Wedding Gifts – Presents vs Money

wedding gifts

Wedding gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are chosen from the gift registry the happy couple have put together at a couple local (or online) stores. Others aren’t, and are something the gift giver thinks (or hopes) the couple will like and use. Sometimes the gift isn’t something that comes in a prettily wrapped box, but in the form of cash or a check in an envelope.

Earlier today I read an article that was questioning whether giving a monetary gift instead of one that is purchased, wrapped, and tied up with a pretty bow. No, it wasn’t meaning if asking for money instead of a present is wrong, but whether giving money instead of a present is wrong.

While the article didn’t come up with an end all/be all answer, no definitive right or wrong, it did give some food for thought to help determine wrapped present vs money.

It mentioned some pros and cons – such as “a physical gift will be remembered and cherished for a long time. Cash is appreciated in the short term,” and that “some couples also don’t want any gifts . . . and would prefer that a donation be made to their favorite charities or organizations.”

A wonderful tip the writer offers regarding giving money is to “write something meaningful in the card about how you hope they spend it . . . so that they don’t think you just stopped at an ATM on the way to the ceremony.”

But to suggest or make someone thing that giving money is wrong . . .

I mean, a gift is a gift. The gift giver can give whatever he/she wants to.

Why Is Another Bride Angry Over A Wedding Gift?

Did the couple register for gifts? Even if they did, giving money, (or giving something not on the list) is the givers choice. After all, a gift registry is not a list of the only options that the gift giver can choose. Instead, it is a list of items the couple would like to have.

So, would it be nice, would it be a good idea to choose a gift from the registry, instead of going rogue? Well, yes, because the giver knows that the couple will in fact like and use the item.

But, what is given, be it a boxed, wrapped present, or a card with money, remains the choice of the giver, not of the receiver.

So what are your thoughts on giving money as a gift?

Check out the article here Faux Pas Or Not: Money As A Gift.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Book Review – The Bride’s Money Book: How to Have a Champagne Wedding on a Ginger-Ale Budget by Pamela A. Piljac

The Bride's Money Book - This post may include affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission for products purchased, at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own, and I only share products that I love. Please read my full disclaimer if you are interested to know more.

Book Review – The Bride’s Money Book: How To Have A Champagne Wedding On A Ginger Ale Budget by Pamela A. Piljac

As a wedding planner and designer I am always on the look out for helpful resources to add to my library to use assisting couples plan their own weddings. The Bride’s Money Book: How To Have A Champagne Wedding On A Ginger Ale Budget  presents some good and useful ideas.

The questions to ask service providers are definitely beneficial since each couple, whether or not on a strict budget, needs to be an informed shopper. The tips offered in the later chapters are useful as well as they give each bride and groom many cost saving ideas which they can choose from. Although these tips can often be found in other sources (bridal magazines, planners, web sites) it is convenient (and time saving) to have them all in one place.

There is no one way to have a ceremony and reception as the “Sample Weddings” section explained, however only one included the budget used, and it was over budget. Also, paying [their estimated expense] for dinner is NOT budget minded. It may have been helpful to know where Rachel and Mark’s reception was taking place, since typical weddings (and budgets) vary considerably from places like New York or Los Angeles to the Midwest.

I must disagree with the statement on page 7 which states, “people seldom use wedding consultants unless they are having a larger, more expensive wedding.” Many couples have smaller guest lists and lower budgets. Those with less money to spend can benefit from the assistance of a professional to ensure that their hard earned dollars are spent wisely, and that they get the most bang for their buck.

Overall The Bride’s Money Book: How To Have A Champagne Wedding On A Ginger Ale Budget is a helpful read for anyone (male or female) who is planning a wedding.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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9 Easy Ways to Contain Your Wedding Costs

Weddings will still take place in these tough economic times, so savvy brides and grooms are looking for ways now more than ever to have the weddings of their dreams without breaking the bank with their wedding costs.

Here are some easy-to-do tips that will help you contain the costs of your wedding.

1) Prioritize
After you and your fiancé have decided on what your “ideal” wedding day will be, prioritize all of the different elements that generally go into a wedding. What is more important and what is the least important (or maybe not important at all)? This will help you when determining your budget and know where to allocate the money you want to spend.

2) Budget
You need to know how much money you really have to spend on your wedding. Wedding funds can come from your and your fiancé’s savings, money you can comfortably set aside from your paychecks and money that others will be contributing. Establish a separate savings or checking account that is strictly for wedding expenses.

3) Make Your Money Work For You
If you get a chunk of cash early on – say a contribution from your parents or his – invest in a short term CD which can earn interest in the time before you need to pay vendors.

4) Credit Cards
Use them carefully. Only put on your cards what you can comfortably pay off each month. You don’t want to start your marriage in debt. Choose cards that offer some type of rewards, such as points, cash back or free airline tickets.

5) Non-Peak Times
Consider holding your wedding during non-peak times. This could be a non-traditional day of the week (a Friday or Sunday often costs less than a Saturday), or a non-typical month (January or February rather than June or September).

The time of day can also impact your wallet – plan to get married in the morning and have a reception lunch instead of a dinner. Luncheon and brunch menus are less expensive than dinners. An added plus is that guests tend to drink less during the day, so you’ll also save on liquor costs.

6) Non-Peak Times (Part 2)
If you really want a Saturday evening event, avoid the typical dinner hour. Plan to have your ceremony later, such as 6:30 or 7:00 pm, and follow it with a dessert reception rather than a full sit down dinner. Most people will have eaten dinner by the time your event starts, but to be sure, put “Dessert Reception” on your invitation so there will be no confusion.

7) Invitations
Forgo a separate Reception Card and use “corner copy.” Your reception information will be printed at the bottom of the Invitation. You’ll see considerable savings by only having to pay a nominal fee (~$10 regardless of quantity) compared to $60-$70 or more for 100 Reception Cards. And one less card in your invitation ensemble could mean less postage.

8) Ceremony Decor
Use the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Sweetie). Don’t put flowers on every pew, and on the sides, and at the entry and at the back . . . Where will your guests be looking? That’s right, where you’ll be exchanging your vows, so this is where to put decor. Still keep it simple by accentuating the area with something simple like a nice arch or columns, with greenery. (Rental greens cost less than cut floral arrangements).

9) Ceremony Decor (part 2)
Get the most from your money by making your ceremony decor do double duty at the reception. Use bridesmaids’ bouquets to dress up the head table or cake table. A unity candle arrangement is the perfect size for a head table or sweetheart table centerpiece. Pew decor can also be placed on the cake table.

These tips aren’t just for the small budget wedding. Regardless of how much you are able to spend on your wedding, these ideas will help you get the biggest bang for your buck.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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If you want more wonderful tips and ideas on how to personalize your day and make it uniquely yours, contact me at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!