Should You Give Cash?
The elegant invitation comes in the mail, and you begin to look forward to seeing your friends and relatives at an upcoming wedding. After the excitement of looking forward to sharing this wedding day with a couple you care about, you need to consider the dilemma of what to buy the newlyweds as a gift. You may be trying to decide if wedding gift cash, a check, or a gift certificate would be the best gift for a couple whose wedding you will be attending. You may know that they have limited assets, and believe that the gift of money in one form or another will be a true benefit to them. On the other hand, you may also feel that you want to give them some memento or gift that will last longer than cash. We all hope that the wedding gift we purchase for the newlyweds will be something that they will really appreciate and will cause them to think of us fondly when they use it. At the same time, we also want to help our newly married friends or relatives get the best start in life possible. What should we do? What are some of the pros and cons of giving wedding gift cash?
Read on to see some of the advantages and disadvantages below.
Why Wedding Gift Cash May Be the Best Gift of All
Often, we feel that giving cash or gift certificates will be too cold and impersonal. However, many young couples may be starting out their marriage already in debt, as a result of car loans, student loans, or credit cards. Some young couples may also need to pay for all or part of their wedding or honeymoon expenses themselves. In addition, a newly married couple may be trying to save money for a down payment on their first house or condo. In all of these situations, cash may be greatly appreciated by a hard working couple who has a lot of debt or expenses. In fact, many couples may prefer cash wedding gifts, especially if they have already lived on their own or have been living together prior to their wedding. A pair of newlyweds who have each had their own households prior to their wedding may not really need more dishes, silver or decorative items for their new home. They may actually be trying to get rid of some of the excess that they already have. Cash is a very practical gift in these situations.
Historically, wedding gift cash has been a very popular present for newlyweds in many cultures. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, I remember when it was not unusual to see a “money tree” presented to the brides and grooms at their reception. I can also remember going to weddings where the male guests would “pay” for a dance with the bride. In more recent years, these cash gifts have become less common at weddings. Perhaps, in times when the economy is bad, or unemployment is high, it would be a thoughtful idea to bring back the tradition of wedding gift cash, especially for young couples who are starting out with very few household possessions.
At the same time, gift certificates may be popular with a couple who needs a lot of practical items and you think they will want to choose those items themselves. These are ideal for couples who are starting out together with few possessions or who are buying their first home together and will want to get a wide variety of items for it.
Amazon is one place shopping for a variety of gift certificates. Not only can you get Amazon gift certificates, but also gift certificates from a variety of department stores. This can save you a lot of time and energy. In fact, you can order these items online and have them shipped directly to the couple. They'll be thrilled!
Why Wedding Gift Cash May Not Be the Best Gift
If you are thinking of giving wedding gift cash, one thing to consider is whether it means that the newlyweds will end up only receiving cash, and very few actual gifts. Once the money is spent, they may have met very few of their needs. In other cases, a young, immature couple may spend the cash on an expensive honeymoon or other luxury, rather than using it to pay off debt or buy furniture and other necessities.
Of course, as the giver, it is not your responsibility to try to control how the recipient will spend their money. However, if you believe that a gift of cash will be mishandled, you may decide that you would rather give them something that you believe they need.
Why Not Give a Gift and Gift Cash, too?
One solution to the dilemma of whether to give a bride and groom wedding gift cash or an item is to give them both. If the couple has registered their wish list with a department store, for example, you could purchase one of the lower priced items on the wish list, and give them a modest gift of cash, as well. For example, you could pick out some sheets, towels or necessary kitchen items, and give the newlyweds $50 - $100 in the form of cash or a gift certificate to go along with it.
Should a Bride and Groom Ever Ask for Cash?
As the bride and groom, it is never considered proper wedding etiquette to openly ask for cash gifts. However, times are tough, and frequently newlyweds are in very fragile financial condition. As a result, if you are the bride and groom, it is better for you to register for everything you want or need at a department store. Then, you can mention to your closest friends that you “hope” to receive some cash wedding gifts or store gift certificates, too. In fact, you could even tell your friends and closest relatives how you hope to spend any cash gifts that you receive … towards a honeymoon, paying off debt, or saving towards the down payment on a home, for example. If you mention this to several of your invited wedding guests, many of them will get the hint.
By registering for necessities and mentioning to your friends that you hope that receive some cash, you are more likely to get many of the items that you need, as well as the cash that will help you get a better financial start in life.
There are many things to consider when planning a wedding. If you are a young couple that is trying to make decisions about your wedding, you may also be interested in reading some of these articles listed below:
Amazon Gift Cards are Always the Perfect Gift
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(price as of Jul 27, 2014)