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Q: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle ( Answered,   7 Comments )
Subject: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
Category: Relationships and Society > Romance
Asked by: sallenfeld-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 23 Aug 2006 13:33 PDT
Expires: 22 Sep 2006 13:33 PDT
Question ID: 758828
My newphew just got married. I went in on a wedding shower with two
other people. My share of the costs was $450.00. I then gave for the
wedding gift of $54.00 thinking that the combine total of $500.00 was
sufficient. My brother called me and said that I was wrong, that the
shower costs had nothing to do with the weding gift, and I should have
given my newphew $250.00. Which view is correct?
Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 23 Aug 2006 15:49 PDT
Hi sallemfeld,

According to the Wedding Etiquette sites I perused, you did more than
enough "giving" --however, you could have allocated it differently.


From the Money Matters Desk: Consumer report on wedding gifts
..."Eighty-five dollars. That's the average amount spent on a wedding
gift according to the Association of Bridal Consultants..."

Next, Emily Post:

How much should I spend?
..."There is no rule, so it is entirely up to you. Let your affection
for the bride and groom and your budget be your guide..."

And a wedding expert:

Question ~ How much is appropriate for the mother-in-law to be to
spend on the bridal  shower gift? And the wedding gift?  My ex and I
are contributing to the wedding expense. 
..."There is no rule about the appropriate amount for any guest to
spend on a bridal shower gift. Generally, the gift selection is
limited only by the guest's imagination, taste and budget. Also,
generally speaking, a bridal shower gift should not be as elaborate or
as expensive as what you'd spend for a wedding gift.

As for the wedding gift, both the bride's and groom's family often
give gifts for their new household. For example, the groom's parents
may give the couple china, crystal or other furnishings for the new
home.  Again, there's no set guideline for the amount each family
should spend on the gift. But for sentimental reasons, a gift that
will be used and enjoyed by the couple for many years is more valuable
to the bride and groom.

Keep in mind the general rule for any gift-giving is that it's the
thought that counts, not the dollar amount spent..."


Here's an article at "The Knot" that specifically breaks down how to
allocate the money you have decided to spend:

How Much Should you Spend?
..."Whether you?re gifting cash or presents, the exact formula of how
much you should spend depends on many factors: your finances;
conventions in your family and social circle; how well you know the
couple; and whether you?ll be spending a lot of money on
transportation and lodging, etc.

Step 1: Come up with a total expenditure that feels right to you. Be
sure to consider all the events: the showers, engagement parties, and
the wedding itself. Generally speaking, the closer you are to the
couple, the more you should gift. If you?re traveling great distances
to attend the celebration (and are thus spending a lot of money in
transit) then you may be expected to gift a little less.

Step 2: Portion out your total sum by event. Once you?ve figured out
what you want to spend on the couple?s gifts overall, you can break it
down by percentages so that the wedding gift gets the bulk of your


20% of your total on the engagement present 

20% of your total on the shower gift 

60% of your total on the wedding gift 

That means if you?re spending $250 total, you?d spend $50 each on the
engagement and shower, and $150 on the wedding present.

(If you?re only invited to the shower, then spend the extra 20%
beefing up the wedding gift.)

Whatever you gift to the to-be-weds, as long as it?s heartfelt and
accompanied by a personally penned card of special, sweet wishes to
the couple you can?t go wrong..."


What to do now?

I would write a note to the bride and groom and explain that it has
been brought to your attention (it's up to you whether you name the
complainer) --that the amount of money you spent on the wedding gift
was proportionally wrong compared to the shower gift, --as far as
etiquette is concerned. Include that this was not your intent, nor do
you want it to be an issue, and that you hope both your gifts have
been received in the spirit in which they were intended, they were
given with love --and many hopes for your long and loving life

Then, thank your brother for pointing out the mistake you made as far
as money to gift allocation is concerned, and that in the future you
will follow etiquette more closely.

Don't be bullied into sending MORE money! I like Pink's idea, tell him
to send you a bill, and mention that after sending the Bride & Groom a
copy of the bill, you will frame it and point it out at the next
family holiday get-together, probably Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I hope this helps!


Search method:
"wedding gift" AND "shower gift" "how much" OR spend OR cost OR money
married "wedding gift" AND "shower gift" value amount gift

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 23 Aug 2006 16:04 PDT
Hmmmm....  I may have misread a portion of your question.  You footed
the bill for $450 of the cost of the Wedding Shower?

If that is correct, the cost to put on a Shower is not considered when
determining what to spend on a gift for a Wedding. Also, as an aside,
it is considered to be poor etiquette for a close family member to
throw the shower unless they are part of the [standing] wedding party.

In any event, your brother is waaaay more wrong (etiquette-wise) than
you have been, --to ask/demand/suggest that you should pay more is in
extremely bad taste.

If you would like me to request that my answer be removed, please let
me know before rating my answer (in the clarification section) --and I
will do so.

Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: pinkfreud-ga on 23 Aug 2006 15:10 PDT
In my view, your brother is wrong to have brought the matter up. I
think it is incredibly crass to complain about the dollar value of a
gift, regardless of the circumstances. If a gift of a certain
predetermined amount is required, perhaps invoices should be sent to
family members instead of wedding invitations.
Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: kriswrite-ga on 23 Aug 2006 15:41 PDT
Ditto what Pink said! It is entirely improper to tell anyone their
gift is insufficient. Gifts are not mandatory...and certainly gifts of
a certain value are not, either.

Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: kriswrite-ga on 23 Aug 2006 17:12 PDT
<<<Also, as an aside,
it is considered to be poor etiquette for a close family member to
throw the shower unless they are part of the [standing] wedding party>>>

In many parts of the U.S., this is no longer considered to be the case.

Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: markvmd-ga on 23 Aug 2006 18:06 PDT
I hope you got a thank you note. With the type of etiquette displayed,
I'm gonna guess not.
Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: divamoi-ga on 24 Aug 2006 07:33 PDT
Make sure you show these responses to your brother! 

How extraordinarily rude and ungrateful of your brother and what
terrible values and manners he must have instilled into an obviously
over-indulged nephew! I am truly shocked to think that anyone would be
so crass and greedy as to complain about the value of a gift. You have
every reason to be offended for his disgraceful rudeness.
Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: myoarin-ga on 24 Aug 2006 14:14 PDT
All the above are right; your brother is way off base.  One:  it's not
his business; two:  the monetary value of a gift should never be
discussed ("Don't look a gifthorse in the mouth.").

Don't apologize.  I hope you have a better relationship with your
nephew and his wife.
Subject: Re: Shower and Wedding gift from Aunt & Uncle
From: keystroke-ga on 27 Aug 2006 19:28 PDT
I agree with everyone else that your brother was the rude one. HE
breached etiquette, by demanding that you give a bigger gift. For
someone to even be so involved in his son's business that he knows the
value of the wedding gifts is unimaginable to me! Everyone in this
modern world seems too focused on material things, and your brother
seems to only care about that rather than focusing on what you had
previously done for his son.

I hope your nephew has better social skills than your brother does. I
also hope it was just a momentary lapse on your brother's part!

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