Wedding traditions and etiquette have changed a lot over the last couple of decades, especially in regard to wedding gifts. Gone are the days when couples are gifted fine China and crystal to help them set up their new home together. Today, couples are embracing more out there gifts, from activity and honeymoon funds to no gift registries at all. This can make giving wedding gifts challenging, especially if you don’t know the couple well. Today, more wedding guests are opting to give cash to newlyweds, but there’s a debate about whether that’s acceptable or rude.
So, is cash an acceptable wedding gift? Well, it depends!
Here are some things to consider when deciding on a cash gift or not.
Most young couples getting married today would gladly take cash from their guests, especially with the rising costs of weddings. Plus, most modern couples already live together before getting hitched, so registering for a bunch of household goods isn’t necessary. However, older couples may view cash gifts are rude. To certain generations and demographics, giving cash can be seen as impersonal and insulting. If the couple getting marries is under 50, though, you’re probably in the clear!
In many cultures, cash is actually the only acceptable gift. Indian, Chinese, and Italian weddings notoriously encourage cash, as it’s thought to bring luck and prosperity to the new couple. There are also extra cultural ties- what you give is thought to come back to you. So, if you gift a generous amount to your cousin when it’s your turn to get married, it’s likely they’ll give you a similar amount back. Showing up to a Chinese wedding with a gravy boat would just be weird, so if you’re unsure whether cash is the right move or not, do a little Googling on the couple’s culture.
If you’ve settled on giving cash as a wedding gift, the next thing to decide is how much. This is heavily debated these days. It used to be that a cash gift should cover the cost of your plate, but with rising wedding costs, that isn’t always feasible. In general, the closer you are to the bride or groom, the more you should give. Cultural obligations may also dictate the amount. In general, most people tend to give between $100-$200 per person.