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How Do I Ask For Cash At My Wedding Instead Of Shit I Don’t Need?

There are a lot of really great perks of getting married. You get a bomb ass party, have a to-do list item that involves eating cake, and you get to buy a shitton of white outfits for every wedding event because, hi, you’re the fucking bride. Oh! And love! Someone commits to loving you at the worst for the rest of your life. Sucker!

But, IMHO, as someone who has been married for over five years (which is, like, a decade in wife years), one of the coolest parts about a wedding is the gifts. In the olden days, this is when you’d get shit like fine china, but since you’re an actual, modern adult and not an American Girl doll, you’re likely covered in the home goods department. This evolution from needing household items to preferring cash reflects the fact that modern couples (*gasp*) often live together before marriage, and we would rather buy plates secondhand than at Saks. While yes, that means we’re Very Progressive, it also means making a wedding registry feels pointless, and you really just want to know how to ask for cash at your wedding. Awkward, right? Blink twice if I’m on the right track, though.

The good news is that tradition has actually shifted, and it’s no longer considered rude to just be like, “Give me money,” instead of gifts. The trick, though, is how you go about requesting said cash. You can’t just go up to guests and ask them for dolla dolla bills because we’re still pretending to be respectable here. Instead, consider one of these methods to encourage monetary gifts when you say “I do,” ranked from most tactful to most desperate, all of which we semi-fully endorse. Ca-ching, baby!

How Do I Ask For Cash At My Wedding?

Wedding gifts. Bridesmaid holds wooden box with a sign.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Set Up a Cash Fund

Thanks to years of people using GoFundMe to pay vet bills they “couldn’t afford” during festival season, cash funds are now a very normal and accepted (though still kinda weird?) way to ask for money from loved ones and strangers. Think of it as the internet version of a beggar’s sign, but it’s online, so it’s ~chicer~. Basically, you set up a cash fund (most to-be-weds use sites like Zola or Honeyfund), write a sappy little note about how your guests’ presence is the present (gag), and you don’t want gifts, but then mention you’re still cool with cash. Post that link on your socials and wedding website, and voila!

Explain How/Why You’ll Use the $$$

If you’re wondering how to actually ask for money on your cash fund, don’t stress. Most templates give you the option to let guests donate funds towards different things, like a downpayment on your future house, saving up to start a family, or “purchasing” different aspects of your honeymoon for you. In reality, this money is just going into your bank account, so if someone donated money for you to go horseback riding on the beach for your honeymoon, but instead, you just sit in the hotel reading smutty books, they’ll be none the wiser. I’m not saying lie to people about what the money’s for, but I am saying the power of branding is important.

Register for Gift Cards

Unfortch, not everyone loves the idea of handing money over to the people who work from home and spend $175 a month on gym memberships they don’t use. Which, like, fair. In that case, the ol’ gift card can come in handy. I realize it’s not as sexy as straight-up cash, but your aunt and uncle from Ohio no longer trust banks, so you’ve gotta have a workaround. In that case, register for gift cards from a few places that sell everything (like Amazon, Target, etc.) because it’s not like you’re going to stop going on Target runs or ignore Prime Day after you become Mrs. I’m Now Legally Entitled to My Partner’s Money, Too.  

Have Your Inner Circle Spread the Word

While putting a link to your fund or mentioning a wedding registry on your formal invites is, sadly, still considered uncouth, this is where your VIPs come in. The whole point of having an inner wedding circle — other than to make all of your other friends jealous, ofc — is to give them the job of spreading important news like what bachelorette party themes you’re okay with whether or not kids are invited to the wedding (no, always no). 

Make sure every bridesmaid, immediate family member, and backup bestie has the link to your wedding website, cash fund, and preferred cash app memorized. Role-play a few scenarios together where they practice steering guests away from a toaster and toward an envelope filled with 10’s and 20’s. A simple: “Since they already have everything they need, they’re asking for donations to help them get out of their studio apartment by the time they’re 30” can go a long way. 

