Let's talk about the one wedding etiquette rule that many couples struggle with every day: How to ask for cash rather than gifts from wedding guests.
So many couples want to encourage their wedding guests to give cash as a gift rather than a toaster or a blender, but it can be tough to find a way to do so that is both respectful and clear. Lately, many people have been asking, “Should I use a PayPal honeymoon fund for my wedding?”.
In short, the answer is no, but here's why using a PayPal honeymoon fund is a bad idea if you want to ask for cash from wedding guests respectfully — and how it's possible to do so with other services such as Hitchd.
Use PayPal with Hitchd! (2021 update)
While we don't recommend purely sending your guests a link to PayPal and asking for money (tacky!), we DO recommend trying Hitchd's brand new PayPal payment method!
This means that you can now combine the magic of the best honeymoon registry in the world with the ease of using your existing PayPal account!
So what are you waiting for? Get started with the #1 honeymoon registry and get your adventure funded by guests.Start your registry today
Why a PayPal honeymoon fund is bad etiquette for a wedding
Over the last few decades, weddings have evolved and changed. More couples have lived together before tying the knot, and weddings themselves have gotten more creative — and more expensive. With the rise of social media, everyone wants to have an Instagram-worthy wedding.
While some traditions have changed, there's still a good amount of wedding etiquette that hasn't, and that includes asking for straight cash as a gift. Providing a PayPal link when asked for a wedding registry falls into that category.
Here's why so many wedding guests consider it bad wedding etiquette to receive a link to a PayPal honeymoon fund.
Rude wedding etiquette
In general, wedding guests want to feel that they have some control over what they give a happy couple and how much they give. They want to feel that they're gift is meaningful, thoughtful and something the couple will use. Whether they choose to write a check or pick something from a wedding registry, wedding guests keep their control.
When they receive a link to a PayPal honeymoon fund, guests feel more like they're being hit up for money rather than giving a thoughtful gift. It comes off as rude as if you and your partner are mostly interested in the money versus seeing your guests on the day of the wedding.
If you think about it, when do you really use PayPal or Venmo? It's probably to pay someone back for something, such as concert tickets or a meal that the other person put on a credit card. It's informal, and there's no room for personalization. It's purely a transaction.
For guests that don't already have a PayPal account, they may feel confused (and hurt) about how to give a gift. They may feel that you're really just interested in getting cash from them. Even those who write checks take their time to write something sweet and thoughtful on the card, and PayPal takes away that contact.
Privacy concerns with PayPal honeymoon funds
In this day and age, many people feel concerned when asked to give their bank account information online. Although PayPal is commonly used, people who haven't used it before may be sceptical about giving another company access to their bank accounts, and others who use other online banking companies may not want to open yet another account.
Even if guests delete their accounts right after they send you money, that information may still be floating out there somewhere. It can be unnerving for some guests, so it's better to not ask guests to give their bank account information just to give a gift.
How to ask for money politely for your wedding and honeymoon
For many couples though, cash is easily the best gift, something they truly need that could go a long way towards having an amazing honeymoon. Because more couples are living together and have two incomes, they have many of the basic necessities already in their homes, items like blenders, sheets and mixers. These once-great wedding registry items have either already been purchased, or maybe they're not needed at all. In this day and age, it's rare to find a couple that actually asks for fine china or crystal glasses.
Even though it is rude to straight-up ask for cash by providing a link to a PayPal honeymoon fund, there are ways to subtly ask for cash and move wedding guests in that direction. Here are a few ideas to consider.
Create a small wedding registry
One way to push people in the direction of cash is to create a small wedding registry at just one or two stores. This gives wedding guests options, although somewhat limited ones. In a perfect world, the registry will quickly fill up, and remaining guests will have no choice but to provide cash. It's a gentle way of pushing guests towards giving cash without outright asking for cash.
Pros of a small wedding registry
You and your partner may not need a toaster or new towels, but almost every couple could benefit with a few updates to their home. You might want a nicer set of sheets or an accessory for your stand mixer. Maybe you need a new vacuum or want to replace some dishes or glasses that were broken.
