Invitation Etiquette – How To Ask For Gift Of Cash

December 9, 2012. Written by

It’s a question asked by many brides every single year: how do I ask for cash instead of gifts without offending the guests? No need to worry. We have some stellar advice on how to tackle this etiquette problem, plus wedding money poems.

Wedding Post Box

Image courtesy of Theme-Works Weddings

To ask or not to ask for cash?

The first thing to remember is that guests actually want to (some even feel obliged to) give wedding presents. After all, it’s a milestone in life that guest feel honoured to share.

Brides often worry whether to include the gift information on the invitations or not. But guests will be grateful to know what the married couple want/need to have the most. After all, nobody wants to give an unwanted or inappropriate gift.

If there is no gift information on the invitations then couples will still receive gifts -  simply because many guests will feel this is a special occasion to be celebrated and gifts are in order.

Brides on the Confetti forum have reported receiving cash, cheques, and gifts even when they didn’t ask for anything. Be prepared for this eventuality, and designate a box for cards and a safe area to store gifts.

Receiving Boxes at the Confetti Shop

Above, wedding receiving boxes at the Confetti Shop

Be our guest

Fact: when asking for cash, a large majority of guests would like to be told what the married couple intend to spend it on – not to be nosey, but simply because it pleases them to know what contribution they are making to the wedded couples’ life. That’s why it’s best to include a possible destination for the cash e.g honeymoon, things for the new house, new car, savings for the new baby, house renovation fund. Guests will be happy to give towards something that will make your married life even better.

So when asking, think about the designated use of the cash and include this in the invitations, even in general terms, like “house renovations” – it doesn’t have to be, “we need a new bathtub”. Think of the opposite scenario: would guests be happy to give cash for unknown reasons?

Wedding Card Box

Image courtesy of Bespoke Imagery

How to ask for wedding money

In many countries, the accepted way of asking for cash is to write “no boxed gifts” on the invitations. It means exactly that – no gifts that come in boxes. Funnily enough, the UK guests may not be familiar with this phrase, and we’ve heard comments such as, “what, do I take the toaster out of the box then?” When using this phrasing option, be prepared to answer questions about what it means, and maybe even to receive some gifts without boxes.

One way of asking for gifts indirectly is to include a link to a personalised wedding website in the invitations. This website will have a “gift” button or a link, and when the guests click on it, they will be taken to the page with information about gift preferences. This works really well because only the guests who are actually interested in giving you a gift will click on that button or link, instead of being told right on the invitation. The drawback to this is that the guests who don’t use the internet (your Granny perhaps) won’t be able to see it, but if the couple put contact details on the invitations guests will be able to call the designated person (usually the Mother of the Bride) and ask about gifts.

For every couple who likes the idea of using a poem to ask for cash (see below), there is another couple who feels this is much too much. In this case, it’s best to keep the request polite and short, and to thank the guests in advance. For example:

Your presence at the wedding is all that the couple wish for. However, if you want to give a gift, the couple will be grateful for a small cash donation towards their new future/house renovations/honeymoon/etc….

While your attendance alone is what we request, if you wish to buy us a gift then we have a small gift list at …, however monetary contributions towards planning our future together would also be greatly appreciated.

Another option, one that would require cooperation of a helpful Mother of the Bride, or Mother of the Groom, or even Chief Bridesmaid, is to say simply “for gift information, please call/email Maggie/Mrs Wilson/Mrs Palmers at ……”, and have this person answer any gift questions on your behalf. If you find it embarrassing to ask for gifts or to discuss them with the guests, then delegating this task to someone else may just be your perfect option.

Receiving Boxes at the Confetti Shop

Above, wedding receiving boxes at the Confetti Shop

Wedding money poems

The UK brides’ favourite way of asking for cash is with a poem. Many creative couples write these themselves, or use the internet to find the perfect one to fit. The poems work really well – they are usually short, sweet, with a touch of humour, and they make the asking far less awkward. Below are some of our favourite poems, grouped by theme.

