Wedding Gifts: When is it Okay to Ask for Cash?

Emily Post is rolling in her grave. There appears to be a new practice of sending cute poems to wedding guests, ASKING FOR CASH IN LIEU OF WEDDING GIFTS. Make no mistake: these poems (or any other requests) are not cute… they’re rude.

And it seems to be spreading. A bride-to-be who is now claiming to be a wedding expert is using her blog to tell her friends that it’s a smart thing to do. Especially if you, like she and her fiancé, already own their own home filled with everything they need.

There seems to be a departure from the true spirit of receiving wedding gifts — your friends and family are celebrating their happiness for you with a gift. They know your situation. If you can’t use another toaster, blender or microwave, they will often give wine, theatre tickets, or –my personal favourite — a donation in your name to charity.

Sometimes, couples ask for money in order to pay for a wedding they couldn’t otherwise afford. It’s fine to put any cash gifts toward the wedding expenses, but to plan a wedding beyond your means and expect your guests to pay for it is unacceptable.

Always ready to cash in (pardon the pun) on a new trend, brides can now use special wedding registries that claim to “let you ask for cash without sounding tacky.” Even that sentence sounds tacky!

Other couples consider this to be similar to a traditional gift registry. In fact, some go far as to set up Go Fund Me accounts to pay for their weddings and honeymoons! Often this is to help pay for a destination wedding to which the donor won’t even be receiving an invitation!

Gift registries play an important role. They allow guests to chose a wedding gift that will coordinate with the vision a bride has for her home, and they are particularly useful for those who live far from the couple. However, it is in very poor taste to ask for gifts, and printing anything to that effect on the wedding invitation is the highest breach of etiquette.

There is only ONE acceptable way to potentially receive more cash than gifts. That is to not register. Guests will often do what is easiest for them, and if they are unsure of what you want they will often give you cash or a cheque.

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