Are you hoping to ask for cash as a wedding gift? Asking for money instead of wedding presents is an increasingly popular option – but it can be one that divides opinions. We look into how to politely ask for money as a wedding gift, as well as the cultural associations of giving cash as a wedding present.
Read more: Our favourite unusual wedding gift ideas
Should You Ask for Money as a Wedding Gift?
“It’s a well-known tradition that guests will buy gifts for the happy couple,” explains Confetti.co.uk editor and wedding expert Zoe Burke, “and many guests will expect to receive a gift list with their invitation so they know they are buying a useful and wanted gift.
“However, with living together pre-marriage as common as it is nowadays, most couples don’t need the traditional gifts to set up their home, so asking for money instead of presents allows them more options. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for money instead of presents, but it needs to be done in the right way.”
How to Ask for Money as a Wedding Present
There are lots of ways to ask for money as a wedding gift. Some couples choose to simply include a line in their wedding invitations which reads something like this:
‘Your presence at our wedding is enough of a gift, but should you wish to buy us something, we’d greatly appreciate a contribution towards our dream honeymoon/new home/renovation.’
Read more: Wedding gift list wording explained
“In some cases, couples choose not to mention anything at all on their wedding invitations – it’s widely accepted now that couples appreciate cash as a wedding gift so that’s the default, especially if the guests are all around the same age as the couple,” explains Zoe.
“If you know some more traditional guests will feel uncomfortable giving cash – and it’s not for everyone – then you could always have a traditional gift list to share with them if they ask what you would like.”
Lots of couples choose not to include their gift preferences information on their invitations – when nothing is specified, it’s often assumed cash is preferred, but it is handy to have a gift list as back up for those who you think would prefer to present you with a real gift.
Another option, if you don’t want to leave it off your invitations and you feel uncomfortable about being so direct, is to include a fun wedding money poem, that politely puts your wishes across to your guest in a less ‘in-your-face’ fashion.
It’s polite, if you are asking for cash, to let your guests know what the money will be used for. Some websites allow you to set up money gift lists, where your guests can ‘buy’ activities for your honeymoon such as ‘dinner on the beach’, but it’s actually up to you how you allocate the money.
This can be the best of both worlds as it allows you to receive money to spend as you choose, but this lets your guests feel like they’ve bought you a proper gift.
Olivia Knight, founder of gift list company Patchwork, explains the benefit of this option: “It removes the awkwardness of asking for money. With Patchwork you get to show your wedding guests exactly what it is that their gift money is going towards. So rather than asking for hard cash in a cold transactional manner it’s a more personal, fun and engaging experience.
“It doesn’t have to be towards a honeymoon either – With Patchwork you can ask wedding guests for cash gifts to put towards anything – a year of dates, your first pet together, a new kitchen even a house deposit. Whatever it is that you feel you truly want or need.”
Wedding Money Poems
Here are some wedding money poems that you can copy to include in your wedding invitations:
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’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 make you feel funny;
But 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 anyone bringing the same!
Read more: The best gifts for your bride
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.
So what do you get for the bride and groom
Whose house needs nothing in any 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.
Wedding Money Poems for Honeymoon Contributions
If you are asking specifically for contributions to your honeymoon, here are some wedding money poems that reference that:
We’d love for you to celebrate our wedding with us,
But there’s really no need for a big old fuss.
There will be no gift-laden table,
So actually, if you are able
We’d much prefer the gift of money
So we can jet off somewhere sunny!
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.
We do not have a gift 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
Read more: Lovely personalised gifts for weddings
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 Cultural Aspects of Giving Money as a Gift
The giving of wedding gifts is a universal practice, but the traditions and customs associated with gift giving can vary considerably across cultures, often being passed down the generations.
