Home Wedding Planning How to ask for cash for your wedding instead of gifts.

How to ask for cash for your wedding instead of gifts.

by Rosie Hurwitz
A black man with short hair and a black woman with hair tied up embrace and kiss, their heads turned away from the camera. The woman holds his face with her left hand and wears a pink off the shoulder chiffon dress

If you’re getting married and have decided you want to ask guests for money instead of wedding gifts – great! You’re in the right place to find out how.

More and more couples are deciding to ask for cash for their wedding instead of setting up a gift list and here at Patchwork we’ve been listening carefully over the years to find out how couples and guests feel about this. With years of feedback from couples and their friends and families AND our recent wedding guest survey results, we proudly present the definitive guide on how to ask for money in a way that looks and feels good (and doesn’t upset Auntie Carol either!)

The sun streams from behind a couple on their wedding day. The bride wears an ivory dress and the groom a dark suit. The bride carries a large bouquet of white and apricot flowers. We can't see their faces, there is greenery behind them

How to ask for money as a wedding gift – nicely.

It’s absolutely fine if you just want to ask for money as a wedding gift. But we’ve got some secrets to share that make it go down much better with guests. Let’s start with the two of you. You’ve probably got some idea of what the money is for. And that’s important. Maybe it’s for a once in a lifetime honeymoon, or you want to buy a campervan for years of adventures? Perhaps you need the money to help pay for the actual wedding, or you need to do some work on the house? Whatever it is, share this with guests and they’ll feel a lot happier giving you money instead of gifts.

A bride and groom stand close together facing each other. They stand at the bottom of a small grassy slope with vehicle tracks on, behind are views of countryside and a blue sky. The bride is a white woman with fair hair, she wears a long white dress and carries flowers. The groom is olive skinned with short dark hair. He wears a light blue shirt with braces and light grey trousers.

How to explain that you’re asking for money to your wedding guests.

As explained above, once you’ve decided what the money is going to be for (and it can be for a combination of things – so don’t worry if you want a bit for the honeymoon, some new towels and crockery AND some money towards a new boiler!) it’s a lot easier to invite guests to contribute. The idea is to turn the money in to a gift. And that’s where Patchwork comes in.

Absolutely anything can be transformed from just plain money in to a meaningful and much wanted gift. When you link to a Patchwork cash wedding registry on your invites there’s no need to explain anything – it speaks for itself and guests will immediately feel engaged with, and included in your plans. And they’ll enjoy gifting you money this way.

Two brides dressed in white wedding dresses on their wedding day stand at the bottom of a flight of steps and hold each other around the waist. Both have long dark hair and are white. One kisses the other on the forehead.

Why you need a wedding gift list (even though you don’t want gifts).

So you’re ready to turn requests for money in to fun, personal and meaningful ‘gifts’ – here’s how it works:

£10 becomes beers on the beach on your amazing honeymoon
£20 transforms in to a tin of paint to give the kitchen a new lease of life
£50 becomes lunch for two at your favourite restaurant
£100 is a tour of the local sights on your honeymoon island
£250 pays for the plumber to help get the kitchen sorted
£500 means you can have that band play at your wedding!

When you show people what you want to do with the money they give, the experience is so much more satisfying for them (and guess what – they’ll want to give more!)

A bride and groom walk hand in hand over a sandy slope with rocky outcrops behind them. The groom is white with short dark hair and wears a white shirt and light grey trousers. The bride is a white woman with dark hair, she wears a long white dress and carries flowers.

How to make it fun for your guests to give you money as a wedding gift.

When we think of giving money as a gift, we’d all agree it isn’t usually a very exciting or special experience. It’s often slipped quietly into an envelope or transferred via a banking app, and we neither get to see the excited reaction of the recipient opening the gift, nor do we get the thrill of imagining what happiness it will bring them.

When you can ‘wrap up’ money as a gift with Patchwork it is a very different experience for your guests. Suddenly they feel excited to be gifting you something they can see you’ll love. They can picture you having lunch on your honeymoon, or enjoying breakfast in your new kitchen, and they know that because they now have a connection to that experience or gift, that you’ll think of them while you’re enjoying it. Guests have told us that the sense of knowing that their gift is wanted and appreciated and specific is very important.

A white man with short reddish hair leans in to kiss a white woman with long auburn hair. It is their wedding day and they are both dresses in bright colours and cary a bouquet of pale orange and pink flowers. A colourful graffiti covered wall is behind them

How to include everyone, even those on a tiny budget.

