Look, all wedding websites are terrible. Yes, even yours. Your “how we met” story is only cute to you, the bios for your bridesmaids/groomsmen are excruciating and no one gives a fuck that the third cousin of the wife of the Assistant Secretary of The Treasury lived in Slaves Built This Place Plantation in 1842.
But they’re also functional, providing actual useful information to your guests—things like the location, that there won’t be a shuttle to the reception venue 40 miles away, and links to your registry. They’re typically hosted by TheKnot, basically the Halliburton of the wedding industrial complex. But for better or worse it’s their thing, which makes it odd that they would give this dumbfuck advice for registry shopping:
Spend what you think is appropriate to your relationship to the couple, and also consider what’s reasonable in your city. While a co-worker or friend may expect a gift in the $50-75 range, someone in an urban market may have double the expectations. Here’s the ballpark you should be aiming for:
– Coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $50-$75
– Relative or friend: $75-$100
– Close relative or close friend: $100-$150
– Urbanite: $150-200+
I’m sorry, what? What the fuck precisely constitutes an “urbanite,” and why the fuck am I expected to kowtow to their precious expectations to spend double? How does someone even arrive at that conclusion? “Well, I know Jeanne and Ronnie are just starting out and don’t have much, but I just HAD to buy Zaydynn the Kitchenaid. She lives in a city, you know.”
Fuck that. I’m not adjusting my spending just because an acquaintance I don’t like that much chooses to pay upwards of $3/sq foot in rent. Besides that, how much does TheKnot think the price of consumer goods vary by geography? Are they based in a remote Laotian village? Unless the happy couple registered at Whole Foods, I’m pretty sure a set of ugly bathroom towels from Macy’s costs pretty much the same everywhere.
Do you want to know how much you should actually spend on a wedding gift? Here’s an easy formula: whatever the fuck you feel like spending. Seriously, though. If it’s on their registry, it means they want it. It’s not your problem if Becka registered for a bunch of mixing bowls and napkin rings. I would say as long as you hit the $25 mark, you’re absolutely fine. Let their older family members splurge for the $500 Dyson vacuum.
Congratulations on your nuptials, I only got you a plate because convention dictated that I buy my urbanite friends a Lexus.