So my sister just got married recently and my immediate family just had our first (and by the looks of things, probably last) wedding.  The entire event went by smoothly enough, with me walking my sister down the aisle without incident. Yay. (Allthough the toast I gave sucked, thankfully I kept the speech as short as possible).

A couple of weeks before the wedding, I got curious on how much money people usually spend or give for a wedding, so I did a quick search online.

Turns out, giving money for a wedding is a bit tacky for certain parts of the country (obviously, for some culture it is entirely appropriate to give money for a wedding).

Allow me to elaborate. For my area, Southern California, I was under the impression that the unspoken rule is that if you give money, you should at least give an amount greater or equal to the cost per head for the reception.

But apparently the cost per invited guest guideline is considered tasteless in many area of the country according to various threads I read on the net (Metafilter, Yelp, iVillage, etc.)

For people that felt the above guideline is tasteless, I certainly understand their views that the entire ordeal can be made to feel like a quid pro quo  — something gift giving should never really be.  But many others in the discussion threads also argue that the cost of a wedding, especially in the Tri-State area, warrants guest giving at least the per cost amount (including whatever guest they bring along).

So what’s the money wedding gift giving etiquette in your area?  Is it tacky to give money?  What about having the rule of thumb that you should at least cover the cost per head?

Regardless of the money issue, I personally believe that you should give (money or not) whatever you’re comfortable with giving in relation to how close you are with the couple.  When in doubt, there’s always the wedding registry!

photo credit: digiyesica