According to the Globe and Mail and considering that the average wedding costs over $25,000 these days, it doesn’t make much sense at all to go into debt when you start your new life together.  After the lavish one day celebration together, there’s the rest of your life together that you need to work on… To me, starting your life together in consumer debt (not to mention student loan debt, or credit card debt from each individual) whilst at the same time trying to save up for a down payment for a home together doesn’t make much sense.

$25,000 is a LOT of money.  That is a 10% down payment on a $250K condo/house (depending on where you live).  That’s like an entire undergraduate degree in Canada (probably less in Quebec too!).

Many couples these days are shacking up prior to getting married.  For many, it makes sense to share the shelter costs and to “test the waters” out by cohabitating before marriage.  Therefore, many couples already have a toaster, a blender, sheets, delicate China (or maybe not), glassware, furniture, electronics… the list goes on.

The one thing that couples who already live together (and even those who don’t) really really want is money.

Money would help pay for the honey moon.  Money will help pay for the down payment.  Money will help offset the cost of the $25,000 wedding.

The tricky thing is how to ask for it in a tactful manner?

How do you ask for money without having to resort to the money dance (unless it’s an expected custom of your culture)?

How to Let Your Guests Know You Want Money, Honey

It’s a bit tacky to ask directly for money from your guests so use your beloved family, wedding party, and close friends to help spread the word.  Guests will likely be talking to other guests before the wedding to ask what you as a couple really want.  Tell them to tell your guests that you would really like cash or gift cards.

Money cards (you know, those elongated cards that have a little pocket for money or gift cards) make this process a lot easier these days.

If you have a website you can say that you prefer to have money in lieu of gifts and it will go towards your new life together, your down payment, your renovation.  I think that many guests these days agree that life is expensive and any amount helps!

Cash Wedding Registries

With the internet anything is possible!

There are a few sites that do cash wedding registries.  This means that your guests can pay for their wedding gift online and the money gets transferred to your bank account when you want to “cash out”.  For many of these sites, you can create a page where you could explain where their cash gift is going towards (e.g. a honeymoon, or a down payment on your new home,  a renovation).  You can even decorate it all nicely with your engagement photos and explain how you met etc. etc.

  •  Wedistry– Their slogan is “for wedding gifts outside the box.” They are Canadian based. You can personalize your website by adding details about the wedding day, add some photos… all the good stuff.  Of course they’re making money off you but how much?  They take 5% off the top from any gifts (but no extra charges to guests) to you and charge you $25 when you “cash out.”  So, let’s say you have 150 people and each gives $100 to Wedistry.  It will cost you $750 but you’ll have $14,250 instead of a toaster, a blender, an iron….

  • Cash Wedding Gift– has a slightly tackier title.  They’re seen on The Knot and are part of the Better Business Bureau (so they must be good).  The gift givers get charged $4.99 processing fee and an additional 3.9% of the gift they’re giving.  They use an example of it costing $108.89 for a $100 cash gift.  You can include a wedding registry video.  For this reason I don’t think I’ll be using it if I ever get married lol (the idea of talking in front of a camera scares me!)

  • Our Wishing Well– This website isn’t unique to weddings but can include other events like birthdays, babies, fundraisers, housewarmings.  The good thing is that the guests don’t have to pay a fee.  There is a “cash out” fee when you withdraw and it’s a tiered system depending on how much money you withdraw.  The unique thing about Our Wishing Well is that its not money specific and has gift cards etc. that you can ask for.  The other “plus” of this company is that they accept most major currencies.

Here’s the fee structure for Our Wishing Well:

I know it’s a delicate subject, but sometimes a couple’s gotta do what a couple’s gotta do!  Any gift from a guest is appreciated (even if its a toaster because really its the thought that counts).  A guest’s presence is appreciated as well!  Life is expensive and weddings are even more expensive.  Why bother with the hassle of receiving a toaster, writing a thank you note to the guest for that toaster, and returning the toaster for money?

Readers, do you think asking for money is tacky or do you think its a “do” in this day and age?