General cash requests

If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us on our way,
A gift of money in a card would really make our day!

~~~~

We made a commitment, some time ago,
Together through life, we were destined to go.
To save you looking, shopping and buying,
Here is an idea, we hope you’ll like trying!
Come to our wedding, to wish us both well,
And please make a donation to our wishing well.

~~~~

Our life together has already begun
And we almost have everything under the sun
So we both thought we would make a suggestion
To save you from all the searching and guessing
Instead of spending lots and lots
Just put some money with your card
And place it into our Moneybox
Large amounts are not anticipated
Any amount would be appreciated
Now that we have saved you all the fuss
We can’t wait for you to celebrate with us!

~~~~

Now we are to be Mr & Mrs
We don’t need a wedding list of dishes
We have two kettles, two toasters, two microwaves
And we have dreams for which we have to save.
If you would like to give us a gift
A cheque or vouchers would give us a lift
We like to think of it as our ‘Wishing Well’
Which will be filled with your love, we can tell!

~~~~

We’ve lived together for quite a while,
With all our pots and pans,
And as we don’t need homely gifts,
We have another plan!
We know it’s not traditional,
But it’s easier that’s for sure,
To have no wedding list at all,
Your attendance means much more!
For those of you who do insist,
We have a savings pot,
A small gift to add to this,
Would really mean a lot!

~~~~

We’ve been together for a few years now;
We have pots and pans and linen and towels;
We have glasses and toasters, really quite a few;
So instead of more gifts, we suggest this to you;
If it doesn’t offend and it won’t send you running;
What we would really appreciate is quite simply money;
We know choosing gifts can be such a pain;
And this way there is no chance of bringing the same!

~~~~

We don’t want to offend but we have it all,
All household goods and so much more.
To save you shopping, sit back and rest,
A gift of currency is our request.
Don’t go overboard or rob any banks,
Any little thing will make us smile with thanks.
We supply the wishing well,
No wrapping, an envelope who can tell.
Now that we have saved you all the fuss,
We’d love it if you would come and celebrate with us!

~~~~

We havent got a gift list for all of you to see,
because as you all know we never can agree!
But if you’d like to help us start our married life,
cash or high street vouchers, would save a lot of strife!

House

More than just kisses so far we’ve shared,
Our home has been made with love and care,
Most things we need we’ve already got,
And in our home we can’t fit a lot!
A wishing well we thought would be great,
(But only if you wish to participate),
A gift of money is placed in the well,
Then make a wish …. but shhh don’t tell!
Once we’ve replaced the old with the new,
We can look back and say it was thanks to you!
And in return for your kindness, we’re sure,
That one day soon you will get what you wished for.

~~~~

So what do you get
For the bride and groom
Whose house needs things
In every room?
When shopping for a present
Please don’t be rash
As there is always the option
To just give cash!
We hope you don’t find
Our request to be funny
But we really would appreciate
A gift of money

~~~~

Honeymoon

You’ll find more honeymoon poems here.

We know it’s traditional to write a list
But in this case there is a slight twist
Our home is complete with the usual stuff
And the things that we have are good enough
Our dream is to honeymoon in a foreign land
And walk along the beach hand in hand
We hope you don’t think of us as being rude
And that our request is not misconstrued
But a contribution to our honeymoon pot
Would be appreciated such a lot
But the most important thing to say
Is that you are there to celebrate our day!

~~~~

We are sending out this invitation
In hope you will join a celebration
But if a gift is your intention
May we take this opportunity to mention
We have already got a kettle and toaster
crockery, dinner mats and matching coasters
So rather than something we’ve already got
We would appreciate money for our honeymoon pot
But most importantly we request
That you come to our wedding as our guest.

~~~~

You’re invited to our wedding, when we both say ‘I Do’
And as you know we’ve been ‘I do’-ing for at least a year or two!
We’ve been together many years, and have a lovely home,
There’s not that many items we don’t already own.
So if your thoughts were on a gift, your presence will suffice;
But if you really feel the need, donations to a honeymoon would be really nice!
The choice is really up to you and we’d just like to say;
That most of all, we hope you come, enjoy yourselves, and have a lovely day!

