- Many people today would prefer to receive cash gifts at their wedding instead of physical gifts.
- But asking friends and family for money can come off as tacky and gauche if not done properly.
- We turned to an etiquette expert to tell us the right and wrong ways for couples to ask for cash wedding gifts.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In the old days, newlyweds looked forward to filling their new home with gifts from their wedding registry.
Today, however, it’s more popular than ever for unmarried couples to live together, meaning newlyweds are likely to already own traditional wedding gifts like kitchenware and home essentials.
Instead, couples are increasingly asking wedding guests for money. In fact, a recent survey by Zelle found that 84% of respondents would prefer to receive money over physical gifts for major life moments like a wedding.
But how do you ask for money without being totally gauche?
Here are her do’s and don’ts when it comes to asking for a cash wedding gift.
Do pass the word along through your wedding party and family members.
One way to go about communicating your desire for monetary gifts is by asking your family and members of your wedding party to spread the word, Swann said.
“There’s a proper protocol in place to communicate your desire for monetary gifts. You can pass the word along via your wedding party, parents, siblings, and close friends,” Swann told Insider.
Note, it’s important to guide your friends and family in tactfully communicating this message with others by letting them know why you’d prefer cash or why it would be the most helpful to you. There’s a chance that other guests will ask your family and close friends what to get you, and this will prepare them with a gracious response regarding what you’re saving up for or what you plan to put the money toward.
Don’t put the request for money on any physical correspondence.
A big no-no when it comes to asking for money as a wedding gift is putting the request on the invitation or on any sort of physical correspondence, Swann said.
Registry information doesn’t belong there, as it can make guests feel like you’re solely inviting them to get a gift. This especially rings true when asking for money.
“One couple placed ‘gift envelopes’ in the wedding invitation asking invitees to bring the envelope with money to the reception,” Swann told Insider. “This was very tacky and quite unsafe to have cash floating around during the wedding festivities.”
You can, however, put your wedding website on the invitation or on an insert along with the wedding invitation.
Do put the request on your website, but be gracious in the phrasing.
Your wedding website is a great way to let your guests know you’d prefer cash gifts. In fact, it is both expected and acceptable to ask for money as a wedding gift via your wedding website, Swann said.
Of course, be thoughtful in your wording, she added. Some couples get creative and choose to include a fun poem to make this kind of request. Alternatively, you can briefly explain what you plan on using the money for.
Do let people know what the money will be used for.
It’s a good idea to add a short note about what you will be using the money for so guests feel more connected to you and your plans. Possible ideas include a home renovation, a honeymoon, or even a savings fund for the family you hope to start one day, Swann said.
Again, be careful in how you phrase this. In a column for HuffPost, etiquette expert Anna Post suggested you could say, “We’d like anything you think of, though we could really use help with our honeymoon/first down payment on a house.”
Another suggestion read, “Sara and Carlos have pretty much everything they need, but there is a fund set up in their name – that might be the most helpful.”
Don’t ask for a specific amount.
Another faux pas of asking for monetary gifts is asking for a specific amount, Swann said. It’s important to graciously accept and acknowledge every gift, no matter its monetary value, she said.
Do use a cash registry website.
To ensure a safe and easy transaction of funds, it’s wise to use a cash registry website, Swann told Insider.
Popular cash wedding registry websites include Honeyfund, My Registry, and Our Wishing Well. These sites allow you to create a registry for just about anything, from your home renovations and your honeymoon to donations to your favorite charity.
On your wedding website, you can link to your cash registry site so guests can easily access it.
Don’t make cash the only option.
Though you may desire cash, don’t make it the only option. You should still make a registry even if you’re primarily asking for cash gifts, Swann said.
“The reason why is so that family members who prefer to go the traditional route of providing a gift will be able to select something from your registry,” Swann told Insider.
Do have a box for cards at the reception.
To provide a safe means to receive cash gifts at your wedding, buy or make a well-labeled box dedicated to cards. Have your wedding coordinator or someone in the wedding party periodically check the box throughout the evening of your wedding day.
This gives your guests security in knowing their card has been placed somewhere safe and you, too, have peace of mind knowing that your money won’t be wandering off during your special day.