Is It Tacky to Request Money as a Wedding Gift?

It had long been established to provide gifts during weddings. The gift is a physical expression of appreciation for the couple, and the items it contains may be exactly what they need to begin their new life together. These may include practical home goods like a toaster or more personalized gifts like Mr. and Mrs. mugs with a printed picture of the newlyweds. 

The practices and etiquette surrounding weddings have changed significantly over time. It’s no longer customary to give physical gifts at weddings. The outdated custom of gifting newlyweds with a home accessory or electrical equipment does not fully reflect their needs. Since more couples are living together before getting married during the past 20 years or more, cash presents have increasingly become the “standard,” negating the necessity for the customary housewares that were once connected with wedding gifts. More and more couples are choosing to use a honeymoon fund or ask for monetary gifts for their honeymoon or a down payment on a property. Today, we recognize that a wedding need not be about following rigid traditions; rather, it should be a representation of the unique relationship between the couple.

gift registry, online gift registry

However, many followers of proper wedding etiquette will tell you that asking for money is a big no-no. They’ll contend that you practically appear to be pleading for money! But as circumstances change, giving money as a gift is becoming more typical.

Why Do Couples Prefer Money as a Gift?

A couple could prefer cash to gifts for a variety of reasons. Even while they might not require household products, they probably require home repairs, assistance with a down payment, lawn care, or other services that cannot be usually given as gifts.

housewares, common household items

  1. Wedding customs are evolving. Wedding presents have their roots in the custom of dowries, which were gifts made to the bride’s family in exchange for the bride. Another was to give the bride a few things she would require as a new wife. In 1924, a retail shop invented the modern wedding registry. While some still offer items like casserole dishes, others could also include items like a rug or home plants. Chinese custom already includes giving money as a gift. Chinese wedding gifts frequently come in red envelopes, which also represent luck. These envelopes are kept on hand so that people may quickly slip some cash inside when the time is appropriate, and poof gift is ready! 

hongbao, Chinese envelope

  1. Minimalistic lifestyle and age. Because so many couples are getting married later in life, wedding traditions are changing. Couples would require the fundamentals to construct their first home together if they were straight out of college. But since most couples marry in their thirties, they likely had the time and resources to acquire the furnishings and appliances they wanted and needed for their home. Since most couples tend to be quite minimalist, they would strive to avoid extras of most items and refrain from replacing items until required. 
  2. Cash funds are practical. Couples can utilize their wedding cash fund for whichever purpose they see suitable, including saving for future children, purchasing a home, or going on a honeymoon. Giving someone the chance to go on dates or save money for a luxury or emergency is preferable than giving away kitchen appliances that won’t be used.

What Is the Right Way to Request Cash Gifts at Your Wedding?

save the date, invitation

Make Use of a Funding Website

Many websites feature trip-specific registries so visitors can pay toward tours, dinners, spa retreats, and any other activities you’re going to partake in if you’re using cash and checks for a honeymoon trip. These websites will organize everything for gift-givers based on what the bride and groom have specified they want. Guests can pick and choose how much and what they want to sponsor on your honeymoon, from upgrading airline tickets to adding dinners to tacking on snorkeling trips.

If you wish to take a more indirect approach, some websites offer the honeymoon registry items but also let you register for actual gifts giving your guests the chance to give you something they would like. The possibilities are unlimited, including adding alternatives like making a down payment on a property.

Put A Personal Touch on It

If you would prefer cash as a wedding gift, you can include a personal note on your wedding website and tell your guests a story to tie their financial contribution to, for example, a honeymoon trip, purchasing a home, making investments, or returning to school. This will help your guests understand how their money will be put to good use. They would feel better about giving you money as a wedding gift if you included a personal touch on your wedding invitation. After the wedding, you can send your guests pictures and letters to show them how their money was spent. You may post pictures from your trip as well as a customized message of gratitude to your guests on your online honeymoon registry.

couples, online registry

Give Your Guests an Idea of Your Gift Set Up

Instead of telling your guests up front that you only want cash in place of other gifts, you might ask them to double-check the other information posted on your wedding website. You can describe a particular setup where people can either deposit their monetary contribution inside an envelope and put it inside a box, or they can place these envelopes in a fictitious “wishing well,” if you will. This would give the visitors a hint about the gift you prefer while also letting them know what kind of gift setup you are planning.

Communicate Discreetly

Make sure your parents, future in-laws, and closest friends are aware that you and your significant other would much prefer cash gifts over tangible items because deliberately mentioning that you want cash anywhere on your invitation is kind of inappropriate. Likely, your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and close family friends will contact them to find out what gifts you would all want, and it will be more polite coming from your parents than being scrawled on the bottom of an invitation.


The custom of presenting gifts at weddings is a thing of the past. The outdated custom of presenting newlyweds with a home accessory or electrical appliance does not accurately reflect the requirements of today’s brides and grooms. Modern couples don’t want a massive number of things for their wedding. They are pragmatic in their expectations and would much rather get funds to support their future wants or dreams. 

wedding gift, cash

Cash wedding gifts are an easier and more refined alternative for visitors to give you, and you will eventually value the money more. It’s time to consider how to establish a cash registry without raising any concerns, not whether you should be asking for money. There is no reason to feel guilty for favoring cash gifts as long as you are polite in your request for them. Undoubtedly, receiving the cash that you can use is preferable to receiving many items that would only collect dust in your cupboard.