~~~~

We do not have a gifting list
Our house is set with nothing missed
We’d like to go on honeymoon
A place for us as bride and groom
We’re asking for a cash donation
To send us to our dream location

In short – no matter how the couple feels about asking for gifts, the reality is that gift-giving is very much a part of every wedding, and the guests are grateful to receive instructions on what the couple wish for the most at the start of their joint journey through life.

See more of Confetti’s great gift list articles!

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Comments

43 thoughts on “Invitation Etiquette – How To Ask For Gift Of Cash

  1. Sarah says:

    I think asking for any kind of gift, be it money or otherwise very rude. One should not assume that people attending a wedding want to give a gift. Not all invitees feel the need to gift. By adding your wedding gift list or poem for money to the invite you are putting pressure on the invited party to pay to attend your wedding.
    I also think that saying you are using the money to pay off debts is not on. If you have debts then pay them off yourself BEFORE getting married.
    Also if you ask for money towards paying for your big day, isn’t that the same as them buying their own meal, but from a list of foods you have chosen. Rude, Rude, RUDE!

    • Agnes Los says:

      Thank you for your comment Sarah! It’s definitely a delicate issue and one that the couple have to decide upon, whether they feel comfortable with it or not. Just as there are many couples with opposite opinions, there are as many guests who are grateful for guidance on what to give the couple – they may feel awkward going to a wedding empty-handed. This kind of decision is always best left to the couple.

    • Ross says:

      Sarah I think you are “the one” at the wedding that is going to be commenting on everything, and maybe not in a positive way!! Be it a wedding, a friends house for dinner or just my mums house for lunch, the thought is always – what will I bring? If a friend of mine wants money and spends it on the window cleaner for the next 5 years then that is their wish. Today some people have 2 homes and 2 sets of everything before they get married – make it easy on everyone WRITE A CHEQUE!

      • Agnes Los says:

        It is true that nowadays many couples enter the matrimony owning many things already, including kitchen appliances etc. Gift giving has definitely changed. Those who already have two kettles may wish to go on a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, which is perfectly understandable. You raise a valid point Ross – it’s your friends getting wed and giving them a gift is a joy, even better when it’s something that the couple actually want or need. If it’s cash then it’s cash!

    • Michael says:

      Wow maybe Sarah is not very close to her friends and family :)

    • H says:

      You presumably are one of those people who ‘expect’ to be invited to family weddings and ‘expect’ the wedding to have all the trimmings. At the bride and grooms cost of course.

      Heaven forbid you might repay them even slightly with either a token gift or token donation towards their life together.

      Even the cheap /reception/ I am planning is about £30 a head, given most people will bring a gift anyway out of sheer politeness (and a genuine feeling of well wishing) cash to offset the fact I’ve entertained and fed you for an evening is not that impolite of an ask.

      And most full on weddings cost far far more than that.

      Besides this isn’t assuming people want to give a gift, it’s planning for the eventuality that some will, and at the very least a gift list is preferable to five toasters.

      • Beau says:

        just like if you went to someone’s house for dinner, you always bring something with you, a bottle of wine, box of cookies or something!

    • Nikki says:

      Sarah,

      I have been to so many weddings, that I lost count! I also have a very hectic schedule. Call it what you like, but not only do I despise shopping for others, I don’t have neither time (even the lil bit I have) or energy to spend in a store trying to figure out what you may or may not have. It is alot simpler to give an envelope to the newlyweds and allow them to do as they desires (maybe that’s just me).
      I am in fact in the process of plannng my wedding. I have already purchased my home with my fiance, and certainly wasn’t going to wait until we got married to recieve a toaster/bender & why would I want a bunch of gifts that I’m not going to use anyway? Although, I am not expecting anything from anyone, isn’t a rude to show up empty handed? by the way, my DEBT is paid for.

      So you mean to tell me that you are ok with buying something that someone has already given them to have to return it to find asomething else? After all of that all of the gas & mileage that you used you would have been better off just giving them what they really wanted in the frist place.
      Certain cultures that is a ritual for them, so what does that say about them? Either your going to oblige by the couples request or your not. Did we forget the purpose of the wedding is about the bride & groom, although everyone makes it about their wants and concerns… Sweetheart its 2014, get with the millennium ppl don’t want no gifts! Easy solution just don’t attend!

