Woman Says People Who Only Give $100 As A Wedding Gift Should Not Even Go — ‘That Doesn’t Even Cover Your Food’

"If you can't afford it ... you should sit it out."

Bride and groom walk by their wedding guests. Monkey Business Images / CanvaPro

Not only is it a cultural standard and expectation for couples to throw weddings, it’s not uncommon for them to go into extreme debt or take on financial strain to put them on. The fact is, weddings are expensive. The average cost is close to $40,000

One woman on TikTok, known as EmpathEyes, shared that she didn’t have a wedding for that reason but would never “skimp out” on a wedding gift for a couple that chose to throw one. “I just saw that some people are giving $50 to $100…are you guys crazy? You don’t go to a wedding to just pay for your plate.” 


This woman says you should ‘sit it out’ if you can’t afford to pay for both your plate and a wedding gift at someone’s wedding. 

In a since-deleted post that has been stitched by other creators, EmpathEyes explained, “You go to the wedding to pay for your plate and give them something. Let’s say you just want to cover the plate. Where the [expletive] are plates $50 or $100 or even $150 at this point? That is insane.” 



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Not only did she argue that it’s “embarrassing” to give anything less than $200 as a wedding gift, but she personally felt that it’s more appropriate for guests to stay home if they “can’t afford” it. Naming cultural expectations as the root, she said that it’s only right to give new couples a gift to start their lives. It’s not to ensure they’re not going into debt for the wedding but to set them up for happiness later. 

She argued it’s ‘wedding etiquette’ to gift more than the estimate to cover your plate.

EmpathEyes explained, “I want to gift them without taking from them…You’re not only attending a wedding or to show support, you’re also attending an event. There’s entertainment, music, drinks, food... it’s wedding etiquette to cover your plate and then some.” 

According to experts, the average cash wedding gift hovers around $160. Obviously, that can change based on factors like the guests' relationship with the couple and their financial means.

outdoor wedding reception Pixland / Canva Pro


Needless to say, the response to EmpathEyes video was harsh. Critics argued that financial burdens make it impossible to be quite so generous.

They also pointed out that if all those financially strapped guests chose not to go to the wedding, there was a good chance the newlyweds would lose money to the venue. Many argued that sentiment was more important than fiscal value, especially if you don’t have the freedom to spend $100 or $200 on a cash wedding gift. 

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After receiving a great deal of backlash, she clarified that people shouldn’t have a wedding if ‘they are relying on gifts.’ 

“It’s okay to miss out on these things. People forget that it’s okay to sacrifice a good time for the sake of saving money because if you can’t gift a couple hundred dollars to a new couple at their wedding, don't go.” 


She argued that couples are free to throw “luxurious weddings,” complete with entertainment, open bars, and expensive venues, but shouldn’t do so if they’re relying on their guests to pay for it. “They’re starting their lives,” she said; of course, if they can spend the money, they should. 

Many responses from other TikTok viewers suggested this woman was "tone deaf" and "entitled" for assuming people have the freedom to spend that money on a wedding. "You go to a wedding to celebrate a couple getting married," one person commented. "You're wild and entitled." 

“I didn’t have a wedding myself,” EmpathEyes said. “It felt like a waste of money. I decided to buy a house instead.” However, she argued that it’s “tacky” to enjoy a lavish wedding and all its amenities and then only gift $50 — something that wouldn’t cover the average plate of catered food. 


reception hall before guests arrive Marissa Mayo / Canva Pro

“There is nothing more valuable than money to a couple that is starting their life,” she argued. “Nothing is expected of anyone. If I’m a genuine guest, I want to give you a nice, valuable gift. $20 is not valuable today, neither is $50 or $100.” 

Of course, at the end of the day, there is no all-encompassing standard for what’s appropriate for wedding guests. In fact, many argue that “paying for your plate” is a common misconception in American wedding culture


Culturally, there are a million different wedding traditions that guests follow, so it’s impossible to say anyone is “right or wrong.” 

You provide value for the new couple by just showing up to celebrate with them. They’re choosing to have a wedding and have asked you to attend. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.