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Etiquette

Cash gift = taboo, is this really a thing?

A friend of a friend has a registry setup through HoneyFund. I made a snarky comment about it.  Friend said "well in the South it is against etiquette to give cash for weddings. Very taboo! This is the only way to show guests that B&G won't be offended by cash." I'm sorry, what? Who in their right mind is offended by cash???

I live in the South, have for many years, but I didn't grow up here. Most weddings I go to are out West or up North.  We are all very "just because everyone in your region does [rude thing] doesn't mean it isn't rude" on this board - does that apply to regional taboos? And is this even a regional taboo?? It's certainly something I had never heard of before, and I feel like they are all either confused, have been misinformed by crazy older relatives, or are making excuses.

Thoughts?
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Re: Cash gift = taboo, is this really a thing?

  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Asking for cash is rude.  I think some circles in the "old south" still think cash gifts are taboo and do box gifts for weddings...  

    And what does your friend think a honeymoon registry is if not cash?
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    ladyamanuetchibiyuiNYCBruin
  • edited May 2014
    No. My mother's whole family is southern. All of them sent cash for my wedding gifts. She is just trying to justify her rude actions.
    ladyamanuetChellaTims
  • @aprilh81 - a way of showing that they are not offended by cash?? I dunno.

    But cash was at one time considered rude in the "old South?" Why on earth would that be? Wouldn't that assist the couple in starting their lives??
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  • I have never heard of money being a regional or circle taboo, and can't imagine why it would be, but whatever floats this lady's boat. Just remember this is her opinion and the next time you go to a wedding she hosts don't give her cash. lol
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  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    @aprilh81 - a way of showing that they are not offended by cash?? I dunno.

    But cash was at one time considered rude in the "old South?" Why on earth would that be? Wouldn't that assist the couple in starting their lives??
    If my memory is correct (and I could very easily be wrong about all or part of this) it was taboo to talk about money, give money outside of charities or ask for money so gifts were physical (china, livestock, property, etc.)  

    I also think this was more of a high society thought process...


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  • GerbertmcwayGerbertmcway member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    I think this person is confused about the difference between asking for cash and recieving unsolicited cash.
    JCbride2015FiancB
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    AprilH81 said:
    Asking for cash is rude.  I think some circles in the "old south" still think cash gifts are taboo and do box gifts for weddings...  

    And what does your friend think a honeymoon registry is if not cash?
    Yep.  I also found some circles in the south are anti-cash givers.  Is it the entire south?  Of course not.   But that doesn't mean her particular circle doesn't feel that way.

    That said, Honeyfund is giving cash.  So I do not get her logic, other than just trying to pull the wool over her guest's eyes?






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I side eye most, "In my area, it's totally normal!" excuses.

    Even so, what she's basically saying is, "People aren't going to want to give me cash because it's taboo, so I'm going to trick them into giving me cash because that's better." Boo.
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    pinkshorts27
  • They think they're buying her dinner on the beach or a swim with dolphins on her honeymoon (which is not cash), but really she's just going to get a check from the Honeyfund (which is).  So, yes, basically since she thinks nobody will want to give her cash, she's tricking them into considering it.
  • I lived in the South for awhile and don't recall this being a rule. But -- anybody recall the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is offended because Jerry gave her cash for her birthday? Yeah. That's roughly how I feel about giving cash, personally. And a honeyfund doesn't make it "better."
    pinkshorts27
  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I have heard that is offensive in the south.  While I live in the south I'm a Yankee and have never been to a truly southern wedding.  The weddings I've been to were for people from other areas that landed in the south. So, I've never actually seen evidence of it.  

    My step-father is older and considers giving cash as a gift to be "crass".  He does give it to the the grandkids now because he and my mom just don't know what teens/young adults are into these days.  But he insists on including a small gift as well to make up for the rudeness of giving cash.  
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    kitty8403 said:
    I lived in the South for awhile and don't recall this being a rule. But -- anybody recall the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is offended because Jerry gave her cash for her birthday? Yeah. That's roughly how I feel about giving cash, personally. And a honeyfund doesn't make it "better."
    I don't like cash as a birthday or holiday gift when it's from someone who's a peer, if that makes sense. It's different when it's from a parent or older family member. With friends and peers, I feel like you might at least go for a gift card, which is a nice way of saying, "I didn't know exactly what to get for you, but I know you well enough to know that you like [store/item/interest]."

