How can I ask for cash instead of gifts?

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The short answer: very, VERY carefully. The longer answer? Watch. Oh and sorry for the barfing baby.

Comments on How can I ask for cash instead of gifts?

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. A big part of the WIC thing seems to have become "make-absolutely-sure-that-all-your-guests-know-exactly-what-you-want-and-where-to-get-it", as if it's an utter failure on YOUR part if you end up with duplicates, or random stuff you didn't register for, and that in some way, the whole point of getting married is how many gifts your friends & family pony up for. Feh.
    My favorite wedding rant centers around this very topic (Belated apologies to the poor girl at the registry counter that offered me inserts for my invitations..), and I frequently end up feeling like the lone holdout.
    It doesnt' have to be about "tradition", to me, it's more about being gracious and appreciative that these people a) are in our lives at all; b) are taking time to come to a party (or two, or three) in our honor. They've already given us so much, and I can buy my own toaster.

  2. We struggled with this topic. Unfortunately we are mostly having friends coming to our wedding who a) don’t know our family, and b) are unlikely to seek out a website to find out what kind of gifts we’re inclined towards. We found with our engagement party that people were directly asking us what we wanted, so we wanted to avoid this with the wedding. In the end, to avoid being asked by everyone what we wanted, we decided to put a note in with the invites saying that we’ll have a wishing well at the wedding (which is an antique-looking birdcage), so if people would like to contribute towards our honeymoon and home they can, BUT we also said that we didn’t want ppl to feel obligued as their greatest gift to us would be their presence.
    I personally prefer the idea of a ‘wishing well’ (or whatever you choose to call it) over an online site(feels kind of empty, plus not good for those ppl that aren’t soo internet savy – yes they do exist!). Anyway, in the end we thought it best just to say what we felt rather than putting in some poem, and I hope that the way we worded it, it comes across clear that we actually don’t expect anything, there’s just that option there if ppl do want to contribute something. I found with our engagement we told people that we didn’t want or expect ANYTHING, but just about everyone still brought us a gift anyway. Soo, I’ve learnt to be prepared this time around, I loved the gifts we got for the engagement party, but seriously we cannot fit another single glass into our cupboard, so cash for our honeymoon is just far more practical.
    I think in Australia money as a gift is pretty acceptable, most people live together for a while before getting married and people don’t want to waste their money giving you something you’ve already got. Anyway, I personally don’t see how asking for money is any different than asking for gifts off a gift registry (at least this way you can choose how much you spend, rather than being left with the option of one present that costs $200!). Good luck to the rest of you struggling with this, I don’t think there is a right/wrong way, just do what you feel comfortable with.

  3. great advice ariel! For our wedding we actually did exactly as you suggested. We spread word through the grapevine that we didn't want any gifts because we didn't have any room in our home. We also let be known that monetary gifts would greatly benefit us since we're building. We did recieve many wonderful gifts and many gift cards to various home imporovent stores. Every one was very understanding and appreciative of our honesty. It also helped express to folks that we really just wanted their company on our wedding day. We also had it worded out nicely on our wedding website, but it wasn't used very much. Spreading the word through the grapevine worked out the best for us

  4. I totally agree, I find it a bit weird when registry cards are included with the invitations. I mean, I respect people's decision to do it and honestly it sometimes is handy when it's family members that you're not directly in touch with to not have to go through the communication line to find out but really, that was not how I wanted to do it.

    Shockingly I really love the way that we did it, heh. Firstly we made a gift suggestions page on our wedsite, even the name gift list weirds me out a little. As if it's a list you want completed, no – it's a suggestion of what you might like! But while we were in the same position as the writer of this letter, in that we have a cramped house already, there were some tangible items we wanted (like photo frames for our new wedding photos!) along with honeymoon gifts and charity donations so we didn't neatly fit into the online 'honeymoon' registries.

    In terms of the cash donations we really wanted each guest to feel they were giving us an individual gift so we broke up what we wanted from the honeymoon into component parts, that people then donated money for. Guests could buy us anything from train tickets, to a bottle of champagne, to a bag of chips, all the donations were linked to something specific.

    We did it ourselves on our website so we could also design gift cards for the donations (for example 'A cocktail with two straws!') then guests could print out the card and put it in an envelope with the cash or cheque. It meant that they had a real, physical thing to give us at the wedding! Plus, while we didn't anticipate it also improved the honeymoon. Each little thing we did was linked to someone, so when we were doing it we could feel their love and support at the time. It gave the honeymoon the same love, generosity and community that we felt on the wedding day! And we had our gift cards to hold up in every honeymoon photo to send to the respective person afterwards.

    It was low-tech, guests selected what they wanted and the page emailed my brother and his wife who kept it updated for us. Plus it going to a human was nice as it meant that some more tentative guests could email them and say 'do you think they'd like this?' or in one case 'do you think they'd want small or large cocktail glasses?'. Large, definitely large! 😀 It worked so well and I think that the mixture of tangible gifts and honeymoon money worked well too, as there definitely were some people who wanted to give us a lasting 'thing'.

    The link to our list is here: http://vonandfran.info/giftsuggestions.php so people can see how it worked, and also if anyone does want the code you're more than welcome to it, just let me know and I will email you over a copy!

