Every newly engaged couple has their goals and dreams, something they’re saving for and working towards. Your wedding day is the perfect time to share your dreams with your family and friends. Everyone will want to spoil you and send you off on your way to your new married life with love – so it’s the perfect time to share with them what will make you both happy.
Most engaged couples now live together before they get married – so those dreams are less likely to be about having more stuff to put in the cupboards and more about getting out there and making stuff happen! If that sounds like you, you’ve probably already decided that you’d most appreciate monetary gifts. Then you and your partner can choose how, when and where to make your dreams happen!
According to Patchwork Wedding Registry, most couples asking for cash instead of physical gifts want money to put towards their honeymoon. Also increasingly popular are cash gifts towards a deposit on a first home. And then there’s all the weird and wonderful things gift money can buy too! A work of art? A garden makeover? A vintage campervan? A year of date nights? A sailing boat? The world really is your oyster.
One option is to ask guests to bring along cash gifts on your big day. You could set up a money box where guests can leave money, either by putting it in their wedding congratulations card or by popping it in an envelope.
While this has the advantage of being a simple, low-fi set up, it can throw up a few issues. Security is the main worry with this way of collecting cash. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for gift money to go missing at a wedding. It can also make things trickier for your guests. They have to remember to withdraw cash or bring along cheques on the day, and any overseas guests may struggle with currency conversions. Now, on top of the usual travel stresses, they’ve got something else to worry about! Plus, it’s extra admin for you. You’ll have to sort through all the cards and envelopes, noting down how much each guest gave so that you know who to thank for what in your thank you cards later down the line.
Of course, your other option is to go digital and just ask for bank transfers from your guests. Again, while this seems like an easy option, it can lead to an unsatisfying gifting experience for your friends and family. Transfers are by definition transactional and joyless! And what your family and friends really want to know is what their gift will mean to you. How will it spent? What joy will it bring you? While you can just print your bank details on your wedding invites and leave the rest up to them, it can end up being a bit awkward. Your guests have no idea where their gifted money will end up – and without any guidance from you, it’s hard for them to know how much is appropriate or expected, leaving them anxious, embarrassed and worried about how much to give. Remember, they want to treat you to the things you really want… Not end up paying your winter gas bill!
Well, sure – it can be! But it definitely doesn’t have to be. Just remember – you’re not really asking for money… You’re asking for the power to make your dreams come true! So rather than leaving a money box by the door or putting your bank details on your invites, we’d recommend something else. By far the simplest, easiest and nicest way of asking for money as a wedding gift is via an online cash gift registry. For us here at Bridebook, Patchwork is one of the best we’ve seen. It’s a super innovative platform which wedding guests describe as “a creative and fun way to give money that wraps it up like a gift”.
With Patchwork, you can show guests a “patchwork” of images (a bit like a Pinterest board) that represents your ideal honeymoon, home renovation project or anything else you’ve been dreaming about! Then you can share your unique URL with your friends so that they can choose which item or experience to treat you to according to their own interests – and budget!
All gift money goes directly to you and is not held at any time. Even better, Patchwork donates a generous 50% of their platform fee to three environmental charities, so not only can you ask your guests for the things you really want (and in a way that’s stylish and fun!), but you’ll be protecting the environment too.
With no vouchers or fixed travel fund, choosing a gift registry like Patchwork means that if you do change your plans or decide to scrap the honeymoon and spend it all on a new kitchen, you’re free to do so! Also, it’s worth knowing that some wedding registries allow cash gifts but then hold your funds for you, transferring them to you immediately after your wedding. Others, like Patchwork, allow the gift money to go immediately and directly to your chosen bank account, meaning you can start saving – or spending! – as soon as guests start giving.
When your friends and family gift you money in this way, they’ll really enjoy it too. They’re also more likely to be generous (30% more generous, in fact!) when they feel connected to you and your plans. As one guest have put it, “It’s lovely to see where your money is going, much better than sticking it in an envelope.” Another described it as “a brilliant way to personalise the mundane gift of money [and] highly recommended.”
When setting up a cash gift registry, tell guests what each contribution will mean to you. Inject some personality and humour – talk about what your plans are and what their gift will mean to you both. Describe how it will make you both feel too. We all know that it’s much more fun to give gifts that are truly wanted and appreciated. A recent wedding guest said that using Patchwork felt like “putting money towards something tangible and that’s really wanted, rather than just giving cash!”
Think about it like this: your family aren’t just giving you £100 for your honeymoon… They’re giving you a romantic dinner for two on the beach with a sunset, rolling waves and the smell of frangipani trees and coconut oil. They’re not just giving you £50 towards a new sofa… They’re giving you time together for cosy movie nights, lazy Sunday morning snuggles and mornings spent with friends visiting for catch-ups.
There’s still a bit of an idea around that asking for money needs to be apologised for – that it is, in itself, an embarrassing request. There’s an easy solution to that! If you have cash contributions “wrapped up” like a gift and you’re open about how much it means to you, there’s no reason to feel shy or awkward. In fact, you and your partner should be proud of your plans together – so let everyone know!
Of course, you can begin by saying that you don’t expect gifts and you already have all the “stuff” you need… But the fact is, people want to treat you – so you might as well let them enjoy the experience! Try something like this to introduce the idea of a honeymoon fund:
We’ve been asked what we’d like for a gift and our answer is simple: you, at our wedding, having a great time! We’re incredibly thankful that we already have everything we need. But if you insist, what we’d love is for you to help us create some new experiences to treasure together.
Or how about this, from a couple who asked for money to put towards a year of dates:
New plates and saucepans won’t help keep a marriage alive, but the gift of time will. We hope you enjoy looking through some of our ideas for special date nights together. All contributions large or small will mean so much to us – and we’ll cheers you when enjoying our night out!
Don’t forget to include a wide range of price points when setting up your cash gift registry. You’ll make guests feel more comfortable if you present them with an inclusive (but not overwhelming!) choice. For one thing, they’ll also be grateful to not have to make all the decisions. If £10 for sunset beers on a Mexican beach or £5 for a couple of ice creams in Italy would make you happy, tell them! When you give your guests really meaningful ways of gifting cash, they’ll appreciate it as much as you do. Plus, even those on smaller budgets can feel like their contribution is making a real difference to your happiness – and that’s a gift from you to them!
This article was created in partnership with Patchwork Wedding Registry.