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Asking for cash as a wedding gift

You've decided you don't want to register with a gift list company, so is it okay to ask your friends and family for cash?

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Cash as a wedding gift

You’d prefer the money to put towards a new kitchen but your guests seem determined to buy more traditional gifts. It can be an uncomfortable scenario but one you can resolve with a little tact and understanding. It’s no longer considered bad form to ask for money – although some guests who enjoy the whole shopping experience may still prefer to choose a present – you just have to broach the subject in the right way. Explain early on in the planning that you will not be arranging a gift list as a) you have been living together for some time and have already collected lots of the things you need b) you want to wait until you have your dream home to choose decorations or furnishings, rather than rush into it now, or c) any other reason you can think of that won’t offend people. Try to stress that, of course, you don’t expect a gift – the company of your loved ones on the big day is enough – but if people were thinking of getting you something to mark the occasion, wouldn’t it be better to have something you really want rather than a bread maker you will never use?

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Or try these suggestions for alternative gift lists:

  • Store gift vouchers – guests may not think these are very original but vouchers are very practical. Department stores and most high street chains all offer gift vouchers and, as they sell such a broad range of products, it’s almost like having cash. You can use the money for a larger item such as a sofa, put it towards a new kitchen or buy clothes if the mood takes you. At John Lewis you could even take advantage of the Furnishing Advice Service and use your vouchers towards the cost of decorating your home.
  • Alternative lists – for an alternative take on the wedding gift list you need to think laterally. The Wine Wedding List (www.thewineweddinglist.com) allows you to put together a bespoke list of fine wines with the advice of experts. Guests can buy online or over the phone and your wines will be delivered when you need them.  Each has a hand-written label that tells you who bought it for you together with a personal message. Other treats you could ask for include hiring the services of a gardener or interior designer, or having your car valeted or your kitchen blitzed by a professional cleaning company. With so much choice, it’s as good as having the cash.
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  • Honeymoon vouchers – with the average honeymoon now averaging over £2,900 per couple, the holiday of a lifetime doesn’t come cheap so putting it on your gift list can definitely help your strained finances. Companies who offer this service include Travel Counsellors (www.travelcounsellors.com), Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.com), Turquoise Holidays (www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk) and Thomas Cook (www.thomascook.com).
  • Good causes – you may already have everything you could possibly need so why not make it a special day for someone else by giving money to charity? The Alternative Wedding List (www.thealternativeweddinglist.co.uk) is a non-profit making company with lists that include donations to Help the Aged, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Save the Children and Sigh Savers International.