Poetic Begging Is The Work Of The Debbil

by admin on April 17, 2012

I’m having a small courthouse wedding in 2 weeks, and a friend of my husband’s is getting married in June.  P is a good guy, very warm and intelligent. He also recently lost his job. Even with that, I think this has to be the bride (who, to be fair, I’ve never met). We got the invite today, cute pink & cream thing. It helpfully had an RSVP card and reply envelope… and this.

For we have a well
indeed for you,
to capture,
the blessings from you

It´s small and white
with bucket too,
not for thirst,
bu to share thy love
of bride and groom

For worry is wrought,
in the selecting of gifts!
Let this day be joyful,
let us help you

Into our well,
your affections true,
place your card,
with a money gift too

I just shared it with my friend (who’s 20) and she says, “Did you google it to see if it was like, some ridiculous ‘send us money’ form poem?”   The fact that it’s a poem is what gets me. It’s tackiness that’s trying to be disguised as classiness. It’s like making a pig wear a fairy princess dress.    0410-12

Nooooo!  Not the dreaded begging poem!   There are some otherwise credible wedding etiquette experts out there actually advocating the inclusion of such tacky poems in wedding invitations, completely forgetting that one NEVER mentions money in the same envelope as an invitation.   But not here on EHell.  No sirree!  Money poems are the work of the debbil and therefore deserve a toasty corner in Ehell.

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Bint April 17, 2012 at 4:24 am

Got a lovely poem for a wedding once:

Love the thought of picking gifts
and wrapping the chosen captive?
If thoughts elude in this regard
Then money is attractive.

Yeuch! I have never seen a poem asking for money that didn’t make me feel nauseous. If you’d prefer money, fine. Just don’t think making it into a poem is cute or makes it ok to be asking before anyone’s offered!


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

How about:

Love the thought of picking gifts
and wrapping the chosen captive?
If thoughts elude in this regard,
Just put it in a trash bag.

Also, a box of trash bags is always useful.


Laurita April 17, 2012 at 7:40 am

I think it’s a stretch to call this a poem. It’s a mess, and I say that as a writer of bad poetry. It’s an insult on top of another insult.


Snarkastic April 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this was a tragic mess (etiquette issue aside).


Margo April 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

And me. It’s so bad that if it wasn’t forthe final line you’d be hard pushed to know what they meant.

Actually the terrible poetry is more offensive to me that the begging, although both are totally inappropriate.


Carol April 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

That is Vogon Poetry right there. The lengths they went to to try and make the thing rhyme makes my eyes water, and what’s even worse, they didn’t succeed. Rhyming ‘you’ with ‘you’? Really?

And ‘Let us help you into our well?’ Seriously?

The thing with weddings is people tend to be generous anyway, and I’m sure this Bride and Groom will, ahem, ‘showered’ with large amounts of money without having to beg (badly) for it.


AS April 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

Love your reference to Vogon Poetry. :)


lkb April 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

Actually, I think the Vogon’s would wince at this one… ;D (Reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for those of you who are not familiar with Douglas Adams.)


June April 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Agreed. It’s apt.


Jojo April 17, 2012 at 8:37 am

We received a similar poem for a very large UK wedding recently. Most of the bride’s friends and family are carefree and non-traditional so she could get away with it. Her *very* well to do, wealthy and conservative relatives may not be so impressed, however.
It’s certainly put me off giving her the cash gift I originally intended to bestow and I have nowhere near the gift giving funds that some of her guests have.
Her brother, my fiance, can see nothing wrong with it. He’s going to get a bit of a shock when it comes to planning our wedding next year! But then, it wont really matter as much as we are planning a very small ceremony that wont include the moneyed relatives – just a handful of people we love.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

Asking for money in poem form doesn’t make it more acceptable than just writing “Forget the thoughtful stuff, give us CASH!”. Adding ‘b—-hes’ on the end might send one further into the depths of e-Hell, but I have yet to see that (though with the way people toss around profanities nowadays it’s only a matter of time)


Lynne April 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

Eww. It’s not even a good “poem.”


Just Laura April 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

Yes, it’s too much worry for me to select a gift for someone’s very special day. Just take my money instead.