    But for weddings, cash has always felt more like, "Here's to getting started on your nest egg as a couple."

    Just trying to suss out why I think it's different. Because I do wonder.

    I don't give cash at weddings, but that might change when I'm older.
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  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I'm from the South and haven't heard that giving cash is offensive. Although, at least in my circle, we are more of boxed gift-givers anyway.


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  • csuavecsuave member
    500 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    Yes, I didn't expect gifts at our wedding and yes I was truly grateful for each gift I received and they meant a lot to me.  But to be frank, cash was my favorite gift to get for our wedding.  In fact, with the exception of our custom invitations which were provided as a gift, there isn't a single non-cash wedding gift that we received that I wouldn't prefer cash to.  Yet even with this strong preference I did not ask for cash.  That would be rude.  And even though cash is what I really, really preferred there were still some people that gave physical gifts or gift cards.  Nothing I could do about that except graciously accept every gift that was given.  Lurking on this board made me realize a honeyfund was not at all an option. 

    I can't speak for the South but I do think that in general there are some (probably very few) people that think cash is a taboo/tacky etc. gift.  Why they think this for a wedding I have no idea because as everyone knows cash is a great gift.  I believe these people will be offended by a honeyfund, making your friend's logic invalid.

    Then there are people that don't like to give cash because they think it is impersonal.  We got a few gift cards as wedding gifts and I believe it was because those gifters felt this way--not because they thought we would ooh and aah over a gift card to the Home Depot.  These people might actually like the idea of buying an excursion from the honeyfund.  Even if this is true, the honeyfund is still not a good idea for the reasons all the other posters mention.  If no honeyfund is listed then this category of giver may go the gift card route so maybe that will ease your friend's mind. 

    Occasions other than weddings are a different ballgame and I am not going to comment in order to keep this post reasonably short :)

  • I'm from the south, specifically South Carolina, and my mother actually raised me with this line of thinking. The way that she explained it, giving money is rude because it shows that you didn't put any thought into the gift or you think they're in need of charity. Either way, it was a no no growing up. I get now that everyone likes to get cash but I still prefer to give boxed gifts (and to get boxed gifts if I have a choice in the matter). Also, my family side eyes HoneyFunds like crazy. Those are in no way acceptable in their eyes.
    HisGirlFriday13ashleyepcountrygirl061513ohannabelle
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I and my entire circle mostly give boxed gifts.  Some of it is that it seems more personal, some of it is getting to think to yourself that they're thinking of you every time they use that bacon press or set of pyrex (even if they don't). 

    Pretty sure even if all of your guests think it's tacky to gift cash it is still not okay to have a Honeyfund, since that's the same thing except it takes out a fee.

  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Simky906 said:
    I'm from the south, specifically South Carolina, and my mother actually raised me with this line of thinking. The way that she explained it, giving money is rude because it shows that you didn't put any thought into the gift or you think they're in need of charity. Either way, it was a no no growing up. I get now that everyone likes to get cash but I still prefer to give boxed gifts (and to get boxed gifts if I have a choice in the matter). Also, my family side eyes HoneyFunds like crazy. Those are in no way acceptable in their eyes.
    This. I was raised Southern and this is how I originally learned it.  In addition to it being crass to discuss money, finances, and the cost of something, it indicated a lack of original thought, and most importantly, indicated you thought the bride and groom were destitute and in need of financial help.  Now, my family who raised me this way has pretty much abandoned this way of thinking, but both of my parents were raised this way, and it did trickle down to those of us grandkids who paid attention. My mom just gave her first ever cash wedding gift to my cousin last year.  We normally do boxed gifts because that's just what's supposed to be given in our circles.  And yeah, Honefunds, PayPal accounts, etc, are all just thinly veiled begging for money and is way more crass than just about anything else you can do.  Anyone who asks for money directly is usually left with no gift at all.
  • A friend of a friend has a registry setup through HoneyFund. I made a snarky comment about it.  Friend said "well in the South it is against etiquette to give cash for weddings. Very taboo! This is the only way to show guests that B&G won't be offended by cash." I'm sorry, what? Who in their right mind is offended by cash???

