The Trained Monkey Needs Chocolate Money

by admin on January 20, 2014

My cousin is getting married in a few weeks. In their invitation they asked that in lieu of gifts, donations be made to their Paypal account for their honeymoon! Or, “If you don’t Paypal, we are registered at XYZ store for your convenience.”  I was talking with his mother the other day and she said they are very upset because not one person has donated to their honeymoon Paypal fund! They may not be able to go now! So, their plan B? Have my other cousin, who is 5, walk around the reception with a basket and collect money! His mother told me that was his JOB at the wedding! They are also having a money dance! They are hoping they make enough from that to pay for their reservation that they made! If they weren’t family, I would be very hesitant to attend their wedding. 0109-14

Oh, how cute!  The five year old little brother is being used like a trained monkey to beg money from guests.   They are exploiting his cuteness factor to elicit gifts of money from otherwise reluctant guests.   Why people don’t hang their heads in shame at such obvious finagling for money is beyond me.

You should prepare to place “money” like this in Lil’ Cuz’s basket: 

Available on Amazon.com

{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

JD January 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I never carry a purse with me to a wedding, and I never have. I’d be darned sure I don’t have one on me at THIS wedding. I’d lock it in the trunk, and have nothing but a debit or credit card in my purse just to be safe, in case they catch you with it later! These folks obviously would have no trouble running after you to catch your “donation.” And give a gift that comes in a box, a real gift, like towels, then at the wedding say sweetly, “I’m so sorry; I already bought a gift for them.”
The audacity of people to plan a honeymoon but not plan a way to pay for it!
My husband and I didn’t have any money when we married, so we didn’t have a honeymoon. We got married in a private ceremony in a relative’s home, thanked everyone, and went home. We’ve been married for many years, and never took that honeymoon. These folks need to get a grip.

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Wren January 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm

For the love of Pete, what’s wrong with some people? A guest should never, ever get money out of his or her pocket for anything during a wedding celebration! What’s next, an admission charge to the reception, right at the door?

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Marozia January 21, 2014 at 3:21 am

That happened to us! We attended a wedding (not reception…we weren’t invited like some of the other people) and there was a beribboned and flowered basket held out to us ‘$5 to attend the wedding’ we were told. I put $5 in and hubby and I went inside. “No,” said basketholder, “$5 each”.
“I do apologise, I didn’t realise”, I said. Instead of going for my purse, I put my hand back in the basket, retrieved my $5 and hubby and I went home (consign me to E-Hell if you must!!).
The thing that made us shake our heads was the wedding couple were hubby’s friends from Church that he had introduced to the Church!!
I wonder what would’ve happened if we had taken our pitbulls? Would they have been charged $5 too?

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manybellsdown January 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Nope, I think your decision was the right one. Cover charges are for nightclubs and concerts.

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just4kicks January 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Good for you!!!

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NostalgicGal January 22, 2014 at 4:29 am

RIGHT ON!

If you can’t afford the wedding, how are you going to deal with the rest of your life? I would have done the same thing, retrieved my Lincoln and went home.
If I was being snarky I’d have sent them a bill for the gas and other stuff to arrive to find out there was a cover charge, and see if I got a reply.

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Lady January 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

Some people have been trying to do that.. hahaha.. like, “$50 per person” on the INVITATION.. yeah.

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Lo January 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm

It is so offensive to me when people act as though they are entitled to a honeymoon.

We couldn’t afford one so we didn’t get one. That’s life. There’s nothing wrong with that. I would rather donate to just about anything the couple wants, even those irritating “help so-and-so set up their first home” funds rather than blow my hard earned money on their beggar’s vacation.

If a couple wants to use the cash I give them on their wedding day to take a trip, more power to them. But setting up a honeymoon fund and them complaining that they won’t be able to go because no one donated? My sympathy is at an all time low.

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Anonymouse January 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I agree wholeheartedly. Hubby and I are slowly saving up for ours. The plan was to go for our first anniversary, but that probably isn’t happening either.

If you want something, work or save for it.

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June First January 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm

OP: What was your response when your cousin’s mother told you they were disappointed, and that they’d “hired” the five-year-old to shake guests down? Actually, what was the mother’s response?

You’d probably be doing them a favor if you delicately told the mother that the happy couple shouldn’t rely on others to finance major trips. Good luck with that.

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Lakey January 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm

So, no one responded to their demand for money via email, so their response, instead of realizing they crossed the line, is to find an even more obnoxious way to demand that people fork over cash?
Yeah, I wouldn’t conveniently not have much cash on me.

Also, I agree with JD. Of my 4 brothers and sisters who got married, none of them took major trips for their honeymoon. They took a couple days in a hotel or motel in a city that wasn’t too far away. No plane fare, no major expenses. They were all self-supporting, mostly college graduates, who had decent jobs. We were raised that you buy what you can afford, and you save for the future. We were certainly not raised to think that other people should fund our vacations.