The last time I received something like this, I didn’t attend. I don’t like to be told how to give gifts. If I decide to give money/gift card (and sometimes I do), then chances are I already have that idea in my head. I don’t need a poorly composed poem to tell me that I may give money.


JillyBean April 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

Quick question – I have received wedding invitations that say that it’s a “presentation wedding”, which I’ve been told means – bring money instead of a gift. I still think it’s rude and presumptuous, but what are other people’s thoughts?


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

I would write/email/or call them, and ask “What is a presentation wedding? I’ve never heard of it, or read about it in any of my ettiquette texts.”

If they explain that it means bring money instead of a gift, you can proceed from there, according to your relationship with the couple.

It might mean something else. Possibly you were misinformed. Or possibly they were.

When in doubt, give the benefit of the doubt.


MoniCAN April 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

It’s hiding tacky in an enigma of outdated traditions, I think. I could be wrong, but I’ve heard “Presentation Weddings” are from back in the day when guests were announced one by one in front of the King/Queen/Sultan (kind of like the modern tradition young men and women be “presented” at court for royalty) and would often give the royalty a gift of some sort to earn favor. Presentation weddings are just the couple pretending to be royalty for the day. But greedy and tacky gimme pig royalty! I’m glad no one ’round these parts even knows what Presentation Weddings are. That and Stag and Doe are unheard of and I hope they stay that way!


Striving For Sense April 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for the explanation.

I am now even more disturbed than before.


KITTY LIZARD April 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

I think any love I felt for this bride and groom would have evaporated the moment I got that
monumentally tacky invitation.


ErinAnn April 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

It is such a very, very bad poem too.


Jenny April 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

There’s no meter, rhyme or poetic nature to this.

Why do people
think that
simply writing
their begging
like this
makes it somehow
more socially acceptable?


ferretrick April 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Like this comment times a million.


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:29 am



Angela April 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

because they
an e.e. cummings
poem once in
sixth grade and
this is all
they remember?


Striving For Sense April 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

His work always made me cringe.


Library Diva April 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

In addition, whoever wrote that ‘poem’ clearly wasn’t paying attention in their grade-school English class, or at any point since. Not only are the sentiments tacky, but the execution is disastrous, with the overall effect of making this couple look greedy, rude and stupid. Well done.


Meegs April 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Exactly. In addition to the overall tackyness of these poems, they are always poorly writen and make absolustley no sense. “For we have a well, indeed for you…” What on earth does that even mean?


lkb April 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I’d be sorely tempted to give the couple a book of poetry. My mood at the time would decide if it was to be a book of good or bad poetry. ;D


--Lia April 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I didn’t know what a presentation wedding was, so I googled on it and see that at least one advice columnist said there was nothing wrong with asking for money and doing so with a bad poem. Many readers disagreed with her. Apparently the firestorm argument has been going on for some time.

This leads me to my question. I am one who agrees with the admin that begging for (or demanding) money as part of a wedding invitation is outrageous. How am I supposed to respond when I get such an invitation? None of my alternatives seem quite right.

I can turn down the invitation without explanation.
I can attend the wedding and give no gift.
I can buy a gift I think they’ll like anyway.
I can give them the money they want.

What’s the right thing to do?


sv April 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

My opinion – option 1 or 3, depending how close you are to the couple and how much you want to attend.


Library Diva April 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I think you can do whatever of those options you feel like. Even a formal registry is just a suggestion, anyway. It all depends on your relationship with the couple, how much you want to attend, what’s in your budget, and the sort of thing you might be inclined to give on your own.

As tempting as it is, though, you should probably try to leave your emotional reaction of getting a gimme poem out of your decision if you have a valued relationship with the bride or groom. Some people just don’t know these things. No one takes the time to teach them, or in some cases, no one is even available to teach them. I cut my frequently rude co-worker some more slack when I learned that she had lost her mother at 13, and was one of 8 kids.


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

Make your choice based on how much you love them.