    I live in the South, have for many years, but I didn't grow up here. Most weddings I go to are out West or up North.  We are all very "just because everyone in your region does [rude thing] doesn't mean it isn't rude" on this board - does that apply to regional taboos? And is this even a regional taboo?? It's certainly something I had never heard of before, and I feel like they are all either confused, have been misinformed by crazy older relatives, or are making excuses.

    Thoughts?
    Cash gifts aren't acceptable, but honeyfunds are? She realizes that she is, in affect, asking for cash, right?

    Some people do think it's taboo and it is what it is. But a honeymoon fund is a terrible replacement for requesting cash for reasons that should be more obvious to her.
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  • delujm0delujm0 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper

    I don't think it's that they don't want to give cash; i think it's that they DO want to give a physical gift.  Having a Honeyfund isn't going to change her relatives' desire to give her boxed gifts.  Will she trick a few people?  Maybe.  Should she be banking on tricking people?  Absolutely not.  Super rude.

     

    I went to college in the South and sayed here...I've been to plenty of very southern weddings, and have always given cash - and several of those brides told me that for the wedding they received mostly cash (showers were obviously physical gift giving occassions).  It's no different here than it is anywhere else.  Yes, there is a "don't openly discuss finances" culture down here, but by having a Honeyfund she IS DISCUSSING FINANCES...so I fail to see how that isn't rude.

  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Yikes. If people side eye the thought of giving cash, they aren't going to feel any differently about a honeyfund. I think they've been around for long enough that most people know exactly how they work. She is just going to have to suck it up and realize she's going to get some boxed gifts. 

    I personally prefer to give boxed gifts. It's more fun and personal. I did give cash to a couple that didn't register for much- figured there was a hint to be taken there, and we were really busy and were glad to have a quick and easy option anyway. 
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  • Simky906 said:
    I'm from the south, specifically South Carolina, and my mother actually raised me with this line of thinking. The way that she explained it, giving money is rude because it shows that you didn't put any thought into the gift or you think they're in need of charity. Either way, it was a no no growing up. I get now that everyone likes to get cash but I still prefer to give boxed gifts (and to get boxed gifts if I have a choice in the matter). Also, my family side eyes HoneyFunds like crazy. Those are in no way acceptable in their eyes.
    This. I was raised Southern and this is how I originally learned it.  In addition to it being crass to discuss money, finances, and the cost of something, it indicated a lack of original thought, and most importantly, indicated you thought the bride and groom were destitute and in need of financial help.  Now, my family who raised me this way has pretty much abandoned this way of thinking, but both of my parents were raised this way, and it did trickle down to those of us grandkids who paid attention. My mom just gave her first ever cash wedding gift to my cousin last year.  We normally do boxed gifts because that's just what's supposed to be given in our circles.  And yeah, Honefunds, PayPal accounts, etc, are all just thinly veiled begging for money and is way more crass than just about anything else you can do.  Anyone who asks for money directly is usually left with no gift at all.
    I am not Southern, and I was raised with the same belief -- giving cash for a wedding shows that you didn't want to or were too lazy to buy them a heart-felt gift. 

    DH is firmly in the camp of 'let's give cash,' and I'm solidly in the camp of 'let's buy them something off their registry or find something we think they'd really like.' 

    So far, that's manifested as towels (registry item), and etched barware (something they'd really like and use a lot.)

    I look at our wedding gifts -- both stuff from our registry and stuff not from our registry -- and I'm really touched that people thought to get us those things. We also got a fair amount of cash, which we'll use as a down payment for a house, and that was also nice.

    But just last night, I had wine in one of the whiskey glasses (don't judge) from our crystal set and I was like, 'This is really nice!'
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  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I'm Southern through and through, and in my circle this is not a thing. If it were a thing then FI and I should be super up in arms because of the housewarming money our parents just gave us.
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  • I grew up in the deep south, and I never even heard of giving cash gifts for weddings until I moved to Pennsylvania. I don't think it's tacky. I just think it's odd because I didn't grow up doing that or seeing it done. Close family might give cash instead of a boxed gift, but not other guests. I think it's kind of a combination of all the reasons listed above, with an emphasis on "we don't talk about money".

