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Ask the Expert: How can we ask for cash instead of gifts without sounding greedy?

28 Mar 2017

Get the answers to all your burning questions in the 'Ask the Expert' blog series, from Marie Haverly of Isabella Weddings Planning and Consultancy

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Marie Haverly, wedding planner-turned-agony-aunt, is back for her third instalment of Ask the Expert, answering another bride's burning question while offering her words of wisdom.

Q: My future hubby and I already have a home and therefore, don’t really want gifts. However, we’d love a contribution to our honeymoon or maybe towards the wedding. How can we tastefully ask for cash as a gift?

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We, British, are not very good at asking for cash at the best of times. If you are invited to a Polish or Mexican wedding then you might well find yourself joining in on a traditional ‘money dance’, which sees you pinning money on the bride and sometimes the groom. This is a fun custom and one where ultimately everyone enjoys giving and receiving in a fun way. However, actually asking for cash outright still has a stigma attached to it, after all, people like to think their gift is well thought out and perhaps cash in an envelope won’t feel as ‘personal’ as some would hope. There is hope, however, and some easier ways out there to suggest this gift alternative to your guests that won’t offend or upset.

First off, you can use one of the many poems out there today. Ask your stationery company or search the internet for some lovely options, many of which soften the awkwardness of asking for a cash donation, such as:

As we’ve lived together for a year or two,
We really don’t need anything new.
But if you were thinking of getting us a small wedding gift,
Some money for our honeymoon wouldn’t go amiss.

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Another option might be to focus on a project rather than just ‘cash’. This could be a gardening fund where people buy you gift vouchers towards a garden makeover or furniture, such as the Wedding Garden Company, or a local garden centre would be great too.

Perhaps you could set up a honeymoon fund at your local travel agent; many of the leading brands offer a system where people can contribute towards your chosen or desired holiday after the wedding. Online gift list providers, such as Prezola, also offer this service. Maybe an experience voucher would be nice, too; you could ask for something towards a skydive experience, shark diving or wine tasting in France, all of which might be something you wouldn’t necessarily book for yourselves.

Just remember, for guests it’s not about just giving a stash of cash... they want to know that they have contributed to something meaningful and personal. So if you can reassure them that their money will be enjoyed in a unique way, you can cut out a lot of the tricky conversations.

Don’t forget to say thank you afterwards and send them some photos of that skydive.

Images: Lightbox Studios

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