If you love them, forgive them, and do your best to educated them in a kind and uplifting way. Don’t chastise them, but maybe invite them for tea, and discuss some etiquette rules with them. Turn them on to this site, as well as Miss Manners’. Give them etiquette books, and encouragement that it’s not too late to be good. Point out how many commenters are outraged and offended by this behavior, and let them know that Aunt Margaret and Uncle Stephen are probably reacting the same way. You know, the RICH Aunt Margaret and Uncle Stephen, who are now reconsidering their relationships with them.

In fact, I’d be tempted, if it was early enough, to tell them to reschedule their wedding, and send out proper invitations then, along with a separate mailing of apology to the people who got the first one. In that apology letter, they could explain that they have too much stuff and X source (unfortunately, there ARE such sources) said that it was OK to ask for money, but now they know better and are so sorry to have offended. Chances are, people will forgive them, attend the newly scheduled wedding, and make their gift choices armed with the knowlege that stuff is not wanted or needed, but money would be appreciated.

If you don’t love them enough to help them live better lives, just decline the invitation, and maybe send a card wishing them well.

If you really don’t like them, send the invitation here, and let us all point and laugh.


Library Diva April 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I thought one of the primary rules of etiquette was that you can’t go around correcting others’ missteps without being asked. I doubt most people would take well to be corrected in this manner. Only a grandmotherly type could get away with it and even that’s pushing it.


Striving For Sense April 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

True. My Granny could get away with this. Gramps? Not so much.


JC April 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

This poem is bad, but there was an even worse one, both in content and style, that posted to this site a few years ago. I think it was a gift grab for a bridal shower, only since no one was actually physically invited to a party – gifts were being requested via mail – the writer of the poem was giving it the obnoxiously twee name of “Mail Shower”.


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

Oh, ick.


Ashley April 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Well there’s one couple that wouldn’t be getting a gift from me…


June April 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I certainly hope the bride and groom aren’t expecting thank you notes from the guests—for saving them so much trouble buying gifts!


Kippie April 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Now I have the scenes of Kathy Bates muttering about “the debbil” in my head. Thanks for the smile!


Calypso April 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

That is truly the worst example of begging “poetry” I’ve ever seen—definitely Vogon. Jenny, your “Why do they think that” poem had *much* better meter and scansion!
JillyBean, I’ve never heard of a “presentation” wedding. What. The. Falafel.
One would be tempted to send the OP’s couple some lovely books of poetry and a note “I’m so delighted to see by your wedding invitation that you share my love of verse! Here are some of my favorites.”


Angie April 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Let’s just hope they didn’t write their own vows too, or the tears at the wedding may not all be the result of emotion.


Just Laura April 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

LOL. Love it.


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

If they do write the vows, they’d probably get too caught up in the “I love you so much,” aspect that they’d completely forget to include any actual promises.

I see that a lot, and wonder, just how legally binding is this marriage ceremony, if neither of them actually promised anything?

Oh, but they RHYMED!


Miss Raven April 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

This seems like something my aunt would have put together. Not because she is tacky or greedy, but because – literally until both of my cousins graduated from high school – she wrote party invitations in rhyme. All of them. Birthdays, graduations, everything. And not in very good rhymes. It was sheer nuttiness.

Although, to her credit, at least her rhymes had rhyme. And meter. It’s surely the Lit geek in me, but the fact that this poem is so atrociously written makes it so much worse!!


catvickie April 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Ha–reminds me of my late uncle who always wrote a Christmas letter to the ‘Night Before Christmas’ .
The meter and rhyming was always off. Now his oldest daughter does it–many times worse. I cringe every year when I get it. . . .


L April 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I think the comparison is a little unfair to pigs in dresses. Pigs in dresses are adorable ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d844XefDPCY ), this was horrendously tacky and vile. I’m a blank verser, but this was just bad. And not William McGonagle entertainingly bad either.


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

William McGonagle made sure to rhyme. He twisted the language quite painfully in order to force a rhyme, but doggonit, he did it!

Also, his meter wasn’t nearly as bad as this poem, either.


Kirsten April 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

How about

I’m marrying my honey
We’re serving 120 pheasants
So please give us money
Instead of actual presents



Lerah April 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm


I love this! It is short, to the point, and reminds those pesky guests you are feeding them so they best be greatful. And everyone knows the best way to show gratitude is with fistfulls of money.