  2. nicola says:

    I totally agree with Sarah. I don’t feel that she is making any harsh points when stating someone should not ask for a gift. A gift is not something that someone should ever feel that they are entitled to. When someone is getting wed, they should have the finances to pay for everything they have included in their big day. Their wedding is also a celebration of the joining of two families and the presence of friends and family is a blessing in itself. At a push register somewhere i.e travel agents or retail store. If you are wishing to get your friend something they wish then, as a friend, you should already know they would appreciate cash. I don’t think a flat out request for monies is needed.

    • Blossom says:

      I agree with both Nicola and Sarah. I have just received an invitation to my nephew’s wedding who has little to do with me in the past 20 years. He lives over 150 miles away and is banking on the fact that I (and many other family members) will not be able to travel including my elderly mother who is in poor health. They have asked for cash gifts to pay for their honeymoon which they intend to take in the sun. I am very much against this and not just because I think it is rude to expect a gift. They have taken a holiday less than six months ago, leaving their two children with family members. It seems that they are intending to abandon the children again, the youngest who is not yet two. It may not be the done thing to take kids on honeymoon with you but it is not that long ago to have children before the wedding was unheard of too.

      I think that if they want a foreign honeymoon they should get a credit card to pay for it. Oh, I forgot, he can’t he doesn’t work.

      • Paul says:

        I could not disagree more with Blossom. Her entire comment is laced with judgement about how other people should live their lives according to her right-wing preferences.

      • Ted says:

        Hey, Blossom, kinda just seems like your washing your laundry on a website with an answer that has little to do with the actual question – just your pointless, snide opinions of someone who doesn’t have the ability to answer. Why don’t you just TELL your nephew what you’ve said here? Oh, I bet you won’t because it’s way easier to gripe about it anonymously online!

  3. Kev says:

    We are in the process of planning for our wedding next year and keep hearing of friends who ideally wanted cash because they have lived together for years before tying the knot.
    The subject on whether to ask for gifts at all is plit not just if you are asking for cash instead of stuff.

    On our invites we have phrased it as “Your presence at our wedding is all that we wish for, however, if you would like to give a gift, we would be grateful for a small donation towards our honeymoon planned for later in the year”

    This way it is hopefully clear that not bringing a gift is perfectly acceptable as we want the guests to attend first and foremost, but as some guests will want to bring a gift then we are telling them what we want, what we will do with it and that it will be used later in the year.

    I know that if I receive an invite with gift instructions on it, it’s not mandatory to provide a gift but if you do, you know what they want and I wouldn’t be offended. think of it as advice, you can follow it or not, but at least you make an educated decision.

    • Agnes Los says:

      Hi Kev, thank you for your comment. I think your request is very nicely worded and certainly doesn’t imply any obligation. Well done and enjoy your wedding planning!

    • T says:

      May have to pinch your wording, one of the best I’ve seen!

  4. Rob says:

    Sorry, I have a quick question, if asking for money, whats the best way to leave the donation at the venue.?? I’ve read some people leave a wishing well for their guests to add cards??

  5. Giuseppe says:

    I really do not see a problem in cash giving! In fact in many cultures it is the norm! I am Italian and Cypriot and giving cash is what we do, whether it be in an envelope or pinning it onto the bride and groom.

    • Sodina says:

      I agree with Guiseppe. In our Asian culture money envelopes are the norm.

  6. Adrian says:

    Both Sarah and Nichola have a very valid point. However asking for a token gift of money is very acceptable.
    These two were obviously born with “silver” spoons in there mouths.
    Did daddy pay for everything?? Unfortunately we work very hard to achieve our dreams. And one of those is to tie the knot. Iam hoping that our guests at our wedding will contribute to our new life together as man and wife. As every wedding I have attended I have contributed to wish/ help that particular couple thee very best start.

  7. Andy says:

    I think it is rude to come to wedding and not give a gift, the bride and groom have asked you to come to a celebration of their new life together, they are providing you with entertainment for the weekend and meals to boot…I understand if you are coming from a long ways away but if you live close by…whats the harm?

