Registry and Gift Forum

Money as gift - why not?

I'm from a country where it's very normal and not at all offensive to ask for money as a wedding gift. It won't be on the invite, but on a separate letter from the Master of Ceremony (kind of in between a wedding planner and a MoH/BM) there’s a small envelope.

 

In this day and age, when people in most cases have an established household, it seems odd to be so rigid that asking for money is not done.

You should have the wedding you can afford and not have guests fund your wedding, but why wouldn’t couples be allowed to ask for money, and upgrade their honeymoon (flying business class, doing the scuba course they thought was too expensive, etc.), have their bathroom redone (you can’t really register for a plumber, can you?), or combine all the money they got and buy a great digital SLR camera (which is too expensive to ask to one person)?

 

Why is it such a problem to ask for money at an American wedding? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m planning on doing so, and I definitely prefer giving gifts to giving money, but I just don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Is there anyone who can explain this to me? 

Re: Money as gift - why not?

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I'm from a country where it's very normal and not at all offensive to ask for money as a wedding gift. It won't be on the invite, but on a separate letter from the Master of Ceremony (kind of in between a wedding planner and a MoH/BM) there’s a small envelope.

     

    In this day and age, when people in most cases have an established household, it seems odd to be so rigid that asking for money is not done.

    You should have the wedding you can afford and not have guests fund your wedding, but why wouldn’t couples be allowed to ask for money, and upgrade their honeymoon (flying business class, doing the scuba course they thought was too expensive, etc.), have their bathroom redone (you can’t really register for a plumber, can you?), or combine all the money they got and buy a great digital SLR camera (which is too expensive to ask to one person)?

     

    Why is it such a problem to ask for money at an American wedding? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m planning on doing so, and I definitely prefer giving gifts to giving money, but I just don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Is there anyone who can explain this to me? 

    May I ask where you are from? I know in some cultures it is more common to give money than gifts, but I am interested to hear were one asks for money.

    It is not just American weddings where it is considered rude to ask for money. In Britain, where I am from, it is seen as very tacky to ask for money as well. My friends/family from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc are all of the same agreement. It seems like you are a charity that needs cash. In British culture, one NEVER discusses money, so it is seen as shameless begging. 

    Everyone knows money is a good gift! And plenty of people will give money so you can use that to pay for your upgrades, trips, house deposit etc. Just make a small gift list as I also know plenty of people that would never give money for a wedding as it insinuates that one "needs" money, which can be insulting.  

    A registry started to make sure that everyone was buying the same china or flatware pattern. 
  • LondonLisa, I’m from the Netherlands. We are generally very open/ rude/ direct/ blunt, but like the Brits, we also never discuss money. A registry is considered ‘very American’ and although the option exists, very few people actually register. Out of the six weddings I’ve been to recently, only one of the couples registered. Most couples either spread gift ideas through word of mouth or guests just come up with something themselves, but most weddings I’ve been to in the past the couple asked for ‘an envelope’.

    It’s interesting for me to see that it would be considered begging. I would never think of it like that as I assume people are able to finance their wedding/ honeymoon/ house/ life themselves, and would use their gifts to ‘splurge’ on something they might not do or buy otherwise (as you know, were are very cheap frugal ;)). 

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The main thing is to never mention gifts, as it is considered rude to expect gifts for your wedding. 

     Firstly, in Britain, one would never ask for a wedding present. We do have gift lists (registries) but you never tell people where unless they specifically ask. If a couple would like money, then ONLY when asked what they would like for their wedding by someone they would say something such as "Oh, your presence is our present, but if you would like to get us something, we have a small list at John Lewis and we are saving up for a house deposit." 

    I know culturally in the Netherlands, it tends to be more direct. 
  • Scribe, I’m not worrying; I like learning about other cultures, and this was one of the things I didn’t really get.

    Thanks, LondonLisa, that explains. I indeed did not see the difference between asking for a gift or asking for money, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.  

    The Dutch are indeed very direct, but even in NL the bride and groom themselves would never ask for gifts directly. The Master of Ceremony would do that on their behalf.
    It’s also acceptable to not give any gifts if you have a good (subjective, I know) reason. For example: I live in South Sudan and flew back home for a wedding last May. I did not get the couple a gift. When my FI and I are getting married in the US, I also don’t expect any of our guests from overseas to get us a gift. They spent enough money (and time!) in being there with us.

