Asking for cash for honeymoon instead of Wedding presents - tacky?

So, my lifelong best friend is getting married. She’s 48. She’s never been married before (neither has he). They have lived together for seven years in a house she owns.

She has always been a disaster area with money. She’s had various debts over the years, and is always complaining that she can’t afford this and that. Her salary is comparable (or better) than many of our group of friends; yet she frequently complains that she can’t afford the kind of holidays we manage to have. We can never figure out what she spends her money on.

I’m head bridesmaid, and tried to give her some gentle advice about handling the thorny issue of wedding presents. I encouraged her to just ask people to ask me as part of my duties.

However, I got my invitation today. As well as the invite, there is an A4 sheet of information, and the last paragraph is headed “Wedding gifts”. It says:

“We have been asked if we have a wedding list. We are lucky enough to have most things we need for our home, and in fact are de-cluttering as part of our ongoing decoration project! the most important thing to us is that you can come to share our day, so there’s no obligation to give us anything. However, if you want to make a contribution we have set up the following site to help us raise enough for our planned honeymoon next year: Honeyfund - Give a Gift. Alternatively gift vouchers for a DIY store such as B&Q would also be most appreciated.”

There was also a slip of paper in with the invitation (which was the first thing that fell out when I opened it) with the Honeyfund website and logo on it.

When you go onto the site, it says the kind of holiday they want (California, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Yosemite). You can choose from various options, such as a contribution towards air fare (£50 or £25), dinner with champagne, money towards a hire car (“help us upgrade to a convertible!”) , an overnight stay in specific luxury hotels and so on. It also mentions that they are not planning doing this for a year after the wedding.

I am appalled. It’s not a fucking honeymoon, it’s a holiday. It’s “ooh, we’ve been together for years, we don’t need a toaster, pay for our holiday”.

People are travelling from all over for this wedding. Most have to pay for transport, a hotel stay, as well as a new outfit etc, and drinks at hotel prices (free bar is not the norm in the UK). I’ve already shelled out for my Bridesmaid dress, and a fair bit on the hen night. And they’ve put in a “give us some money” in the invitations?

Am I overreacting?

I searched the Dope and the last thread I could find on this subject was from 2008. The feeling then was not exactly positive - I’m curious if this is now considered normal.

It’s horribly tacky and they’re gauche people. No money mentions in invitations!

It will always be tacky to ask for presents, whether it’s considered normal or not.

As far as I can tell from your post you haven’t reacted at all. You just think it’s tacky. It’s entirely possible to over-react to something being tacky. You could resign as bridesmaid and boycott the wedding, for example. That would be over-reacting.

Incredibly tacky and i flat out wouldn’t go to such a wedding. If I am funding anyone’s holiday it’s my own.

If she had gone this route, what would you have told people if they asked you?

It’s tacky to ask for anything in an invitation other than the presence of those being invited.

It’s a shame I enjoy wedding so much, because I would otherwise be inclined to automatically boycott any wedding whose invitation included a solicitation for gifts. I’m especially quick to judge because my wife and I included no such information with our invitations; we verbally told a few people (best man, maid of honor, our parents) where we were registered and they passed the word along. Lo and behold, we got a ton of stuff that was on our registry and almost nothing that wasn’t (not that we wouldn’t have appreciated it).

I think it’s tacky, but it wouldn’t piss me off. Tacky doesn’t offend me I guess.

I’d go, and either send some money or not, depending on whether I felt like it or not. For a close friend, I’d probably give them some money as a gift.

How do you feel about wedding gifts (or other gifts) in general?

In general, I don’t see a problem with gifts being experiences (e.g. tickets to a show; restaurant gift cards) instead of physical objects.

Well, I could have put more emphasis on the fact they could do with DIY vouchers to carry on their redecoration project, and then go on to mention the honeyfund website as an option. I think doing these things verbally you can be a bit more… tactful.

Oh, my overreaction has so far been restricted to voicing my opinion on the Dope. I was curious as to whether my inner voice screaming “This is appalling!” was an overreaction. She’s my best friend and I love her dearly and I would never let her know what I think.

Incidentally, I have already purchased their wedding present - two tickets for the upcoming Rush tour.

I don’t have a problem with wedding gifts. I am not a big fan of registeries, though I understand the necessity. IMO a wedding gift is something you give out of the love of your heart, because you’re happy that these people are getting married.

I don’t like cash as gifts at all. If you feel like someone needs money, find a way to give it to them privately. Otherwise I won’t fund your wedding or your honeymoon.

I think the idea of gifts being an experience is a lovely idea, like the Rush tour. But that’s not funding her honeymoon (sorry, her vacation). It’s giving the couple something fine to do together.

This is becoming so normal, and I agree with you to a certain extent in that wedding presents were supposed to add your the ‘bottom drawer’ when young couples genuinely needed some pillow cases and a kettle.

However, despite the vast cost involved just attending a wedding that you’ve outlined, it is common courtesy to give a gift to your host on a celebrated occasion. I’m not a fab of ‘pay for my holiday’ invitations, but i can understand where they come from - you get given a hell of a lot of expensive crap at your wedding if you aren’t specific.

You probably don’t get Miss Manners over there. It seems every second letter she gets involves this, and the answer always is that it is indeed tacky to ask for money, or for anything, for that matter, without being prompted. We are supposed to pretend that we are not paying admission to get into the wedding. Your suggest about going through you to make suggestions about what they’d want would meet with her approval.

Incredibly tacky, and I would not give them cash on principle at this point (but I wouldn’t anyway, since I don’t like giving cash gifts). I’d be inclined to give them a very nice card and a gift card to a local hardware store. :slight_smile:

I think it’s tacky, but I find a lot of things about many weddings to be incredibly selfish, over-the-top, and just plain dumb. Not all weddings, of course. I don’t think I’d find it as bad if they just asked for cash and left it at that, without the whole website thing. :shrug:

One of my good friends just got married and they did something similar. I was OK with it. It’s no different than a wedding registry, which almost everyone does.

I gave them a nice check and am happy they will have a nice honeymoon. It’s not like they’re asking you to finance every vacation they’ll take for the rest of their lives.

Having said that, I wouldn’t do it myself.

Agreed. Even though as I said I am not fond of cash as a gift…but you know, lots of people get married when they are already settled and they don’t need kettles and serving platters. I would prefer they just said, “We would just love to have the gift of your company but if you must bring a gift, cash is fine!”

Even though that’s tacky, too. But at least it makes it clear what they are asking for.

This thread reminds me of a situation I’ve always wondered about regarding weddings: what are you supposed to do if you want absolutely no gifts? No registry items, no cash, no donations, nothing. I understand that you’re not supposed to mentions gifts in any context on invitations or anything else that guests are meant to see, but is there a way to do it? Tell the bridal party to spread the word? Or is smiling and accepting (graciously, of course) anything that’s given to you pretty much the only option?

I am a big fan of traditional etiquette, but this is an exception. I think there are more tasteful ways to handle this request. But I have no problem with contributing toward a trip, rather than giving a traditional wedding gift.

I changed my mind about this after seeing several of my friends get married the “traditional way.” They spent modestly on their weddings, but made sure to extend invitations to everyone in their extended families, in order to keep with family tradition and avoid giving offense. They did small registries at the request of their relatives. But, despite trying to avoid “the gift grab,” they were given multiple wedding showers by well-meaning friends, and were virtually buried in gifts by the end of it all. They are now laden with stuff that they never use, but can’t bear to part with (because they were gifts).

I would feel much better about contributing toward a cherished experience, than to give yet another unneeded material item. I think it is more tasteful to let your desires be known through channels outside the wedding invitation, though.

I think including a solicitation in the invitation for gifts is not a tasteful thing to do.

However, if someone asks for registry information, I think Honey Funds are awesome if they are done in a fun way. A boring honey fund is a request for money. A fun one gives a guest the ability to contribute $80 for a massage, or $100 for a ziplining trip. I find it a lot more fun to buy someone a lobster dinner and a bottle of wine (or at least imagining that I am) than a stupid ass blender.

What about giving cash? Eh, not my thing. Some people are conditioned to expect cash, and not gifts, because of their cultural differences. There’s no use in getting worked up about it.

I think the tactful thing to do is to say something like “In lieu of gifts, we encourage donations to the following charity/ies:…” You can set up a bare-bones website with this information (along with the obvious date/time/location) which you can mention on your invitation.