Gifting for Grads + Weddings

by Cindi SutterChief Communicator & Editor of Spirited Table®

You know you’re in good company when a topic you’ve been pondering, pops up in multiple conversations, over a very short period of time. That’s been my recent experience regarding these topics.

  1. How much do you spend on a graduation gift?

  2. What do you buy a high school grad vs a college grad? (I’m going to skip over the 8th grade grad.) Yes, that’s a thing.

  3. How much do you spend on wedding gifts?

  4. Do you follow the registry for wedding gifts? And if not, why and what do you buy?

Before I share my answers, the general survey says; (more than I thought), all three of the above groups, love to get cash. Hmmm…my southern belle Mom and Grandmothers are ringing that bell in my head…don’t do it…

Before I share my personal gifting preferences, you need to know a secret about me: I have a gifting closet (see Gift Drawers, Corners or Closets) that includes gifts I buy on sale, or not, and all the wrapping paper, tissue paper, bags, bows, cards and ribbons that I could possibly need for the rest of my life. And yes, I always buy all of the wrapping paraphernalia, on sale!

Yes, my name is Cindi and I need to go to ribbon rehab.

Okay, back to the list.

  1. I think most of us base the dollars we spend on our relationship with the grad. So I asked around and it can range from $25-$125 or more if it’s your kid.

  2. The graduation gifts I’ve enjoyed giving the most are:

    1. Experiences + some item you need for the experience. Picnic Basket that’s fully loaded for a larger group. And if you’re really close, provide your backyard for a day.

    2. Wine/Beer for a smaller group + dinner in your home

    3. A good travel bag, backpack, briefcase or handbag

    4. Okay…I’ll succumb - if they need the cash for something important, give it

  3. Spend on Wedding gifts = this one is definitely on the side of “how well you know them.” This range is truly up to each of our budgets.

  4. My unofficial survey says that there are many people who really love to choose a gift from a registry. Personally, I adjust my gift to what I know that couple would like or need in their home. Unofficial survey says you could have a shoe, or a bowl at the reception that’s devoted to de-fraying honeymoon or home buying cost, in lieu of a gift.

My final answer includes a passion of mine…creating flower arrangements. I did the backyard wedding flowers, the large round glass vase on the pedestal full of rose pedals and flowers and we used the leftover pedals for sprinkling the path the bride & groom took from the elevator to the reception door. Some of the rest are from one of our former Tastemakers in Residence, Kristine Leuze + a variety from weddings I’ve attended. So just enjoy…You could actually give the bride and groom dollars for flowers!