06/15/2016 04:35 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 04:59 EDT

What To Give At Wedding Events As A Guest: Gifts, Money And More Ideas

Don't know what gift to bring? We've got you covered.

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Wedding cake topper and flowers

Most wedding invitations come with a host of other pre-wedding functions to attend — from showers to sangeets. As a guest, navigating the gift-giving etiquette can be quite challenging.

Louise Fox, of Etiquette Ladies, says the amount of events and what kind of gifts to bring to them has made people think twice about attending.

"You could be invited to many weddings and it can be difficult to afford it," she said. She still shudders when she remembers the great gift-basket fiasco from a couple of years ago when a bride berated a guest for not covering the cost of his plate with his gift.

So do you pay for your plate?

"It's a way to commemorate a special moment in someone's life."

We spoke to a bunch of experts and the general rule is that guests should stick within their own budgets when considering gifts for the newlyweds. The idea that you should pay for your plate at the reception is a myth.

"The expectation is that the couple is happy to have the guest help them celebrate. To expect tit-for-tat is not generous, gracious or appreciative," Lizzie Post, co-host of the Awesome Etiquette Podcast, told HuffPost Canada. "Gifts are a way the guest can help honour the couple's special day. It's a way to commemorate a special moment in someone's life."

Steven Petrow, civilities columnist with the Washington Post, told the Huffington Post Canada that guests do the following two things:

1) It never hurts to ask the host, wedding party or parents of the couple to gauge what the couple's expectations are.

2) Whatever you decide to give, a card expressing your joy, love and hopes for the couple is always appreciated.

Above all, a gift should reflect what you feel comfortable giving.

We've divided the gamut of pre-wedding functions into five categories — functions where your presence is a present or when a small token is sufficient; when to go on and off the registry and when a monetary gift is appreciated. Check it out in the slideshow below.