This is how much should you really put into a wishing well

By Marta Barbayannis

Wishing wells have long been a popular inclusion at weddings as modern newlyweds opt for money in lieu of boxed wedding gifts.

Enabling guests to make financial contributions, these gifts are also usually accompanied by a ‘wish’ for the bridal couple.

However, more often than not, wedding guests find themselves conflicted on how much to give the happy couple – do you base it on a per head cost or your relationship to the bride and groom or are there other things to consider?

Never wanting to offend or commit a social faux pas, we’re often left scrambling or madly sending messages to our friends for a sense check.

However, by following a few simple rules, gifting cash no longer needs to be stressful.


The cost per head?

Weddings are meant to be a celebration with everyone special in the couple’s life, however, there is at times the expectation that guests will offset the cost of the couple’s big day through cash gifts.

With this in mind, many use the cost per head as an indicator on how much to give.

While not a faultless theory, as a general rule, wedding guests should aim to give roughly the amount it would cost for them to eat and drink at the reception.

Last year, the average price per head for Australian wedding venues was $150, with an average of 97 guests in attendance.

With that calculation in mind, guests would be looking to contribute anywhere between $100 and $300 per couple.

Is it based on your relationship?

The amount you splash can be dependent on your relationship with the bride and groom, with a greater anticipated figure the closer the relationship.

Family members and close friends alike should work towards a higher figure and are more likely to
give around $250 to $300 per couple.

Not as close? There’s much less expectation to be generous when you do not have a close relationship with the newlyweds, or if you’re attending as a ‘plus one’.

Perhaps in this case, it’s best to stick to the per head method.

Photo: Getty
If you’re travelling for a destination wedding do you still give a gift?

While over three per cent of Australian couples plan on hosting their wedding overseas, travelling to an exotic location can be a costly endeavour.

After budgeting for the airfare, hotel stay, incidental travel costs and more – is gifting money still presumed?

Delving into destination wedding gift etiquette, it is still customary to give a gift. That being said, the couple may understand if you happen to forgo a gift entirely and opt for a small cash present instead.

This is where a token contribution can come into play – around $100 per person for sentiment is a nice gesture.

With so many different scenarios, it is easy to feel confused when it comes to gifting money, however, by erring on the side of caution, you can be reassured you won’t be committing any social faux pas.

Marta Barbayannis is the Founder of GiftWell, an app dedicated to giving gifts of money.

The GiftWell app is an electronic cash gifting platform that enables users to safely send, manage and receive cash gifts.