Cat April 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

My cousin had a yard sale and sold all of her wedding presents to get the money. Now she laments she has nothing to pass on to her own daughters. I did send her grand-daughter a set of dishes her great grandmother had given me so she did have a family heirloom.

They can ask for money all they want. I don’t give money, poem or no poem. I have whatever I give initialed so it cannot be returned. You don’t like it, throw it in the trash.


Laurita April 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Here’s a poem for the well:

Here is a note
To go in your well
No money for you
Just go to Ehell


Jess April 25, 2012 at 8:19 am

Haha brilliant!


Lerah April 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I’d like to submit my own bad money begging poem.

Please don’t bother
Comming to our wedding.
You’ll just drink our wine
and eat all our breading.

Stay home instead,
And in your place send cash
What’s that you say?
You think this poem is brash?

We like you a little
But we’d love your money a lot
Oh dear, it’s getting warm in here,
Who knew ehell was so hot?


StephM April 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm



Kate April 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

It’s interesting, because that sort of thing (asking for money, even in the form of a funny poem) is pretty much the norm and anything but rude where I come from (outside the US) while the “dance” that is done over here (making a registry, telling someone in the close family about it, that person passes on the information when asked) is unheard of. I actually recently told someone about it, and they thought it was a little silly. It shows how important it is to know the culture of your surroundings!


Kimstu April 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

Kate: “It’s interesting, because that sort of thing (asking for money, even in the form of a funny poem) is pretty much the norm and anything but rude where I come from (outside the US) while the “dance” that is done over here (making a registry, telling someone in the close family about it, that person passes on the information when asked) is unheard of. I actually recently told someone about it, and they thought it was a little silly. It shows how important it is to know the culture of your surroundings!”

It’s certainly very important to be aware of cultural differences in the etiquette surrounding things like gift-giving, and there are certainly cultures where giving cash as a present is recognized as customary and expected and not tacky at all.

However, I’m a bit surprised to hear that your home culture endorses ASKING for cash from potential gift givers. If giving money as a present is the norm in your culture, why would gift givers need to be asked for it?

In my (admittedly far from universal) experience, there’s no culture anywhere whose traditional system of etiquette does not frown on people explicitly requesting or directing their guests to give them presents, of whatever kind. The fact that many cultures nowadays include many people who ignore that aspect of traditional etiquette, as well as commercial sectors actively encouraging people to ignore it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.


twik April 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

I agree – it’s one thing to say that in a culture that money is the standard present. However, I can’t understand why people then say, “Oh, and we always send reminder notes to everyone to make sure they understand that we only want their money.” If it’s a genuine tradition, you wouldn’t have to do that.

And doing that in bad verse is unfortunate in any culture, to my thinking. If you can’t face asking for money straight, I suspect it’s not as accepted as people claim.


Kimstu April 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm

It’s just occurred to me that while I vaguely remember something about the appearance of several lovely wedding invitations I’ve received in the course of the years, I can remember NOTHING at all about any of the ones that included gift/cash begging, poetic or otherwise. The tacky, grabby entitlement in every case was just so much more memorable than the invitation itself.

Sending out instructions or requests to tell your guests what kind of gifts you want may or may not produce the desired results from the givers, but it sure guarantees that that’s what the givers will remember about your invitations. Seems kind of a pity to put all that effort into selecting or designing an invitation whose look and wording you really like if you’re just going to cancel out its impression with the glaring vulgarity of your gimme-piggery.


Lady Macbeth April 18, 2012 at 1:44 am

Was anybody else perturbed by the fact that the “poem” lacked a rhyming scheme?


Kate April 18, 2012 at 5:51 am

Quite disturbingly, this appears to be gaining popularity. I’ve been invited to four weddings in the last year and three of them have included a cheesy gimme poem in the invitation. Do people not read etiquette sites any more?
My fiance and I don’t really need household items, we would prefer cash IF guests felt like giving it, but we’re certainly not going to bang on about it in the invitation.


politrix April 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

You could always respond with a poem of your own:
“Whether Indian, Thai or Iraqi,
If your name is Jean-Claude or just Jackie,
It’s a global-wide fact
That your poem lacks tact
Because begging for money’s just tacky!”


