September 27, 2023
A guide on how to ask for money instead of traditional gifts at your wedding - why to consider it, how to word it, how to make it special for gift givers, etiquette, and real-life examples.


When it comes to wedding gifts, many couples are opting to ask for money instead of traditional material gifts. This choice has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it can be a sensitive topic to broach with guests. In this article, we’ll explore why asking for money instead of gifts has become more prevalent and offer some practical advice on how to approach the topic with your guests.

The Growing Popularity of Asking for Money Instead of Gifts

Traditionally, guests bring gifts that are meant to help couples establish their new homes. However, many couples already live together, and they have no need for additional household items. As a result, there has been a shift towards asking for monetary gifts instead. Receiving money not only eliminates the stress of finding storage space for unwanted gifts, but it can also provide the couple with funds to put towards future goals and experiences instead of material possessions.

Steps to Ask for Money Instead of Gifts

Asking for money instead of gifts is a sensitive issue that requires tactful handling. Begin by acknowledging that it may be uncomfortable to ask guests for money, but that you hope they will understand your reasons. Next, provide a clear and simple explanation of your decision. You could say something like, “Due to the current circumstances, we have decided to ask for monetary gifts instead of physical gifts.” Make sure your message is clear, but not too forceful—after all, you’re asking for their generosity!

One common strategy is to include a registry card within the invitation but make it clear that you aren’t asking for any material gifts. Instead, suggest that guests can contribute to an online fundraising campaign where they can send their monetary gift. Alternatively, you can provide guests with your bank details, making it easy for them to send money directly. Use your preferred method, depending on how modern or traditional you want your wedding to be.

 Wording the Request for Money Instead of Gifts
Wording the Request for Money Instead of Gifts

Wording the Request for Money Instead of Gifts

When wording your request, you want to be as polite and gracious as possible. Here are a few variations:

“Your presence on our special day is more than enough, but if you would like to give us a gift, we’d prefer a monetary donation.”

“We are very grateful for your generosity. If you would like to give a gift, we’d prefer a modest contribution to help us start our married life together.”

Choosing these words helps to keep the focus on your deep appreciation of the guests. Avoid using language that suggests guests are expected to give more than they feel comfortable with, as this can come across as impolite and entitled.

Creative Ways to Use the Money and Make it Memorable for Gift Givers

If you’re receiving a lot of money as a gift, it is always good to have a plan for how you will spend it. Some couples use it to help pay for their honeymoon, fund home improvements, or save for their future. Regardless of how you choose to use your money, make it memorable for the gift giver. Consider using some of the money to create a video that shares some special moments from your wedding and expresses your appreciation. You can also write personalized thank-you notes that include details of how you’ve used the money.

Proper Etiquette for Receiving Money as a Gift

It is essential to acknowledge everyone who gives you money, even if it is just a small amount, with a thank you letter. You do not have to write an in-depth letter, but a simple and sincere note like “We appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity” is enough. An organized spreadsheet or list of gifts and donors can be helpful in staying on top of writing proper thank-you notes. Send the thank-you letter as soon as possible but never later than three months after the wedding.

Stories of Couples Who Have Asked for Money Instead of Gifts

Many couples have chosen to ask for monetary gifts instead of traditional items, and each has a unique story. Some couples have received mixed feedback with some guests feeling uncomfortable or resentful, while others have received high praise for being clear on their request. One couple shared how they chose to pool their money, which they received as a gift, into an investment that would help them fund their own children’s education in the future.


Asking for money instead of gifts may seem untraditional, but it can provide a real benefit to couples. With practical planning steps coupled with gratitude, it’s easier to communicate the message with your guests and better manage their expectations.

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