    • Niiki says:

      You are absou. right, but when someone extends an invitation for you to attend their wedding you have months in advance to prepare. I have went to plenty of weddings out of state & still gave an envelope, if it was too much (financially) I just respectfully declined & just sent them a check in the mail.

  8. adam says:

    Sarah is obviously not a very open person and not very close to her friends communication is key to any relationship wether your new wife or your family and friends letting people know what would be most appreciated is the only option that is not to say that if someone ( like Sarah ) disided she was against giveing her family or friend a gift on there special day that they would be offended unfoughtedly they will know her well and already know she would not be the type of person to hive and not at all be offended and I’m sure she would still be welcome x

  9. Ana says:

    My partner & I have been together for over 20 years and have spent hundred of pounds on other people’s wedding gifts/money, sponsorship for them to walk/cycle in exotic locations or their children to swim etc for charity, or birthday & Christmas money/gifts, the list is endless! When we marry I don’t think it too much to ask for people to donate a little something to our honeymoon, after all the cost to us for their attendance is hefty! However I’m sure there will be someone who thinks like Sarah, and I hope I find out who it is so I can stop spending money on them and their family! Could save me a fortune……

  10. Katy says:

    I dont see it as a problem, surely the people you invite to your wedding will know you well enough to know your not ‘money grabbing’?!
    I would not be offended in the slightest if I recieved a note/poem in my invitation, infact I would be relieved as it would save me alot of time and effort buying something they may not need or even like.
    I also would not feel uncomfortable putting £10 in an envelope as my donation. Im sure when people put these requests in they arent expecting 100′s of pounds of each guest, I know I wont be.
    My wedding is costing £60 per head with 90 percent of guests traveling no further than 30 miles. Because of how many people we are inviting we do not have enough money left over for a honeymoon.
    If I was a guest I would maybe consider the fact that the bride and groom may have had to sacrifice something in order for you to attend a beautiful day, far from selfish or rude!

  11. Abby says:

    I’m an Australian bride and it is generally very acceptable to ask for/give cash at a wedding. Most guests do actually give cash, however as a bride I still get asked by guests what I would prefer.

    I think that guests worry cash isn’t ‘thoughtful enough’.

    Ironically enough, we end up in a situation where many brides want cash, and guests want to give cash, but guests want to ensure the bride won’t be offended by their lack of thoughtfulness.

    Many of my guests have recently been asking me whether I would prefer cash or gifts. As I haven’t sent out my invites yet, I wanted to state my ‘preference’ for cash over gifts. And I think this is the key: it is actually about articulating your gift PREFERENCES, not gift rules.

    I just lost the last few hours of my life trawling through bridal websites and blogs trying to find the perfect wording that wasn’t too tacky or pushy. When I didn’t find anything I was happy with, I wrote my own poem.

    I hope it helps someone out there…

    The pleasure of your company is plenty enough,
    As our home is full of so much stuff.
    But for those who insist on being a naughty guest,
    A donation to our European honeymoon would be best!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Abby
      Thanks so much – I have just been trawling the internet for something apt – your wee poem is perfect! We are even going to Europe for our honeymoon too. Thanks a bunch

    • Hazel says:

      This poem is perfect thank you!! So awesome, exactly what I’ve been trying to write :)

  12. Me says:

    Sarah’s view is so opposite to my own. Although most people might believe the polite thing to say is “you don’t have to give anything,” in the part of Asia where I am from, if you don’t want to fork out a decent amount for someone else’s wedding, do not go! It is considered highly inconsiderate and “rude” (as she put it) to attend a wedding but not contribute enough money to cover the estimated cost of your own meal.

  13. Angela says:

    Asking for gifts, especially money, is extremely poor etiquette. I suppose Agnes has a point that each couple has the right to decide, but what you’re doing here is creating the illusion that it is acceptable. If a couple chooses to be tacky, let them do so knowingly and on their own. The incorrect information you provide here could lead some naive couple to believe asking for money is actually good manners, and they may end up alienating friends and family as a result.

