With wedding season in full swing, guests everywhere are asking the same question: How much money should I give the newlyweds?
Though most guests will spend an average of $109 this year—on par with last year’s figure, $108—the average cost nearly doubles to $200 if the recipient is a close family member, according to the American Express Spending & Savings Tracker.
Even given that data, it’s important to remember that there is no minimum or maximum, says Anna Post, etiquette expert and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition ($40, amazon.com). When shopping for a wedding gift you should consider two things: your personal budget and your relationship with the couple. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary to pay for the cost of your dinner, but rather spend what you can afford and feel comfortable spending on something that suits the couple. Don’t be afraid to diverge from the registry if you need to.
Need inspiration? Try one of these practical picks.