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

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  • aliasojoaliasojo Forumite
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    MaamBritt wrote: »
    I think some of the replies on here are very hypocritical and unfair.

    But we don’t need things we need cash to pay for the wedding and honeymoon!

    Unbelievable. If you can't afford to pay for your wedding and honeymoon then cut back. It's like everything else in life, you can afford it, you have it. If you can't afford it, you don't have it. You certainly shouldn't expect people you invite to shell out to help cover your costs of your choices. As shell says, you can get married very cheaply, if you choose to have a big celebration then you pay for your own choice.

    Btw, you do know what hypocritical means? I ask because I wonder why you think those of us who feel asking for cash is out of line are hypocritical?

    Bring back the good old days when people had the right values in life.
    Herman - MP for all! :)
  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
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    aliasojo wrote: »
    Unbelievable. If you can't afford to pay for your wedding and honeymoon then cut back. It's like everything else in life, you can afford it, you have it. If you can't afford it, you don't have it. You certainly shouldn't expect people you invite to shell out to help cover your costs of your choices. As shell says, you can get married very cheaply, if you choose to have a big celebration then you pay for your own choice.

    Btw, you do know what hypocritical means? I ask because I wonder why you think those of us who feel asking for cash is out of line are hypocritical?

    Bring back the good old days when people had the right values in life.

    I have to agree, the saying 'cut your cloth according to your means' comes to mind.
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  • SuzeySuzey Forumite
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    MaamBritt wrote: »
    Yet we have had nothing but hassle from people wanting to invite themselves to the wedding and reception.


    If you cannot or do not want to have them at your wedding, you need to explain this to them and stick to your guns. From what you've said it looks like you have created a rod for your own back by allowing them to come because now you need more money to cover the cost of having them at the wedding.

    The honeymoon doesn't come into it as you had to the opportunity to choose one that you could afford - without contributions - in the first place (or postpone it, or forego it altogether). Some people find that contributions from guests (whether asked for or not) enables them to have a more expensive honeymoon than originally planned. Some people rely on contributions to fund the honeymoon they couldn't afford otherwise.

    MaamBritt wrote: »
    Others insisting that we let them have a wedding list. But we don’t need things we need cash to pay for the wedding and honeymoon!


    See my earlier point.

    MaamBritt wrote: »
    On our invitations we gave a bank account and said that if people wanted to give a money gift would be more useful to us. We have been overwhelmed with people’s generosity.


    So before the invitations went out, you had already decided all invitees were getting your bank details, whether they asked for them or not?

    Suze

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  • SuzeySuzey Forumite
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    Glad to see I'm not the only one who disagrees with the views expressed in the blog!
    Far too many think of wedding gifts as an added extra, yet financially it needs to play a core part in your plans.
    I think it is completely wrong for anyone to a) expect a gift and b) make plans based on the idea that they will receive a certain sum. Wedding gifts ARE an added extra!
    You’re likely to be shelling out a serious sum of cash for your wedding but lots of people are willing to effectively pay you back in return for going to the ceremony. In clinical terms you need to marry your expenditure with your one source of income on the big day.
    If people are willing to effectively pay you back then that's fine, but it shouldn't be expected.

    When people express opinions like this I do wonder where they're coming from. If you are a guest and you decide to give cash to as "payback" then you are at the mercy of the couple and whatever grand plans they have made, and therefore how much you are expected/expecting to pay back. You could almost say that since the guests are paying to attend, then they should have some say in what sort of party it is!

    Why not go one better and sell tickets...?

    People seem to forget that a big party and a honeymoon aren't compulsory and that they are not automatically entitled to them and some sort of monetary contribution towards them.
    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.
    Not sure how you can make gifts a core part of your plans if you are truly not going to ask for anything?
    Gift giving is a form of social banking

    Wedding gifts have historically been an effective societal mechanism for directing cash in local or familial economies to where it’s needed. Try to think of it in terms of a flow of money.

    Older generations would give gifts or money to younger ones to help them start off in life before they’d had time to build their own finances.
    Yes, historically (pre-1994) you would go the local church or register office and get married, so the ceremony itself was a lot cheaper than those in places like hotels these days. You were more likely to be living with your parents than cohabiting with your partner, and moving in with your new spouse after the wedding.

    These days it is more socially acceptable for couples to live together before marrying. Many couples have their own place, or at least have their own furnishings etc, so they don't need the same sort of support to set up home. The cost of the wedding ceremony is no longer limited to the statutory fee and people can use venues that charge hundreds/thousands of pounds. The average age of a newly-married couple is also higher than it used to be.

    All these things combined lead me to believe that the idea of social banking around weddings is less of a requirement than it used to be.

