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Gifts: Is it OK to ask for money or gifts in your wedding invitations?

Wedding gifts. We get it, you’ve been ‘living in sin’ (sorry Nana) for three years, you’ve got every kitchen gadget you could possibly need (Nutribullet anyone?) and frankly, you’re done with dusting photo frames. So what do you do about the wedding list? You don’t want to offend your guests but equally it would be a waste for them to go spending on things you don’t need. Is it really OK to say “Actually we’ve got everything, but some cash for a fabulous new sofa would be rather lovely, please and thank you”?

Do you include a gift list in your wedding invitation?

I’ve been designing handmade wedding invitations for over 15 years now and I’ve seen the etiquette evolve quite dramatically over that time. In short, yes, I think it’s absolutely fine to just say you’d rather your guests didn’t buy you ‘stuff’ that will only end up gathering dust, grateful though you are for the sentiment.

I would say that it is now the norm to include details of a specific wedding list or some form of request for money in lieu of gifts. Even the social etiquette bible Debretts say it’s OK!

“Details of where the wedding list is held, with website, address and phone number (while traditionalists still maintain that reference to the wedding list should not be included with the invitation, it is almost universal practice to enclose such information, and eyebrows are generally not raised these days).”


Of course, if you are uncomfortable in any way about including gift lift details or otherwise in your invitations, just leave it out. If your guests want to know, they’ll ask.

So it’s OK to ask for cash instead of gifts?

My personal view is that, if you’re going to suggest a gift of cash or vouchers, then you should make it clear exactly what you’re going to use that for. Good examples could be your honeymoon or a once in a lifetime family holiday, a house purchase or renovations or a statement piece of furniture. Letting your guests know that you will be putting their contribution towards something you will truly value and treasure will mean a lot to them.

How do we word that then?

A quick search of Google or Pinterest will give you (seems like) a million different ways to word your request for money. We love some of the suggestions on the Hitched website here.

The important thing is to find a poem, verse or paragraph that suits you, your personalities and the tone of your wedding invitations. For example, if your invitations are very formally worded then a cheeky, humorous little ditty with quips about kettles, toasters, pots and pans may look out of place. A simple verse like this might be more suitable:

Your presence at our wedding is present enough,
but if we’re honoured with a gift from you,
may we respectfully request a gift of money,
to help the dream of our new home come true!

Help and advice

When I sit with my couples and go through the wording of their wedding invitations (and what should be included with them) I am always happy to make suggestions and advise on the best way to include the gift list or alternative poem/verse.

If you’d like any tips or pointers from me, just ask! Any of our invitations either already have a space for you to include details about wedding gifts or they can be adapted to do so. We can print your chosen words directly into the invitation either as part of a guest information card or on a separate gift card to include in the envelope. Either way it will be beautifully and tastefully done so no offence will be caused!

If you’d like to visit our studio in South Wales to talk about how we can design your perfect invitations and guide you through all the wording and difficult bits, just get in touch!

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