    And before you lump the ad homenim attacks on me as you did with Sarah, I always bring a gift to weddings, and it is always a cheque. I do so because I believe it is most convenient for the couple, and thankfully none of my friends or family have ever been so rude as to actually ask for it. I was lucky to receive many gifts and cheques at my own wedding, but I was also lucky enough to have friends travel from all over to visit who could not have afforded a gift on top of travel expenses. I can’t imagine making such people uncomfortable or feel they must decline the invitation because they incorrectly think cash is expected. I was happy just to have them celebrate with us.

    I am also Italian, and it is indeed customary in my culture to give cash. But just because something is customary for guests to do does not mean it is acceptable for the bride and groom to ask for it. I mean, it’s also customary for houseguests to bring a bottle of wine, that doesn’t give me the right to demand a bottle when they walk through the door!

  14. Anon says:

    I agree with Sarah, it seems just rude. More so, for people that already have homes together and have been together for a while before getting married as they already have ‘stuff’. I feel as if I’m being asked to contribute to the costs of the day. If they can’t afford the day. without asking their guests for cash, either cut back on your budget for the day or downsize on the number of guests. The cynical side of me can’t help but think that maybe they’re doing everything on the cheap, in order to get some sort of profit or at least break even.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you were on our wedding list you would be the first person cut off how the hell do think a couple paying for their own wedding can break even. What planet are you on!

  15. Scherryl says:

    Any professional etiquette advisor will tell you that requesting money — in ANY way, shape or form is unspeakably rude! It is true that if you attend a wedding you should bring a gift as a celebration of the bride and groom. However, your guests are the ones who should decide what that gift should be — be it cash, a household item, etc. It is not even considered good manners to use a gift registration — even they are ubiquitous these days. They are not used by well-mannered people because what a registry says is “not only do I expect a gift from you, but I want to pick out the gift myself so I’m sure to get what I want.” Tacky, tacky, tacky.

  16. Zak says:

    Anon… Your obviously stuck up !! If you don’t understand the point of marrying someone, then why write anything at all, we’re getting married because we love each other not so we can have a wedding, ask for money then make a profit … Are you on glue ???

    • Ange says:

      Haha. Are you on glue! Nice one Zac. Classic. We have been engaged for eight years because we couldn’t afford to have a wedding. We both went to uni and paying that off, I come from a family of 10 kids do there’s no way my parents or his can help pay for it and we saved all the money we earned working part time to buy a house which we have done.We have been very responsible with money and even still now it’s hard to pay the costs of a wedding when we need to start thinking about setting up for our own little family. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for money as the gift of choice. This is the 21st century and times have changed. People don’t live separately and then only move in together once they’re married anymore so we already have everything. I think it’s mainly the older generation that have an issue with giving money. We youngins are used to couples already living together and therefore I think more accepting.

  17. Amanda says:

    Finally! a website that isn’t full of comments from the high and mighty! I have been looking through websites for a good hour now for a way to word this, and most of them are basically telling me I am a bad person for even considering mentioning gifts on the invitation. We do not expect gifts, but we know the majority of our guests will bring something as it is the social norm. However, we have already been together for 9 years, lived together for 8 and have recently bought a house. We don’t need more crap to clutter up the house, but would rather people gave money or gift cards so we can renovate the bathroom or the kitchen. We don’t need platters, and art work, and frying pans – we have all that stuff already. This forum has finally helped me with the wording I need! Thanks!

    • Blossom says:

      Amanda

      If I were on your invite list I would gladly give you cash for you to improve your home. To contribute to enhancing your home for all to enjoy when they visit is a lovely idea. What I object to are those who blatantly say they need the money to pay for the honeymoon!

      I wish you all the best for the future and that your special day is one your will always remember.

  18. netty says:

    What a blast, never laughed so much. just ask for the money!!!!!!!! We live in the 21st century people

  19. chien says:

    i agree money gift no hassle..any amount of money U give ,heartly given..heartly gift.D .IMPORTANT//////

  20. Anita says says:

    I thinlk it is the way you ask for money.The poems are nice

  21. Frances says:

    As we are saving for a house as well as a wedding, my fiancé and I have been puzzling over what to do; money, a gift registry, or simply leave blank. We would like a little help towards the house deposit, as were now looking for our “forever home” so we hit upon the slightly tongue in cheek version of doing our own wedding registry website, with items such as front room flooring, fireplace, kitchen sink etc. hopefully this will raise a laugh from our families and be obvious as to what we intend to spend the money on. I know there are quite a few people who want to contribute to our new life, and after all, if they buy the spare bedroom, we can’t turn them down when they want to visit!