    Also, the only weddings I've been to in the past 10 years are those of friends who are the same age as me - so the social banking idea doesn't really work...
    With our current life patterns, asking for cash is fine
    In recent years things have changed radically, many couples already live together when they get married and have much of what is needed in their homes, whether it’s toasters, kettles or silverware. That means…
    perversely the biggest cost of getting married for many couples isn’t setting up home, but the wedding day itself.
    Therefore don’t be afraid to ask for cash on your wedding day, as it’s part of what a marriage is all about. Think about the common wedding ceremony – it asks others to "support the couple" and where needed that includes financially.
    It doesn't seem right that a couple who has all the household stuff they need should have a wedding they can't afford because everyone else will pay for it.
    In truth many weddings entail paying £50-£100 per head, per guest and the gift giving is a way of people subsidising the cost of their own attendance.
    What about the sums many guests spend on travel to out-of-town venues (and overnight accommodation if needed)? And, in some cases, the overseas hen/stag party?
    In many ways it’s becoming an accepted logic for attendees to consider the cost of their presence when deciding the scale of their presents.
    Yes, they could decide that the present will be small-scale as they had to shell out a lot for transport, accommodation etc :)
    How to ask for cash
    There are many ways this can be done: envelopes on the day, money into a special bank account, even perhaps a targeted ‘honeymoon’ fund, which many people find less clinical plus you don’t need to spend it all on the honeymoon.
    I particularly like those poems people write :p

    I just think whichever way you try and dress it up, it's vulgar. I don't mind giving a present, but I'll decide what my budget is. Just like the happy couple has decided what their budget is. I'm not throwing people £100 from me and £100 from my hubby to cover the costs of the wedding/honeymoon.
    As for how much guests should give, well that’s up to the individual as there are a number of factors involved – the closer they are to you the more they should give, the more expensive the wedding ceremony the more they should give, but if they’re struggling then the less you should expect.
    We didn't ask anyone for anything when we got married. To us it was about being married, not about having a wedding, so it was very low-key with just immediate family and a couple of close friends.

    MIL is quite chatty so all her friends and family knew we were getting married. She rang me up and said "they're all asking what to get you" which I thought was nice of them. I said we didn't need anything in particular and didn't expect any presents but named a couple of high street chains which they could get us vouchers from if they wanted to.

    Our wedding guests asked what we wanted and we said the same thing. One of my friends didn't ask, but insisted she organise and pay for the cake which was a very nice gesture. We hadn't made any plans for the cake at that stage so she decided her budget and asked us to choose from a range of options she had found.

    We went to a wedding last year where they said "don't buy us a present, donate to one of these two charities instead", which has its advantages and disadvantages, but at least shows that you're not mercenary...

    One last thing... I've been to countless weddings where we have bought the happy couple something from their list and not received so much as a text to say thank you for the gift. We don't get thank you notes from our niece and nephew either at Christmas or on their birthdays. As we're on the subject of customs, has the custom of thanking people for things died out?

    Suze
    Mortgage-free Wannabe!
    Borrowed £260000 in 8/2009
    Amount outstanding at 1/10/2012 is £10000/3.8%
    :j
  • edited 3 May 2011 at 12:26AM
    celyn90celyn90 Forumite
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    edited 3 May 2011 at 12:26AM
    Lady_S wrote: »
    I disagree with wedding gifts, and I am always completely amazed when people ask for cash.

    You might feel like you are doing it in a nice way, but there is no way of doing it nicely.

    At my own wedding we wanted people there rather than presents. We made this clear to everyone who was coming and that was that. If we received anything we were grateful for it. But we didn't expect anything from anyone. It was enough to have the people around me that I loved to witness my commitment to my husband.

    I agree. It's not about money and a show, it never should be.

    I don't agree with asking for anything, but I think asking for money is the height of rudeness, be it directly, as vouchers or with one of those vile websites asking for "cocktails on a beach". I hate it even more when it comes dressed up with an offensive little poem in a jokey attempt to disguise what is simply crass bad manners. It is simply impolite, no matter how you try to hide it.

    I also dislike it when couples fail to understand the cost of being a wedding guest. I read so many times about people saying they spent x per head and expect it back as a gift. That's just nasty, really nasty. You may as well just issue tickets to the highest bidders.

    I have a work collegue currently who is so worried about attending a wedding of a sibling as she can't afford the transport - let alone the potential of an overnight stay with three young kids, clothes (is a bridesmaid and is being expected to pay for a dress/shoes), food and allsorts as well as the expensive hen weekend she feels oblidged to attend. She is embarrased and stressed and noone should be made to feel like that.

    This is a moneysaving website - surely you should throw a party that you can afford and cut your cloth according to income. Expecting other people to pick up the tab is insensitive and unpleasent.

