How to Ask for Money Instead of Gifts for a Wedding

Politely, of course!

Wedding monetary gift

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Whether you've lived together for years and don't really need to upgrade your kitchen appliances and linens, have a tiny space that won't fit any new purchases, or are working on a project that's getting pricey, sometimes all you really want as a wedding gift is cash. If you're wondering how to ask for money instead of gifts for your wedding, it requires a bit of tact.

Asking for cash for a wedding gift might rub some family members and friends the wrong way, so we outlined the best tips when it comes to asking for and handling cash gifts.

Use a Cash Registry Website

For those more tech-savvy guests, turn to a cash registry site. There are many options, including:

  1. Zola: Zola allows you to ask for cash gifts, honeymoon contributions, and physical gifts all on one all-inclusive registry.
  2. Honeyfund: If you're primarily interested in cash for your honeymoon specifically, this honeymoon registry has fun breakdowns where guests can contribute to upgrading your airfare or paying for an exciting excursion.

Never Ask for Cash on Your Wedding Invitation

The one place your request for cash should never be included? Your wedding invitation. Registry information of any kind doesn't belong here. Instead, add it to your wedding website. You can include your wedding website on the invitation, however, or as an insert in your wedding invitation suite.

Be Specific About How You'll Use the Cash

Cash or a check can feel impersonal, so letting guests know where the money will go helps your guests feel more connected to the two of you and your plans. If you're in the middle of a big project, like renovating your home or moving across the country, let guests know about it on your wedding website. Adding a more personal touch with the story of how the project got started, how far along you are, and even the pitfalls you've faced along the way (now that you know how expensive it is to rewire your whole house) will both make your guests feel more connected to your lives and also serve as a plea for help that they'll be more inclined to answer.

Ask Your Parents and Wedding Party to Spread the Word

Make sure to let your parents and bridal party know that you'd prefer cash (as well as why) and encourage them to tactfully spread the word. Chances are guests will ask them what they should get you, and this will prepare them to share what you’re saving for, whether it’s the trip of a lifetime, a kitchen remodel, or a down payment on a home you can call your own. They can then suggest that your guests make a contribution to your savings fund instead of getting you a new toaster.

Set up a Traditional Registry

Don’t skip the traditional registry altogether. You’re guaranteed to have a few guests who prefer to give you a physical gift, so make the process easier for them by registering for a selection of items you really want.

Set Out a Box for Cards at the Reception

Not everyone will use your cash registry. Instead, they'll bring a check or cash to the reception. Buy (or craft) a card box that you can designate for cards at the reception. Ask your planner or maid of honor to periodically check the box throughout the evening.

They can collect the cards you’ve received and put them in a safe place so you don’t have to worry about money wandering off, and your guests can give their gifts with a little peace of mind.

Ideally, Checks Should Be Made Out to Both Of You

Guests might address your checks in a variety of ways: to just the groom, to just the bride (under her maiden name), to the bride (using her new married name), or to both of you. The best way (if anyone asks) is to address the check to both of you, using "or" instead of "and."

For example, let's say Mariah Nichols marries Joe Griffin. Ideally, the check will be made out to "Mariah Nichols or Joe Griffin." That will allow for seamless transactions at the bank. In the event that Mariah changes her name to Griffin, she can bring along her old and new I.D., as well as her marriage license to the bank. While you won't be dictating how guests make out checks, of course, it's still good information to know just in case someone asks. Remember, then, to stick with both of your names and "or" for smooth deposits.

Stick to Physical Gifts for Your Bridal Shower

You might be tempted to ask for cash and gift cards at your bridal shower as well, but that's a little trickier. Of course, you'd be thrilled to have extra cash in your pocket (who wouldn't be?), but it's better to steer clear of any requests for cash at this event. Why? Unlike a wedding, a major part of a bridal shower is unwrapping presents. Even if you already have a furnished home, you could probably stand to replace heavily used items like sheets and towels, or upgrade to some shiny new cookware.

But if you really want to skip the registry, your bridesmaids should rethink the party plans and instead organize a gathering that, accordingly, isn't gift-focused. A relaxing spa day, perhaps? You shouldn't expect gifts if you do this, but you can expect to have a great time with your best girls.

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