When planning a wedding and a honeymoon, there's one problem that's been plaguing couples for generations: How do you politely ask for cash as a wedding gift?
You and your partner have the necessities. You have all the kitchen appliances you need, and the sheets on your bed are soft and comfy. Or maybe you're planning to buy a house soon, and you're waiting to upgrade some of your belongings until you're in your new place.
What you really need is money to help fund your amazing honeymoon, but as you know, asking for cash can be considered rude. Your guests want to feel appreciated, and they want to have control over whether they give a physical gift or cash. You want to show your gratitude, but at the same time, cash would go a long way towards building the perfect honeymoon.
So how can you ask for cash as a wedding gift? Here are our top tips to do it with class and style.
Avoid asking for cash on save-the-dates and invitations
Some couples have trouble asking for cash as a wedding gift in person — but they have no problem doing so on an invitation or save-the-date. Couples often feel this method is less invasive, and since they're not physically holding out their hands to their guests, it can't be completely rude, can it?
In short, yes, asking for cash as a wedding gift is generally rude, especially on wedding invitations and save-the-dates. Here's why.
Why it's rude to ask for cash on wedding invitations
Wedding etiquette changes over the years, but even as things change, many stay the same. Things like birthday gifts and wedding gifts should not be expected, and the receiver should always be grateful even if the gift wasn't exactly what was wanted. Asking for cash on your invitations looks tacky, and it makes guests feel like you're only interested in their attendance if they're bringing a gift.
Wedding guests want to feel like you appreciate their presence at your wedding first and their gifts second. In most cases, a gift is almost guaranteed from most of your guests anyway. You don't have to ask for them directly. You can include a link to your wedding website on your invitations, which may have a link to your honeymoon fund or wedding registry — just don't ask for cash directly.
Skip the poems and cutesy wording on invitations
In recent years, some couples have tried more subtle ways of asking for cash on their wedding invitations and save-the-dates. They've used poems and cutesy phrases to try and soften the blow of directly asking for cash — but it hasn't worked.
You could compose a full Shakespearean sonnet to ask for cash for your wedding, and it would still be considered rude. Provide a link to your wedding website on your invitations and leave it at that. Your guests can figure the rest out on their own.
Spread the word through your parents and wedding party
It's hard to be honest with wedding guests about why you want cash for your wedding, but you do have your own private army of sorts to help you spread the word: your parents and wedding party. Other wedding guests often consult parents and wedding party members when deciding what gift to bring. You can enlist your parents and party members to help spread the word about your preference for cash gifts.
Now your parents and wedding party can spread the word around tactfully. Should anyone ask about gifts, they can relay your wishes. This might help deter people away from getting you a toaster and steer them towards your honeymoon fund instead.
But of course, they have to ask in the first place, and if they never do, then your parents and wedding party won't be much help.
How to talk to your parents about giving cash as a wedding gift
Your parents are likely invested in the wedding, either emotionally, monetarily or both. They want to help in any way they can, and they'll be more likely to understand why you might want cash instead of a gift.
Speak with your parents and explain what you're saving for and why you'd prefer cash as a gift. Take your time to describe your perfect honeymoon or the house you are saving to buy. Be honest and sincere in that while you're grateful for any gift, money would go a long way towards achieving your dreams.
Ensure your parents understand that you're not expecting them to call each family member and tell them your gift preferences. This is just for any family member that asks about the wedding and gifts. Your family members will probably ask your parents how planning is going when the wedding will be held and where you plan to go on your honeymoon anyway, so this is a good opportunity to head them off.
Enlist your wedding party's help
Your friends and family members in your bridal party might be able to understand your preference for cash better than anyone. As many members are probably about your age and saving money for their own weddings, honeymoons and homes, they can probably relate.
Ask your wedding party to quietly spread the word if they hear anyone discussing gifts or are asked directly. A nudge in the right direction will go along way.
Use a honeymoon fund site
Asking for cash in your wedding invitation is poor taste. So what's a more direct, yet kind way to ask for money for your wedding?
