Understanding how to ask for money as a wedding gift takes just a bit of etiquette. As lovebirds start their lives out more often than not with college loans, credit card debt, car payments, and monthly apartment rent, it has become very difficult for people to afford a wedding celebration along with it.
Since the American tradition is giving wedding presents from a registry, you will usually need to inform your guests of your desire for cash. So here are five ways to ask for money as a wedding gift while still being polite.
How to Ask for Money Politely on Your Invitations
- If you have a parent create your invitations, he/she can state: "We would like to surprise the bride and groom with donations towards a down payment on a house." When a parent writes the invitations, it looks as if a third-party is creating the request and not you specifically. And while people will be obviously giving you cash or checks, it does not feel specifically like a request for money because they will all be donating towards a purchase of a house -- something tangible. You can create a wedding card box to receive your contribution envelopes (see video below).
- Decline to mention a gift registry on invitations. Social graces dictate that when you fail to mention a registry, it is supposed to signal to guests to automatically give money as a wedding gift. While most people who have been wedding guests before understand this, not all of your guests will. You could use this tactic with the understanding that while you will get mostly cash, you will also receive some blenders, toasters, coffee makers, etc.
- State on your wedding invitations, "In lieu of a registry, contributions towards our Honeymoon Fund would be greatly appreciated." This option is becoming more popular as many people are living together before marriage and already possess many items listed on a traditional gift registry.
- If you don't feel comfortable asking all of your guests for cash, reserve that request for just family members. Send two sets of invitations: one set to relatives asking for monetary contributions, and one set to non-related guests asking for gift cards to your favorite stores. This way, even the gift cards can be spent exactly how you want them at the store and they are still almost as good as money.
- To keep it simple, have a parent-crafted invitation state, "To allow the bride and groom to start their lives off plentifully, please consider making your gift a small monetary contribution." This way you aren't obligated to buy a house or spend it on anything specific, and you still get the point across politely.
How to Make a Wedding Gift Card Box
When it is Appropriate to Ask for Money for Your Wedding Gifts:
There are many ways to ask for money as a wedding gift, but it is it always the right choice? Although it is ultimately up to the bride and groom, here are cases when it is especially appropriate.
- It is your first wedding. You usually have not accumulated assets at this point.
- You genuinely need the money. You have a lot of student loans and other debt, and it was difficult for you to pull a wedding together.
- You are in your 30s and especially 20s (just starting out).
- When your wedding isn't ultra-formal or fancy. Formal weddings give off a vibe of wealth, where guests are expected to bring extravagant gifts in exchange for a five-star dining and entertaining experience. Asking for money on an invitation to such a wedding might not be deemed polite.
- If money gifts at weddings are part of your ethnic background. A lot of Eastern European and Asian cultures give money at weddings as a tradition. For example, Chinese people tend to bring envelopes of cash to the wedding and deposit it into special bags. Armenians, Greeks, and Polish people often do a wedding dance where envelopes of cash are pinned to the bride and groom.