Etiquette – Asking For Money Instead Of Wedding Gifts
These days, more and more couples preparing for their weddings are already living together, or are going to be combining two established households. In this situation, you often need to get rid of stuff more than you need to register for new plates and linens for your wedding.
But even though you might not need more traditional wedding gifts, you could be planning a lavish honeymoon or preparing to update your kitchen right after the wedding. In this case, the best gift for you and your fiancé might be cash.
Cash is actually a pretty traditional wedding gift, but asking outright for cash can be perceived as rude. So here’s what you need to know about asking for cash rather than gifts for your wedding:
Let them get the hint
Typically, the etiquette advice you’ll hear from other brides and married women is that the best way to “ask” for cash is actually not to ask at all. Your guests will normally get the hint that you would prefer a gift of money to a tangible item if you don’t register for much or if you don’t register at all.
Sure, all the stores will tell you to register for something ridiculous like three items per guest and to give guests a huge choice of price ranges. But if you really don’t want or need that much for your home, don’t worry about it. Register for a few things that you do want, since some wedding and shower guests will absolutely insist on getting you something that can be wrapped. Then, leave it up to the other guests to figure out that you really don’t need much.
Rely on word of mouth
Word of mouth is the proper way to spread any information about wedding gifts, so you can rely on it for this, too. Let your parents and bridal party members know that you’ve set up a small registry at X store but would actually welcome gifts of cash to help with your honeymoon, home improvement project, or whatever else you have in mind. Then, they’ll be able to tell guests who ask that this is what you would prefer.
If guests ask directly about what you want for your wedding, a good answer is something like, “We would love anything you decide to get us, but we could really use some help paying for X, too.”
Consider a cash registry
There are plenty of honeymoon and cash registries popping up online right now. They let you “register” for non-traditional items like a kitchen upgrade, a house down payment, or even activities for your honeymoon. Guests can then decide which gift to donate toward. With these registries, you usually get the cash that guests put towards a gift, less a fee from the registry itself. Technically, you can spend the money on whatever you want, though it’s always best to spend the money as your guests intended you to spend it.
The popular jury is still out on these types of registries, but the Emily Post Institute, the long-respected etiquette center of the Western World, notes that less traditional cash registries are fine, too, as long as you follow etiquette rules about spreading the word.
Don’t put it in the invitation
Whatever you do, though, don’t put your wishes for cash gifts in your invitation. In fact, it’s poor etiquette to put any registry or gift information in your wedding invitations, as this makes it seem like your wedding is all about getting gifts, rather than spending a special time with those you love.
Most people find it acceptable to put registry and gift related information on the wedding website, if you’re making one of these. Otherwise, though, rely on shower invitations (where registry information is expected, since showers really are all about the gifts!) and word of mouth to get the information about your registry and/or cash wishes out there.
Know your guests
The most important thing you can do when it comes to asking for cash for your wedding is to know your guests and how they’re likely to react. Very traditional guests may not take kindly to your not having a registry at all, or they may take it upon themselves to choose gifts that they think are more appropriate than cash. Just be prepared, and deal graciously and politely with anyone who brings a gift for your wedding.
If you’re in need of cash gifts because you’re struggling to finance your wedding or honeymoon, the best thing you can do is to look for ways to cut back on expenses. Remember, the wedding is really about enjoying your day together and with your guests. But if you do need a little extra financing boost for your wedding expenses, you can check out our favorite credit cards for weddings .
Remember, no matter what gifts your guests bring or how much cash you end up being gifted with at your wedding, you’ll have a wonderful day with the one you love, surrounded by friends and family members who care about you.
Article written by Daniela Baker of Credit Donkey.