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Scribe, I’m not worrying; I like learning about other cultures, and this was one of the things I didn’t really get.

    Thanks, LondonLisa, that explains. I indeed did not see the difference between asking for a gift or asking for money, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.  

    The Dutch are indeed very direct, but even in NL the bride and groom themselves would never ask for gifts directly. The Master of Ceremony would do that on their behalf.
    It’s also acceptable to not give any gifts if you have a good (subjective, I know) reason. For example: I live in South Sudan and flew back home for a wedding last May. I did not get the couple a gift. When my FI and I are getting married in the US, I also don’t expect any of our guests from overseas to get us a gift. They spent enough money (and time!) in being there with us.

    Even with the MC sending the letter, if you are putting it in with your invitations, that is coming from you two. If you and your Fi are getting married in the US, I would definitely NOT put that letter in your invites or have your MC send them out. This will definitely offend your non-Dutch guests. 

    I have spent a lot of time in Juba ( I work in development) so its nice to *meet* another S.Sudan person :)
  • You have worked in Juba!? Wow! I usually don't even bother naming Juba as most people have never heard of it! When and how long were you here?

    FI and I work in development as well, and we plan on being in Juba for another year. 
    LondonLisa
  • Scribe, I’m not worrying; I like learning about other cultures, and this was one of the things I didn’t really get.

    Thanks, LondonLisa, that explains. I indeed did not see the difference between asking for a gift or asking for money, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.  

    The Dutch are indeed very direct, but even in NL the bride and groom themselves would never ask for gifts directly. The Master of Ceremony would do that on their behalf.
    It’s also acceptable to not give any gifts if you have a good (subjective, I know) reason. For example: I live in South Sudan and flew back home for a wedding last May. I did not get the couple a gift. When my FI and I are getting married in the US, I also don’t expect any of our guests from overseas to get us a gift. They spent enough money (and time!) in being there with us.

    Even with the MC sending the letter, if you are putting it in with your invitations, that is coming from you two. If you and your Fi are getting married in the US, I would definitely NOT put that letter in your invites or have your MC send them out. This will definitely offend your non-Dutch guests. 

    Oh, and we're actually not planning on asking for money; one learns the rules VERY quickly here on TK. I was merely wondering why it was such an issue. 
    We're getting married in June 2015, and I sincerely hope that we actually can sign up for a registry (would be great to live in a normal place for a while!). 
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Scribe, I’m not worrying; I like learning about other cultures, and this was one of the things I didn’t really get.

    Thanks, LondonLisa, that explains. I indeed did not see the difference between asking for a gift or asking for money, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.  

    The Dutch are indeed very direct, but even in NL the bride and groom themselves would never ask for gifts directly. The Master of Ceremony would do that on their behalf.
    It’s also acceptable to not give any gifts if you have a good (subjective, I know) reason. For example: I live in South Sudan and flew back home for a wedding last May. I did not get the couple a gift. When my FI and I are getting married in the US, I also don’t expect any of our guests from overseas to get us a gift. They spent enough money (and time!) in being there with us.

    Even with the MC sending the letter, if you are putting it in with your invitations, that is coming from you two. If you and your Fi are getting married in the US, I would definitely NOT put that letter in your invites or have your MC send them out. This will definitely offend your non-Dutch guests. 

    Oh, and we're actually not planning on asking for money; one learns the rules VERY quickly here on TK. I was merely wondering why it was such an issue. 
    We're getting married in June 2015, and I sincerely hope that we actually can sign up for a registry (would be great to live in a normal place for a while!). 
    I know Amazon can be a good gift list option for international couples since everyone can buy in their own currency and it can be shipped rather easily. The hard part is electronics, but you can always skip that on the registry. Good luck :)
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's rude to ask for any gift at all.  It isn't limited to money and it isn't limited to weddings.  Asking someone to buy you a toaster or that camera would be very rude as well.  

    A registry isn't asking for gifts, unless you bring it up to guests or include it in the invitation.  If you only mention it to guests who ask, it's fine.  It's also fine to mention that you're saving toward that camera or honeymoon when guests ask.  That's not asking for money.  
  • People already know that cash is a great gift. A direct request for cash is not only rude but indicates to your guests that you think they are too stupid to figure that out for themselves. 

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards