It's Our Wedding - Give Us Money!

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A survey of 500 wedding couples has shown that a huge 54% would ask for money, or vouchers, as a gift - rude, demanding or just a sign of the times?

A survey of 500 wedding couples has shown that a huge 54% would ask for money, or vouchers, as a gift - rude, demanding or just a sign of the times?

It seems more bride and grooms are plucking up the courage to break with tradition and ask for money rather than opt for using a wedding list. This shift has arisen as many more couples are choosing to cohabit for a number of years before they eventually tie the knot. As they already live together they are often in a situation where they already have everything they need, and would prefer to ask for money rather than presents, which can be combined to perhaps pay for the honeymoon, or contribute to moving house or simply to save in preparation of starting a family.

Go back as little as 15-20 years in Britain and asking your guests for money was certainly not the done thing, indeed it was not until the early 80s that the concept of a 'wedding list' was born, however, as so often is the case, the trend was boosted when high profile celebrities, such as 'Posh and Beck's', did just this, asking their guests for shopping vouchers or just cold hard cash. If the King and Queen of celebrity can do this, does it open the doors to this becoming a more socially acceptable practice?

Giving the bride and groom money as a wedding present is common practice in countries such as China, Japan and Italy. In Poland, Cyprus, Greece, and the Philippines it involves the bride performing a ceremonial 'money dance' whereby guests are encouraged to pin money to either her wedding dress or veil. It seems that giving money as a wedding present, although viewed by some of the British public as a faux pas, is a practice which is very much embraced by others across Europe and Asia.

It's not all money, money, money though, with just over 1 in 3 couples (33.8%) polled telling us that they would still like to receive wedding presents, a figure which must be welcomed by the increasing number of 'wedding list' companies.

The Wedding List itself was originally designed to equip the bride and groom with all they would need to start up home together and to help avoid the unfortunate couple receiving 25 unwanted toasters as wedding presents. The wedding list gives couples the opportunity to visit a department store and select anything they want, including the kitchen sink. But even department stores have had to adapt to an ever demanding bride and groom. They even designed it so the bride and groom could go online and create their ideal wedding list without the need to even step foot in the store, but even that hasn't curbed the growing number of couples who just want vouchers.

16.7% of couples said they preferred to receive vouchers rather than a wedding present. Giving vouchers is often seen as a middle ground, it's not ten pound notes, but still gives the wedding couple the flexibility to use the vouchers for something that they want as and when.

The most interesting finding is perhaps the rise in the number of couples who have asked guests to donate to a charity (4.7%) rather than buy any wedding present at all.

Weddings are, in effect, are a rather self indulgent experience for the bride and groom and those who want to give to charity are perhaps attempting to ease their conscious in giving away some of their wealth and good fortune. This is particularly the case with celebrities, for example Christina Aguilera was reported to have spent $2 million on her lavish wedding and asked guests to donate to any charities supporting the victims of the New Orleans tragedy, rather than buy her a wedding present.

Companies such as 'Wedding List Giving' have made it easier for couples wanting to set up charitable wedding lists to do so. They have attracted big names such as Cancer Research UK, ChildLine, Oxfam, Greenpeace and Mind, just to name a few. They offer the socially conscious bride and groom a great alternative to the tradition wedding.

We suspect that as more and more people live together before getting married, or indeed are getting married for a second time, that the request for money and vouchers is going to continue to grow. There will always be some people that find the idea of requesting money rude, and some guests that find being asked for money quite offensive - but times move on and society as a whole will determine whether asking for cash ever becomes acceptable.


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