Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Q & A: Asking Wedding Guests for Money

Reader Question: I am a law student in Portland, Oregon, and my fiancee is a PhD student at UCLA. After our wedding, I will be moving in with him; that is, into a one bedroom apartment in L.A. I am actively trying to get rid of things that most people would consider necessities! Our wedding will be in Portland. I can only bring with me to L.A. whatever I can fit in my Ford Taurus (yikes!). I know that some folks will want to buy us items from a registry, and that's cool. But what we really need - is money. We are planning a very budget wedding, and a very awesome honeymoon in Germany. We are planning to stay in hostels, but any extra money we get at the wedding will help us upgrade our stay! Neither my fiancee, nor I will have any spare time to do much of anything but work for the next several years, and we know that after the wedding is the only time we can travel for a while. So.....after this long winded explanation, the real question is....how do I ask for money, or a contribution toward a honeymoon?

We were in a similar boat (for different reasons). First and foremost, we really just wanted our friends and family to join us for the wedding. When we said "Your presence is present enough" on our registry, we meant it!

But we also knew that some folks would insist on giving us presents. In that case, we really, really wanted money for a down payment on our house. We used My Registry to create a customized registry. We were able to create a request for contributions to our down payment.

Honestly, that strategy wasn't particularly useful for us. The most useful strategy was simply telling our close family members about our preference for money, and then they spread the word when the opportunity arose. For example, if a cousin came to them and said, "What should I get Matt and Sara?," they were able to explain that we really just needed money for our first house. The vast majority of the presents we received came in the form of money.

You could also create a special registry for your honeymoon. There's a great discussion about this option over at Wedding Bee.

Enjoy your trip!

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megan said...

as well as word of mouth, www.honeyfund.com is nice.

it goes through you paypal account or people can bring it to your wedding. this is helpful, since none of the money is handled by the website.

we were going to use itm and had actually set it up, but decided on Disney, who offers their own form of a honeymoon registry.

Ingrid said...

How about something like this:

With wording like this:

My friend decorated her own chest to match her wedding.

heather said...

Are you members of AAA Auto Club? They have a honeymoon registry, so instead of registering at Target for household things you don't need or want, you can register for your honeymoon and guests can contribute financially directly to AAA (or maybe there are other travel clubs).

Ms Bear Cub said...

If you want to save even more money on your honeymoon, you should look into couch surfing instead of hostels -
You meets all sorts of awesome people!

Mari said...

I would recommend http://www.honeymoonwishes.com/. My cousin used this service for his wedding about 18 months ago and loved it. The cool part is that guests get to purchase specific things like a couples massage, a fancy dinner, or a dolphin viewing excursion (they went to the Caribbean), but the couple actually just receives money in the end that all of these different gifts added up to. Be sure to read all the info the website offers, but I believe this is the general idea of the site and my cousin and his wife adored it!

Congrats and good luck!

Princess Christy said...

I would definitely try a honeymoon registry.... but if people don't listen, ask them if they have a gift receipt (or try to have someone else ask for you). If it is something you TRULY don't need/want, you can always return it for the $$$$!

sabrina said...

My husband and I used Traveler's Joy recently and loved it! We actually got a lot of gifts through the honeymoon registry we set up there, and that really made the difference between having a great honeymoon and an AMAZING honeymoon.

A side benefit was that setting up the registry forced us to think of specific things we wanted to see and do. That turned the trip into a dream trip because we had the most unique experiences planned for the week.

Here's our registry page if you want to check it out > http://www.travelersjoy.com/members/sabrocky/

Belinda C said...

I think your best bet is doing a vacation registry. I read that this is becoming very popular and I am planning on doing this for my wedding (not until Sept.2010). I haven't investigated sites yet, but I got plenty of great ideas from your other responses. LOL
I really like the AAA idea. Who knew?
Best wishes!

Unknown said...

I would have no problem giving money in lieu of a gift. And the online websites definitly help.

Shanna said...

I just wanted to share a culture thing -- the Chinese actually don't give weddings gifts, they give money in "lucky red envelopes". It is supposed to help leverage the cost of the wedding as well as help out the newlywed couple in starting their lives together. The idea of giving a gift is bizarre to traditional Chinese people. Maybe you can say that you want to adopt this custom for your wedding?

Christy V said...

My sister is using https://www.marriottregistry.com for her honeymoon. It's great because your guest can purchase specific things for your trip like strawberries and champagne, but the cost for it goes into a general account which you can use towards anything.

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