So how do you ensure that everyone feels good about giving you money for your wedding instead of gifts? Simply make sure that even small amounts are recognised as bringing you joy and happiness! Some of your guests might be feeling the pinch right now and if finances are stretched, the last thing you’ll want to do is make people feel as if their gift isn’t ‘good enough’. Well, Patchwork is here to help again, because as long as you can show people that all amounts are valued and can help you with your dream – everyone is happy. We all know that it’s the simple things in life that can bring great joy so let’s share a few ideas of what that can look like!

Honeymoon – £5 for a cold beer on the beach at sunset
New kitchen – £5 buys a beautiful tile or two to finish your new kitchen
Wedding fund – £5 means your favourite bloom in your wedding bouquet
Honeymoon – £5 for an enormous ice-cream in the sun as you stroll through a pretty village
Date nights – £5 so you can upgrade your drink to a glass of champagne
New sofa – £5 for a new book to curl up on your new sofa with!

Two brides dressed in white wedding dresses on their wedding day stand facing one another hand in hand. One is black with long braided hair, the other is white with short dark hair. Behind them is a stone cottage with a brown tiled roof, and in front of the cottage is a wall of ivy which forms the backdrop to the photo.

How to get more than you would do if you just asked for cash.

Again, this comes down to being very specific and giving each of your cash gift requests plenty of personality and description! The stats back this up too – most people giving cash as a wedding gift aren’t all that motivated to be particularly generous. The average cash gift amount for a wedding in the UK is £65 whilst the average cash gift amount with Patchwork is £85.

Our other top tip is a bit of reverse psychology which has been tried and tested: Lower your gift amounts to get more! Yes, strangely, the lower you price your ‘patches’ on your gift registry, the more generous your guests will be. If you only have patches of say £50 and above, there’s a danger that someone who only wants to spend £30-£40 will feel slightly pressured and just won’t contribute anything at all. Whereas if you show guests that you’re really happy for them to contribute a small amount, they are likely to feel more generous and want to treat you.

Close up of two grooms on their wedding day holding hands and also holding a punch of pale orange flowers and greenery. Both are white and wear dark suits. The sun shines through from behind them

How not to offend anyone with requests for cash.

Quite simply – don’t just ask for cash. There are so many lovely ways to make the request meaningful and personal that there’s not a lot of benefit in sticking bank details on wedding invites. It can come across as insensitive, grabby and unimaginative. At best it’s boring, and transactional and can also make people feel awkward and embarrassed. Guests who took part in our recent survey said they didn’t like it when bank details were included on wedding invitations. Their responses ranged from saying it felt ‘joyless and transactional’, and ‘awkward’ to ‘quite rude’. Asking for cash on the day wasn’t popular either, with guests worrying that they wouldn’t know how much to give, or whether it would be acknowledged, or even be received safely. With so many people not carrying cash these days, it’s also another thing for your guests to try and remember to organise before they leave the house!

A bride and groom stand close together and kiss, they stand on an empty beach with a grey cloudy sky taking up two thirds of the background. The bride is a white woman with brown hair, she wears a long white dress with a v-back. The groom is white with very short fair hair he wears a light grey jacket and dark trousers.

And finally…

What you don’t need to do when you ask for cash for your wedding instead of gifts:

The first thing you don’t need to do when you ask for cash via Patchwork is apologise! We’ve heard of so many couples feeling like they have to first explain or apologise when asking for money on invites, yet with Patchwork couples feel excited and proud to share their wedding registries which is a whole different emotion.

Your wedding is definitely not the time for you to be feeling cringey or embarrassed about any part of your day and your gifts (money or otherwise) are no exception.

On the same note – you don’t need to write a ‘money poem’ to try to hide behind the fact that you’re asking for money. OK, if you’re straight up saying – ‘please transfer us some money’ then we get that some couples feel the need to try and make it cute by adding a poem (usually another way of apologising) but we’re all for being proud of whatever it is you’re saving up for and sharing it with your friends and family. Once they know what it is you’re looking forward to they’ll be only too happy to help you (and you’ll be making life easy for them too so it’s a win win!)

So there you have it – we hope we’ve covered everything in our all-you-need-to-know-about-asking-for-money-as-a-wedding-gift-guide and we look forward to helping you create your own very unique Patchwork registry!

Love Rosie and the Patchwork Team xx

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