Asking for money at a wedding

Asking your wedding guests for money as a present was once socially unacceptable. To some older generations, it still is. We look at how to do it right.
Image: © zimmytws -

Asking your wedding guests for money as a present was once socially unacceptable. To some older generations, it still is. So when planning a wedding, how do you ask for money without offending your older family and friends? Here we explore whether it is socially OK and how to go about doing so in a smart way.


Firstly you need to be aware of why you are asking for money. Ensuring you are crystal clear on your reasoning means you are crystal clear when it comes to explaining to family and friends who may potentially question you. Often the reason a couple will ask for money is that unlike the times of yesteryear, they have likely lived together already and in turn have all they need from a home making point of view.

It may be as simple as explaining to people that you have a reason for asking for money. E.g. starting a family, affording your honeymoon or perhaps to cover the costs of putting on the wedding.

Who is likely to consider asking for money taboo?

Grandparents, older relatives and people with old fashioned morals. They believe giving cash is almost lacking in taste and in turn unimaginable.

Take time to figure out who in your family and friends is likely to have this outlook and be sure to discuss with them face to face (rather than simply receiving your invite in the mail).

How you can ask for money in clever ways

Avoid simply saying ‘we would like money as a gift’ and instead look to use more creative methods of requesting money.

You can either write a small poem or story that reflects on the request for money instead. I won’t put an example up for you as I was never a good poet (and I know it).

Be sure to also tell your family and friends what the money is going towards. Often a big part of peoples disregard for giving money is due to the idea it will simply be ‘wasted away’.

Ready to get really creative? Try this.

Do you have a semi-talented artist as a friend? Perhaps you fancy yourself as a bit of a painter? Look to ‘commission’ a piece of art work and allow family and friends to chip money in towards it. You can have the painting on display at the wedding venue in order to have a tangible asset for guests to acknowledge as the reason they are parting from their cash.

Best to avoid finger paintings in this instance.

Are you certain a few guests will have a tantrum regardless?

Why not pre-acknowledge potential contentious guests and setup a small bridal registry with a major department store. Don’t make it well known as this registry is for the select few people who you know will never give cash. Worst case scenario you can choose items that you can easily sell online (terrible I know, though better than wasting money).

If Aunty Mable is not having a bar of it, you can rest easy on the wedding night knowing that she was still able to give a gift. We all know what a few wines can do to these situations so thinking ahead is key.

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Savings Guide Logo Alex Wilson is the founder and editor of Savings Guide, Australia’s number one saving money website. For regular money saving tips, visit Savings Guide or follow Savings Guide on Facebook.