Asking for Money as a Gift

Money – to ask or not to ask, that is the question.  And the answer is definitely not to ask…but that doesn’t mean someone can’t get the word out for you.

So…what’s the real story about money as a wedding gift?  The first part of the story is that it is never appropriate for the bride or groom to ask for money or to include a request for money in their wedding invitation. If it is what they want or need the most, they should get the word out through family members, and it absolutely should never come from them, even if they are asked point-blank.  Should that happen, the response might be that any gift is more than welcome, although money is high on their wish list because…(fill in the blank). Guests will appreciate, and are more likely to feel comfortable, giving cash if they know how their gift may be used.  For example, if the bride and groom are saving for a downpayment on a home or for household furnishings, honeymoon, etc.  (It is a good idea to include its use in your thank you note, as well.)

The rest of the story is that money seems to be not only a much-needed commodity by most young couples starting out, but also a gift that most people are willing to give. According to Peggy Post, famous etiquette author Emily Post’s great-granddaughter-in-law and current spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, “for many couples, money makes an ideal gift. And there are terrific options in monetary gifting today; guests should consider alternatives to cash and personal checks such as universal gift certificates…”

American Express also offers a Gift Cheque that comes attractively packaged in a gold envelope, looking very “wedding giftish.”  According to American Express Vice President Kristine Olson, the elegant presentation of Gift Cheques has a definite impact on the gift recipient.   “What we find with Gift Cheques is that there’s a special, keepsake value unlike cash or personal checks. Couples actually hold onto Gift Cheques they receive until they find the exact, perfect thing they want to buy with them, whether they want to put it toward furnishing their house or even to help pay for their wedding,” says Olson.

The bottom line is that requests for money continue to be a somewhat delicate subject, but it is acceptable and must just be handled with sensitivity and diplomacy.  You can do that.