Daisy April 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Okay, now THIS is a good poem!


Just Laura April 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I have a question:
I have received something like this before (think it was for a shower). If I receive another one, would you feel it in poor taste if I printed this particular article/blog out and mailed it back to them?


Bint April 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

Yes. It’s very passive-aggressive and would be almost as bad-mannered as the invitation. Bear in mind quite a lot of these people simply do not know, or have read bridal magazines that tell them this is all fine. Even if not, sending something like this back is guaranteed to explode in your face, and I doubt anyone would have any sympathy.


Library Diva April 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Agree with Bint. Who likes to be told right to their face that they’re rude? And yes, there are many, many terrible bridal magazines and websites that give bad advice because they’re all about making money for their advertisers. If one of those “honeymoon registry” companies shells out for a four-page spread, you really think the magazine will run an article right next to it about not asking for cash? Spode, Waterford and the like are also usual major advertisers in those publications. How pleased do you think they’d be to have their ad on the same page as an article reminding brides that their wedding is not a fundraiser or a gift grab?


JUSTWOW April 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Very common, I think this is a losing cause to get people to stop.

Things are so bad where I am that if you try to bring an actual gift into a wedding or a wedding reception, people look at it like “what’s that?” and don’t know what to do with it. I say try sticking it down the well.


Colleen April 19, 2012 at 1:22 am

Roses are red
Money is green
Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, right?
Give me cash!


Jenny April 19, 2012 at 8:30 am

I love that random internet commentors were able to come up with a far better poem in 30 seconds than these idiots did when they theoretically had time as they printed it on their wedding invitation. So that’s lazy and rude!


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 10:59 am

This poetic begging is the work of the doggerel.

Impolite or not, please don’t make our eyes bleed by forcing us to read that dreck! If you’re going to be rude, do it with such style that people can’t help but forgive you.

Case in point: I play an online multi-player game, and people will often stand around begging for money to purchase items they want (not need, just want). “I want a god sword! Give me 5K coins!” My response is always to ignore them, because I know that telling them to earn the money themselves (I did) is just going to start off a load of insults and swearing.

However, a friend of mine encountered a begger who was so darned funny about it that my friend voluntarily gave him 1 million coins – waaaaaaay more than he asked for. My friend was rich, and it wasn’t a hardship for him, but he always stuck with the “don’t feed the beggars” rule, until one made him laugh that hard. He paid him for the comedy performance, and considered it well-earned.


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

Colleen – LOL! See, I’d pay you for that, because it’s so funny!

OK, maybe only $5, but I’d still pay for the laugh.


Colleen April 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Excellent! I accept cash only, please. ;-)


Striving For Sense April 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

Miss Manners suggested to a vendor who was upset at his rich clients trying to worm discounts out of him to respond in the following way:

“Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t know you were,” lean in to whisper “bankrupt!”

“What? I’m not bankrupt!”

“Well, then you can afford the listed price.”

I suppose you could try something similar with such begging for wedding cash. “Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you were bankrupt! Here is the name of a debt-consolidation firm, and a financial counselor, and I have a friend who works at Welfare, who can help you fill out the forms to get food stamps. Do you need help running a yard sale to earn extra money? I assume your wedding will be a quiet, inexpensive affair – just a trip to the county registrar and a Betty Crocker cake at home?”

“Of course not! We’re not in debt. We don’t need all that. And we’re certainly not going to have a quiet wedding and a home-made cake in the living room.”

“Well, then you don’t need money.”


StephM April 21, 2012 at 4:39 am

That. Is. Excellent.


Daisy April 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

This is not only poor etiquette, it’s a dang poor poem, too! I decline any invitation I receive that mentions money. The tackiness is unlikely to be confined to the invite.


Elle April 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I got one from my aunt. It wasn’t even an insert, it was on the backside of the invitation. All I remember from it was the phrase:
“It would be great
To cover your plate”

Annnnnnd then she called my wedding tacky because it was self-catered.