Different cultures have different traditions, so we asked Vaishali Shah, wedding etiquette expert and owner of Ananya Cards, to explain a bit about the etiquette of gift giving within different cultures. “Sometimes it can be hard to choose what to give at a wedding of a culture different from yours. You may also want to incorporate some of these cultural traditions and ideas into your own wedding if it feels right to you. Over the years, some traditions have changed and others have continued,” explains Vaishali. Read on for her break down of different cultures and whether you give a gift of money or not.
Indian Weddings (Specifically Hindu/Sikh Weddings)
In the Indian culture, parents and grandparents would often pass down items of jewellery to their daughter on her wedding or the daughter-in-law-to-be at the time of their son’s wedding. This is a lovely way of giving a personal keepsake or heirloom to the daughter and to welcome the daughter-in-law-to-be into the family. Saris are often given too.
Often, Indian parents would have bought jewellery/had something made many years before the wedding, so as to ‘be ready’ for that special occasion.
As well as jewellery, money is often given (as cash or a cheque) by parents, grandparents, and close family members as a wedding gift.
In Indian custom, odd numbers are considered lucky and numbers ending in 1 are particularly auspicious. The ‘1’ symbolises new beginnings, whereas a round number appears to symbolise an end. Also, gifting an amount ending in 1 brings prosperity as that extra number is a sign of growth. So if you are giving cash or a cheque, think of giving an amount ending in 1, for example £51 or £101.
In India, you must always give a gift with your right hand as the left hand is considered unclean.
Sweet treats (‘mithai’) are also made and given at an Indian wedding to celebrate the sweetness of the occasion. Deep rooted traditions also associate sweets with something pure and therefore worthy as an offering to the gods.
Money is also given at Muslim weddings – often flowers with money or money placed inside a congratulations card. Dates, nuts and chocolates are also given at the time of a Muslim wedding.
At Chinese weddings, gifts of red envelopes filled with money are given to the couple. Red symbolises luck and good fortune in the Chinese culture. It is worth being aware that only new, crisp, unfolded notes should be given – so no wrinkled notes or coins.
If the cash amount given begins with the number 4, it will immediately be considered unlucky, and so should be avoided, as this number rhymes with the word meaning ‘Death’ in the Chinese language.
The number 8 is considered particularly auspicious, so anything with an 8 will always be considered extra lucky.
The red envelopes are always presented with both hands and also received with both hands. In terms of amount, it should be equivalent to a gift that would be given at a Western wedding or it should be enough money to cover your expense at the wedding.
Read more: Your wedding gift list questions answered
Money is a popular gift. Money in multiples of the number 18 is often given, which is the numerical equivalent to the Hebrew word chai, meaning “life”.
At a Japanese wedding and in many other Asian countries, a money gift is the tradition and norm at weddings.
In Japanese culture, when giving a gift, the wrapping is very important and sometimes has more value than the gift itself. So, ensure that your presents are beautifully wrapped!
Money pinned onto the clothes of the newlyweds by guests at a Greek wedding represents good fortune and prosperity and is also a means of assisting the couple financially as they start their life together.
Polite Ways to Ask for Money as a Wedding Gift
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to asking for money as a wedding gift – and also when it comes to giving it. You can’t just slip a £50 into the hands of the couple as they greet you!
Vaishali explains some thoughtful ways to present your cash wedding gift, as well as discreet ways to ask for it:
“Sending congratulations cards or letters is customary for friends and family – ‘mazel tov’ for a Jewish couple, ‘Mubarak’ for a Muslim couple and ‘gong xi’ for a Chinese couple.
“As we have seen above, money is a popular gift nowadays. Money is also often given at French and Spanish weddings.
“It is best to ask for money via your wedding invitations. This could be by saying ‘no boxed gifts’, often used at Indian weddings, or including details of your honeymoon if you would like a financial contribution to your honeymoon, or via a poem which you include with your invitations,” explains Vaishali.
If you would prefer to ask for a gift, or you’re looking for one to give, make sure you check out our best gifts for newly engaged couples!