Etiquette 101: Is There A Polite Way to Ask for Money Instead of Wedding Gifts?

So maybe you’re migrating abroad after your wedding, or you just so happen to have everything you need already (from the many bridal showers your titas have thrown you), and you’re looking to get some cash instead. Can you actually do that without sounding so forward? Is that allowed in Filipino weddings? Will you offend someone if you do ask? Today, we’re breaking down the issue of asking for money instead of gifts at your wedding. Scroll down and read on!

Etiquette 101: Is There A Polite Way to Ask for Money Instead of Wedding Gifts?


Should we mention it in our invitations?

Photo: Chestknots Studio

In a society as sensitive as the Philippines, this is kind of a tricky subject. The key here is trying to do it as subtly as possible. Don’t print a request for money on your invitation itself, as it might come off as rude and greedy to some. At most, you can slip in a tiny note in your invitation suite with a cute poem that suggests that your guests can also help you out monetarily. Just don’t print it on your invitations themselves, okay? Here are some ideas you might want to try:

Now that we are to be Mr. & Mrs., we don’t need a wedding list of dishes. We have two pots, two pans, two microwaves, and we have dreams for which we have to save. If you would like to give us a gift, a cheque or vouchers would give us a lift. We like to think of it as our ‘Wishing Well’, which will be filled with your love, we can tell!

More than just kisses so far we’ve shared, our home has been made with love and care. Most things we need we’ve already got, and in our home we can’t fit a lot! A wishing well we thought would be great,(but only if you wish to participate)! A gift of money is placed in the well, then make a wish… but shhh don’t tell! Once we’ve replaced the old with the new, we can look back and say it was thanks to you!


So how do we let our guests know?

Photo: Jaja Samaniego

The old-fashioned way–through the grapevine. Assign members of your bridal party to spread your request through word of mouth. To make sure that your entourage is more or less on the same page and gives consistent answers, you can make a template like this for them to follow.

They’re registered at ______, but I also know that they’re saving for their honeymoon/house, and I’m sure they’ll really appreciate a monetary gift as well.


Should we still register?

Photo: Rustan’s

Ideally, yes. Like it or not there are some people who think that giving money is tacky or impersonal, and that’s okay. They just might want to give you something else, and you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. You don’t have to have a big one (or one at all), but it’s one way to give them an idea of something else you’d like.


Can we put it on our wedding website?

This is more acceptable than printing them outright on your invitations. Just make sure that it’s not the first thing your guests see when they go to your website. If you’re looking for a more direct way to ask for money, you can try something like this:

Your presence at our wedding is all that we wish for. However, if you want to give a gift, we will be grateful for a small cash donation towards our honeymoon/house/etc.

While your attendance alone is what we request, if you wish to buy us a gift then we have a small gift list at ______. However, monetary contributions towards planning our future together would also be greatly appreciated.

If you’re considering giving a gift to help us on our way, the contribution of cash would really make our day!


Do we have to tell them what the money will be used for?

If you were giving money to someone wouldn’t you want to know where your money will be going to? The same rule applies here. You can mention a honeymoon fund, savings for a house, a baby you’re planning on having, a dream trip you want to take, or even a car you’ve been looking at getting. Whatever it is, letting your guests know will put their minds at ease. Plus, they might even be more willing to hand out some cash if they knew where their money was going. Here are some examples:

We haven’t included a gift list in our invite, as we have everything — it just wasn’t right… To ask for more things for the life we lead, what we’d really love is a good holiday indeed! If you were thinking of a gift for us to start our married life, some money would make us a very happy husband and wife!

In order to make our dreams come true, we’d love to go on a honeymoon for a week or two. Instead of a dinner set, a vase or a bowl, a financial contribution would make our wedding experience whole. We’ve created a bank account to save our honeymoon money, we would really appreciate it, and can’t wait to go somewhere sunny!

We’ll be husband and wife for the rest of our life, in our little home made for two. But instead of a vase or a new kitchen knife, we’d love to fly off to somewhere new. A week on a beach would suffice and be ideal, so instead of a gift, your contribution would help to buy us a hotel room or a romantic meal!

As we’re getting married we thought it would be fun, to move into a brand new home–we need to get it done. As wedding gifts are bulky and we’re a little short on space, some money would be the ideal gift to help us buy our place!


How do we get the money at the wedding?

Usually most people will go up to you or your partner directly during the reception and subtly hand you an envelope. You can then hand this to a trusted member of your entourage (who you’re pretty sure can stay sober enough to remember where she or he kept the money). Alternatively, you can also have a box, or as some term it, ‘A Wishing Well’, where well-wishers (in this case, your friends and family) can drop envelopes of money in.


Ultimately, if you’re uncomfortable with broadcasting that you would prefer money over gifts, then maybe you should stick with the tried and tested route of having your parents and some friends spread the word. Remember that a gift is a gift, regardless of the shape and form it comes in, and that your guests only want to wish you the best with their presents. And in the end, that’s all that matters.


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