    I'm getting married in PA and personally I'm hoping I get a boatload of cash. :D 
    [Deleted User]
  • ashleyepashleyep member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited May 2014
    My dad's family doesn't give cash gifts at weddings, they think it's tacky. I know it's a rule in some circles, but I can't imagine a honeymoon registry being accepted in those circles either.
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  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2014
    My grandmother told me that Jewish people give money for weddings, Christians give boxed gifts. Obviously, a generalization, but it was her way of saying "don't worry, you'll get money" when I mentioned I was thinking about what we needed for a registry. I grew up in a ritzy New England town. The "no cash" thing is not just a Southern thing. I think its just another silly tradition, and seems like a rule/etiquette to those who grew up with it, but isn't. To each their own. A gift of any sort is kind. 

    Right now, I give gifts off the registry because I don't have that much money. $35 seems like it goes farther when its given in the form of a "thing", as illogical as I know that to be. I would give a check if I had more, and I hope if the couple preferred money/ really needs the cash, that they return my gift. 
  • Yes, asking for cash (or to donate to a specific fund like your honeymoon) is bad etiquette. Just because other modern brides have done it because they wanted to the cash doesn't mean you should. There are reasonably exceptions, such as the couple going into missions and being unable to have items, or the couple not owning a house yet, etc. Even in these extremes, don't include the info on the invite directly. Word of mouth, the wedding website, or where nothing can be done with items and there is little time to return them (in the case of the missionary couples) an insert in the invitation, perhaps. The tradition of wedding gifts is to shower the couple with gifts for their new life together. It started from a poor couple that got married, and their neighbors supplying gifts for their new home. If you already have all the stuff you could ever want, well you don't really need wedding gifts at all, and any cash attendees give you is a nice surprise. Asking for cash, however, is very tacky. Including registry info on the invite is also tacky. Specifying 'no cash', 'cash only', 'gift cards welcome', etc or any other rules about what you want people to give or not give you on the invite is tacky. If you prefer cash, don;t bother to register at all. You can always tell the bridal party to spread the word that you don't need house stuff (and many guests will opt to give cash or gift cards because they still want to give a present). Remember to register at a variety of price points, and to not act around your guests like you expect things only off the registry or only expect cash, etc. The registry is a helpful tool if they wish to consult it to get an idea of things you need, the colors you like, etc - but it should not be treated as a required wishlist.
  • Amonite said:
    Yes, asking for cash (or to donate to a specific fund like your honeymoon) is bad etiquette. Just because other modern brides have done it because they wanted to the cash doesn't mean you should. There are reasonably exceptions, such as the couple going into missions and being unable to have items, or the couple not owning a house yet, etc. Even in these extremes, don't include the info on the invite directly. Word of mouth, the wedding website, or where nothing can be done with items and there is little time to return them (in the case of the missionary couples) an insert in the invitation, perhaps. The tradition of wedding gifts is to shower the couple with gifts for their new life together. It started from a poor couple that got married, and their neighbors supplying gifts for their new home. If you already have all the stuff you could ever want, well you don't really need wedding gifts at all, and any cash attendees give you is a nice surprise. Asking for cash, however, is very tacky. Including registry info on the invite is also tacky. Specifying 'no cash', 'cash only', 'gift cards welcome', etc or any other rules about what you want people to give or not give you on the invite is tacky. If you prefer cash, don;t bother to register at all. You can always tell the bridal party to spread the word that you don't need house stuff (and many guests will opt to give cash or gift cards because they still want to give a present). Remember to register at a variety of price points, and to not act around your guests like you expect things only off the registry or only expect cash, etc. The registry is a helpful tool if they wish to consult it to get an idea of things you need, the colors you like, etc - but it should not be treated as a required wishlist.
    While most of twhat you wrote are things that are reiterated time and again on these boards to those asking, what does it have to do with my question about cash gifts themselves not being appropriate to give in the South?

    And what "you" are you referring to here? The general "you" or me? Because I am not the one with the hoenyfund - as I said in my post, I made a snarky comment about it. Because I know they are rude and tacky.
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  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    Born, raised, and still live in the south (NC) and yes, this is a thing. The roots come from the thinking that your should never discuss or assume one's finances. Giving a cash gift is assuming that those people need it because they are not financially stable. This has since progressed and now most people give a boxed gift for showers and bring cash to the wedding. 

    ladyamanuet
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