Asking for a cash gift for a wedding.

You wrote:

Dear Sue.

we are getting married in April here in Kenya. as we already have a house and all that goes with it. how do i ask for cash gift rather than something that we already have. as English is not my first language i am struggling with something fun and nice to say… i don’t want to just say give us cash…

please could you help me with this….

kind regards


Dear Petra:

First, congratulations on your upcoming marriage!  What an exciting time for you.

It’s a pleasure to receive a note from someone in Africa.  I’ve always felt some kind of connection with the continent.  Kenya has always been on my list of “Places to visit in my life” and I do hope to get there one day.

My website is a work in progress and I’m sorry that I haven’t gotten to the “Gifts” section of the site for you yet (Click “Receptions” and you will see that there’s a space for it, but the information isn’t there yet.  It’s coming soon.)

Your concern is a common one.  So often now, couples are starting their lives together before marriage and the traditional wedding gifts are just not needed by the bride and groom.

You’re right  –  just saying “Give us money” to your guests just doesn’t seem very nice, does it?  But there are other ways to get the message to your guests that a cash gift is the one that would be the most appreciated.

Let’s take Bill and Lisa, for example.  They are already living in their own home and have all they need for it.  They know that they will be buying a bigger house in a few years and hope to buy a new dining room set when they move, but they just don’t have room for a big set now.

Their invitations could have a section that reads:

“Our present home is full of everything that we need to start our married lives, but we are planning for our future together.  Monetary gifts toward the future purchase of a new dining room set would be greatly appreciated by both of us.”  At their reception, Bill and Lisa could even have a box (decorated with a picture of a dining room set) available to receive their cards and monetary gifts.

Let’s look at Rick and Kate’s invitations.  They too have already purchased a house and would rather have guests help pay for their honeymoon in Jamaica instead.  Their invitation might read:

“Rick and Kate are planning to honeymoon in Jamaica.  If you’d like your wedding gift to them to be a contribution toward their honeymoon, please send a cheque before February 1, 2010 to:

  • Far Away Travel
  • 000 Bay Street W.
  • City, State
  • zip

(Please make sure that “Rick and Kate Smith’s Honeymoon Fund, Far Away Travel account # xxx” is written on your cheque.)”

Of course, Rick and Kate would have to make arrangements with Far Away Travel to have cheques sent in their name put toward the cost of their trip.

I personally think that if you tell people that you are saving to buy a particular  large item, they will be more than happy to give cash.  Guests like to know what to give the bride and groom to make them happy, and if you’re explicit on your invitations, your guests don’t have to guess;  they just have to follow instructions!

Another example can be found in my website.  At the nav bar, go to “Invitations”  and look at the example labelled “Wedding Number 2” about Matt and Maria’s wedding.  They opt to do something special about gifts too and there’s an example of their invitation, including what they want guests to do about gifts, here.

A fun way of stating your wishes might be to write a little poem at the bottom of your invitation that tells your guests what to do.  I’m no poet, but here’s a crazy example to show you what I mean:

“Petra and ______ are getting hitched.

Their house is full.  They need no wrapped gift.

They’re dreaming of buying a car that’s new.

Wedding gifts of money could help make this dream come true.”

I hope this helps.  If you need more specific help, please send me a little more information about what you might want to use your cash gifts for and I’ll do the best I can.

Please do keep me posted on your wedding plans.  I know very little about weddings in Kenya and would love to know all about your plans for the day.




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