I am going to ask a question about sth which might fall out of the scope of this forum, but I would be grateful if you could say your opinion about it.

I wonder what American usually get as wedding presents. I have been invited to the wedding party of my best friend's sister. I don't have the remotest idea about the gift.

In my own country, people buy gold coins which cost from $50 to $600 depending on its size.

I want to spend sth around $100 to $200. I would be deeply grateful if you could list several wedding gifts you would buy if you were in my shoes.

I hope moderators do not remove my irrelevent questions, I am just not familiar with the American culture.

Thank you very much for your time and help in advance

I agree that $200 in cash is a VERY generous gift from someone who is not a family member or a very, very close friend. It's about twice what I would give in your situation.

I don't liket to give cash. Cards get lost. Cash in them is then gone forever. If you write a check, you can cancel the check and write another one.
The first thing I would do is find out if the couple is registered anywhere. If they are, you can go to the store in which they are registered and ask for their registry, which will be basically a list of all the things they need or would like to recieve as wedding presents. Your safest thing to do is to purchase something directly from this list.

Otherwise, if they are not registered or you cannot find out about this, what I normally do in that situation is to go and purchase a large laundry basket, several sets of kitchen towels, and then some kitchen gadgets that I find extremely useful in my own kitchen (like silicone pot holders, potato masher, egg slicer, and similar items). I then put all of the towels and other items in the laundry basket and wrap it up with a large colorful bow.

Any gift of housewares is generally considered appropriate.

Another idea would be to purchase a gift card for a store that carries housewares, such as Bed Bath and Beyond. Or a store that carries many general items, such as Target. More and more people are doing these kinds of things as wedding gifts.

I have even seen wedding or shower guests simply tuck some cash into a card for the couple. Although if the families of the couple are wealthy or otherwise concerned about being very proper this might be considered inappropriate by some, I have met very few people who would not be very grateful for such a gift.

Happy shopping, and I wish you the best.

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Thank you very much for your response.

I don't know this custom of American. Registering in a shop is a good idea. But several guests might buy the same thing from the list. Isn't it like that?

Egg slicer ,potato masher, toaster or other kitchen ware are good idea. But the couple might already have a modern and better brand of it and my gift might be of no use.

If I want to give cash directly to the couple, how much is the usual amount in America? I know it depends on the relationship with the couple, but is $200 Ok?

How should I pay that, can I put two $100 bills in an envelope and deliever the envelope?

Thanks for your guidance
As far as the registry, the store is supposed to keep up with what has been purchased from the registry for this couple. When you ask for a copy of the registry, they would instruct you to let the cashier know when you are making your purchase that it is from this couple's registry, so that then that item is marked as 'purchased' in their system so that future shoppers for that couple know that this item has already been purchased. It doesn't always work and there are sometimes duplicates, which the couple must then return for refunds or exchange for something they don't have.

Yes, you are right about the possibility of the couple already having any kitchen items you might give- and this is an idea I use more commonly with very young couples who are just starting out and maybe don't have much of anything yet as far as housewares.

As for cash, any amount is fine. Especially if it is a couple you are not close to or do not know well, they will not have expectations of any amount- and it would be considered rude of them to have such expectations. In the class I am accustomed to (I have been raised in and remain 'middle class') a gift of $200 would be considered a very generous one. This would be especially true if it came from someone other than an immediate family member or a financially comfortable relative. I would think that in higher income groups, it would of course be much more common. However I think that regardless of the situation of the couple, that amount is easily enough to be considered generous.

With that amount, probably the most common and acceptable way to present it would be either 2 $100 bills or maybe 4 $50 bills inside a card and envelope. In stores where greeting cards are sold, it is fairly common to find cards that are specifically for a cash gift. That amount would also be great if given in the form of a gift card for a store that the couple likes (for instance, wherever their registry is- since you can be assured that they appreciate the merchandise from that store).

It sounds like you plan to make a generous and thoughtful choice, and I am sure that which ever way you choose to present it, it will be appreciated.

I hope to have been of help to you.

Thank Sbolton. That was great.
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 BarbaraPA's reply was promoted to an answer.