I have some great news: we got married! I’m telling all about it in my next post, but for now, here’s a sneak-peak tip on how to let your guests know you prefer money as a wedding gift.
I see nothing wrong with saying you prefer cash for a wedding gift. Everyone wants cash, but not everyone feels comfortable saying it.
So here are some tips on how to ask for cash for wedding gift:
— DO NOT print it on the invitation. No matter how cleverly or playfully you word it, it’s tacky to give invitations with strings attached. Also, when you look at your wedding invitations 15 years from now, do you really want to see a request for cash printed there?
–If you decide not to print invitations (we didn’t), you’ll invite people personally or over the phone; that’s you verbal invitation. Verbal and printed invitations follow the same rule: DO NOT mention gifts. Unless of course the guest asks you what gifts you prefer.
Do not speak of gifts at the time of invitation.
Once your printed or verbal invitations are all done, now is the time to talk money.
— If a guest so much as mentions the word “gift” in a conversation, use that opportunity to smile and say “If you’re planning on bringing a gift, we prefer cash, if possible” or “We’re telling our guests that, if someone’s bringing a gift, we prefer cash if possible.”
— If you don’t get such an easy opportunity to weave it into the conversation, you have to be the one to bring it up. In a wedding-related conversation, whenever the topic at hand is exhausted, smile and say “Also, we’re telling all our guests that, if someone’s bringing a gift, we prefer cash if possible.”
Always use the phrase “if someone’s bringing a gift.” That way it doesn’t sound as if gifts are expected or mandatory.
— If someone asks you how to present the cash gift, tell them any way is okay. A really elegant way to do it is to put cash (or bank receipt) in an envelope along with a greeting card.
— If someone says they’re not comfortable giving you cash, say “That’s okay” or “That’s okay, we understand” and let them be. If they say they insist on a more traditional present, say “That’s okay too.”
Sometimes people can’t afford a cash gift and are giving you a hand-made gift or something else that won’t cost them money but is still valuable to you.
And yet another way to ask for cash for a wedding gift – if you’re just not comfortable saying it yourself – is to have someone else spread the owrd.
My husband had invited his co-workers to the wedding, as had I. We didn’t print invitations so everyone was invited either in person or over the phone. Neither of us spoke about gifts at the time of invitation.
One day he came home from work and said one of his closer co-workers approached him and quietly asked how we felt about a coffee maker as a collective gift from all his co-workers. My husband just said we didn’t really need a coffee maker and left it at that – he didn’t feel comfortable saying we want cash. He said to me:
“What was I supposed to do – make a round of my colleagues and just tell them we want cash?!”
“Course not! Just talk to that guy you’re close with, and tell him that if the guys are going to get us a gift, we prefer cash if possible.”
“You think he’ll spread the word?”
“Sure! People want to give appropriate gifts. I think your other co-workers might actually approach him themselves. Maybe they sent him to talk to you and find out what we want.”
And it worked like a charm. At our wedding, we only received three non-cash gifts:
— one friend gave us a pardon on some money we owed him; we love it.
— one family gave us a high-end cutlery set. We appreciate it, but we have no use for it.
— one group of friends gave us 5 nights at a mountain hotel. We appreciate it, but we have no time to use it. At best, we might use 2 nights and bring another couple with us.
Don’t get me wrong: the most important thing for us was to have all our friends at our wedding. Yes, we preferred cash gifts, but when we got a non-cash gift, it wasn’t a big deal – we were just happy that our friends had made an effort to share our big day with us.
I read online that some people think it’s rude to say you prefer a cash gift. I’d say, people who really care about you will come to you and ask you what kind of gift you’d like. If someone can’t afford a cash gift, that’s okay, but I don’t think saying you prefer cash is rude or that you shouldn’t do it.
After all, the whole point of bringing gifts to a wedding is to help the newlyweds start their life together.
Cash is definitely better than a coffee-maker.