How to (politely) ask for money instead of a wedding gift

Most modern couples prefer to ask for money in lieu of a wedding gift. You’re probably reading because you’re feeling the same way but you’re struggling to find the right wording to avoid getting wedding gifts you don’t want/need because let’s face it, cash is king.

A conversion about finances and money is always uncomfortable, especially for Australians. In this blog post, we’re going to find answers to a few sensitive questions, namely:

The Problem(s)

Is it rude to ask for money as a wedding gift?

What wording should you use on the wedding invitation when asking for a monetary gift?

Is it even appropriate to ask for money?

And, isn’t the thought behind a gift (monetary or otherwise) enough?

We’re here to find out.

Couples before you have written poems or come up with cute quotes to mask the harsh reality of truth.

Poems such as this one:

To save you looking,
shopping and buying,
Here’s an idea we hope you’ll like trying!

Come to our wedding
to wish us both well,
And make some use
of our little wishing well.

Just put some money into a card,
Now make a wish …
See, that wasn’t hard!

Reading between-the-lines, the poem (read: the couple) essentially says “please give us cash instead of some household appliance that we may already have or will have to return (please include the receipt!) because you chose the cheapest model.”

Perhaps you can dress up the poem by having the words professionally handwritten by a skilled calligrapher and having your wedding invite printed onto some really expensive paper stock but at the end of the day, you’re really just asking for the obvious.

There used to be a time when wedding registers were all the rage where every couple would set one up with a retailer like David Jones. But those days are gone – modern couples like you want to pick their own home furnishings. They would rather receive something useful than something that adds to waste and nothing is as useful and widely accepted than cash.

I don’t know about you but giving a present is the easy part. The hardest part to giving a gift is actually choosing the damn gift! It takes many hours of deliberation and even when you’ve decided, finding it is always a challenge.

So make it easier for your wedding guests.

Avoid Making These Mistakes

Asking for money instead of wedding gifts can feel a bit dirty but doing it in a cringeworthy manner is a greater sin in my opinion.

When asking for cash instead of wedding gifts, definitely avoid doing the following:

  1. Not actually asking for cash on your wedding invites because some wedding blog told you not to do so.
  2. Googling for a “cute ways to ask for money” (like the one from above).
  3. Deferring to a digital cash wedding registry service such as Zola or Honeyfund because you’ll lose a percentage in fees.
  4. Making the assumption in your choice of words that your friends and family should financially contribute to your first home, honeymoon, lifestyle choices, recuperate wedding costs etc.
  5. Telling your guests how you will spend the money – especially suggesting that you will be donating it to a charity of your choosing when you have no intention of doing so.

So now that we’ve established what not to do, allow me to show you how to exactly ask for cash in lieu of wedding gifts.

What’s The Best Wording To Ask For Monetary Wedding Gifts Only

Look, we’re all adults here so if cash is what you want instead of physical wedding gifts, then do so.

And here is how to do it and the exact words to do it by:

“We’d love it if you could put some money towards our life together.”

That’s all there is to it – thirteen words (including one contraction).

There’s no need to beat around the bush. No need for padding (e.g., saying that their time is the most precious gift – even though it is, but here you are asking for more).

There’s no need to specify what the monetary gift will be used towards (e.g., I’ve seen some wedding invitations mention that the wishing well will go towards buying a first home, a honeymoon etc). Keeping it as “towards our life together” is vague yet specific-enough.

Nobody wants to be told how you will be spending your money, after all, that’s what gossip is for.

Keep it simple.

Keep it real.

No, it is not rude to ask for money for a wedding gift. You’re simply being specific so that you don’t waste your guests’ valuable time.

There’s always someone who is going to find offence to something but usually, it is more a reflection on their insecurities rather than on your choice of words. And if you slip in those 13 words – “We’d love it if you could put some money towards our life together.” into your wedding invite, nobody is going to bat an eyelid.

So marry on.

2 thoughts on “How to (politely) ask for money instead of a wedding gift”

  1. Hello, your column is very interesting. We are soon having a 50th golden wedding and deciding on a nice but no offensive words to put. We are already in our over 70’s and had accumulated so much stuff over our years together. Instead we would like some nice words to put ‘ something like money (cash) as gifts towards travelling together. Can you recommend a poem or a simple 1 liner statement that will be appreciated by our guests. I read your website and wondering if I can use some wordings there.

  2. As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of poems or telling recipients how/where the money will be spent. Given your age, I think you can afford to be direct. I originally suggested using this – “We’d love it if you could put some money towards our life together.” You’re welcome to use it or even the poem if you feel as though it reflects who you are.

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