Wedding invitations

Can you ask wedding guests for money?

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Sometimes it’s difficult to work out the accepted wedding etiquette. After all, you’ve most likely never had to plan a wedding before! There are so many things you are expected to know: When should you send out a save the date? Who can you leave off the guest list? Can you tell people not to bring their kids? One of the most touchy areas, in etiquette as in life, involves money and how people are asked to spend it. Specifically, can you ask people for money in lieu of gifts? Can you ask them to spend their money on certain gifts instead of others? The answer is, it’s complicated.

Tactfully circulate your gift preferences

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The reason this is such a touchy issue is that making any statement about gifts can seem presumptuous. After all, your guests aren’t obligated to bring a gift. It’s supposed to be a nice extra. A bonus, not something you can count on ahead of time. Asking people to select a gift from a registry can sound like asking for loot, and even worse, asking for money or something else instead of gifts can sound ungrateful for anything else your guests may have planned to give you.

On the other hand, of course, many guests appreciate having some guidance on what they can spend money on. They don’t want to waste money buying a gift you don’t need or don’t like, so some indication can be helpful. They may prefer to give cash, but worry about seeming rude by failing to pick out a thoughtful gift. This has become especially pertinent in a time when many couples live together for years prior to marriage, or at least live independent of their parents beforehand. People usually have the kitchenware and towels sorted years before the wedding. But of course, lots of couples would love fancy new things for starting their married life, so expectations can get pretty complicated!

Know when to tell guests about gift preferences

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Asking Guests For Wedding Gifts Of Money Or Specific Items

So what’s a bride to do? Can you help your guests out, or is it rude to do so? The answer is yes, help them out! But do it in an appropriate way. What is appropriate? Glad you asked! You have three main options:

Include a separate gift card

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1. Add a card to your wedding invitation suite

First things first, you should never include information about gifts, cash or registries on a save the date or on the wedding invitation itself. What you can do, however, is to include a separate card that gives your guests information about your preference for gifts. Word it tastefully. Something like “We have already been blessed with everything we need for our home! If you wish to bring a gift, a contribution to our wishing well would be greatly appreciated.” Make sure it is clear that the gift is optional, that you sound thankful, and that you use tactful euphemisms. “A contribution to our wishing well” will always sound better than ˜cash’.

Add details to a wedding website

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2. Add the information to your wedding website

Got a wedding website to share information with your guests? This is the perfect setting for information about gifts! This can work in tandem with an information card in your wedding invitation suite, but it is also considered more acceptable to include the details of your wedding website on the invitation itself rather than specifics about gifts if you would prefer to keep it to one card.

Set up a section on your website marked something like “registry,” “˜wishing well,” or “a note on gifts.”  Use the same tips on wording as above: be thankful, keep things optional, and be careful about your choice of terminology.

Rely on word of mouth

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3. Rely on word of mouth

This is a good option if you are worried about offending certain guests or if your preference on gifts is not as firm. All you have to do here is let your parents, siblings, and bridal party know where you have registered or what your arrangements are. People who are stuck for ideas on gifts are likely to ask them (or you!) for ideas, and they can spread the word. Those who have their own thing in mind are unlikely to ask and will get you whatever they had planned on anyway. This is obviously less efficient, but is a good option if you’re not certain about how to handle it.

So that’s how to handle it. Let people know your preferences in a tactful way that is focused on helping make their lives easier rather than on making demands based solely on what you want, and people will be appreciative. Whether you’re registered somewhere, hoping for cash to put towards a house or paying off the wedding, or looking for donations to charity in lieu of presents, it’s just a matter of keeping it off the invitation and being polite.

Your Honeyfund honeymoon registry offers a tasteful way to ask for money!

Bio: This post was written by Maddison Wallace from Paperlust, Australia, where print design lovers and independent creatives unite.

Discover beautiful, fresh invitation designs exclusively available at and order with confidence knowing each card is printed on our luxe paper range.

Here you can order custom invitation and card designs for every occasion, including your wedding stationery, engagement invitations, birthday invitations and more.

For designers, Paperlust is the platform to sell your designs to our global community of design lovers, while the Paperlust team takes care of the printing, packaging, shipping, delivery, customer support, and all the other stuff you don’t have the time to deal with from your studio.

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You're invited to a weddingThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Aside from including the who, when, and where, there is so much flexibility in what to include or omit from your invitations. Every wedding is different and calls for different information and different levels of formality. Regardless, you’re creating a keepsake and an heirloom that will get your guests excited about this most special day in your life, and set the tone for your event.  Keep these 10 ideas in mind when planning your invitations!

