Do gift lists still have a place for the modern bride and groom? After all, over half of you will live with your partner before you get married, so you’ll already have a lot of your homeware sorted.
Well, we still think gift lists are a great idea. Giving a thoughtful and welcome gift is still a big part of a celebration, whether it’s a wedding, a significant birthday, a new baby or an anniversary.
It’s just that the whole structure of gift lists is changing. Recently, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) did a little research on the decline of the wedding gift list, as more and more couples start to ask for cash gifts instead. Here’s what was discovered.
Less than a quarter (21%) of recently-married couples asked for gifts from a wedding list.
Instead, almost half (40%) asked for money towards:
- The cost of the wedding/honeymoon (23%)
- A house (7%)
- Another purpose (16%)
- Charity donation (7%)
Money, money, money
The main reason why money is taking precedence over the gift list is because many couples already live together, and don’t need to furnish their home with traditional wedding gifts. 62% of those who ask for money state this as the main reason, with 12% saying they are saving for a deposit for a home.
If you’re asking for money, you may end up with quite a substantial sum, and the FSCS advises that you need to make sure you are investing it in a safe place. You might like to use the FSCS online protection checker for this.
Feel uncomfortable asking for cash?
About two-thirds (63%) of guests who have attended a wedding in the past five years are comfortable giving money rather than buying something from a gift list. Just a quarter (26%) wouldn’t be happy making a financial contribution, according to the FSCS research.
Just remember that in some other cultures giving hard cash isn’t seen as a problem. In fact in Cyprus, the Philippines, Poland and Cuba, money is pinned directly to the bride’s wedding dress. In Hungary it’s dropped into her shoes! Marry in Italy and you’ll probably get a satin bag filled with notes, whilst in China the bride and groom would receive a red envelope. It’s a practical understanding amongst the guests that the money will help to offset the cost of the wedding, the honeymoon and help the couple start their new life together.
As the FSCS research showed, guests appreciate why couples ask for money, with 63% recognising that most now live together already and so do not need household items. Just 7% think people are greedier.
So we say, if you really want money as a wedding gift, then you should just take a deep breath and go for it, as you’re unlikely to offend the majority of your guests.
But what to do with the cash whilst you’re waiting to spend it?
“It is important that couples who do receive money keep it safe, whatever they’re deciding to spend it on,” advises Mark Neale, Chief Executive of FSCS. “Depositing the money in a UK-authorised bank, building society or credit union will give couples reassurance that their money is FSCS protected. These savings are protected up to £85,000 by FSCS, in the unlikely event of the provider going bust.”
“Many of the couples I work for face a dilemma when it comes to wedding gifts,” says Alexandra Moseley, a professional wedding planner. “In a number of relationships the couple already live together and have everything they need for their home. They mainly want to make sure that their guests feel as much a part of their big day.
“With many couples now taking their honeymoon months after their wedding, some newly-weds prefer donations to their honeymoon fund. The fact that the majority of guests feel comfortable giving cash will reassure a couple that they can ask for it, if that’s what they feel is most appropriate.”
So how do you ask for money?
Well, if you’re using it to fund a honeymoon, then you can set up a fund directly with an established company like Turquoise Holidays or Kuoni and put details of it in with your wedding invitations. Or, alternatively, you could go for a company like Buy Our Honeymoon – they don’t hold your funds, and the money your guests contribute will go directly into your bank account. Do make sure that any company that does hold your funds is insured, because if they go bust, you’ll lose your honeymoon.
The same applies to gift vouchers – if your wedding gifts are held with vouchers and the supplier goes broke, you’ll end up with nothing. Always go for established retailers like John Lewis.
And if you want to set up a deposit account for your funds, use the FSCS checker to make sure they are in the best and safest place for you. To find the best rates of interest and home for your money use a comparison website like MoneySavingExpert.
Asking for money can still be a tricky business – why not discuss it with other brides in our Forum and see what they think?