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Getting the Gifts You Want for Your Wedding

by | 28 March 2015 | Gift Lists

There is a growing trend among modern marriages to ask for money rather than gifts. It makes sense, if you think about it. Long gone are the days when couples would move in together on their return from their honeymoon in Devon and find that they didn’t have a pot to… well, cook in.

Nowadays couples live together for an extended period of time before their marriage. They buy the stuff they need to live long before they even think about marriage. What modern couples are interested in is travel and the property ladder.

Buying a house is a ridiculously expensive venture and, if you’ve just spent a ton of money on a wedding, you’re further from a deposit than ever. Gifts of money can rectify that situation.

Alternatively some of us, ahem, use that cash to go traveling…

Money envelopes

Money can be dressed as a gift

Getting to the Maldives

“This is the 21st Century, we’ve been living with each other for six years already, what the heck do we need a toaster and novelty knife set for?” – Grace Ames

Grace is about to get married to Kenny. Lord help him. She’s a brazen Irish lass and she doesn’t exactly beat around the bush. I asked her, ‘Do you want cash or gifts?’ She didn’t disappoint.

‘After six bloody years you’ve got everything you need to live. What do people think we’ve been doing for all this time? Laying around in cardboard boxes roasting mice on a makeshift fire in the middle of our living room, caught with our bare hands? We’ve both got good jobs. We’ve got the Le Creuset frying pans and an entire airing cupboard full of disgusting bed sheets from my mother in law – you don’t have to write that bit down – that we’ll never use. We’ve worked hard. We want a holiday or a deposit for a house. Gift cards for Debenhams won’t get us to the Maldives.’

It’s becoming a very popular option for young couples who feel that the property ladder is out of their reach and either enjoying a beautiful honeymoon or looking for work abroad is a better option.

But… I like presents

Of course the whole world isn’t in agreement with Grace. Some people need some help starting out with furniture – they might have been renting furnished homes, they might simply need a newer, better, super powered microwave.

And getting presents isn’t a bad thing. I mean, who doesn’t like presents (except Grace it seems)? As a guest, if you’re buying a present, it might be worth checking with the couple before you go shopping, because often couples have a secretive list that they keep hidden away.

Gifts and a flower

Gifts or Cash?

But how, as a couple, do you ask for something like that? If you want cash, you can hardly print ‘CASH, NO GIFTS’ on the invitations. Who’s to say they were going to give you anything. Sure, guests should bring something, but they aren’t obliged. So what does Grace have to say about it?

‘Just tell them. There’s no point in waiting for the reception to come and then seeing mobs of your family all carrying microwave sized boxes. Just tell ‘em straight “Thanks but no thanks, we don’t need anything, if you really want to give us something, we’re saving to bugger off out of here and could use the cash. If not, it’s not a problem.” Why waste anyone’s time, especially your own, ignoring the pink elephant in the room?’

Of course, for those of you that aren’t quite as brusque as my friend Grace, such as me, you can write a little ditty on your invitation instead, explaining that – whilst presents would be appreciated, money would help your new adventure off to a great start. Whatever you decide, communication is the name of the game, talk to people and tell them your plans.


About the author

Paul Macklin

Paul is your friendly neighbourhood poet/cynic. He believes in story-telling, curiosity and peanut-butter sandwiches and he spends the vast majority of his time writing stuff. Paul learnt how to write stuff at Portsmouth University where he earned himself a Masters degree in writing stuff. Neat huh? Paul also hates writing in third person.


  1. Carrie Contreras

    This topic is a tender one with me. I am an older person that your readers might be, and have been in the hospitality business for a long time. I have seen both scenarios of couples living together for some time, and others who had not. The outright request for cash for me is tacky. You plan, in some cases, a very expensive wedding, and then ask for cashing making it appear you the guests are all paying for the party. However, there are creative ways in which guests can get involved in the couples dreams and help to make them a reality solving both camps of gifts over cash. One couple who married and were crossing the country following the wedding to live across the United State had guests purchase gas, hotel stays and extra fun side trips for the couple to enjoy on their way. This process was extremely fun for the guests as they crossed many states and some people had the interest in a particular place with advice on what to see, this was engaging. Other couples, believe it or not modern world, have not lived together for many years and don’t have all the things they need to roast mice or steak for that matter. They usually go by a registry and the requested items are purchased. My daughter did this and received virtually 5 or so gifts that were not on the registry, this truly set them up for the future. I hope that couples are at least creative with their requests for finance rather than necessities, there are many sites which help with this, but the straight out request for cash is a no-go in my book. Thank you for the soapbox.

  2. Paul Macklin

    Hi Carrie, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us – I think that, alongside a number of other topics relating to weddings, it is always quite tricky to maintain a good balance between traditional approaches and contemporary methods. Grace’s preference, stated here in the blog, might be a more direct approach, but as you say, it is by no means the only approach. Although it is increasingly rare these days, many couples don’t live together before marriage and gifts setting them up for the future are likely very handy.

    I enjoyed reading about the couple you knew that had help crossing the country – this is an excellent example of a creative wedding gift request. There is of course also the slightly less romantic tip I gave of writing your request in a poem.

    Ultimately not everyone’s circumstances are the same – for my wife and I, we were planning to move to another country, so lots of presents would have been awkward, but equally we didn’t have any immediate plans, whilst not entirely easy to ask for, money was the most logical request. Other people, like Grace are very sure of what they want and are happy to ask for it. Then there are those, like yourself, who like traditional gifts, or lists that make settling down as a married couple easier. The choice lies with the couple, but I think each one has their place.

    Thank you for sharing Carrie.


Gift Lists Getting the Gifts You Want for Your Wedding