What Is the Etiquette Regarding Giving Cash As a Wedding Gift?

When giving cash as a wedding gift, wedding etiquette experts advise spending more on close family and friends, sticking within your budget and giving a physical gift in lieu of money if you can't afford more than $25. Other factors to consider include plus-one status, whether actually attending the wedding and the amount of travel required for the event.

The amount of cash that is acceptable to give at a wedding depends in large part on the relationship with the couple. A 2013 survey by American Express found that the average person spends anywhere from $66 for a co-worker to $179 for a close family member. A person should never give more than she can afford, says etiquette consultant Nancy R. Mitchell, but if she cannot afford more than $25, choosing a gift from the couple's registry is a better option.

If an individual is attending the wedding with a guest, the common convention is to give more than if she was going alone. It is acceptable to give less money if not actually attending the event, or if it not the groom or bride's first wedding. Travel distance also plays a part; if the wedding requires expensive travel or accommodations, large cash gifts are generally not expected.