    • What AWEsome ideas! I love the way you framed your requests, and I got so engrossed in your site that I just stalked your whole wedding. I wish I could go back about 6 months to steal a bunch of ideas for my own! You approached your whole event in a great, down-to-earth way. Congrats to you and your beautiful bride!

    • That is exactly what I want to do! Can you please let me know the address for that place where you set up the website and uploaded the images and then the website sent an email to someone when that thing was selected. Whew, am I getting this right? How do I do this?

    • Von & Fran, your wedsite was genius! Thank you for sharing, I got several good ideas from your example. Coincidentaly, we are marrying on Oct. 31 also! Congratulations and thanks again!

    • This sounds like a fantastic idea! Would you mind emailing me over the code and/or screen shots? I wasn’t able see it in action because your website domain has expired 🙁

      • I’m in the same boat. Can we see the website or screenshot of what you wrote? it sounds like you guys had it down!

  5. Well, my FH & I decided to include the information in the pouch of our invitations. So it wasn't on the invitation itself, but included with all of the other cards; RSVP, Directions, & Location cards. We thought this worked out well as the invitation was telling the guest how honored we are for them to attend. The card itself was labeled "Honeymoon Registry" then we honestly stated our reason underneath. "With a household bursting at the seams, instead of having a traditional gift registry we've arranged for a honeymoon registry through AAA Travel, any contributions are greatly appreciated. However, more than anything we'd love for you to be there to help us celebrate."

    I haven't heard any complaints nor has anyone had any problems contributing to the fund. I provided a phone number, a snail mail address & an email address for where to send the contribution so that those not web savvy had other options. I do think that having it go to someone else, instead of sending us a check directly also helped people to feel more confident in contributing. The wedding is in 6 days so I'll let you know if I hear of any problems there.

    • I think that's perfectly tactful, since you make it clear that you want their presence more than presents. I can't watch the video right now, but I think including registry information in an invitation can appear like you're asking for gifts. BUT, it seems to be different in different parts of the country. I personally did not want any registry information included, but my MIL was quite surprised at my reaction-she's received several invites with registry info, apparently.

  6. Great topic, I'll have to remember this will probably be a good idea for FH and me (too much stuff!).
    And Tavi's such a cutie! Loved the outtake too, that's exactly what my little guy would've done 😀

  7. I think you should ABSOLUTELY get an award for "public" speaking for this vlog answer. haha. You where really concise and awesome, and they baby is super cute, but I am betting its tough to concentrate on things when he is talking with you!

    • Why thank you. 🙂 I actually still have my Public Speaking trophy from 4-H. Best Illustrated Talk, Intermediate Division, Statewide. I was 11 and rocked that shit! 😀

  8. My FH and I also requested money as our gifts, and I did actually put it into the invitations, even though it goes against traditional etiquette. I did this for several reasons. Chief amongst them were:

    1. For a lot of the people on our list, the invitation was going to be their main way of getting information about the wedding, because they are not super computer-literate. I decided that it was better to just get it out there rather than having any of our parents or us having to field lots of "where are you registered?" phone calls.

    2. We were already having a very non-traditional wedding, which was apparent by the invitation itself (a Steampunk masquerade wedding where almost none of the other traditional wedding elements one would expect will be present), and I wanted to make sure that, despite both our families being very flexible, they would have plenty of time to ponder over all of it.

    3. Everyone on the guest list were people we knew would rather be given information directly rather than demurring for the sake of politeness.

    I realize that this is not a standard situation in any way, shape, or form… But what I did was include one extra little sheet which would normally be the list of "here is where we are registered," but instead I wrote a short message to all of our guests, expressing first and foremost our utter excitement at the possibility of them attending, and that their willingness to travel in and join us for this was the greatest present we could possibly imagine, and was all we could ask for. I added that if they wanted to give us something to commemorate the occasion, that a donation towards our honeymoon would be our preferred gifts, as we already have all of the physical things we could possibly want, but that we would like to be able to go away for a couple of weeks.

    While this didn't stick with traditional etiquette, I sent the invitations out about 5 months ago and there has been no drama backlash or anything, so I guess my assessment of our families was right, and nobody got hurt or insulted by our request for money or by including the information in the invitation.

    I guess this is a long-winded way of saying that there are times when including it in the invitation may make the most sense, and that if it seems like that would be the best option for you and you aren't concerned about accidentally hurting any of your loved ones, it's not completely off the table.

  9. We've asked for money instead of gifts. We started out by saying that 'as we've been together for 9 years, we have just about everything we need, so if you're thinking of giving us a gift, a monetary contribution towards our new home or our honeymoon would be greatly appreciated.'
    We also said that if people don't feel comfortable giving money, then my Mum has a few household items that we would like to replace and we gave her phone number. We then gave my Mum a list of about 4 things that we'd like new ones of. (A shiny hi-tech toaster and matching kettle, a set of sheets and a set of towels) I gave suggested brands and colours. The invites only went out 2 weeks ago and the RSVP isn't til the end of April, so Mum hasn't heard from anyone yet! Good luck!

    • ooo. I do like this! Many of the people on my list are low-tech, I like this a lot. I think I'm going to end up getting my mom to be our 'registry' too. 😀

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