BRIDE WARS

Is it ever OK for cou­ples to ask for cash?

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“Like luke­warm tea and peo­ple who don’t know how to queue, there are few things that of­fend my Bri­tish strait-laced­ness as much as open­ing a wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion only for a lit­tle ELW!RI!SDSHU!WR!ÁXWWHU!RXW"!IHDWXULQJ!RQH!RI!WKRVH!QDXVHDWLQJ! money po­ems. You know the sort: ‘If you were think­ing of giv­ing a gift to help us on our way, a gift of money in a card would re­ally make our day!’ It’s not just the twee poem that of­fends me, it’s any form of be­ing asked for cash in return for be­ing in­vited to a wed­ding. An in­vi­ta­tion should be a treat, not a trans­ac­tion. And don’t even get me started on wish­ing wells at the ac­tual re­cep­tion. Just where will this avari­cious be­hav­iour end?

For my own wed­ding, you’ll not be sur­prised to hear that we had a tra­di­tional gift list so that we could up­grade our old univer­sity plates and pans for some­thing more durable.

If up­grad­ing re­ally isn’t an op­tion then cou­ples need to work a bit harder to get their hands on their guests’ money. 7KH\·OO!ÀQG!WKDW!WUDGLWLRQDOLVWV!OLNH!PH!ZLOO!EH!PXFK!KDSSLHU! to con­trib­ute to­wards some­thing con­crete – say ac­tual con­crete from a site such as Patch­work, where guests can buy ma­te­ri­als for a new house or ren­o­va­tions. Or, if it’s for a hon­ey­moon, use some­where like Turquoise Hol­i­days’ gift list ser­vice so I can con­trib­ute to­wards their hot-air bal­loon ride over the Serengeti. Or why not use com­pa­nies such as Pre­zola, The Wed­ding Shop and John Lewis, where you can mix gifts, cash, and hon­ey­moon and char­ity con­tri­bu­tions?

A word of warn­ing to any­one I know that’s yet to get mar­ried. Ask for cold, hard cash and you’re likely to end up empty handed. Have a gift list or say noth­ing at all and I’ll treat you to the most beau­ti­ful gift my money can buy.”

“AN IN­VI­TA­TION SHOULD BE A TREAT, NOT A TRANS­AC­TION. AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON WISH­ING WELLS”

“The idea that ask­ing for cash is a slight on a beloved tra­di­tion doesn’t sit well with me. There are no set rules on which tra­di­tions brides should and shouldn’t fol­low. We don’t bat an eye­lid when a bride wears pink in­stead of white or has a dough­nut tower in­stead of a cake. So why should ditch­ing the gift list and ask­ing for money cause such a stir?

To­day’s new­ly­weds re­quire and want dif­fer­ent things. Ask­ing for cash isn’t gar­ish or rude, it’s just hon­est: it’s what lots of peo­ple need.

With the tra­di­tion of the bride’s fa­ther foot­ing the en­tire bill fad­ing fast, 48% of cou­ples pay for at least some of the wed­ding them­selves*. So, as the av­er­age wed­ding comes in at £25,090*, there will be plenty of cou­ples out there who’d rather a cash boost than just more ‘stuff’. Be­sides, how is giv­ing, say, £40, any dif­fer­ent from buy­ing a set of glasses for the same price? Ob­vi­ously there are lim­its – ask­ing for ridicu­lous amounts is rude, and yes, rhyming cou­plets fall­ing out of your post in the morn­ing is enough to put any­one off their break­fast. But I don’t think it’s greedy, in fact, I think it’s quite the op­po­site. Of course, there will be ex­cep­tions, but the cou­ples I know who asked for money did so to try to pre­vent their guests spend­ing more on them than they needed to. One friend did so be­cause her loved ones had in­sisted they wanted to get WKHP!VRPHWKLQJ"!EXW!VKH!DQG!KHU!ÀDQFP!GLGQ·W!ZDQW!WR!PDNH! a gift list and weren’t hav­ing a big hon­ey­moon – so they just asked for con­tri­bu­tions to a treat in the fu­ture. I gave hap­pily, know­ing that in a few months’ time, my newly mar­ried friends might book them­selves a week­end away or buy some­thing they wouldn’t nor­mally, us­ing our con­tri­bu­tions.”

“TO­DAY’S NEW­LY­WEDS RE­QUIRE DIF­FER­ENT THINGS. ASK­ING FOR CASH ISN’T RUDE: IT’S WHAT PEO­PLE NEED”

NO! YES! HOL­LIE BOND LAURA DEAN-OSGOOD IS Y&YW’S LIFE­STYLE EDI­TOR. SHE SAYS: IS Y&YW’S SUB EDI­TOR. SHE SAYS:

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