Wedding Advice: Can you ask for money instead of traditional wedding gifts?
by Stephanie

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Question: Can you ask for money instead of traditional wedding gifts? And what's a tactful way to do that?

KAELLA'S ANSWER: Whatever you do, don’t mention gifts on your invitation. To do so would make it seem your main concern is receiving gifts, instead of their presence at a very special occasion. You really can’t require monetary gifts and actually you should never ask for specific gifts, monetary or otherwise. So what can you do? Use word-of-mouth tactics. Let people know (if they ask) that you would prefer cash gifts. Also, tell your immediate family and wedding party too, so they can spread the word when asked. On the bright side, there are now many non-traditional registry websites that essentially allow one to ask for cash in a non-tacky way. A honeymoon registry, like Honeyfund, allows guests to give you the gift of “surfing lessons” or “a nice dinner” while on your honeymoon. Some guests may feel uncomfortable or tacky giving cash and will buy you material gifts, so you may want to register for a few items somewhere. Receive these gifts graciously and be sure to write thank you notes for all your gifts. I recommend including how any cash gifts received will be spent in your thank you notes.

RACHEL'S ANSWER: There are a lot of “rules" surrounding wedding gift etiquette, and while I don’t necessarily understand or agree with all of them (another post for another day, perhaps), I’ll share the sort of commonly-accepted etiquette. The most tactful way to ask for money is via word of mouth -- let your parents and close friends know that this is your preference, and they can mention it to guests when the topic comes up. That feels more like a helpful tip rather than a direct order. Another option is to do a honeymoon registry or cash registry. But while these might be fine for younger generations, some older generations still like to do household gifts, so it doesn’t hurt to register for some household items too. There will always be people who don’t want the couple to see exactly how much they spent or who are just opposed to cash gifts on principle, so options are always appreciated.

About our Kaella & Rachel:Kaella Wilson is the founder of Kaella Lynn Events, a wedding planning and design boutique based in San Francisco. She believes the difference is in the details. Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate celebration, Kaella combines artistic design with meticulous planning and management to produce a memorable event that represents your style. Follow her on twitter @KaellalynnRachel Wilkerson is a writer and community manager living in sin in Houston, TX. She also happens to be planning her wedding! You can see more of her writing on her brand-new blog The House Always WinsFollow her on twitter @RachelGettingIt

Need more wedding advice? Read Kaella’s previous posts:

Image via Jose Villa

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