How to Ask for Cash Gifts for Your Wedding

Hey everyone! Enjoy this article by a fellow blogger about how to ask for cash as a wedding gift.  Asking for cash gifts for your wedding has to be one of the thorniest issues in the wedding blogosphere. In terms of touchy decisions, its right up there with whether you should invite your weird second…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 31, 2023

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Find out how to ask for cash gifts for your wedding. This is a helpful article!Hey everyone! Enjoy this article by a fellow blogger about how to ask for cash as a wedding gift. 

Asking for cash gifts for your wedding has to be one of the thorniest issues in the wedding blogosphere.

In terms of touchy decisions, its right up there with whether you should invite your weird second cousin Alfred, who’ll probably spend the whole night hitting on your bridesmaids.

The reality is that most couples nowadays have lived together for a while prior to the wedding and have already accrued all the detritus that traditional wedding gifting was meant to provide – such as a toaster, bedding and your first ugly knick-knack.

If you’re striving to reduce the household clutter, planning a big move after the wedding, or just have a general dislike for department stores, then receiving boxes and boxes of gifts likely has no appeal.

Below are suggestions on how to ask for cash gifts for your wedding:

 

Some Guests Prefer Giving Money at Weddings.

As a single girl who’s attended a lot of friends’ weddings, I’m all in favour of the cash gift. I mean, I dislike shopping and I’m an aspiring minimalist, so buying potentially unwanted gifts doesn’t appeal. I’d much prefer to give cash as it’s easier to stick to my budget and I know it’ll be used and wanted.

However, I still think there is a right way to tell your wedding guests that you prefer cash for your wedding gift. So this is my totally frank and probably biased view of how to ask for cash gifts for your wedding.

 

Don’t Make Them Hate You for Asking For Cash at Your Wedding.

First Actually this is probably more like Point 0, do not expect grand gifts for your wedding. I know we’ve all been trained to understand that attending a wedding means bringing a gift, but it is very wrong to expect that every guest will contribute enough cash or gifts to cover the cost of your wedding.

Your guests may have a strict budget or be paying down debt, and they likely have spent hundreds of dollars just to be there with you to celebrate on your day.

So if a present doesn’t factor into their spending, just be cool with it and thank them for being there. It’s not like you invited them just to get a gift, right?

 

Don’t Bring Up Gifts Straight Away For Your Wedding Gift.

Remember that it isn’t polite to mention gifts at all on the invite. I know some people like to include a little slip of paper mentioning where the couple are registered or that they only want flat gifts – whatever that’s supposed to mean.

But it is more polite to totally separate the issue of gifts from your guests’ attendance at the wedding (see my point above).

Traditionally, it is the job of the Mother-of-the-Bride to direct guests to the registry. However, in the digital age, I suggest you refer your guests to a website or blog set up specifically for your wedding. This site could include all the details about the venue, directions to get there, suggested accommodation and, yes, what gifts you would prefer.

 

Do Not Get Cutesy with Poetry When Asking For a Monetary Wedding Gift.

Next, please do not insult my intelligence (or the great bards of the past) by requesting a cash gift through the medium of a poem. Seriously, I’ve never read one that I’ve liked. Would you ask for a pay rise from your boss using Haiku? Would you request a discount on your credit card rate using iambic pentameter? No, so don’t get all cutesy with poetry to request a cash gift.

The best way to let your guests know you’d prefer cash is to tell them specifically what you are saving up for – as long as it’s something awesome.

They’re much more likely to cough up the dough if it’s going towards a once in a lifetime trip, than for a $5,000 couch for your living room. Oh and please do not ever say it’s to offset the cost of the wedding. Just. No.

 

Make It Easy to Give Wedding Cash.

You also should make sure that it is easy for guests to gift money anonymously if desired. You could set up an online account to accept cash gifts -travel agents often offer these if the cash is to be used to fund a honeymoon, or you can use one of the companies that specialise in these. Or just have a ‘wishing well’ set up discreetly at the venue where gets can place envelopes into a secure box.

Finally, remember that weddings are a celebration of your union – not a cash grab or a ticketed event. Even if you have requested cash only, some guests will choose to give you an actual present anyway. Be gracious of any gifts received, even if Aunt Liesl decides to give you a set of African fertility dolls and a copy of the Karma Sutra.

