I recently had a wedding. It was a the most glorious day I ever had. But before that day when I and my wife said, “I Do” then had our first dance as a married couple in the reception, we had to spend a ton of money paying for the suppliers, the church and the reception.
We had the same burning question in your mind: “Is it OK to ask guests to give monetary gifts for our wedding?”
In a nutshell, yes.
When you look at the storage space of my mom’s house, you will still see tons of kettles, pots, irons and plates (and I think those in boxes were super old models of toasters). She and dad are now senior citizens. I tell you, newlyweds will never get to use all of their wedding gifts in a lifetime, if everyone gave appliances or kitchen stuff. Or blankets.
Asking for monetary gifts are now widely accepted. People are now wise enough to know that a newlywed couple will need all the financial support they can have because a) most of their funds probably went into the wedding already and b) a newlywed couple will start a new home and a new family and those cost money.
Are you asking your guests to pay up for the food they will eat on your reception? NO. The gift is optional and not giving a gift is perfectly OK. Make sure that fact is clear to your guests. You also have to make sure you make it clear where you will use the money for. Your friends and family will give cash not out of obligation, but because they want to. It will please your guests to know that their contribution to your honeymoon/house repairs/themed bedroom will be well spent.
I remember when I told my best man that if he will give me a gift, he should just put it in a red envelope. He did not bat an eyelash, and even schemed with me on how we can get our common friends to chip into my and my wife’s honeymoon pot.
But while many already understand that money is a NEED by the newlyweds, there will still be people who are oblivious to this fact. You can nudge them by these simple strategies I was able to come up by experience:
The first one is to use a close friend. I told my best friend that I am going to need money after the wedding, so he told all our friends that “he thinks” they should just give monetary gifts, not items. My wife did the same thing to her maid of honor. We also enlisted our parents to make our aunts and uncles to see the light.
The second one is to put it in your invitation. In your wedding invitation, you can add a small poem that says, you need monetary gifts. You can use what we added into our invitation:
Now we are to be Mr & Mrs
We don’t need a wedding list of dishes
We have two kettles, two toasters, two microwaves
And we have dreams for which we have to save.
If you would like to give us a gift
A cheque or vouchers would give us a lift
We like to think of it as our ‘Wishing Well’
Which will be filled with your love, we can tell!
Another idea: You can have a company (you can hire the people who will shoot your wedding video) to elegantly present your intentions. Have the videographers make a presentation on how you will spend the money they will give as a gift. Upload on Youtube, share on social media. Make it short and sweet, but sincere.
To summarize, it is OK to ask for monetary gifts, it is just a matter of how you will send your message across but please make it optional! Congratulations on your wedding!
Oh, and do thank your guests for the gifts. Whether it is money or toaster! (How? The video below was very helpful when we were in your shoes!)