The great wedding gift expense debate

Last week I got an invitation through the post from a good friend of mine. Encased in luxurious, thick cream paper was a ‘We’re getting married’ card carefully etched with pretty butterflies and glitter bits that I’m still hovering up this week (insert cross face here). Inside the invite was another piece of expensive card with a gift list on it, and a ‘handy’ login account for her favourite shop (blooming John Lewis). I logged in. I gasped. I swore. ‘HOW MUCH!’ I begin to question our friendship. I felt like a cheapskate. The debate continues… I began to wonder about wedding gifts, and how much people really do spend on newlyweds? Does it depend on how well they know the couple? Is it down to social etiquette? My panel pals were most useful on this topic (they’re good eggs) and we had a deep discussion about wedding gifts. The majority of people thought an appropriate amount to spend was between £36- £60, while a slightly less percentage of people were in the £61-£100 bracket. There seemed to be a resounding mid range £50 spend from most of the panel, with many stating that they preferred to have the option of providing vouchers, or charity gift in the name of the couple. Surprisingly only 10% of my panel pals would fork out £100 plus (clearly my friend missed out on this memo), even for a very close friend or family member. Weddings of acquaintances were considered in the lower bracket with 25% of people willing to spend between £11-£35 on the happy couple. I also found it extremely interesting that many people pointed out that a wedding budget included a new outfit, travel and hotel, which led them to opt for a cheaper gift… So what should I do? Find the cheapest item on the gift list? Is it acceptable to find my own gift around the £50 mark? Or do I fork out for the big one? Advice and comments would be much appreciated…if I don't decide soon she's going to end up with a jar of my homemade jam.

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