When it comes to asking for wedding gifts, and wording your wedding invitations, the one question which comes up the most is “How to politely ask for money for your wedding gifts.”
Photo: Perspex Wishing Well
Asking for Money as a Wedding Gift is now the Norm
When your parents got married, they probably wouldn’t have dreamed of asking for cash for their wedding present – but that taboo has long passed, and couples setting up wishing wells, honeymoon-funds and even asking for specific gift vouchers for their Big Day is now the norm.
Last year, we sent a survey out to 1000 couples, asking what their choice of Wedding Gift was, and only 22% of them used a Wedding Registry (often in combination with asking for money via a Wishing Well or Honeymoon Fund). If you’re still choosing which wedding gift to ask for, start here, or continue to read How to Politely Ask for Money instead of a Gift Registry.
Why would you ask for Money for a Wedding Gift?
For most couples, who will have already cohabited and established a home together, having to set up a traditional wedding registry of gifts of kitchen appliances and other household goods can be a waste. You might end up having to choose (and receive) a lot of things you don’t really want or need.
Will guests be upset if we ask for Money?
The way you word your request for wedding gifts, and especially a request for money, can make a huge difference to the way the message is received. Some friends and family, especially older people, may appreciate knowing what the money is going towards.
Though you can simply ask for contribution to a bank account, many couples choose for the money to go toward something specific, most commonly their honeymoon. We personally chose furniture, and let our guests know exactly what we’d be buying with it. In our thank you notes, I told our wedding guests how grateful we were for their contribution to our dining table, where we enjoyed sharing our meals each night. Choose what you’re asking for, and if it’s something more specific, let your guests know.
If you’re worried about guests turning their noses up at your request for a monetary contribution, consider that monetary gifts have long been considered proper and acceptable in different regions and countries:
- Korea: guests often present envelopes containing cash or checks to the parents of the couple, who in turn present the money to the newlyweds;
- China: guests usually hand the bride monetary presents in red envelopes (red symbolises luck) AND even guests who don’t attend send money;
- Italy: has the custom of “The Grand March,” where the wedding reception ends with a receiving line in which the couple gives each guest a sweet in exchange for an envelope of money;
- Poland: the “Dollar Dance” where guests dance with the bride and pin money to her veil or dress. it is the norm in many cultures; and in
- Greece, Azerbaijan and parts of the Middle East, it would be seen as rude not to give money at a wedding.
So, for the nearly four-fifths of couples marrying this year will be asking for a gift that definitely won’t be gathering dust on the top shelf (aka a financial contribution), let’s talk wording.
Photo: little white book wedding planning book
How to word your Wedding Invitations to ask for a Monetary Wedding Gift
How you wish to word your wedding invitations will be personal to you and your tone of voice, but I personally loved our friends’ wording for their Honeymoon fund.
“We are so thankful that you have all travelled to join us on our special day in one way or another, and we feel this is the best present you could gift us. However, should you wish to still give a gift and not have a small something in mind, please read on…. We think it would be special to have your gift linked to an experience or an item to make it that much more memorable. So, should you wish for your contribution to go towards any of our ideas, please write which one (or multiple) in a card and pop it on our designated box at the wedding, then we will make sure we send an appropriate selfie of us enjoying the experience with you!”
Another short alternative is this “As we have been sharing a home for some time, we have decided not to have a traditional gift list. Instead, if you would like to do so, we ask that you contribute to our married life together in the form of monetary contributions for our Honeymoon/Dining Table/Bathroom renovation, etc”
Where do we ask for the money to go? Wishing Well, Bank Account, Honeymoon fund?
Some couples choose to have a ‘wishing well’ at their wedding, whereas others will provide a bank account or use a gifting website. There are some beautiful acrylic wishing wells available for cards and gifts – you can note this on your invitation too.I love this perspex wishing well featured in the image below).
Of course, there will always be some guests who prefer to buy gifts with a personal touch, such as a special photo frame to put wedding photos in, or perhaps special wine glasses for future celebrations. You could consider having a small, ‘traditional’ wedding registry if you know there are some wedding guests who will feel uncomfortable giving money. Older family members love to give sentimental wedding gifts – like our our love story wedding anniversary journal and Celebrate Memory Book – add them to your registry.