A small wedding registry lets you ask for those gifts that you really need and want. It sets expectations for guests, and it gives them that choice to either buy a gift or write a check.
If all goes as planned, your eager guests will buy up all the items from your wedding registry ahead of time, so other guests won't have much of a choice but to give cash instead. Either that or guests won't want to pick through the last few items that haven't been claimed or may just try to guess what you want.
Cons of a small wedding registry
For some, a small wedding registry is a sign that the couple just wants cash, and that can be off-putting. Guests might feel that you're taking advantage of them or intentionally trying to force them to give cash. This could make your guests feel unappreciated, and they might just send along a card instead of an actual gift or a check.
You are also not free of the other cons of a wedding registry. Some people might accidentally buy you the same present, which means you have to handle returning it all. That can be a hassle if you don't have a store location nearby.
Others might skip giving cash or a gift altogether and just provide a gift card for the store that's hosting the wedding registry. This leaves you with an even bigger problem. Technically, your guests gave you cash, but now you can only spend it at one store. While you could trade your gift card for other stores or even cash online, you might end up with less than the total amount. Either way, you lose some of the money or have strict ways of spending it.
Create a honeymoon fund
You may think that substituting a link to a honeymoon fund is the same as a link PayPal honeymoon fund, but the two have strong differences, especially when it comes to presentation.
A honeymoon fund, like those set up through Hitchd, allows couples to ask for “gifts” in the form of activities, dinners, airfare and accommodations for their honeymoon. Yes, you're asking for money, but by setting up detailed descriptions, along with photos and links, for each gift, you're building a more concrete gift that you can report on when you return from your honeymoon and write out your thank-you notes.
Pros of a honeymoon fund registry
A honeymoon fund registry lets you subtly ask for cash without making your wedding guests feel as if they're in a shakedown. It's a great way to make them feel comfortable giving cash when they know exactly where their cash is going to be spent.
Your Hitchd honeymoon fund registry should describe where you're going and why you want to go. Maybe you and your partner like to scuba dive, so you're choosing a tropical destination where you'll be able to scuba dive and relax on the beach. Sharing what your honeymoon means to you two personally will show guests that their gift isn't so much about the cash as it is the amazing experience you plan to spend it on while on your honeymoon.
Each gift on a honeymoon fund should have a detailed, thoughtful description and links and photos to go along with it. This lets wedding guests feel like they're not just buying drinks for the happy couple. They're playing a small role in giving the couple the honeymoon of a lifetime.
Wedding guests can use a credit card, instead of putting in their bank account information as they would do with PayPal, and the charged amount goes right to your bank account. This means you can start using the money to pay for your trip right away.
Cons of a honeymoon fund registry
Honeymoon funds have few drawbacks for most couples, but they can take a long time to build. While you can set one up in just a few minutes, the best honeymoon fund registries are personalized.
You want to put serious thought into your honeymoon fund, and at Hitchd, we find that the most successful honeymoon funds are personalized, enjoyable to read and exciting for the wedding guests who choose to give a gift.
Building each gift on a honeymoon fund takes time and research, and it can be a big-time commitment — unless you start early. When you begin building your honeymoon fund six or seven months out from your wedding with the goal of having it done by the three-month mark, then you won't feel like you need to put it all together in a day. You can take your time, thoroughly research your destination and write thorough descriptions that have a personal touch for your guests. Your descriptions should get your guests excited and personally invested in sending you on the honeymoon of your dreams.
Even as wedding etiquette changes every year, some traditions do remain, and good manners never go out of style. But you don't have to just hope that wedding guests will take subtle hits and give you and your partner cash for a gift.
You can make giving cash a tasteful, exciting gift to give and let guests share in the excitement of your honeymoon. With a little preparation and some heartfelt writing, your honeymoon fund can be both mindful and respectful of your guests while encouraging them to send you and your partner on the honeymoon you've always wanted.