'Don't be afraid to ask for wedding cash instead of gifts' blog discussion

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  • atypicalatypical Forumite
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    Asians have been doing this since forever I think. The card will read "no gifts please". It's actually read as "no gifts please, only cash" - but is largely unnecessary since it's a given anyway. If you're not very close it's traditional to give £21.

    The only substantial exchange of gifts occurs between the bride and grooms family. There's a complicated cultural scheme of who gives what but it's mainly Asian suits and (importantly) gold jewellery. It'll tend to be the bride's family who gives more as there's still an element of "giving the bride away" to another family to look after.

    Household items are rarely given unless the couple are definitely moving into a new home.
  • I'd rather know what the couple are wanting than waste my money or give cash where a present is preferred and have the couple pretend they are over the moon with it and it makes more sense to have that included in the invite rather than me having to ask around, plus it's embarrassing to be asked what you want in my opinion, I hate being asked what I want for my birthday/christmas.
  • edinburgheredinburgher Forumite
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    Asians have been doing this since forever I think. The card will read "no gifts please". It's actually read as "no gifts please, only cash" - but is largely unnecessary since it's a given anyway. If you're not very close it's traditional to give £21.

    Of course it's fine to ask for cash (or not ask for it, as the case may be ;)) if it's a cultural tradition. I'd argue for those of us who fall into the general mass of white British judeo-christian sentiment, it's definitely not a cultural tradition. Doesn't mean that traditions shouldn't change, but this isn't one particular one that I think needs updated.

    It was my understanding that you got married because you loved someone and you invited people to the wedding because you wanted them to share in your happiness - not make them pick up part of the tab for an overly ostentatious celebration that you don't need and can't afford.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    I simply don't think its rude to suggest cash. I do take the point about 'asking' for gifts - which wasn't the aim of the blog. So I have added the following sentence in on the back of some of the comments above...

    "Of course etiquette rightly suggests no one should 'ask for gifts' so what we're really talking about here is whether you can express a preference for cash over presents for those who want to give."

    In my view this is fine. In fact when I go to a wedding where the couples preferences aren't listed and there is no mention of what their preference is - I find it difficult and off putting. I would prefer clear direction so that when I follow the cultural convention of giving I at least know it will go to some use.

    That isn't to say the "presence no presents" route (which I used at my own wedding) isn't fine for those who choose or can afford to do so. Yet if you are expecting gifts and aren't putting people off from doing so - direction is good.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • donquinedonquine Forumite
    695 Posts
    I have no problems with giving cash instead of a present and have happily done so before, but there are an awful lot of regulars who think it's incredibly rude. As said above, this is a topic that gets discussed time and time again on MSE.

    Vouchers generally are deemed more socially acceptable, but I think they're a terrible idea as they limit what you can do (if you're tied to one retailer, you can't shop around for the best deal) and you run the risk of the retailer going into liquidation and the vouchers being worth at most, a couple of pence in the pound.

    Personally, I think weddings are so controversial that if I get my way, I will get married with two witnesses and that will be it. If there aren't any guests, there's no giant expense of paying for them and no presents/cash issue. Sorted. :D
  • rinabeanrinabean Forumite
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    Of course you expect gifts for a wedding. It's rude to ask for them outright, but if you don't take a gift to a party of any type you are extremely rude. Of course you are paying for your dinner. You don't have to pay the exact amount but you at least make a token gesture. Do you rude people not take gifts to dinner parties, birthday parties, and so on? I bet everyone looooves to invite you after seeing your good manners. Why is a wedding seen as different? In fact it's probably the biggest party people will throw in their lives.
  • BrodiebobsBrodiebobs Forumite
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    When we married we'd been together 10 years, lived as a familiy with kids for 7 years. We married abroad and had a reception when we returned. Obviously we already had all the household stuff but wanted a honeymoon alone without the kids.

    We didnt expect any gifts just wanted everyone to celebrate our wedding. In our invites we put "we request your presence, not your presents, but if you wish to gift us anything cash or vouchers would be appreciated". Most people gave us cash and we used this for a break away enclosing a photo of us on honeymoon in the thank-you cards so people knew what we'd spent it on.

    As far as i knew no-one thought it was rude, and a few friends who a re getting married have pinched our idea!
  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
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    Personally I think it is rude to ask for anything when you get married be it money, gift vouchers or actual presents. I think that asking for money towards the honeymoon is particularly distasteful as others have said if you can't afford it then don't have it. You should accept anything which is given in the spirit which it is given. If that means you get duplicates then so be it.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

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  • Dave3066Dave3066 Forumite
    20 Posts
    My Fiancee and I get married in Aug this year and we've been saving up for the wedding for 4 years now. This will be my second marriage and before meeting we didn't really need anything that you might view as a traditional wedding gift. So that's pretty much what we've said on our weeding invitations ie we have told people that we don't need anything but if they wanted to give us cash it would be most welcome. The cheques have started rolling in.......;)

    Dave
  • bylromarhabylromarha Forumite
    10.1K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    First marriage, young couple, okay, not a problem. We gave a large contribution to a great mate who got wed a few years back as they literally had nothing.

    A couple who've been living together for a few years, have set up home, have had some nice holidays, got most up to date gadgets. No way would I give them cash. If they want cash, then do without the gadgets and save it yourself.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
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