Requesting money instead of gifts

nita1950August 6, 2004

My best friend is getting married, second time for both of them. They have a lot of stuff and she told me that she'd rather have money rather than gifts. They don't need any household stuff. I told her that I have been in many, and been to many weddings and never have seen money as the requested gift in lieu of gifts. I thought that this was an unusual request and don't want her feelings hurt. I have seen money trees at receptions. She was told by another that if anyone that she knew asked her what she would like, that she should tell them that she would prefer a monetary gift. She has decided that she would share this request with those close to her. She is still concerned about getting those things that she just doesn't need. I really don't know how to advise her here.. I am her matron of honor and would like to give her suggestions on this situation to think about. I don't want her feelings hurt and I don't want anyone to be offended. Please share your take on this. She is inviting close to 100 people to the wedding.

Thanks Nita

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With 100 close friends and family invited, do you not think that the majority of them would know better than to get them a coffee-maker? I'm thinking most of them know the situation and would give money anyway.....Our DD and her Fiance are in the same boat, have everything even tho' it's their first marriage, so they registered for 'some' things (who doesn't need extra sheets, blankets, etc) and a few small appliances that needed replacing, but other than that, everyone else will likely give money....seems that so many young people are doing that nowadays.

I imagine if you're asked where they're registered, you could just say that since it's a second marriage and they're quite comfortable with what they have, they didn't register anywhere. (((hint, hint))) You could mention that gift certificates would be lovely....but I hope your friend knows that some people will always choose a gift over money...I suspect most of the guests will understand he situation.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 7:36PM
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Since they have everything I would hope most ppl would know better than to get them gifts that they can not use. I'd rather give money than a gift I can only return for store credit...thats just my oppinnion.
I am stumped on the part about how you tell your guests this without being tacky.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 12:48AM
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I agree that there is no way to tell guests proactively without it being impolite. I also agree that if guests ask, they may be told that the couple has most household things and hasn't registered anywhere, at which time most guests will assume that cash is most appreciated. (As it often is at weddings.)

But if they get a gift other than money, the bride and groom must appear equally thankful.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 7:51AM
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As you are apparently aware, it is considered bad manners for the bride and groom to mention anything in writing, such as placing a note in their invitations, indicating that they want money (you may be surprised how many couples actually do this). However, when guests inquire, it is acceptable to tell them that money or a gift certificate would be most appreciated. It is also okay for the wedding party and family to spread the word when asked. That is usually the easiest way to let guests know. If they take the time to inquire, then you can figure that they really want to get something that the couple can use.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 11:46AM
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I think your friend is doing the right thing -- she isn't proactively announcing, much less sending out instructions, that she prefers cash to gifts. By telling just close family and close friends, the word will get around enough, and that's all she should do.

The only thing that puts me off a bit is your comment that she is "concerned about getting those things that she just doesn't need." This is a "concern"? That someone might give you a gift you don't want? Like any other gift, for any other occasion, you accept it with gracious thanks. Then you can give it away, sell it, exchange it, or whatever you want. But you can't try to direct your guests' generosity in advance to something you want instead, whether it's cash or anything else, as if you were entitled to gifts of your choice (or to gifts at all, for that matter). The outer limit is to register items (and NEVER distribute the information except to people who specifically ask) and to discreetly inform your "inner circle" of your preferences as she did, and that's it. If you get something you don't want, too bad (it should only be the worst problem you ever have!). It is up to the guests to do what they want. Many guests, of course, want to know what would please the couple most, but ultimately every gift is voluntary, let alone size and type of gift.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 12:05PM
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Feelings/attitudes about cash gifts vary enormously by region and social circle. Among the majority of people I know, cash gifts are considered not-quite-nice, as if the person couldn't be bothered to take the time to select something they think the couple might like. And in a way, it's kind of like having the price tag on the gift, huh? It feels like a "payment" rather than a gift.

I'm sure all of us received gifts we didn't care for or couldn't use. A discreet return to the store (if possible), sale on eBay, or donation to charity is the way to deal with those. After all, it's not like they are losing anything if they give something away that they don't really want/need to begin with, right?

That reminds me, I have an item in the back of a closet that I've been meaning to donate somewhere.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 1:38PM
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How about requesting either vouchers from a certain store of their choice or, what we did, was we requested travel vouchers - which essentially paid for our honeymoon.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 1:56PM
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There is no "nice" and "nontacky" way to ask for money. A money tree is gauche, IMO.

If you are her MOH, people will ask you what the bride/groom want or need. You can tell them they'd prefer cash, but DO NOT, in ANY case, put the request for money in writing - either in an invitation or email or whatever.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 11:50PM
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YOU can tell people that money is probably the wisest gift. So can other friends and family, if someone asks them. SHE can't.

You shouldn't say that SHE wants money; you should simply say, should anyone ask what to get her, that you know they have so much stuff, being from established households, and that money seems the most sensible gift since you know they're saving up for XYZ.

You can also fall back on the "well, I personally am giving them money," or even "I know several people who have decided simply to give them some money." Let's here it for those amorphous "other people"!

I'm w/ Gellchom, your friend is doing the only acceptable thing, which is to mention to family and friends.

You might encourage her to register for a few things to help those who're uncomfortable giving cash.

New towels in a new color, a clean toaster, whatever.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 12:19PM
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This may be a Canadian concept, but many people put "Presentation" on the invitation. That is known and understood to suggest a money gift - not considered tacky, inappropriate or any of those things.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 10:40AM
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Unfortunately, in the U.S. "presentation" or anything resembling it is considered a breach of etiquette. I would disagree that it isn't considered tacky by those who live in Canada, at least by some people. I answer questions from viewers on two web sites and I receive questions about receiving an invitation with "presentation" on it. At least the viewers who take the time to write find that it is presumptious of the couple to tell guests what they expect or to imply that a gift is expected at all.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 7:21PM
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We did pretty much the same thing. My husband and I didn't need much in the way of household goods, so we registered at Sears for a few items we could use and then when close friends or family asked us what we wanted we told them about the register but also that the only thing we really wanted was help with the honeymoon. We got mostly cash and gift certificates (which were for places like Linens 'n Things and we did get sheets for the new bed) so we actually were able to pay for the honeymoon and not fret over it while we were away.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 4:02PM
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