How Much Money to Give For a Wedding in Canada?

The average Canadian generally gives $100 to $200 a person when attending a wedding.

However, some offer much more, while others way less.

So what’s the magic number, exactly?

Consider Your Relationship with the Couple

When deciding on a wedding gift in Canada, consider your relationship with the couple.

Choose a gift that reflects your connection and level of closeness.

If you are a close friend or family member, it may make more sense to offer a monetary gift on the higher end.

That said, you could also opt for a more personalized and thoughtful gift.

This could include items with sentimental value, like a customized photo album or meaningful artwork.

If you have a distant relationship with the couple, money may be a better option, but if you want to give a physical gift, opt for practical gifts they can use in their everyday life, such as kitchen appliances or home decor items.

Don’t forget to include a gift receipt in the event that they already have a similar item.

If unsure about the gift, check for a wedding gift registry or reach out to close family for suggestions.

They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and help you select a gift that matches their preferences and needs.

Remember, the sentiment behind the gift matters most.

Factor in the Regional Norms

When deciding the amount for a wedding gift in Canada, consider regional norms.

Different regions and socioeconomic groups may have different expectations for wedding gifts.

Some areas may expect higher amounts as gifts while others may expect lower amounts.

However, don’t feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses.

Give a gift that you are comfortable with that’s within your means.

Take into Account the Wedding Budget

You should also take into account the couple’s wedding budget when deciding on the amount of money to give as a gift.

Factor in the cost of the wedding venue, catering, and other expenses to understand the couple’s financial situation.

In general, the amount you give as a wedding gift should at least cover the cost of your plate.

If the couple is having a smaller, more intimate wedding with a lower budget, giving something on the lower end can suffice.

Conversely, if the couple is having a lavish and expensive wedding, take into account the wedding budget and consider giving a more generous gift.

Remember not to burden your own finances when giving a wedding gift.

Find a balance between your financial capabilities and what you think is appropriate based on the couple’s wedding budget.

Wedding Gift Ideas That Aren’t Cash

When it comes to wedding gifts in Canada, there’s more to consider than just how much money to give.

Here are a few exciting alternatives that go beyond cash: 

  • Experience Gifts: Give the couple tickets to a concert or a romantic weekend getaway to create lasting memories.
  • Personalized Gifts: Choose a unique and thoughtful gift tailored to the couple’s interests or hobbies, such as customized artwork, engraved jewelry, or a personalized photo album.
  • Homemade Gifts: Show your thoughtfulness and effort by making a homemade gift like a hand-knitted blanket, homemade candles, or a scrapbook filled with memories, instead of giving money.
  • Donation to Charity: Make a meaningful donation to a charity that reflects the couple’s values and interests if the couple has stated no gifts, including monetary ones.
  • Gift Cards: Give the couple the freedom to choose what they need by providing gift cards to their favourite stores or restaurants.
  • Group Gifting: Group gifting offers a way for multiple guests to join forces and contribute towards a larger gift, ensuring that the couple receives something truly meaningful.

Wedding Gift Giving Dos and Don’ts

Remember to consider the couple before making your choice on a wedding gift.

While some couples may find a homemade scrapbook a kind and thoughtful gesture, other couples could consider it to be cheap and rude.

If the couple has a registry, it is wise to choose a gift from there to ensure they receive something they truly want.

At the end of the day, you know the couple best, so don’t overthink it.

If you are unsure of the couple’s preferences, it’s always best to give cash.

It is crucial to give a gift that fits within your budget, taking into account your relationship with the couple, and to ensure you at least cover the cost of your plate.

2 envelopes with money for wedding gift

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the average amount of money to give as a wedding gift in Canada?
  • Should I give cash or a cheque as a wedding gift?
  • Both cash and cheques are acceptable as wedding gifts. It is generally suggested to give cash, since cheques can be tricky to deposit with name changes.

  • How much should I give if I am attending multiple weddings in a short period of time?
  • If you know you will be attending multiple weddings in a short period of time, it is a good idea to save up for wedding gifts. Consider budgeting and giving what you are comfortable with or as much as you want for each wedding, taking into account your relationship with the couple and the cost to at least cover your plate.

  • What if I am unable to attend the wedding? Should I still send a gift?
  • If you are close to the couple, it is appreciated to send a gift even if you cannot attend the wedding. It is a nice gesture to show your support and congratulate them on their special day.

  • Are cash wedding gifts the preferred option nowadays?
  • Yes, cash wedding gifts have become more common in recent years. Many couples have most of the items they need especially if they are living together before marriage, so cash is often preferred. It provides the couple with the flexibility to use the money as they choose, such as for their honeymoon or future plans.

  • What amount should I give as a wedding gift if it’s a destination wedding?
  • Guests may reduce the amount they give at destination weddings due to the cost of traveling, and this is considered acceptable. It is still important to give what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with.

Tara Al-Khudairi

Tara Al-Khudairihas worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.