Nowadays, by the time they get married many couples have already lived together for a good while, probably amalgamating two houses together in the process and therefore already have a toaster, glasses, crockery and crock-pot (standard wedding list gifts!).
It’s becoming more and more popular to ask for money as a gift (recent research by Confetti showed that over 50% of people ask for a cash gift. I’m surprised. I thought it would be much higher than that) to put towards the honeymoon, add to the savings pot for a house deposit or other large purchase (friends of mine wanted an arbour for the garden).
But how do you ask, and how do guests feel about this? I’m a savvy shopper and tend to look for bargains when it comes to gifts which, of course, you can’t do if you’re giving cash.
We thought we’d explore this trend for requesting cash, how it feels to ask and how it feels to give.
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Asking for money
There are LOADS of quirky poems out there to pop in your invitation to ask for cash as a gift, or you can write your own! This is what we did. Did we feel weird asking for money? A little. But we also mentioned bottles of fizzy and gin would be appreciated if people felt they would prefer to give us an actual gift!
As you open your cards and gifts take a moment to treasure whatever is inside. Make a list of each gift and when you do your Thank You cards make them personal.
Some people are a little shy about giving money, especially if they can’t really afford much (and let’s face it, simply attending a wedding can cost and arm and a leg). So if you feel this is your friends and family here are a couple of ideas:
♥ Set up a honeymoon account with your travel agent and ask your guests to pay into it. This way you won’t know how much an individual paid, and they won’t be worried about the amount they can afford. Guests can usually leave a note, which you should encourage, so you know that they gifted and you can send them a thank you.
♥ Ask your parents for assistance. Within your invitation pop a voucher that the guest can complete with their amount, and send back to the parents. Your parents can then collect and amalgamate the amount and give you one cheque for the final amount.
♥ If you’re asking because you want to buy a particular item or need help with your house deposit, perhaps ask them to ‘buy a brick’ or if it’s for your garden ‘buy a flower’ etc. With the same idea as above, get someone to co-ordinate it who can then give you the final total amount. Giving them a purpose or making them feel like they have bought something rather than just handed over cash might make it easier to give.
♥ If you have a savings account with a bank again you can ask people to deposit amounts into that. Chat with your bank, they might be happy to keep the individual donations a secret from you and just give you a list of names. With the advent of internet banking this might be more difficult but it’s always worth popping in and talking to a human!
♥ Why not consider how you’ll spend your first year of marriage and what dates you’ll have, then prepare a list (say… movies, picnics, special meals, concerts etc) and ask people to contribute to one of them, either by cash, voucher or service (ie friends who work in a hotel or restaurant who can help with friends and family rates and upgrades!). People might feel happier about giving cash if they know exactly what it’s going to be used for.
When giving money as a gift, the easiest way is to consider what you might have bought and use that amount as a guide. For very good friends we bought a fabulous cushion saying ‘married in 2015′ and gave the balance of our budget in cash. Only you know what amount you’re comfortable with, and trust me – as a bride who asked for cash, the couple will be totally overwhelmed by their guests’ generosity regardless of individual amounts.
If you feel strange giving money then consider a way to make it a little more special. We asked for honeymoon help and one of my lovely guests put a beautiful poem in with their cash, asking us to spend it on a special meal, a memory maker, something to remember always. So we did, and we took a photo and sent it to them as we were enjoying one of our first honeymoon memories. Cash doesn’t have to mean cold.
Just because a couple requests money as their preferred gift, that doesn’t mean you have to give it! But if you choose not to (especially if you know what the money will go towards) please be extra thoughtful about what you do buy. One bride told me they got a beautiful keepsake bottle of champagne, which they drank on their first anniversary, and of course have kept the bottle. The guest had written a beautiful note in silver pen on the bottle. Now, not everyone would appreciate this (I would!) and might mutter to themselves that they’d rather have had the 40 quid the bottle cost, and this is where how well you know your couple comes in! If you would rather get a gift, make it a thoughtful, memorable, very special one ♥