Wedding Etiquette - How To Ask For Cash Wedding Gifts
By Amanda Stout
Asking for cash for wedding gifts is a common dilemma for many couples who are planning to marry. Many couples already have most of the typical gift items that a couple receives for their bridal shower or wedding and would just prefer to receive money instead. Wedding etiquette sates that asking for cash for your wedding is a no-no! But don’t worry there are some acceptable solutions to this the cash/wedding gift dilemma.
So you’re getting married and you and your honey have already been living together for some time now. You have a fully stocked living space and have already accumulated most of the essential items needed for everyday living. What you really could use is money for ___________. (You fill in the blank, a down payment on a home, a new car, your honeymoon, etc.) So what do you do when all you really want is money for your wedding gifts?
This is a common question and dilemma for many couples who are planning to marry. In this day in age many couples are living together before they are married and already have most of the typical gift items that a couple receives for their bridal shower or wedding. Instead of registering for the typical gifts, the couple would really like to receive money from their guests instead.
Now this is a very tricky topic. For etiquette says asking for cash gifts for your wedding is a no-no! The etiquette for any type of wedding gift giving can be tricky regardless of what you’re asking for. Although it is usually understood by your guests that they will be getting you a gift for your wedding, it is never appropriate to list where you are registered or what gifts you want in your wedding invites. It is appropriate to list where you are registered in invites to your bridal shower only. This notation should be included on a small card, separate from the invitation itself. It is also the task of your family and bridal party to spread the news on where you and your fiancé are registered.
Having a bridal gift registry is the traditional thing to do for your wedding. Most of your older relatives and guests will expect this to be the case for your wedding. They may find it tacky or even be offended when finding out that you wish only to receive cash for gifts. They may think that you are asking others to pay for your wedding, or guests may feel like they are paying to attend the wedding. We know this isn’t the case and don’t worry there are some acceptable solutions to the cash/wedding gift dilemma.
How to spread the ‘cash’ word - So if you’ve decided to skip the traditional gift registry and ask for cash gifts instead, there are appropriate ways to announce this to family and friends. Just as with any type of wedding registry, it is not appropriate to announce your wedding gift wants in the formal wedding invitation. If you are having some sort or bridal shower or pre-wedding gathering you may announce your gift wishes in that invitation.
In regards of asking for cash, it is most appropriate to let your family and bridal party spread the word. Let your parents and bridal party know that you want cash instead of gifts for your wedding and they can discreetly pass the word. Typically your relatives and friends will be asking around anyway on your wedding wants, so when asked, your family and friends can point them in the right direction.
It is important to have an idea of what you and your spouse will be spending your money on after the wedding for it is a nice gesture to let guests know how their gifts will be spent. Let others know if you are planning on using your gift money for renovating your current home, buying or building a new home or updating your furnishings. It is ok to let them know that the money will go towards a honeymoon as well. Guests will feel more comfortable handing over cash when they know how their gift will be used.
While word of mouth is the first step in spreading the word on your cash wants, another place where this can be done tastefully is on your wedding website. On your website, include in your bio information that will lead your guests in the right direction. For example, you could say 'After the wedding we plan on looking for a new home and hope to save up enough for a down payment next year.' Tailor the information you provide to the specific areas you plan on spending your money.
Don’t have a bridal shower - If you are planning on asking for cash instead of wedding gifts, it is not recommend to have a traditional bridal shower. When attending a bridal shower guests expect to bring a gift, that they selected from your registry (or picked out themselves) and expect to watch you open it in front of everyone. Well it wouldn’t really be that fun (or appropriate) watching the bride-to-be open envelope after envelope of cash now would it? In lieu of having a traditional bridal shower, consider having a ladies luncheon for all the gals you would normally invite to your shower. Or you could have a couple’s dinner party, where both you and your groom are present and men and women are invited.
Still include some items on a gift registry - It is advisable to still register for some gifts to include on a bridal gift registry. While most of your guests will have no problem sending cash your way instead of a gift, some may still prefer to buy you an actual gift for your wedding. Especially guests of the older generation may prefer a more traditional approach to wedding gift giving. So give your guests a choice, and include a few items on a registry. There has to be a few items that you want or need for your home.
The Good News - The good news is most guests won’t mind at all giving you money for your wedding. They might even find it preferable. It is a lot easier to write a check out than to get to the store and track down one of the items on a gift registry. Just remember to give your guests an option between money and material gifts, and remember that thank you notes apply to both!
About the Author - Amanda is a writer and product developer for My Wedding Reception Ideas.com. My Wedding Reception Ideas specializes in personalized wedding favors, wedding accessories and wedding supplies like wedding card gift boxes
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