How Much Do You Give As a Wedding Gift in France?

16/11/2023

If you're lucky enough to have been invited to a wedding in France or are planning to get married in France, you might be wondering how much you should give as a wedding gift.

The amount of money you give as a wedding gift in France is entirely up to you and depends on your budget. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow.

How Much Should I Give As a Gift at a French Wedding?

If you are close family or friends of the couple, it is customary to give a larger sum of money, usually between 100-200 euros. If you are a more distant relative, a work colleague, or an acquaintance, then a smaller sum of money, between 50-100 euros, is more appropriate.

Of course, depending on your budget and relationship with the couple in question, you can always give less or more.

Something to bear in mind when planning a destination wedding is that your guests might have to spend extra money on travel and accommodation, so you may want to be more understanding if they cannot give as much or anything at all.

Do Marrying Couples in France Have a Wedding List?

Sometimes the marrying couple will have a wedding gift list (liste de mariage), as is customary in many Western countries. If your hosting couple has a wedding list, you may end up paying slightly more for your wedding gift contribution as a guest. The average spend on wedding gifts in France has varied between €140 and €170 over the last decade, with €160 being the average.

That said, French couples with a wedding list often put together various items at different price points so that guests can choose something to suit their budget.

Increasingly couples are moving away from having wedding gift lists, as many couples already live together and have all the household items they need. Instead, couples will ask for contributions towards their honeymoon or donations to be made to a charity of their choice in lieu of gifts.

How Should I Give Money to The Bride and Groom at a French Wedding?

How you give the money will depend on the specific wedding. Many weddings have un livre des visiteurs or a "guestbook" set up with an adjacent box for donations. Other weddings have a pot commun at the reception where you can discreetly place a cheque.

In terms of the form of payment, cash within a card or a cheque within an envelope is always appreciated, as it is much easier for the couple to manage when sorting out their finances post-wedding (if you're the couple, make sure to note down who gave you what on the envelope or card, as it will help with your thank-yous).

Please note that some banks in France will charge a fee for cashing foreign cheques, so it may be worth checking this in advance.

What About If I am Getting Married in France?

If you are getting married in France, then as the bride and groom, you might want to give your guests a small token of appreciation at the end of the night, known as dragées.

A dragée typically contains five sugared almonds representing health, happiness, fertility, wealth, and long life. However, you can also put anything you like inside your party favour bags for guests, from chocolates to small bottles of perfume or something that symbolises the region (e.g. a sprig of lavender for Provence).

So, there you have it, everything you need to know about how much to give as a wedding gift in France. Just remember, it is entirely up to you and your budget, and the most important thing is that you enjoy the day!

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