If you’re like most to-be-wed couples today, there’s a good chance you’re slightly older and more established than the young couples of the past. Maybe you both have solid careers and you’re making good money. Or maybe you’ve been living together for a few years before the big day. If so, you likely have most of the day-to-day items you need for your home, like barware, linens, and a Cuisinart mixer.
So, when it comes time to register for your wedding day, what should you choose? In many cases, cash gifts are preferred over physical gifts. And that’s okay! Although the practice of asking for cash as a wedding gift was totally taboo in the past, times have changed. Many couples are taking advantage of new ways to secure a stash of cash on their wedding day.
If you’re tying the knot and hoping to score some wedding money, we’ve got ideas for how to use it. Instead of seeing your balance dwindle from mundane, everyday expenses like gas and groceries, make a plan for how you’ll spend your wedding money. Before you decide what to do with it, we’re going to take you through how to ask for money as a wedding gift. Because although it’s okay to do, the way you ask for money definitely matters!
How to Ask for Cash as a Wedding Gift
Word of Mouth
The best way to ask? Don’t ask at all. Instead, let a few close friends and family in on your desire for wedding gift money, and have them spread the word for you. It’s inevitable that people will ask those close to you what they should buy, even if you do have a registry set up. This is a tactful way to request money.
Include Cash Gifts on Your Registry
A more direct way to ask your guests to help you buy that special something is to register for it. These days, you can register for just about anything, from a puppy to a new home.
And while we’re on the topic of registering, did you know you can actually register for cash? It’s true! Sites like MyRegistry or HoneyFund are a great option if you want to maintain a wedding registry that allows you to tastefully ask for cash gifts. Just be sure to maintain a separate, small registry of items as well. There will always be traditional guests who can’t imagine not bringing you a wrapped gift— so give them few options.
Include Cash-Related Wedding Traditions
Even outside of these options, there are a few ways to score a bit of additional green on your wedding day. If you think your crowd wouldn’t be offended by it, a money dance, sometimes referred to as a “dollar dance” or “apron dance,” is a great way to do this. Some find this dance, which has many variations on how it’s done, to be a perfectly acceptable and fun part of a wedding. After all, what’s a dollar or two? Others, not so much. So, again, consider your audience. If your family hasn’t heard of this, consider skipping it. Otherwise, go for it!
Similar to this is a money tree, where guests can slip a dollar or two onto a “tree” that’s set up on a table at the reception. It’s another discreet way to ask for money, so if you opt to do a money tree, don’t make it the focus of your reception, and give guests the option to give (or not to give) anonymously.
How Not to Ask for Money
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include guidance on how NOT to ask for money, so we’ll give you our best advice here. First, never include anything on your invitation that could be construed as a request for money (or any sort of gift). No matter how subtly it’s worded, your invitation will come across as an invitation to buy a gift, rather than to watch you two exchange vows. Save the gift verbiage for later.
Secondly, don’t avoid registering for anything in the hopes that your guests will simply defer to cash gifts. This won’t work, and will just lead to confusion and frustration for your guests. Like we mentioned above, it’s a good idea to maintain a wedding registry with at least a few items on it. Since you won’t have a large registry, choose a registry that allows easy cash returns, in the event of repeat gifts.
So now we’ve discussed how to spread the word that you’d like to receive cash, and how not to do so. When the big day arrives, what will you do with your newfound nest egg?
What to do With Wedding Cash Gifts
Pay off the wedding if you’ve paid for it using a credit card
Wedding expenses can run amok pretty quickly, so maybe you had to break out the plastic for some of those last-minute expenses (and tips, OMG!). 0% intro APR credit cards such as the BankAmericard are great for this sort of thing! If you did end up putting a lot of money on a card like this, now is a good time to get rid of it while you have some money on-hand to spend. It’ll be a great feeling to start your married life free from lingering debt.
Start a new home fund/down payment
Whether you’re currently in the market for a home or not, chances are you will be someday in the not-so-distant future. So why not start a fund now so you can have the home of your dreams when the time comes? Depending on your time frame, you can look into an investment account with a good interest rate that’ll grow your money until you’re ready to use it.
Buy stock in a company you both love
Is there a company whose mission is close to your hearts? What about that cute coffee bar where you met for your first date? You could invest in their stock as you invest in your relationship, and watch them both grow over time. Be sure to fully research the stock before buying to ensure it’s a sound investment, and consider speaking to a financial expert.
Start a business
Got a business idea? There’s no better time to start it than when you’re young and energetic! Bonus points if you’ll be joint partners in your venture!
You could purchase something you’ll always keep and will make you think of your wedding.
That Casper mattress. A nice outdoor fire pit. A stunning modern wall clock. If you’ve received a small nest egg from your wedding, it’s great to do the responsible thing and invest it or pay down debt. But depending on the amount, and how much you feel you can afford, you could consider taking some of it and purchasing something that you can keep that will serve as a constant reminder of your wedding. In 20 years, you may be glad you did.