Let me first state, I fully support giving cash as wedding gift.
This very question came to me as I was thinking about a gift for my friend’s wedding tomorrow (that’s right, sometimes I do procrastinate until the last minute to get a gift). If a registry is not stated, the standard operating procedure for me is to search on various websites, like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon, William-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn, etc., you know, the usual suspects. However, this time I found nothing. After huddling with friends and fellow invitees, and then finally asked the bride outright, I found that she is registered at Honeyfund, a service that let me contribute to their honeymoon. I have given such gift in the last wedding I attended too. Essentially the couple will receive cash equivalent, minus fees the company charges. What a brilliant idea. Here is why I think cash and cash equivalence are great gifts.
- Nowadays, almost no couple needs that blender, toaster or silverware set. If they did, they would have already gotten them. After all, they are not 19 year-old fresh graduates anymore.
- Traditional gift registry is wasteful. What I mean is, since the couple already has everything they need, the gift registry is usually full of things that they just want, the non-essentials. Hence, you are really just buying nice-to-have items for them, which they may or may not get used. Guys, really, please save us from drowning in our own consumerism!
- Moreover, have you ever seen couples compare prices before they put an item on the registry? I haven’t. They just go to one store and scan away. So they end up putting overpriced things on the registry, things that are better priced somewhere else. You, the gift-giver, are the one getting ripped off.
- Money is definitely better spent somewhere else, like down payment on a house, the honeymoon, the wedding banquet, their future kids’ education or even their retirement fund…you get the idea.
- The couple will no longer need to lug their gifts back home. Who really need the hassle? Especially for destination or even cruise wedding, why bother carrying things around.
Many foreign cultures had this figured out eons ago. It’s traditional to give cash at weddings. For example, Chinese people only give cash (or gold). They even have an unspoken standard contribution amount per person. In Romania, it’s also typical for people to give cash as well. They figured that today you are giving me this much cash for my wedding, and in the future at your/your son/your daughter’s wedding, I am giving you some cash back. It’s almost like a loan to a friend or family. Plus or minus it’s a fair game. Sorry for the ones who have no family members.
You still feel it’s tacky to give cash? The bride and groom wouldn’t think so. But if you are really uncomfortable with giving hard cold cash, you can get them a gift certificate to stores like Amazon, where they can buy anything under the sun. Write them a heart-felt note, congratulate them, and wish them a happy marriage forever along with the gift card, then you are all set.
Comments? What do you think about giving cash as wedding gift? Tell us your experience? Do share!