green pocketfold invitation with white floral inserts

Asking for money instead of gifts in your wedding invitations

Asking for money or gifts in your wedding invitations. It’s a tricky one isn’t it? I 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 gift list? You obviously 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”? In this blog I cover the etiquette of asking for money or gifts in your weddings invitations. Is it OK to do it, and if you do how can you word it?

Let’s start with the gift list – is it OK to put that in your wedding invitation?

I’ve been designing handmade wedding invitations for over 15 years now and I’ve seen the etiquette around gift lists, poems and asking for money 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. Especially now as we are moving into an era where many of us place greater value on experiences and ‘making memories’, than possessions and material things.

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 then to be asking for money instead of gifts in your wedding invitations?

Again, there is no right or wrong answer to this. 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 for your marital home. 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.

So how do you word that money or gift request politely and without casuing offence?

A quick search of Google or Pinterest will give you (what seems like) a million different ways to ask for money instead of gifts in your wedding invitations. 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 about asking for money instead of gifts in your wedding invitations

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! All of my handmade wedding invitation designs either already have a space for you to include details about wedding gifts or they can be adapted to do so. I 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! Pocketfold invites or concertina style wedding invitations are ideal for including lots of extra details as well as a gift or many request.

So there you have it, my take on whether it’s OK to be asking for money instead of gifts in your wedding invitations. In short, yes I think it is OK but you should only do it if you feel absolutely comfortable doing so. If you are going to include a gift or money request, finding the right wording to suit you will ensure that you do not cause offence. With my many years of experience, I can help you to choose the perfect wording for your invitations.

What other details do you need to include in your wedding invitations?

When you order your wedding invitations and stationery with me you not only get all the help and advice you need, you also get exclusive access to my comprehensive wording guides and checklists. Carefully designed to make sure your invitations are perfectly worded and contain all the important details that they should. If you’d like to find out more about working with me to create your wedding invitations & stationery, get in touch or head to my online calendar and book yourself in for a quick call or studio visit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. If you’d like to save this post for later, pin the image below to your wedding planning board so you can easily find it again.


pinterest graphic for asking for money instead of gifts in a wedding invitation

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