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Marozia January 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

‘we are registered at XYZ store for your convenience’……
I wouldn’t even give them ‘convenience’ money!!
Admin is correct. Give them chocolate ‘money’.

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S Jane January 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

The only trouble with the chocolate money is that it still costs more than I’d be willing to give them!

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Laura January 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

Well, I think the couple wouldn’t get it- little cousin would :)

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Mya January 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Ack. I attended a lovely wedding recently that was wonderful until about 10pm when a random little girl in a frilly dress did the rounds with the charming catchphrase ‘Money Please’. Turns out the Bride and Groom were using their reception to gather money for a ‘charitable cause’ which turned out to be a mutual friends disabled son – apparently he needed a new wheelchair. As I understand it, said mutual friends had no idea (I saw them donate to the bucket fund so I’m pretty sure they had no idea until after the fact) B&G were using their reception to highlight them as a charity case. I was appalled. I don’t carry cash to receptions either, although in the UK it is very rare to have an open bar and it is common practice to factor drinks into the budget when attending any wedding but normally LeBoyfriend and I pool a ‘budget’ of cash which he puts in his wallet and buys our drinks. When the pot is dry, so are we so we usually stretch it by ordering alternating soft/hard drinks or shandies – a bottle of cider goes a long way in a shandy with the added bonus of keeping our alcohol consumption low. When I asked the little girl in the floofy dress what she was collecting for (as I genuinely didn’t know) her mother was very aggressive in ‘bucket rattling’ and ‘guilt tripping’ to get people to donate. I felt very uncomfortable about it all even knowing it was a charity collection. I think if it hadn’t have been a charity collection we may have found ourselves taking a gracious leave of our hosts….

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Lo January 21, 2014 at 8:37 am

If the B&G actually used their reception to raise money for a new wheelchair for this couple’s son without even consulting the couple who were at their own wedding, I’d say that’s a friendship EASILY lost and never looked back on. How utterly degrading to be made a charity case by no consent of your own in front of all the other guests.
I could see a scenario where the bride and groom were close friends with the people and worked it out with them beforehand that they would prefer guests donate to such and such INSTEAD of gifts, with full consent of the recipients. Or else if they had quietly used the money they received to for their wedding to help this family out. Those would be humane. What’s being described here? Let’s just say if I needed money and a friend somehow found out and decided to pass around a basket for money at their reception it would take every ounce of polite reserve I had not to throw it back in their faces at the end of the night. That is a deplorable way to exploit someone.

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Mya January 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

Indeed. I was genuinely shocked when I found out. The situation was this:

Bride, B, and Groom, D, met at work where they work with my partner, S and his colleague J. Colleague J and his wife have a son with Cerebral Palsy (I think – I’m not 100% sure of the details) who is often quite sick and needs a specialist Wheelchair. J gave up a highly paid, quite demanding job to work in a low paid role so he would be closer to home and have more time to spend with his son. This, combined with the fact that J’s wife is their sons primary carer means that J and his wife are not as comfortable financially as they used to be (although J has said that he’d rather be poor and spend time with his son while he can than continue to work in a demanding job that pays a lot more and miss out on the small amount of time he may have left with his son). J’s son recently needed a new motorised wheelchair which J and his wife couldn’t afford. There is a charitable trust that J is involved with related to the specific type of condition his son has that raises money for kids with this type of illness and this charitable trust is going to help with the cost of the Wheelchair. Now I’m not clear if J is simply involved in this trust or if he was one of the founders and what the scope of the beneficiaries is (whether it is limited to his son, kids like his son, kids like his son in our area or people with this condition generally).

When D&B got married we were invited to their evening reception and it was a lovely event – the event was well catered for and the bar prices were reasonable. There were entertainers doing the rounds too which was great – a magician, a clown doing balloon stuff for kids and a portrait artist. It was generally understood that you donated money into a bucket if you wanted the entertainers to do stuff for you (make a balloon animal or draw a custom portrait) and I originally thought this was a bit of a tacky way to make guests pay for their own entertainment then someone pointed out that the bucket donations were for charity. Which I thought was pretty reasonable. I did think it was a bit tacky to use your wedding to push your charity work but to each their own and I wasn’t interested in having a portrait done as they were caricatures and I didn’t want to be mocked.

Later on, around 10ish a little girl came around all the guests chugging the bucket and saying ‘Money please’. When I asked what it was for, her mother was quite abrasive in responding that it was to raise money for the B&G’s friends disabled son. Now J and his wife were guests at the reception but I don’t think they heard ‘Abrasive Mum’ and I saw J put money in the bucket (although they left shortly after as their son was unwell and being looked after by a grandparent so they could come along to this wedding reception).

