Why and How to Ask for Cash Wedding Gifts
In many parts of the world, a cash gift at a wedding is perfectly normal. After all, you’re starting a new part of your life, and everyone could use some money in life. Plus, you’re spending a bunch of money on a huge party, and everyone could use some money after a huge party.
However, in the United States, wedding presents are traditionally meant to help you start your new life in other ways, primarily by gifting things like kitchenware, ornamental items, and bedding items that can belong to both the bride and groom together for the rest of their marriage. Of course, many wedding guests are from different backgrounds, grew up in different time periods, or have led different lives than you plan to live when you are married, and those experiences have shaped their expectations of what you might need.. This is where wedding registries have traditionally stepped in. Wedding registries are list of things that are pre-approved by the happy couple, and they are a key component in wedding gifting. However, there are still many reasons that physical gifts may not be ideal:
- Your tastes may be different from your guests’. You can always use cash to buy something you know you will enjoy.
- You may need something that is too awkward or trivial to include in a wedding registry, like toilet paper.
- Many couples today live together before marriage, or at least already have enough of the essentials due to living by themselves.
- Storing clunky objects is a hassle. Many couples plan to move into larger spaces eventually, but in the meantime, it can be burdensome to store traditional wedding gifts like china and appliances.
- Usefulness - Above all, you know what you really need more than your guests do.
Mentioning gifts in your wedding invitations is not recommended. Doing so may present the appearance that you value your guest only for their gift.
How to ask for Monetary Wedding Presents
There are plenty of online resources to help you ask for monetary gifts. Some popular ones are Tendr, Patchwork, and Honeyfund. Other things you should do is spread the word through your network - your wedding party and close relatives should be made aware of your wishes, so that when they are asked they know what to say. When you write down your desire, be sure to be polite, gentle, gracious, and accepting. Include what you will do with your funds, because people want to know where their money is going and it will feel more personal than cold hard cash.
Here are some examples:
“No boxed gifts, please.”
“You can find our wedding registry at samplewebsite.com. We are also saving up for a family-sized car; any contributions to that would be greatly appreciated!”
“Contributions to our honeymoon fund would really help us have a magical wedding experience!”
“We are so thrilled that you will be joining us in celebrating our marriage. If you are thinking of getting us a gift, we would be extremely grateful for a small cash donation towards...”
“Your presence on our special day is all we could ask. However, if you would like to get us a gift, we have set up a wedding registry at samplewebsite.com, and we will also be exceedingly grateful for any contributions to our future plans.”
“We ask only for your love, thoughts, prayers, and presence, but if you feel like giving, we would be honored to receive a cash gift to help us save for our honeymoon. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“We feel so blessed to be able to spend our special wedding day with our loved ones; truly, your presence is all the presents we need. Because we live plan to move soon and are not sure of our future dimensions, if you’d like to get us a gift, we’ve created a fund through samplewebsite.com that we plan to spend on our future down payment.”
“We hope you will not be offended if we ask you not to buy us a gift. We already have everything we could possibly need to begin our married life. Your presence is everything we could ask for. The only thing we are hoping to do in the future is to buy our own home. We’ve been saving hard, but if you would like to contribute, we would be incredibly grateful!”
“Because we are saving for our dream automobile, we would really appreciate cash donations instead of regular gifts. Thanks so much!”
Expect to get your money in the form of checks.
How to Receive the Money:
If you have guests that you know to be more tech-savvy, you can use one of many free or low-cost resources to receive money electronically. For everyone else at your wedding proper, be sure to have some sort of secure receptacle for check gifts. Consider making available a stack of envelopes as well. If you are asked, checks should be addressed to both people getting married. For example, if Jane Doe married John Smith, a check should be addressed to “Ms. Jane Doe or Mr. John Smith”. In my experience, many people giving a check in that situation will get a kick out of writing “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith”. If it comes up, tell them not to. It’s inconvenient.
After the Wedding
Cash your checks as soon as possible. You don’t want to leave your guests’ checkbooks unbalanced. Once the cash is in hand, you must, must, must, must write the giver a thank you note. This can be as simple as “Thanks so much for your generous gift. We have been looking forward to our Disney honeymoon, and we can’t wait to tell you about it the next time we see you!” Not only is sending a thank you note the right thing to do, it lets them know that you cashed their check and that they have no more outstanding balances. Finally, make sure you actually use the money the way you said you would.
Always write a note of thanks. Always.
If I want cash, why should I register at all?
Wedding registries are an indispensable part of planning your wedding. Forgo them at your own risk. Odds are that you will invite at least one person who is simply uncomfortable giving anything they cannot imagine you unwrapping. There is a school of thought that says that not registering will encourage guests to give cash. That is your prerogative, but it is not recommended. At the very, very least, include something like a Visa or Mastercard gift card on your registry. If you've had a different experience, let us know in the comments!