This is a question that comes up often when talking to engaged couples. “How do you ask for cash instead of wedding gifts?” Or more accurately “How do you politely and nicely ask for money as a wedding gift?”.
So, let’s take a look at the different ways you can ask for cash in place of a wedding gift, answer all of your questions and find the way that works best for you and your guests!
Doesn’t asking for money instead of wedding gifts sound grabby?
Couples are always concerned that they don’t want to appear grabby or ungrateful but the truth is that asking for what you really want is the most thoughtful thing you can do for your guests too!
It makes it so much easier and stress-free for friends to know that they are giving you something that is really wanted and appreciated. Oh and giving a gift of money via Patchwork is friendly, joyful, personal and as one of our kind reviewers once said “It was very easy, I was able to do it all without moving from my chair”. What more could you want?
Isn’t asking for cash as a wedding gift awkward?
Yes asking for cold hard cash for your wedding present is awkward. Asking someone to hand over cash or deposit money in to your bank account is a bit cringey and embarrassing.
But with a Patchwork wedding registry you are not asking for money as your wedding gift. You are asking friends and family to make dreams come true – and that is a completely different thing!
When you invite guests to help you to wake up on your honeymoon to an ocean view, or have alfresco lunch on a beautiful Greek island, or drink cocktails on a rooftop, or hike in the mountains, or visit family in Australia – somehow it doesn’t sound like you’re asking for money.
You are asking for their help to fund experiences that mean the world to you. Experiences that will be treasured forever, and appreciated more than anything else.
Already got too much stuff so just want money?
These days, couples are rarely short of “stuff”, and most would rather enjoy time together as a couple. So asking friends and family for contributions towards a honeymoon fund is still no.1 on most couples’ money wedding gift lists.
Even if you’ve paid for your honeymoon yourselves, you can ask guests for those treats that make it extra special. For example: unlimited cocktails, eating in the best restaurants, sightseeing tours, hotel or flight upgrades, or just a new book to read by the pool!
If travel isn’t a priority, many are saving up for one big item like a deposit on their first home. Guests can chip in towards a new front door, a patch of garden, a window, or just a brick or ten. Other popular wedding registry ideas are money towards a home renovation or garden project. Other experience gifts are a year full of fun date nights, or a National Trust membership.
You can add absolutely anything to your Patchwork wedding gift list to make it totally yours and really personal. Need someone to dog sit while you’re away on honeymoon? Always wanted to try a new hobby, or learn a new skill as a couple? Or perhaps go back to that place you first holidayed together?
The more of yourselves, your plans and your dreams you can inject in to your page the more your friends and family will love visiting it, AND feel really good about gifting you generously!
What if we don’t know where we’re going on honeymoon or exactly how we’ll spend our gift money?
If we’ve learned one thing lately it’s that plans sometimes have to change! Because Patchwork is the most flexible gift registry it doesn’t matter at all if your plans aren’t set in stone. You can even change your mind along the way.
A Patchwork wedding registry is a fully-functioning ‘mood board’ showing guests all the things you’d love them to help fund. It might be a honeymoon, something for the home, charitable contributions or a little bit of each. Everything on your patchwork represents an idea, a dream, or a goal.
Even if these ideas change at a later date, they will help your guests connect with your future plans and feel happy about the gifts they are giving. The reality is that you’ll collect all money direct, in to your bank account and you’ll have complete control over how, when and where you’ll spend it.
Can’t people just deposit money in to our bank account?
Yes they can. If you just want a transaction, and are happy to be quite frank and explicit with bank details and so on, this is certainly an option. However, it does deprive your guests of the fun and enjoyment that comes with gifting – in fact our recent survey found that 50% of wedding guests find it ‘joyless and transactional’, 30% think it’s ‘awkward’ and another 10% actually find it ‘quite rude’.
The happy and satisfied feeling that comes with knowing you are bringing joy to someone you care about is completely removed when it’s a simple cash transaction. It can feel like an emotionless donation of money, which whilst might be practical, isn’t celebratory or personal. It also leaves the person sending the money completely clueless as to how it will be spent, or what it will mean to you, and it makes it hard for them to convey their good wishes along with their gift.
What about old-fashioned cash in an envelope or a wedding fund money box?
If you want to go old-school you can leave a discreet money box on a table in your venue and hope that guests come prepared! You’re taking your chances a little here hoping that people have access to cash. Or they’ll need to make the cheques out in the right names (do people even use cheques any more?!). You might possibly also spend a bit of time worrying about money going missing or knowing who’s given you what.
This is a traditional way of giving money wedding gifts in many cultures. However, cash is becoming far less used generally and with security issues and recent Covid concerns it’s perhaps a less popular option today.
Cash without the cringe.
People often agonise about how to ask for money without offending anyone or seeming rude. A lot of the “money poems” out there that are designed to remove the embarrassment. But they actually create it by drawing attention to the fact that you are indeed, asking for money! If you start with.. “let’s get the awkward bit out of the way” or “please don’t think we’re rude” you’re really giving the impression that there is something awkward or that you are being rude.
With a Patchwork registry this whole issue magically disappears. At no point are you having to say “we’re asking for money” because you’re kind of not! You’re simply showing your guests your joint dreams and plans. You’re inviting them to contribute in a way that’s meaningful, personal and suited to every budget. It’s seamless, joyful, secure and is without the teeniest bit of embarrassment or awkwardness!
What if we really don’t want any wedding gifts?
As with most of our Patchwork couples, the vast majority of people who are planning a wedding already live together and have all the household items they need. In fact in many cases couples are blending together two homes so possibly have double the amount they’ll ever need!
Some couples have told us they aren’t setting up a registry because they don’t want any gifts at all. They then come back to Patchwork two weeks before the wedding in a slight panic because everyone is demanding to know what they can get them! Or worse, they don’t set up a wedding gift list. This ends up with all kinds of random kitchenware and bedlinen sets that end up occupying cupboard and drawer space for years to come.
If there’s really nothing you’d love and you’d rather not receive any gifts at all, how about accepting donations on behalf of a charity or voluntary group? You can collect money direct via your patchwork gift list and add patches for different charitable causes. And your friends and family can still leave lovely messages of congratulations for you. Then once you’ve received all of your wedding cash contributions you can send to the charities you have chosen and get a huge dose of feeling good!
Asking for what you really want – nicely.
In summary, asking for cash as a wedding gift is kinder to the planet (less waste). It’s more practical for your guests (no shopping stress) and more fun for you (honeymoon here we come!) More than any other occasion in life – a wedding is a time when you really can be honest about what you want. Enjoy showing everyone your plans, knowing that they really do want to treat you both to something special. So don’t be shy.. have a play around with some of our honeymoon fund or wedding registry templates and see which ones inspire you!
It’s easy to share your page via a unique URL and then all you have to do is sit back and see the cash contributions and lovely messages come rolling in! All gifts are logged in your account and you’ll have names and emails for all contributors. Once your wedding day is over you can send thanks via your patchwork page to everyone who chipped in – you can even send photos of you on your honeymoon / in your new home / or on your friend-funded adventures.
So join the 100,000 (and counting) happy Patchwork people from all around the world by starting your page today! Questions? We’re real people and we’re here every day to help at firstname.lastname@example.org or over on our LiveChat.