Wedding party in blush dresses and black tuxedos
Photo: O'Malley Photographers

Buying a group gift is a win-win for guests and the bride and groom. For starters, if you're a guest, you get to give the bride and groom a gift that's more deluxe than one you'd normally be able to afford by yourself. If you're part of a a group that's thoughtful enough to pool its money—such as the bride's college roommates, the groom's childhood friends, or all the first cousins—it's fun to think of a big gift idea that you can all give together. If you're thinking about giving a group gift, here's what you need to know. And if you're a bride and groom, and are in the process of adding high price-tag items to your wedding registry, here's what to expect if a bunch of friends or family go in on these gifts together.

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How much should you spend?

Once the group is formed, it can decide how much to spend based on consensus. Does everyone want to spend $50 each? $100? More? Whatever the number, each person usually puts in the same amount.

What to do about the congratulations card?

There are options. If everyone in the group lives near one another or is getting together before the wedding, each person can sign their own name (the bigger the card the better). If that's not feasible, one person (often the one who's collecting the money) signs every participant's name. There's no need to send an additional, individual card from anyone whose name will be on the group card.

Who buys the gift?

It's often purchased by the same person who suggested doing a group gift. Before any purchase is made, the group should be in agreement as to what to buy.

What are some gift ideas?

Look on the couple's registry for the pricier gifts. Consider items like artwork, furniture, or rugs. Or skip the traditional registry and get them an experience like parasailing lessons on their honeymoon or make a big contribution to their home repair fund (for example, a bathroom renovation).

Why isn't an additional gift necessary?

Unless it's a small token gift (like a cheeky cosmetics bag that says "Wife"), one gift is enough. Remember, you're part of a group!

This story originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.