Nell Casey is a personal finance blogger from Australia. Nell writes about money for 20-somethings at The Million Dollar Diva

What do you think about couples who ask for cash for their wedding? Do you prefer to give cash?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Liz S

    My husband’s brother got married a couple years ago, and he asked for cash in what I thought was a very classy way. He set up a paypal account (so he paid any fees) and you could literally just click “Donate” and do it quickly and easily. But he said something sort of like, “Please do not get us any presents…your presence at our wedding is gift enough. However, if you still plan to anyway, please consider donating below so we can pick out exactly what we still need.”

  2. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    The classiest way that I’ve seen cash gift requests done was when the couple explained the red envelope tradition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_envelope) and tied it back to China where they met. They explained that they would be hosting a second wedding in Africa for the bride’s family and that any red envelope money would go towards that. It was really well done since everyone knew what they were giving for and brought the tradition of a part of their relationship into the ceremony involving everyone.

  3. Great tip on the online account Nell! I’ve seen that done before and makes it a little less awkward as people can feel like they’re helping you accomplish something as opposed to just buying something.

  4. We preferred cash, too. We had been together for 5 years and already had what we needed around the house. Everyone knows we love to Travel, so we set up an account with Honeyfund. We put together pieces of our Honeymoon on the site and people could give to a portion of the trip! They could either just send cash or if they did it online with a credit card, they could print out the voucher and put it in the card to make it meaningful. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was the best gift ever.

  5. What a brave post to write! I think you hit the nail on the head, though — no actual “asking,” no poems, no hints in the invitation or save the dates. Although, I’m not sure you even need any hints about giving cash. In our experience, most of the gifts were cash even though we had a registry.

  6. We had a couple gift registries because we really DID need all those household-type items. However, we also set up a Honeyfund for honeymoon experiences we wanted to have. In our thank-you notes, we included pictures of us doing the activity that the giver had sponsored (a meal, ziplining, etc.), although certainly we could have just pocketed the cash without having done those activities. A lot of people gave us checks anyway. I think if you just fail to register you’ll get a high percentage of cash for gifts.

  7. In my culture, cash gift is the norm to give as wedding gifts, so I didn’t have to ask. Most older guests gave us cash and younger guests gave us gifts.

  8. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    I’ve noticed this also depends on geographically where the wedding takes place. Southern weddings are generally more registry-centric, while northeastern weddings are generally more cash/check centric.

    I will say this, I’m not 100% behind cash only because there is the chance of theft at a wedding, especially if it’s a big affair. I always feel a check is better for that reason. Plus, unless your bank is RIDICULOUS, they will accept any check written out even if the last name is wrong. I didn’t take my husband’s name and I had plenty of Mr. and Mrs. checks written out without even my first name and they didn’t care, they deposited and I just had to wait a week for the funds to clear.

    But yes, you can always ask for money on the invitation, but in a classy way. Just google for a great term to use! I am of the belief that you don’t mention gifts/registry at all on the invitation but on the website only, but I’ve seen plenty of wedding invites with registry/gift info so it’s up to you.

  9. My husband is Spanish and I am American and after our 2 weddings we ended up living in Spain. Because we knew I would be moving overseas we didn’t want to have to ship a bunch of stuff which meant we preferred cash gifts. In Spain everyone gives money as a gift so it wasn’t a big deal. In fact, you walk around during the dessert portion of the meal, saying hello to everyone, handing out the small favors and people slip you an envelope. It was an interesting experience. In the U.S. it was a bit more awkward as people seem to enjoy giving physical gifts. We avoided problems by keeping the wedding small and limited to people who knew our situation. I think people got the idea when they didn’t get any info about a registry, plus we counted a lot on word-of-mouth messages. My family also threw us a honeymoon shower instead of the typical gift-centered one. It ended up working out for us but I hadn’t realized it was such a touchy subject for some people though!

  10. The First Million is the Hardest

    Doing anything in the form of a poem sounds kind of annoying to me ๐Ÿ™‚

    From what I’ve seen in my wedding going experience, your friends and younger guests will usually give cash while the older crowd tends to favor giving a physical gift of some sort. This is a timely post though, I’m getting married in a few months and there’s just nothing my fiance and I really need that would be on a traditional registry!

  11. Mommy Jhy | www.myfavoritelists.com

    We are already married in civil rites before getting married in the church and we are living overseas so it’s quite “obvious” for our guests that cash gift is preferred. Our wedding was also out of town which meant that all of our guests travelled either by car (at least 3 hours from the city), by ship (at least 5 hours from their province) or plane (at least 1 hour from their province) so their presence was the gift for us already.