Honeymoon funds fill this need in a way that is fun for both you and your wedding guests. A honeymoon fund is a registry built out of costs and activities that you plan to do on your honeymoon. Guests can contribute to gifts such as a spa package for two, dinner for one evening or a kayaking excursion. Couples get to design their own sites, ask for exactly what they want and pass on their excitement to their guests.
Honeymoon funds offer a great way for you to help save for your perfect honeymoon and gently ask your friends and family members for cash over physical gifts. When they see what an amazing trip you have planned, your guests will want you to think of them as you sip cocktails by the beach or hike up a volcano. The more you personalize your honeymoon fund, the more invested your guests will be in your excursion.
Building a thoughtful honeymoon fund
The most successful honeymoon funds on Hitchd tell the couple's story through the honeymoon they plan to have. Most couples choose their honeymoon destination and activities based on what they like to do together, and when that love shines through your honeymoon fund, your guests will feel it too.
Start your honeymoon fund by telling guests where you're going and why you chose that destination. Highlight how you came to the decision as a couple and what about that destination excites you both. Maybe you both love to ski and will spend a few days in Aspen, Colorado, or you both want a romantic getaway to Belize or Costa Rica. Sharing how you came to your decision will help guests feel more involved.
You can add just about any item to your honeymoon fund, but almost all honeymoon funds should include airfare, accommodations, meals and activities. You can branch out to include car rentals, guided tours and spa packages as well.
With each gift, add a personalized message about what you'll be doing and why you're so excited about this activity. Even gifts such as airfare can be personalized. Talk about the airports you're flying in and out of to see what restaurants they have and where you plan to eat. Tell your family members about the in-flight movies you want to watch or the ebooks you have downloaded to pass the time. Making the boring parts of your honeymoon feel more exciting will get your guests on board.
Adding photos and links to your honeymoon fund site
Once you've chosen all your gifts, it's time to research them and get a little more specific about what your guests are actually paying for. Each of your honeymoon fund gifts should have a link to what the guest is buying and a few photos if possible. That means including links to your hotel's website and any activities you plan to try to better show guests what you'll be doing.
For example, rather than just ask for meals, look up restaurants that you want to try. Add links to their website and any photos they might have on social media or their website. Write out what you and your partner plan to order from the menu or what you think you might try. The more your guests can visualize what you're doing, the more comfortable they'll feel in contributing.
The combination of a personalized message explaining the gift from you along with links and photos showing exactly where the money is going will help guests get excited about your honeymoon. They'll want to help send you on such an exciting honeymoon — and they'll want to hear about it all when you get back.
Create a smaller wedding registry
Some people prefer to go a more subtle route to asking for cash by building a smaller wedding registry. They pick maybe one or two stores and then add far fewer items to the list than they have invited to the wedding.
The benefit is two-fold. On the one hand, guests who want to give physical gifts do have a small list of items to choose from. On the other, it may push others towards giving cash.
Give wedding guests options with a physical wedding registry
Some wedding guests, especially older ones, prefer to choose an item off a wedding registry. They like giving physical gifts, and they hope that whenever you use your gift, you think of them.
For these guests, a smaller wedding registry fulfils their needs and yours as well. Even if you've been with your partner for a while and have a steady income, there are always items that could be upgraded. A nice set of new sheets or towels make great gifts, and you can find plenty of price points so no one feels priced out of your wedding registry.
Gently push guests towards giving cash
So how does having a wedding registry actually push people towards giving you cash?
It's not as direct, but one of two things will happen. Either your registry will fill up, and guests who order gifts late won't have anything to choose from, so they will give cash. Guests could also opt for cash if there isn't anything left on the registry within their price point.
This method can backfire if guests decide to give gift cards instead, so a honeymoon fund like Hitchd might be more reliable if you want to steer guests towards cash.
Wedding decor and dresses may go in and out of style, but etiquette always remains. Your wedding guests want to be supportive of you and your partner, but they don't want to feel as if you're only interested in what they could give you.
However you ask for money, with Hitchd or through your parents and wedding party, make sure your gratefulness for any gift is always front and centre. It will go a long way towards showing your guests that you care.