  22. Ant says:

    I must say I’m more than a little annoyed at some of the comments on here to be honest.

    Myself and my partner are getting married next year and it’s taking every single bloody penny scrimped and saved left, right and centre (including burning up the Facebook selling pages selling everything we possibly can do without) just to manage to pay for the wedding!

    It’s not going to be big or super flash and we are only having 50 guests because that’s what we can afford. So it really chafed my n*ts when you started spouting off about it being rude.

    We are not actually ASKING our guests to give us money. We are simply just saying to them that, should they wish to give us a gift, money is what we would like as we have everything else after being together for 6 years already.

    AND on the flip side of this, when someone invites you to their wedding (especially if you know you are one of a special select few because of a tight budget and not just a make-up the numbers guest) it’s bloody rude to not bring a gift!
    The bride and groom are saying to you “you mean that much to us we are inviting you to the most important day of our lives” and youd ACTUALLY consider not bringing a bloody gift after they’ve gone to the trouble and cost to invite you in the first place?
    I would NEVER attend a wedding (ceremony) without bringing a gift, even if I was specifically told not to. NEVER!

    But that’s just me I guess. Im pretty old fashioned in many respects. For me itd be like turning up to a birthday party without a gift. Except people have a birthday every year. They don’t get married every year.

  23. Hannah says:

    Come on Sarah and the high-horse brigade, have a think about how out of place your views are. A wedding is an occasion where gifts are given, like birthdays, except on birthdays you don’t normally get given a wonderful day with lovely food, entertainment, great company and an excuse to dress up to nines.

    It’s not unacceptable to ask someone what they want for their birthday, and it’s not unacceptable for family to put £20 in a birthday card for teenagers who are then hugely grateful for the gesture. So why anyone thinks it is unacceptable for a couple to say what they would they would find useful, should people wish to get them gifts, is beyond me. No one, I notice is arguing about minimum spends – spend as little or as much as is appropriate to your budget and your relationship to the couple – it’s just a customary gesture of goodwill and most people would prefer that a gift they give is of genuine use. If not, it’s not really a gift is it? It’s a request for gratitude.

    It strikes me that there are just a few scrooges who like to be grumpy when other people have a wonderful reason to celebrate.

  24. Molly says:

    Basically, the polite way to request gifts, be they cash, contributions to the honeymoon or registry information, is to wait for the guest to contact you to ask what you would like for a gift. Certainly it is not rude to request cash, or honeymoon contributions, or a particular gift. However, it is rude to preempt the guests inquiries.

    To mention gifts, whether it be registry information, “no boxed gifts” or a poem delicately requesting money, is rude, no matter how carefully the bride and groom emphasize that “presence, not presents” are important. By mentioning gifts on the invitation (or including a registry card in the invite), you are pressuring the guests to actually provide gifts when the whole point of a gift is a voluntary expression that is up to the guest to determine.

    If they choose not to contact you to find out what you would like, that is fine. If you put cash on the registry and they bring you a picture frame, that is also fine. If they don’t bring you anything at all, well a card would be nice, but that is also okay.

    This quote from Jeanne Hamilton, who runs etiquettehell.com, sums it up thusly:

    “An invitation to a wedding ceremony invites guests to come witness and then celebrate an important milestone in the lives of two people. That important milestone is not the opportunity to score some choice gifts from those guests but rather to seal a covenant of marriage. In no way should the discussion of money or expected gifts be part of a wedding invitation because it dirties the entire focus of what a wedding ceremony should be. Ignore your family and do the right thing of keeping your invitations free of any whiff of telling your guests you expect gifts from them and this is what you want.”

More in Gift Lists, Traditions & Customs, Wedding Planning (55 of 202 articles)


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