Make a ~Traditional~ Registry 

I understand you came here because you didn’t want to register for dumb shit you already have and don’t need. The thing is, weddings involve a lot of different personalities, some of which are old or traditional, or old and traditional (hi, mom!). In that case, they’re going to want to purchase you a tangible gift, and if you don’t give them options, you will absolutely end up with something absurd like a personalized cutting board with a misplaced apostrophe dotting your new last name. 

To avoid all that, register for a few items that you either actually want or can easily return, then request all gifts be sent directly to your house (because the wedding day will be so hectic and not because you want the receipt!). Here are a few of our faves to register for that will look just as nice in your house as they will once the store credit has been returned to your Amazon account:

Have a Box for Cards at the Reception

If I had a dollar for every time I showed up at a wedding and realized I forgot to give a gift, well, I wouldn’t have any money because I’m not a trash person. But! There are plenty of folks out there who somehow don’t remember to bring a lil something for the newlyweds, which is where the card box comes in. Yes, it’s great for collecting physical cards (oftentimes with physical checks or gift cards), but it also serves as a nudge for anyone who showed up empty-handed. When they’re trying to avoid making small talk between the ceremony and cocktail hour, they can take a little stroll to Walgreens, grab a card, throw in some cash, drop it in the box, and no one will know just how close they came to looking like a dick who thought gifts at weddings weren’t a requirement. 

Put Your Venmo Out There

In an era where Venmo handles are the new zodiac signs, finding a way to ensure everyone knows your @ is just smart economics. Set up a chic sign at the reception, inviting guests to “Buy the newlyweds a celebratory drink or a next-day coffee,” or put a little note in the program saying you’re accepting donations to your “Honeymoon Hangover Recovery Fund.” This is also helpful if you plan to offend a portion of your guests by having a money dance (which, yes, is tacky. Yes, I did. And yes, I highly recommend it) since, literally, only dads carry cash for fear every credit card machine in the world will stop working at the same time. We want more than dads to dance with us, mmk?

Have an Offering Basket Processional

Who says you can’t mix a bit of sacrilege with your sacrament? As you strut down the aisle, ditch those outdated bouquets for offering baskets boldly labeled “Big Adult Purchases” or “Escape the In-Laws Vacation Fund.” If you’re not above pimping out your wedding party, throw them into the mix and make their processional a true shake-down, encouraging them to do anything required to get the guests to cough up. (I said, anything, Jessica. If you flashed the bar during Spring Break, you can show a little leg now.) This isn’t your grandma’s collection plate, y’all. It’s your first act of matrimonial rebellion. Because really, if your wedding doesn’t push a few envelopes, are you even doing it right?

Have a Cover Charge

Think of your wedding as the Met Gala of nuptials, minus the wildly confusing dress code (unless you’re a Woodland Fairy Vampire Chic girlie, in which case, carry on). Entry fee? Just a simple donation to your “We Both Have a Ton of Student Loan Debt So Help?” fund. Think of it as the price of admission to the greatest show on Earth (your vows, duh). But here’s the kicker: the more your guests drop, the sweeter the perks. Guests can snag premium seating with a modest contribution, or they can get everything from a shout-out during the toast to an engraved invite to your next big life event by being truly generous. Sure, slapping a cover charge on love might stir the pot, but haters only get nosebleed seats in this story.

At the end of the day, having a wedding isn’t about getting gifts or cashing checks — it’s about marrying your person with your people by your side… that said, the price per head is pretty expensive, and the open bar isn’t gonna pay for itself, so here’s my Venmo, just in case <3. 

Rachel Varina
Rachel Varina
Formerly one of the HBICs at Total Sorority Move (RIP), Rachel Varina has a long history of writing about things that make her parents ashamed. She's an avid lover of holding grudges, sitting down, and buffalo chicken dip. Currently, she lives in Tampa, Florida, but did not feed her husband to tigers. And even though she's married (with a *gasp* baby), she doesn't suck. Promise. PROMISE! Follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@rachelvarina) so she gets more followers than that influencer her husband dated in high school.