I will say that I don’t think it’s horrible to ask for money as a wedding gift though. But certainly not in the invitation. The proper place for that is like, on the registry page of the wedding website – which has by and large taken the place of the Moms, Groomsmen, or Bridesmaids putting out the word that the happy couple is saving up for a couch/ car/ gold plated dolphin.


Striving For Sense April 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

Gold plated dolphin! BWAAAHHahahahahahaaaaa!

That’s hilarious!

I now want to register for a gold plated sea lion.

Wait a minute – it that cruelty to animals?


wiesoauchimmer April 23, 2012 at 9:30 am

when i got married about a year ago we did struggle how to tell our guests that we didn’t need/want household gifts as when we moved together about a year prior we each brought a fully equipped household with us and were STILL busy sorting out the doubles.

we found a lot of money-begging poems online, but cringed at the thought of asking for money, as we didn’t really need that either. finally we found a poem that went something along the lines of “our kitchen cabinets are overflowing, so please don’t give us any gifts, your company on our happy day is more of a gift to us than money could buy” (not a verbatim translation, as my first language is german). the last two lines of the original poem DID ask for money, but we just left them out and let it end with the company being the gift.

we still did receive a lot of gifts, money or otherwise, and while a few amounts left us speechless, most were pretty reasonable, and we were happy to have our friends and relatives with us!

i personally think it is hard how to ask for no gifts if the couple, like us, already have everything they need. i’m happy we found a way.

do you guys have any other suggestions on how to handle asking for no gifts good/better?


MoniCAN April 24, 2012 at 11:46 am

I don’t know where you live, but from my experience in the United States, if you don’t register for anything, you’ll get almost all cash gifts. Especially if you never mention gifts on anything (double especially the invitations!).

I don’t think there is a way to mention gifts and what they should or should not be on an invitation without it making someone think you are tacky (in my cultural experience).

If you absolutely must spread the word or you will be buried in toasters, having it spread by word of mouth through close friends and family out to the branches of invitees is probably the most tactful way to avoid boxed gifts. There is always the option an “Info” page on a website that lets people know you’d prefer their presence rather than a present.

Just please don’t register for a honeymoon on one of those ‘send us away’ gift registry sites. You might as well ask for cash.


wiesoauchimmer April 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

i live in central europe, and here it is seen as tacky if you register somewhere and you usually only do it if you want to get a collection of expensive dishes, where a single dinner plate can cost up to 60$, to avoid getting more than six of one kind or none of the other. guests will usually show up with whatever they can think of and you might end up with 20 flower vases, 10 pottet plants, dishes of various designs, more wine than you can drink in the years to come, and similar stuff. hence why we wanted to let people know we don’t need anything. it IS pretty usual here to put every information you have for the guests on invitations, including any comments concerning gifts.


anonymous April 28, 2012 at 8:49 am

We didn’t register and got mostly cash gifts. So yes, in my experience, it’s true that if you say nothing and do not register (or say no gifts expected), you will get cash.


Striving For Sense April 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

How about having a wedding website? Put the link to the website on the invitation.

The most prominent information on the website should be things the guests really need to know, such as directions to the venue, hotel recommendations, and if you’ve arranged a block of rooms, the confirmation number and price, local baby-sitting services or kennels for those guests who choose to travel with the whole family. That kind of information.

Then, on a separate page, you can have information about where you’re registered, if you’re registered, or even just hints about your taste. “My favorite color is blue, and Jeff’s is orange. We’re doing the kitchen in yellow and the dining room in lilac. Country kitsch is fun, especially in the kitchen, but no chicken pictures, please. I have a deep-seated phobia, ever since I had to watch that horrid bird movie. If you want to add to Jeff’s Disney collection, or my Precious Moments, that would be greatly appreciated.” That would also be the place to explain that you are overloaded with stuff. In fact, if you *do* have a lot of duplicates, you might want to use this space to organize a swap.

