Is It Rude To Ask For Monetary Wedding Gifts?

It was once thought rude and money-grubbing to ask for cash instead of material gifts on your wedding day. Luckily, these days, giving monetary wedding gifts is becoming more and more popular. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the tradition of receiving monetary wedding gifts in the past and present, the benefits of receiving cash as gifts, and the proper etiquette you should follow when asking for money.

The Tradition

Not so long ago, getting married meant leaving your family home for the first time and moving into your own (often empty) house. Wedding gifts helped couples start building a life together by giving them the essentials they would need for a home.

In the 1920s, major department stores saw the potential to make money from this tradition, and thus registries were created. Because it’s been our tradition, we tend to see it as unchangeable, and, in fact, it makes us uncomfortable with other emerging options. We think just giving money is thoughtless, but for the rest of the world, that certainly isn’t the case.

In many parts of Asia, presenting the newly wedded couple with a red envelope filled with money is considered the proper thing to do. In Jewish and Hindu weddings, wedding guests are expected to give the couple envelopes of cash in multiples of 18 and numbers ending in 1 respectively. The numbers are supposed to bring the couple luck. In Italy, couples go around giving sweets to their guests who give them envelopes of money in return in a custom called the Grand March.

sweet gift box heart shape on table for wedding day

The Benefits

One of the major benefits of asking for money instead of physical gifts is that you are in complete control of it and can put the cash towards intangibles like a rainy day fund, a dream house fund, a future children’s college fund, a charity of choice, or you could even split it between all those options.

Let’s face it! If you’re an engaged couple in this day and age, you’ve probably been living together for some time, and it’s likely that you’ve already acquired all the various appliances and things that a traditional registry would give you. And we all know how wedding costs just seem to keep climbing. So, in this case, money can be the most useful and thoughtful gift a guest can give you.


If you’re thinking of setting up an online cash registry account or want your guests to know that you are open to receiving checks and envelopes, you should state it openly on your wedding website; however, you should also give guests the option to give you a physical gift. You can also send out a wedding gift poem with your invitations that tactfully and sweetly state that you would prefer to receive money. Everybody appreciates a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to gift-giving. Also, tell your family and friends that if other guests ask, let them know that both options are welcome.

On the day of, some couples have modified the wedding card basket at their reception to indicate that guests can place both cards and envelopes of cash there, in case guests feel awkward handing cash directly to the couple.


The beauty of an online account is that it eliminates all of that awkwardness. With services like Zankyou, you can set up an account and transfer all the funds contributed to your registry directly into your own personal bank account. It is that simple!

So if you have been thinking about asking for money instead of traditional gifts on your wedding day, we hope this information has been helpful.

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