10 Types Of Information To Include In Your Wedding Invitations

Polka dot invitations

#1.  Names

While it seems quite obvious to include you and your fiancé(e). names on your own wedding invitations, there’s a little more to it than just saying who is getting married. It’s also a good idea to include the names of those hosting the wedding, whether that be parents or parent of either or both partners. Lots of families won’t fit into the traditional mould where the married parents of the bride host the wedding. You may wish to list the host or hosts by their full name with the appropriate title of Ms., Mrs., Dr. or Mr.


#2.   Date and Time of Wedding

After the names of the couple and their hosts, the date and time of the wedding should come next. Don’t make guests search for this information as it is very important that they know when festivities are happening! Be sure to include the year since weddings are often planned well in advance. Be sure to include in the morning/afternoon/evening (or am/pm) in your time just to be clear that you aren’t having a garden wedding at midnight.

Modern wedding invitations smaller

#3.   Venue

Whether you are having a destination wedding or a backyard wedding, your guests need to know where to show up on the day of. List the name of the venue, the city, and state. It may seem obvious, but it will be helpful for your long-distance guests! Zip codes are typically left off of an invitation.

Gatsby wedding invitations

#4.   Attire

You may wish to let your guests know what level of formality your wedding will be so they will know what is appropriate to wear. This information can go on a general detail card, or at the bottom of your wedding invitation. The typical categories of attire, from most formal to least formal are: Black Tie, Formal (black tie optional), Semi-Formal, Cocktail Attire, Beach or Garden Party Attire, and Casual.

Custom wedding

#5.  A Way to Reply

Couples should include a reply card and pre-addressed, stamped envelope for their guests to indicate whether they will be attending. You can keep the yes/no wording traditional, casual, or even humorous. Today, some couples may choose to forgo the mailed reply card, and instead share an email address or website for guests to reply online. Either way, include a specific date to reply by (usually one month before the ceremony). If the caterer requires it, you should also include menu options, so guests may initial their entree choice and inform you of any special dietary restrictions. If you are concerned about uninvited guests, you can include wording such as we have reserved ____ seats in your honor, to be filled in by you individually for each invitation, or a simple number attending: ___ line for clarity.

Floral wedding invitations

#6.  Reception Details

Typically, the invitation itself focuses of the wedding ceremony. The reception can be a beast all its own with lots of information: perhaps a different location, time, and more. An included reception card addresses such information without crowding the invitation itself. If your reception is at the same venue as your ceremony, you may wish to include a line such as dinner and dancing to follow at the bottom of the main invitation.

Website card

#7.   Wedding Website

Many couples choose to create wedding websites to serve as a one-stop-shop for their guests. While an invitations are still a necessary formality and beautiful keepsake, they can only give so much information without appearing cluttered. Listing your wedding website within the invitation suite opens the digital door for so much more. Couples can include information about their love story and the proposal, add a gallery of photos, links to gift registries, information about accommodations and things to do, an itinerary if the wedding is a multi-day event, online RSVP, and so much more. With that said, you may decide to include a separate website card versus listing your website on the invitation itself (if you’d like to keep your invitations clean of a potentially long url). Registry information is best kept online, rather than on a printed card.

Destination wedding invitation

#8.   Directions / Maps

In today’s world, it seems anyone can get anywhere with a cell phone GPS. It may seem outdated or unnecessary to include a map or directions to your venue, but it is courteous and a nice keepsake! A custom wedding map can include landmarks in addition to hotels and wedding venues.

Wedding detail card

#9.   Accommodation & Transportation Details

There’s a good chance people will be traveling for your wedding. It is a great idea to make accommodations easy for your out-of-town guests by reserving a block of rooms at a nearby hotel under your names; chances are the hotel will even offer a discounted group rate to your guests. This is especially useful for extended family and friends who will want to spend time together outside of the wedding. Transportation details are usually included along with accommodation information. You can provide guests with information about where to park, public transportation, and/or available shuttles and shuttle times.

Welcome party invitations

#10.  Details for Rehearsal Dinners, Welcome Parties, Brunches, and More

Many couples wish to communicate details about before or after-wedding gatherings without having a separate mailing for each event. Maybe you want to share rehearsal dinner information with some guests, welcome party information for out of town guests, or invite all of your guests to a farewell brunch. These cards are typically smaller than the invitation itself, and can be worded more informally if you choose.

Your save the dates and wedding invitations set the tone for your wedding, and also help guests plan for your big day! Working directly with a wedding stationery professional will ensure that your guests feel informed and excited.

Bio: Hello Tenfold is a stationery design studio dedicated to infusing style and personality into your wedding invitations. Founder and designer Ellie Snow combines her love for art, design, history, and paper to create life-long keepsakes at a variety of price points, from digital files to flat printed, letterpress, and foil stamped invitations. Ellie works closely with brides and grooms to create custom or semi-custom paper goods that match the style and personality of their event, and strives to make each customer feel like her most important.

Thanks to Lissa Gotwals, L’Amour Foto, Taken By Sarah, and Estudio Rojo for the photos used in this post.


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