Example: “As you may know, we were both fully set-up in our individual homes, before we moved in together, and now we have all kinds of duplicates. We are trying to simplify and de-clutter, so we’re going through our stuff to see what to give away. We could take it to Goodwill, but wanted to give our loved-ones first dibs. So, here’s what we have duplicates of (the list will be updaed periodically, as we give stuff away): toasters, dishcloths, towels, bedsheets, cookware, chairs, etc.” The fact that you’re giving stuff away will be seen as very generous *and* it will be a great hint that you’d appreciate cash. No one ever complains of having duplicate bills, especially large ones.

If you have new, or gently used items, you could go ahead and sell them yourselves, of course, and then, voila! You have cash! When you get a gift you don’t want, send a lovely thank you note and then add it to the items to sell, keeping only the items with great sentimental value.


Enna April 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

Wow. How tackey. I would buy a gift.


Jenny April 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm

My impulse would be to buy them something heavy and a little tacky. (I wouldn’t do it, of course, that’s just my impulse in these situations).


Striving For Sense April 25, 2012 at 9:47 am

Ehelldame once posted just how much $50 in pennies weighs. Although, given the rise in cost of zinc and copper, the coins would be worth quite a bit, melted down.

How about $50 in coupons? Or a do-it-yourself gravel driveway? A boulder and a rock-pick.


NostalgicGal January 30, 2013 at 2:27 am

In my waitressing days I would save all the pennies in my tips plus any I got in stray change until the holiday season and the local banks would pay a premium (5-15c extra per 1.00 worth) and cash them in. A 1 gallon food service plastic salad dressing jar with widemouth lid, held approximately $55 in pennies and weighed about 35#. (I would cash about 3 jarsful a year) This is a quite solid and heavy jarful. Beware.


Jess April 25, 2012 at 8:17 am

I just hate the assumption that guests were going to get them presents anyway, so lets just get the money instead! It reduces what would have been a thoughtful gift intended to help the couple in their new life together to a monetary transaction. It smack of gimme pigness in the worst way. Ugh, horrible…


anonymous April 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

BTW, I do want to note that in China and Taiwan cash gifts (in red envelopes) for weddings is standard.

There are even rules for it. In Taiwan:

1.) The amount of cash given must be even, not odd (and it must start with an even number, so 7,000 Taiwan dollars doesn’t count because 7 is not even)

2.) The number given is best if it’s “lucky” – generally lucky numbers are lucky because they sound like an auspicious word in Chinese – 6 is a popular number to use because in Chinese it sounds like “smooth” (“liu”), meaning you will have a smooth and conflict-free life together

3.) “4” must be avoided at all costs, because it sounds like the word for death (“si”)

4.) The amount is considered really miserly if it’s under NT $1000 (about $30 USD), and the cultural impetus would be on the guest to give an appropriate amount, not on the couple to be graceful about a lower amount received (although couples who are “good people” still would be)

5.) The amount is actually recorded in a little red book – you can buy them in stationery stores just as you can red envelopes – and the couple often has a friend collect the envelopes and note down who gave how much, and will count it RIGHT THERE at the reception (the part of the wedding most guests see is just the reception, not the at-home wedding or city hall registration, although some couples stage a little Western-style wedding for their guests for “fun”) – and it’s pretty standard for parents and grandparents to look at this book (so they know how much their friends and coworkers gave – yes, parents and grandparents invite friends and coworkers that the couple doesn’t even know, even local politicians sometimes, but then in these cases the couple does not pay for the party)

6.) If the guest giving the money is married, they should a.) give enough to cover both of them and b.) if they are giving to a bride/groom who had been at their own wedding and had given them a gift, they have to give slightly more than was given to them (which they’d know because they have that book)

7.) If you really don’t know someone well and aren’t invited to their wedding – for example, a teacher-student relationship or wedding happening at a great distance, you can give another gift, such as a set of two tea or coffee cups (a very popular choice – we received like four sets from my students)

Which totally slams all of China and Taiwan into e-Hell by American rules, but…hey, the world’s a big place.


Laura Billington June 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

Dear Terribly Poor Rhymer: Here is an insert for the invite to your first anniversary party.

Here is a lesson.
Let this be your flashcard.
Skip the shopping and wrapping.
Just send us a cash card.


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