• 05/11/2022

What’s the Average Cost of a Wedding Gift? And Other Wedding Etiquette Rules You Should Know


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Whether you’re brand new to attending weddings solo as an adult sitting at the adults’ table or you’re still getting the hang of it, it can sometimes be a little much to get to know all the rules. If this is your first wedding as an adult, you may need a bit of a rundown on common etiquette. Learn how the rules evolve so you can have a smooth sailing experience as a guest. Read on to learn the average cost of a wedding gift and other important rules to know. 

The Cost of the Gift

The classic rule of thumb for the average cost of a wedding gift is to spend the amount that it costs to host you at the reception. Usually, this depends on the type of wedding they’re actually hosting, so the cost can vary as well. However, there are plenty of reasonable explanations for straying from tradition. Factor in how close you are to the couple, how far you had to travel in order to attend and what you know you can reasonably afford. The couple who invited you expects your presence much more than your presents, so go easy on yourself!

Attending the Festivities

Getting invited to the wedding is one thing, but what about all the rest? Of course, you might just be invited to the wedding itself, but there’s also a chance that you might be invited to other festivities like the bridal shower, the engagement party, the bachelor party or the bachelorette party. Although you are not obligated to attend all of the events, just make sure that you’re practicing proper etiquette for those that you do attend. For example, a shower is the type of party where a gift is expected. If you are in the wedding party, there might be a greater expectation that you attend the other festivities. Make sure that you communicate openly with the couple in order to hash out these details.

Dress Code

When it comes to the dress code, always revert to the instructions on the invitation. First and foremost, you should dress how the couple requests in order to attend. However, there are a variety of other rules that you might want to keep in mind that are wedding specific. For example, you should never wear white to a wedding, or anything else that might upstage the bride. Although some people might find it untraditional to wear black to a wedding, this taboo is falling out of fashion, especially when it comes to dressing for fall and winter weddings.

Always RSVP

One of the most common forms of etiquette is making sure that you RSVP on time and accurately. If you RSVP in the negative or don’t RSVP, the couple won’t be expecting you. Never show up without sending an RSVP. Additionally, don’t bring a plus one unless your invitation specifies it.

Lights, Camera, Action!

One of the biggest questions about attending weddings today is whether it’s appropriate to take photos during the ceremony. In short, taking photos on your phone may feel like a good decision in the moment. However, it can actually obstruct the view for the photographer who the couple entrusted their wedding with. People pay a lot of money for wedding photography, and by getting in the way of the photographer doing their job, you might risk making their wedding photos worse. Simply put, sneaking a few photos here and there during moments of low energy or during the reception is one thing, but maybe don’t set up a rig with your selfie stick in the aisle.

Safety First

This one isn’t just about your manners at the wedding, but also about how you treat everybody around you. Simply put, if you happen to be drinking as you party on into the night, just make sure that you practice safety first and don’t get on the road unless you know that you can drive. Either find a room nearby to crash or make sure that your group has a designated driver to get you back to your destination.

Wedding Etiquette for Guests

Being invited to a wedding as a guest is a huge honor, and you want to be able to bring your best self. From knowing the average cost of a wedding gift to following the dress code, you can totally learn the rules and be at the top of your game for the next nuptials you attend.

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