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06/16/2014 11:58 EDT

Wedding Gift Costs: How Much Do Canadians Spend?

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If you have a wedding or two this summer (who doesn't?), and you're wondering how much to spend on a gift, we have a cheat sheet for you — that is, a look at what other Canadians are spending on wedding presents.

According to new results from RetailMeNot.ca, half of Canadian wedding guests spend $100 or less on a gift per person, with a third spending $51 to $100 each.

Considering that the cost of a wedding in 2014 is approximately $23,000, and the average number of guests is 128, according to WeddingBells, it looks like couples shouldn't be expecting to recoup their costs via gifts.

The RetailMeNot survey notes that guests find weddings to be a financial burden, but 20 per cent of respondents would spend more on a wedding with an open bar, showing how they factor these events in with their own entertainment budget.

From a guest perspective, you have to anticipate what your costs will be from the moment you find out you're invited, says Shawnette Fraser, a branch manager at TD Canada in Calgary.

"Figure out how much it will cost, especially if it involves travel, before you RSVP. And you have to be comfortable spending on the associated costs — gifts, party, travel, even your attire."

One frugal option Fraser suggests for buying a gift is using your own points from reward credit cards — sites now offer more extensive options for anything from kitchen appliances to croquet sets.

As for whether or not the amount you're giving is acceptable, well, that really depends on you and your relationship to the couple. Anja Winikka, site director at TheKnot.com, says distant relations should give between $75 to $100, relatives $100 to $125 and close friend or relatives $100 to $150, according to Stylecaster. So basically, Canadians, it's time to up the ante.

How much do you give for wedding presents? Do these amounts sound appropriate?

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