Here’s a little known fact – weddings are expensive. From the engagement party to the hen do; from the reception to the honeymoon. It’s safe to say that it’s quite an investment. An average wedding in the US and UK will set you back around $30,000 (£23,000) and elsewhere in the world it’s even more – in the UAE for example it costs $185,000 (c. £140,000) to get married as standard.
Panning a wedding is not cheap and unsurprisingly the happy couple appreciate a helping hand. More and more often, the bride and groom prefer to receive financial gifts over the traditional wedding registry presents.
There’s another reason for couples moving away from the custom of receiving household gifts as wedding gifts – more often than not, by the time the wedding comes around, a lot of couples have been living together for some time and have accumulated all of the stuff they need so receiving more of it as a wedding gift, creates more of a storage problem than anything else. Unique wedding gift ideas are useless, gifts that can valuable for the couple is better. The best wedding gift ideas for bride and groom is giving something that helps their finances, which have a major set back when paying for a wedding.
The problem is, most couples don’t like asking for money outright as wedding gifts because it makes them feel awkward so how do you stay classy when asking for monetary contributions as wedding gifts? By making it part of the wedding entertainment!
1. The baby gender game
Instead of asking for wedding gifts, get your guests to place bets on the gender of the couple’s future child! Set up a stand with one pink box and one blue, complete with pink and blue envelopes and blank cards.
Ask your guests to write some words of wisdom for the happy couple – whether to do with parenting or just life in general – and post their bet into the relevant box.
Whilst they won’t win any money at the birth of the first born, they’ll come away with the knowledge that they have clairvoyant superpowers – that’s something money can’t buy!
You will get money as the wedding gift and they will feel happy about being a part of something more than your wedding.
2. First dance bid
If you’re not too bothered about dancing your first dance to a particular song, get the guests to bid on what they want to see you dance to! This opens you up to a whole load of fun and maybe a few laughs.
Tell the guests to write down the song they want, put the amount of money they’re willing to pay to see you dance to that song into an envelope and pop it into a box.
Get the groomsmen / bridesmaids to go through the envelopes and see whose bid is the highest before the first dance, give it your band or dj and voila – the bride and groom are waltzing to Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” hopefully a few quid richer!
Just make sure you’ve made it clear that the “Chicken Dance” is off… If that’s too much of a risk, why not auction off the opportunity to have the second dance with the bride or the groom?
Dad’s, aunties, uncles, friends may all want to have your undivided attention for 3 minutes on a day where time with you definitely comes at a premium with the amount of guests you need to get round and talk to.
This wedding gift will not only make your guests voluntarily contribute money as your wedding gift, they will also get a fun experience out of it.
3. Auction the bride’s bouquet
Instead of throwing the bouquet at or into a crowd of people why not auction it off to the highest bidder? This is great way to get money as a wedding gift from the ladies. This also gives them hope for getting something very valuable in return.
That way the gorgeous bouquet that you spent months choosing remains intact and allows someone who really cares about you to have a piece of your day to treasure after the wedding.
This also effectively sidesteps the awkwardness of all the single ladies being rounded up for public humiliation as they scramble for the bouquet spurred by a folkloric belief that catching the flowers will mean they catch a husband next. Ever so slightly controversial in the modern day and age!
4. Casino bridal
It’s a well known fact that the house always wins, so use this to your advantage whilst providing your guests with a tried, tested and much loved form of entertainment.
To save money on professional croupiers, get your bridal party to help out.
Make sure that – caught up in the excitement of it all – Uncle Jerry doesn’t remortgage his house waiting to hit the lucky streak! You wish to get money as a wedding gift, not fleece them of their entire fortune.
5. Pin the money on the bride
Popular across a number of cultures, pinning money on the bride and groom is considered a traditional way to bring the happy couple luck and fortune in their new life together. The money dance originated in Poland in the 1900s and during it guests, in a strict order of priority, pin notes onto a special apron worn by the bride and / or the groom. This is a great way to get money as a wedding gift.
By the end of it, both bride and groom are usually covered in bank notes which will help the couple fund that extra special experience on their honeymoon or a new couch for their marital home.
So there you go, some ideas on how to ask for money gifts without asking for money gifts! Having tried all of these at one point or another, trust me when I say these are great fun for all involved. It removes the awkwardness, gets people involved in the day and provides more structure to the day’s festivities.