Family & Relationships Yes, You Can Split Wedding Gifts — But Here's How You Should Do It
Meghan Markle might have a classic American guilty pleasure at her royal wedding to Prince Harry
The royal couple reportedly wants to incorporate American influences, which could include classic comfort foods like hot dogs and doughnuts.
- Shopping for gifts can be fun, but it can also be intimidating and anxiety-inducing.
- Many guests struggle to decipher proper gifting etiquette — especially whether it's acceptable to split the cost of a gift with someone else.
- Six wedding planners weighed in on when this is OK — and how much you should be spending.
If you're invited to a wedding, it's generally expected that you'll bring a gift. But the world of wedding gift shopping can be treacherous terrain to navigate.
"Wedding gift etiquette can definitely be tricky," Jesse Reing, wedding planner and founder of , told INSIDER. "The struggle to find the balance between, 'I love these people and would give the world to them' and 'I really want to be able to buy groceries next week' can be hard to navigate. There is also the fear of judgment from the married couple. What is generous to one person, may not be to the next person, and dollar amounts on wedding gifts tend to be compared to the other checks the couple gets."
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Cheers to the happy couple!
The costs of attending a wedding — from to — can add up quickly, leaving some guests wondering if it's acceptable for them to split the cost of a gift with another guest.
For couples, that's a commonly accepted practice, but what about non-coupled and unrelated guests? Is splitting a gift reasonable or tacky?
It turns out, that's a somewhat contentious question, and it all depends on the situation.
Six wedding planners weighed in with a range of opinions and factors to consider.
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Some wedding planners are against splitting gifts — except in certain specific cases.
For Reing, it's straightforward: once you're an adult, splitting wedding gifts should become a thing of the past, she said.
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One exception is if the wedding party wants to go in together on one pricier present, she said.
"While it is almost never acceptable to split a gift with a friend, in the case of bridesmaids or groomsmen coming together to do something, it can be viewed as acceptable," Reing said.
If you're coming from out of town, it's justifiable to share the cost of a gift.
If you're already shelling out a significant amount of money just to get to the wedding, you can more easily justify splitting the cost of a wedding gift, Paolo Franco, a wedding planner at , told INSIDER.
The same goes if you're a broke college student.
"For younger guests like college students, or for friends that are traveling out of town, spending with hotel, airfare, etc., can help justify the splitting," Franco said.
If you're bringing a plus-one, the gift is on you.
When you're invited to a wedding and you're allowed a plus-one, you shouldn't expect your date who isn't close with the bride or groom to chip in for the gift.
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"If someone is invited to a wedding with a 'plus one', the general practice is for the person whose friend/family member is getting married to provide the gift," Reing said.
If your whole family is going — check the number of invites.
If your whole family will be attending a wedding, gift-giving etiquette depends on how many invitations were received.
"In the case of families, it is acceptable to split the gift if there is only one invitation sent for the whole family, even if the children are grown," Reing said. "If separate invitations are sent to parents and adult children, a gift should come from each. "
Some planners say splitting a gift is actually ideal.
"I think splitting gifts [is] brilliant," Jenny Chang, founder of "I've done that in the past, since sometimes the friend that's getting married is 'one' of a pack. Having a pool of investment from a group of friends only enhance the experience, and if the gift reminds the bride/groom of a group-of-friends experience, then it's ten times the value." , which plans weddings and other events in San Francisco and Los Angeles, told INSIDER.
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Chang said she doesn't think any brides and grooms think people are cheap because they split gifts.
"Unless it's a $25 toaster between two people," she added.
Chandni Mistry, founder of ., said she didn't see any problems with guests splitting wedding gifts.
"Two people who would like to split a gift is completely acceptable at all times," she told INSIDER. "They should still spend the same amount as they would've if they were gifting individually. The gift necessarily does not have to be more expensive."
How much to spend depends on multiple factors.
So if you're splitting the cost, who much should each person spend? These wedding planners have differing opinions.
Marni Farmer, founder of in Southern California, said that good wedding gift etiquette is for guests to spend what they would on a nice meal out, because that's essentially what they're getting at the wedding.
"Splitting a gift is perfectly acceptable if they follow this rule of thumb," she said.
There's an old standby that of having the guest at the wedding, but Reing said she doesn't agree with that.
"Here, in New York City, the per-person can range from $100 to $400 per person," Reing said. "That being said, the guideline does tend to lend itself to a dollar amount. Generally speaking, people spend $100 to $150 per person."
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Mamas-to-be, you're going to LOVE this idea.The baby shower: probably the least exciting 'shower' you'll have. Like a bridal shower or wedding shower, it's basically just another social gathering where your family and friends watch you open gifts you picked out yourself. But this time, most of the gifts aren't even for you, and most of them involve potty-training cleanup. Fun! And while you can't exactly liven up the fiesta with booze, there are other alternatives to the traditional baby shower. Enter: the hatchelorette.
If you're splitting the cost of a gift with someone else, you can avoid coming off as tacky or insulting making sure to give an actual thoughtful gift, and not money, Reing said.
"If doing this, try to get something special, unique or iconic," she said. "While I don't want to give away my personal secret, there is a very popular store/brand, that provides 'robin's egg blue' gift boxes, where you can get champagne glasses and decanters for a very reasonable price!"
Chang always recommends each person to spend at least $45 on a wedding gift.
"However, it really depends," she said. "I would always recommend checking out what the couples have registered first. If they registered gifts within $45 and $250, then I would always choose to split a gift within the $100 plus range. Unless you and your friend have an inside joke of a portable bullet that costs $35, then you can split that and make a comic joke into the wedding card."
Tessa Brand of told INSIDER that adults shouldn't spend less money on a gift even if they split it.
"If two guests (that are not a couple) are splitting a wedding gift then the gift should be something more expensive that couldn't be purchased by a single person or couple," she said.
Brand said she would advise a guest (and his or her date) to spend between $150 and $250 on a single wedding gift.
Popular wedding planning website has no problem with guests splitting gifts.
"If the couple has registered for an item that's out of range for just one person to afford, ask some other guests to chip in with you," The Knot recommends. "It's also a great idea for the bridal party to band together and buy the couple the item of their dreams."
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One survey from The Knot found that , with many married couples saying their favorite gifts were big-ticket items that they likely wouldn't be able to afford on their own, bought together by a group of their friends.
According to The Knot how much to spend on a wedding gift depends entirely on your relationship with the couple.
If the person getting married is a co-worker or distant family friend or relative, $50 to $75 is acceptable. If it's a relative or friend, between $75 and $100 is more appropriate. For a close relative or close friend, The Knot says $100 to $150 is ideal.
Interestingly, The Knot has a separate category for "urbanites." If you are a city-dweller, you should spend at least $150 or $200 for a gift, according to the site.
Related video: Budget Friendly Wedding Gift Ideas. Provided by Buzz60
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Think This Wedding Tradition Is 'Very Important' .
Like many other couples. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be upholding one superstitious wedding tradition regarding the wedding dress.On Friday, People reported that Kensington Palace confirmed Harry will see Meghan in her wedding dress for the first time with the rest of us: when she walks down the aisle.
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