Whether getting married for the first time or third time, most couples today are usually equipped with the necessary household items that have become traditional wedding gifts. In fact, many of the modern couples have even lived together for some time before officially “tying the knot”, implying that their home is already quite well stocked with furniture and appliances. For this reason, more and more bridal couples have expressed the desire to receive money as wedding gifts, rather than goods for the home.

Although giving money to the bridal couple is a strongly entrenched culture in some lands (like China, Korea, Poland and Italy), it is still viewed as somewhat inappropriate to request cash from guests in lieu of tangible gifts in most places. Traditionally, it is believed that guests want to give the couple something that they can see and enjoy for years to come, something that serves as a reminder of their special day as well as the friends and family that shared it with them. While this theory certainly holds much truth to it, there is a definite trend towards giving the couple something that they want and can use, rather than filling their home with obligatory pieces.

The key to asking for cash as a wedding gift is to convey to the guests how very much it will mean to you as a couple. This will help to ease the feeling of anonymity. In addition, decide well ahead of time what you will be spending the money on (a honeymoon, home renovations, nest egg) and then let the guests know so that they are assured that their gift will be useful and remembered.

There are several ways in which to ask or imply that money would be the best gift. Word-of-mouth is definitely the most appropriate, even if it is in conjunction with some written request. By mentioning your desires and preferences to your guests in person, you are able to let them know how much it would mean to you and convey your excitement as you tell them what you will spend it on. Ask your close friends and family to spread the word too, so that it does not always have to come from you.

If you are going to put a formal request into the invitation or on a separate note, you will want to be careful about your wording. If you are the sort of couple that can get away with cute rhymes, humorous requests or cheeky hints, use that to ask for cash in a sensitive, yet typically ‘you’ way. Some examples are:


If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us on our way
A gift of cash towards our house (or honeymoon) would really make our day
But if you prefer to buy a gift, surprise us in your own way

Because at first we lived in sin
We’ve got the stove and baking tin
A gift from you would be great
But we’d prefer if you’d donate


Ons wil jou nie kul, ons huisie is reeds gevul. Geskenkie van papier is baie welkom hier.
‘n Geskenkie is nie oorbodig, maar ‘n geldjie is meer wat ons benodig.
‘n Geldjie in die sak is beter as ‘n geskenkie op die rak…
Spaar jou voete die loop, ons sal eerder self wil koop.
Pieter en Henriette se huis is propvol liefde, glase, komberse en goed van kant. So indien u kan, help eerder met ‘n paar Rand.

For a more fun way of receiving money, let guests know that they should bring gifts in the form of money notes (small and large denominations welcome) to the reception. Then, dance among your guests and allow them to pin their notes to you. Alternatively, have a wishing well or a piggy bank into which they can anonymously drop their money. This will eliminate the feeling that they need to give you extra cash as you would not be able to see how much each person donates.

There are also various websites available for honeymoon registries, which allow the couple to choose romantic experiences that they want to enjoy on their honeymoon and then enable guests to contribute towards these. This novel idea guarantees that the gifts, although monetary, will ensure a memorable and special moment for the newlyweds.

Couples need to remember that, if they have received money as wedding gifts, their “Thank You” notes need to be just as special and sincere, regardless of the value of the gift. Guests want to know that their contribution, no matter what their personal finances allowed, is appreciated and useful to you, as the bridal couple.

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