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What is an Appropriate Wedding Gift for My Boss?

Have you been invited to your boss or co-workers wedding and have no idea what to wrap up and bring along as a gift? This seems to be a pretty common dilemma and we’re conquering the beast, answering the question, and giving ideas below!

What is an Appropriate Wedding Gift for My Boss?

Readers Ask: My boss is getting married. What should I give as a gift?

“My boss is getting married this July. Actually, I work with both the boss and groom, and they are both my superiors. Most advice on this topic suggests giving a “thoughtful” gift. However, the invitation stated “no boxed gifts” and “no registry.” It is an Indian-Western wedding – not sure if this is a tradition.

I assume this means I am supposed to give cash or a gift card, but it’s a bit awkward to be giving money to my superiors, as they are both quite well off. I am not impoverished, but I certainly earn less. I also don’t know what is the appropriate amount to give. Help!”

Our Answer

Although this is a sticky situation, you’re on the hook for giving a gift whether you attend or not since you’ve received an invitation. That’s just proper etiquette.

Your best bet may be sending a gift to their home. Something quirky and thoughtful instead of a wad of cash or a boxed gift to the wedding – which they asked not to do. Since they’re well off, we can assume they already everything needed to make their house a home. So, doing a little shopping and finding something offbeat could be a great way to tell them congratulations.

Think about a funky planter, tickets to a local show, or something that is meant to be “small” and purposefully not too expensive or grandiose.

Other Expert Answers

“You are not obligated to give cash even if they want it. There is no magic, perfect amount to give anyway, as you have already figured out. We could present the same amount of money to two different people and receive two different reactions. So, if you wish to attend, which you are not obligated to do so, give a gift you wish to give. It can be in a box. Just ship it to their home before the wedding.

Having said all of that, there are cultures where money is a key player at the wedding/reception. When a guest is not of that culture, it is usually understood that this person would not know what to do. If the couple is following some sort of ritual such as this, you might want to ask about it.

And, another alternative explanation for the reference in their invitations may be that they don’t want gifts. That would be a stretch though.” – Rebecca Black, Etiquette by Rebecca

“Many etiquette experts decline to give a hard and fast set of numbers for a wedding gift because there are so many different factors at play.

That being said, it’s a good rule of thumb not to go below $50 for your wedding gift. This should be the base amount for acquaintances and distant relatives. From there you can inflate as you see fit, keeping in mind that you should increase the gift amount by at least 1.5 times if you have a plus-one.

Keep in mind, though, that  the average wedding attendee spent $113 on a gift in 2016 , so $50 may be low-balling it, especially at weddings in urban areas where the cost of weddings is higher on average.

A good rule of thumb is the closer the relationship the higher the budget,” international etiquette and protocol consultant Julia Esteve Boyd told INSIDER.

As a rule, the ranking goes as follows, several etiquette experts told me:

  • Family member or life-long friend
  • Boss/supervisor
  • Colleague/co-worker
  • Not-so-close friend/plus one” – INSIDER

Quirky Wedding Gift Ideas For Your Boss

Other Helpful Resources