    Having just got married myself a couple of months ago (and yes, we paid for everything - flights, transport, airport parking, accomodation, food and drinks for all of our guests bar one friend who insisted on paying for the flights himself - and we had no gift list/mention of gifts). I simply cannot understand how people can be so mind-numbingly self absorbed that they fail to consider how their guests might feel. Okay, it's your big day, but not at the expense of everyone else. If it is just about you, then go off and do it on your own.
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  • MaamBrittMaamBritt Forumite
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    Few couples plan on the gifts paying for the wedding, but it is not easy to get into people's heads that you don't want gifts. Most people when they go to a wedding expect to bring a gift. Guests have their expectations and wishes for the couple and several, as we have seen in our case are willing to help the couple meet those expectations.

    When we announced to close family that we were getting married the first questions and comments we had deal with were along the lines of, "Who are you going to do your gift list with?" "You need to do a gift list". It never came from us because we never planned to do one. So we havd to explain why. We saw that it would just be a big hassle explaining why not to everyone that we decided to give the people the option of giving cash.

    Next we had to explain that we were going to have a very small reception, and we had to deal with criticism from this one and that one about why they weren't invited. When we answered honestly - we can't afford it we were told off for admitting that we could not afford it!

    Then there were friends who warned us about the dangers of not having a honeymoon and who threatened to pay towards the honeymoon for us to encourage us to book one so we have booked a cheap one.

    The list goes on.

    If guest have expectations we would rather them contribute something to meeting those expectations than just doing the done thing and buying us a gift we don't need or want.

    You can marry very cheaply and we are marrying very cheaply, but you can't marry for nothing. Simply publishing the bands and getting a registrar costs you over £150.
  • shellsuitshellsuit Forumite
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    MaamBritt wrote: »
    Few couples plan on the gifts paying for the wedding, but it is not easy to get into people's heads that you don't want gifts. Most people when they go to a wedding expect to bring a gift. Guests have their expectations and wishes for the couple and several, as we have seen in our case are willing to help the couple meet those expectations.

    When we announced to close family that we were getting married the first questions and comments we had deal with were along the lines of, "Who are you going to do your gift list with?" "You need to do a gift list". It never came from us because we never planned to do one. So we havd to explain why. We saw that it would just be a big hassle explaining why not to everyone that we decided to give the people the option of giving cash.

    Next we had to explain that we were going to have a very small reception, and we had to deal with criticism from this one and that one about why they weren't invited. When we answered honestly - we can't afford it we were told off for admitting that we could not afford it!

    Then there were friends who warned us about the dangers of not having a honeymoon and who threatened to pay towards the honeymoon for us to encourage us to book one so we have booked a cheap one.

    The list goes on.

    If guest have expectations we would rather them contribute something to meeting those expectations than just doing the done thing and buying us a gift we don't need or want.

    You can marry very cheaply and we are marrying very cheaply, but you can't marry for nothing. Simply publishing the bands and getting a registrar costs you over £150.

    Get married for £150 then ~ then you won't have to worry about the cost.
    Tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty...
  • I would not dream of asking for cash or of providing a wedding list. So crass.

    And this awful attitude of 'well, the meal that I just put on for you wasn't cheap y'know'... You'd have thought the guest asked them to put a meal on for them!

    Don't expect other people to pick up your bills. If you want that type of wedding, then pay for it. If you can't afford it but would still like people to be there to celebrate your wedding (as a favour to you - I assure you, and perhaps this will come as a shock to you, most people on your guestlist probably could not care less that you are getting married; it means nothing to them) then ask them to join you for a few drinks at a local bar after your service.

    If you really are so crude then at least don't try and pass it by under some fake kind of daylight robbery ('...if you would like to give a cash gift then here's how to do it...') - shamelessly stand outside the church with a bucket and a sign and embrace your crassness! You might as well... it's what the majority of people will be thinking...
  • emerald12emerald12 Forumite
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    I recently attended a wedding where the bride and groom had asked for cash towards there DIY projects at home.
    The wedding was very grand and would have cost thousands of pounds. I feel uneasy, being in a position of financial discomfort myself, of having to 'pay my way' to attend someones wedding.
    Just for me and my partner to attend the wedding cost us about £150 !

    There is a horrible expectation that now you must contribute financially to whatever fund the couple choose whether it be a honeymoon pot, home improvements etc. I thought marriage was about celebrating in your friends happiness, not reimbursing the costs of there wedding or paying for there honeymoon whilst you get yourself in debt to just try and attend the wedding!

    I dont want to sound mean, but this 'expectation' has gotten out of hand.
  • JudobirdJudobird Forumite
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    I am getting married July 2012 and I do not feel comfortable asking for gifts or otherwise. We have made the decision to get married and we have made the decision as to the nature of our ceremony and celebration so we don't feel any burden should be placed on our guests unnecessarily.

    As such we will not be mentioning gift lifts, presents, money or otherwise. The invite will just state the date time location etc. I would rather not obligate my guests, there has been a recession a lot of people have lost their jobs/experienced wage reduction and they have their own finances to prioritise. If they are generous enough to get us a gift we will be very grateful, however we will not be disappointed and judge people for it if they do not get us anything.
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