Couples - one unit or two?

This occurred to me today as I was on my way out to buy a wedding gift. I am going in on a present with a married couple. I am by myself…my question is: If they are throwing in $100, should I also throw in $100, or are they counted as two people, and I should be paying $50?

I’m more than willing to pay $100, but I just wondered how others view this situation.

How close of friends are you? :wink:

When I was single and cost-splitting for any occasion came up, I assumed that the couple and I were each units and I would pay half. The exception occurred when the purchased items were individual (e.g., meals) when I would expect them to pay 2/3 (or actual cost).
I’d have figured the wedding gift at 50%. (Of course, if you are a bookstore clerk and the couple includes a doctor and a lawyer (or plumber), you may want to hint that they could offer to pay more.


This came up a long time ago over a bunch of us sharing a house. The self elected single leader said that my girlfriend and I had to pay equal shares. I refused and won. We were renting a single room, of course. Naturally the utilities were split evenly.

In your case I would consider paying half only if one of the couple were not bringing in any income. I don’t see how being married entitles couples to such social breaks at another’s expense.

A practical approach might be to consider the relationship between the “couple” and the Bride and groom…

Are both members of the couple you’re going in with independently friendly with the bride and/or groom? Or does one spouse know the bride/groom only through the other?

First case, split 3 ways; 2nd case split 2 ways. Of course, that’s the logical approach to an emotional issue, and therefore ultimately doomed…

Sue from El Paso

I think you should kick in a hundredand they two, you cheapskates! You get off light since you are the one actually going on the shopping trip and you will bear the ultimate scorn when and if your idea of a gift becomes the subject of ridicule.

Now if they agreed to that toaster or the velvet Elvis painting, You don’t need 300 bucks anyway. You can split the required amount 50/50 and blame it all on them.

It is not nice to quibble over the amount of money you are going to spend. Instead, judge the approximate value TO THE PERSON. A $15 Pet Shop Boys CD is going to be more valuable than a $50 Bob Dylan box set to someone who likes the Pet Shop Boys but not Bob Dylan. The value of gifts is not a decent topic for speculation.

Anyway. If you are giving the gift to the couple, buy one gift. If you are giving separate gifts, buy two gifts. Forget about price; buy something approximately equal in worth (not price) to what they got you, and give it to both of them.

Just rummage through the married couples closet and recycle the veg-o-matic they got for their wedding.