom glassware, door mats, ring holders, and blankets. Don't be afraid to get a little creative and mix and match gift ideas.

Ultimately, you want to feel good about what you're giving, and going into debt or stretching yourself too thin for a present doesn't have to be the answer. There are many ways to put together an affordable gift that still represents your love and care for the couple. While popular wedding culture may suggest buying something off of the couple's wedding registry, that is definitely not mandatory. The thought behind a custom gift can go a long way and it should be something you're excited about giving. Framing a cute picture of the couple, putting a gift basket together with their favorite snacks and some wine, or even buying some bath salts and lotion are wonderful wedding shower gift ideas. 

The true spirit of the time is love and celebration, so try to keep that in mind while making these purchasing decisions.