Lv 5
RED asked in Family & RelationshipsWeddings · 1 decade ago

Can someone explain the "wedding gift should be the cost of your meal" thing?

Have you heard of this?

I never heard of it before skimming though Y!A wedding section.

People say they find out the per-plate cost and give gifts accordingly?

I'm not trying to slam it, it seems like a good idea in theory.

I just don't understand how a guest would know how much a couple is spending per plate. Do they call the caterer? Do they guess from the venue location? From how fancy the invite is? From what they ate the last time they were at the bride to be's home for cocktails? ;)

Do they call the couple and *gasp* ask them how much they are spending to feed you? Seriously! I just don't get it- can someone explain this to me please?


BTB 4*12*08


Yes I'm being facetious-

I don't literaly think people would call the caterer.


29 Answers

  • Lydia
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    This seems to be a totally regional thing - seems lots of the answerers were from the NY area... if I remember correctly.

    I never heard of it before being on Answers, either.

    It's ridiculous, frankly. The two have nothing to do with one another. The couple getting married is hosting their guests to a lovely celebration, and any gifts they receive - of any cost - should just be gratefully and graciously accepted.

  • 4 years ago

    Send a card with a small gift.. perhaps a $25 gift card to Target. Don't break the bank over a niece you're not that close to. I'm guessing the bride and groom in question are a lot younger than you and your husband? This isn't an excuse exactly, but sometimes younger people fail to observe the niceties simply because they're not aware that they should. I'll admit that I didn't send cards or gifts when some cousins of mine got married... first because I found out about it after the fact (I wasn't invited), and second because I was in my very early 20s and in college, so doing things like buying wedding gifts for people wasn't on my radar. Now I'm older and I DO observe the niceties. Lately I've been adding birthdays and anniversaries to my Outlook so I remember to send gifts and cards. The 21 year old me didn't even think about such things, but the 30 year old me is much more considerate. Point being, if these folks are young, don't read too much into their selfishness... they may grow out of it in a few years.

  • 1 decade ago

    I've definitely heard of this. I'm from the Northeast. We tend to give cash as the gift at the wedding and registry stuff at the showers.

    I do consider the "price per plate" to some extent. If someone invited me to a wedding and it was $150 a plate. I'd feel funny giving $50. But, that doesn't mean I would give $150 or more. I would give what I could afford comfortable. But, if it's more expensive and I can afford a few extra dollars. I'll give a little more, rather then less. So, if I normal give $100, I might give $ 120 (if the plate is $150 each) .

    I do adjust the price according to how well I know the couple. Although, when I attend a wedding, I generally know the couple well (or I would not accept the invite). So, I give generously.

    A good rule of thumb is about $100 a plate. Most wedding in my area are anywhere between $80-$120 a plate. So, I feel $100 is good amount. If I know the couple well, I want to give them a large gift. For a wedding, I feel $100 is a standard amount.

    If it was someone I didn't know that well, then $70-75.

    As for how you know. In general, you can tell how much a plate costs buy where the reception site is held. Also, you can usually tell by the type of people hosting the reception. If you're friend is a doctor and the reception is being held at Ballroom of a super fancy hotel, you know the plate is going to be at least $100 bucks.

    Also, I usually google the reception site before attending the wedding. That way, I know where it is (get directions) Also, I can tell how formal the wedding will be and therefore I can decide what to wear.

  • 1 decade ago

    OH dear...gasp...what ever is the world coming to? We are now deciding how much to spend on a wedding gift based on what we think is being spent to feed us at the reception?? This is the first time I've heard this one and the idea is simply dreadful!!

    Wedding gifts should be based on what one wishes to do for the bride and groom and what one is able to do within their means. Nothing more or less. And as you so astutely asked, how on earth would one go about discreetly finding out what the 'per person' amount is?? And, while it may seem like a good idea in theory....

    What a dreadful concept!! Forget it at once and choose your wedding gift to the couple based on what you know they need and want and what you are can afford.

    That's how you do it, ladies and gentlemen.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi. I totally agree with you. I had never heard of that before coming on here myself.

    That is why I prefer to buy a gift off of the registry! Anyway, I think the gift is based on two things ONLY:

    ~ How well you know the bride or groom or couple, and

    ~ How much you can afford!

    That's all! I dont think there is any rule to give what the meal costs. I see some people on here give a lot. Some donations mentioned would be considered EXTREMELY generous where I live.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The theory is that the bride hopes to get a gift from each person that either equals or outweighs the amount of money she spent per plate to feed the person. I, however, feel that each person has different circumstances and can afford to spend different amounts. The bride should be grateful for any and every gift she receives.

    The guest cannot call the caterer and find out how much you're spending per person. There should be something about confidentiality in your contract.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've heard of this saying before but it was my understanding that it applied to guests who didn't know the bride or groom well at all. It was one of the general guidelines to give guests a ballpark number for a gift.

    Personally I don't pay much attention to this "rule." My gifts are determined by how much I have to spend and how close I am to the bride and groom.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have heard of this and I think it is a crock. I think a person should invite guests to their wedding because they want to share the day with friends and family not because they are going to rake in gifts. I buy what I can afford and not anything more. If brides expect to get gifts according to how big their wedding is they are being greedy.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's an idiotic theory concocted by greedy brides who threw weddings they couldn't afford and expected their guests to pick up the tab. It continues by more greedy brides hoping it'll catch on and people who pretend to know etiquette but don't know much of anything quoting it as tradition.

    If you want to use that as a measure then think about the area you are in and by all means "cover your plate" plus a gift. But, personally I think if I'm going to be requried to cover my plate then I get a say in how much my plate costs. I can't help it if you decided you wanted the Ritz but I am certainly not going to eat Ramean for a month and no electricity so I can give you a $300 wedding gift. On the same token I am not going to penalize a budget bride by only giving her a twenty because they did the food themselves.

    Personally I always reccomend you start with 15% of your weekly income when deciding how much to give as a gift. Depending on how close you are to that person you are free to raise it as you wish if it's affordable for your situation.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    From what I have understood about this, you're supposed to spend the amount they paid for the food to pay the couple back for what they spent for you. It really does seem silly though, and i do not think many people follow this 'rule'.I've heard a lot of others too, like if you know the person for so and so years the amount you spend on a gift goes up. Really, its up to your own discretion, budget, and your relationship with the couple as to what you feel comfortable giving and spending. I have not known a bride or groom yet to be upset over any gift, besides I would hope and think if you are invited to a wedding, you're presence during their special day means more than what you shell out of your pocket!

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