When I asked my partner about it later he said that the money raised was for J and his wife to buy their son a new Wheelchair. Now I’m not sure if he got the wrong end of the stick and it was actually for the charitable trust, or whether it was exactly that, but either way, using the disabled son of a guest (who clearly has no prior knowledge of the plan) to raise money – charity or no charity is just wrong IMO. Noble cause but executed really badly.

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Pamela January 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I feel sorry for the 5-year-old. If he doesn’t “bring in” much, he might get upset. (Which doesn’t mean that people should donate to avoid hurting his feelings, although some might.)

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Phoenix January 20, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Or worse, if the kid doesn’t bring a lot of money in, the couple will then scream at the child. I wouldn’t put it past these people to abuse the poor kid for their own greed.

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Sakura January 21, 2014 at 5:06 am

Hence the chocolate money, I believe. The little boy probably won’t care much if he collects any real money, as long as he gets something in his basket. And he’ll most likely get to keep the chocolate.

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S Jane January 21, 2014 at 8:01 am

And I’m certain this is the exact reason they’re enlisting *him* instead of Biff Brother-in-law or Aunt Mildred.

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Kimstu January 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm

From the Cheap and Tarnished Silver Linings Department: At least these bridal gimme-pigs had the lack of class to put their tacky demands right upfront on the wedding invitations, so the guests can tell what to expect.

I really don’t know what I’d do if I went to a wedding with no advance warning of the bridal couple’s shakedown mentality and then found myself confronted at the reception by a little child holding a basket and asking for money. I might not have thought of @JD’s prudent tactic of not carrying any money (when dressed up I usually do have a small decorative purse with emergency supplies in it, including cash).

@OP, here’s wishing you good luck and a strong stomach for attending this wedding; give us a follow-up post to report how it went!

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Shannan January 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

At our local Wal-Mart, they allow organizations to set up booths at both entrances for fundraising. Boys baseball teams love to set up there. I don’t feel the least bit guilty in telling the boys I’m unable to donate. I liken this practice to something much worse than this post so I’m defintiely not going to feel even a little guilty about saying no. No adorable little children are going to work on me this time.

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ally January 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Don’t you need to at least put down a deposit when booking the honeymoon? Assuming they leave shortly after the wedding (like less than a week) to go off to the honeymoon, wouldn’t it need to be paid for in full before the wedding?

Gimme-pig couple aside, I just don’t understand the logistics of this. Unless they were hoping to “recoup” the cost of the honeymoon, and they booked more than they can afford and are now trying to make up the difference?

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PrincessButtercup January 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm

If ever there is a time for a gift of an etiquette book, this is one.
I often wish I had small pocket sized etiquette books so I could easily carry them and share them.
I had a friend that had a “please give money for our honeymoon” note and bucket out at their table. When someone complained there wasn’t enough in there and they were going to pass it around, my hubby and I took that as a cue to leave.

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Jessie January 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm

How about printing up some business cards with ehell’s website on them to give out like old fashioned calling cards? They sell business card stock that go in your home printer and are perforated at office supply stores.

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NostalgicGal January 22, 2014 at 4:34 am

I think e-hell has a link here somewhere to print fake money. I’d print up a good fake bill or two to toss in, choose well so it looks real, and let them deal with it. It would be nicer to be able to circulate ahead of the gimmebucket and hand out some of the fake money, so that’s what they get for their take….

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Fiona January 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Hee hee, I love Admin’s suggestion! Of course I also love chocolate, so I’m biased ;-) But seriously, how about a Payday peanut bar and some chocolate coins to go along with it?

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Justme January 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I agree with JD, leave your purse in the car! When my husband and I got married, we didn’t have the money for a honeymoon, so we stayed home. Just like every other thing in life, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it!

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SororSalsa January 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm

JD, if they knew you had a debit card in your purse, they might direct you to the “helpfully-placed” ATM located in the lobby.

I thought that the honeymoon collection websites were bad, but this is a new level of crass.

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JD January 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Good grief, I hadn’t thought of that! Hide the credit card in your car instead, perhaps?

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Yellow Rose January 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I wouldn’t put it past such an outfit to request their jewelry for the ’cause’, as in GWTW.

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Sarah January 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

That made me laugh out loud – but seriously I think Yellow Rose has a point! If you can demand money – and believe me that is what they are doing – you can keep on going downwards. Offering the convenience of an ATM is the step before you leaving your jewellery “until you get around to giving the cash present”. I have little or no bone to pick with people who whisper or otherwise descreetly say – “We have been living together/both of us are on our second marriages and so we do not need anything . . .” and maybe they mean – we would be grateful for cash.It goes unspoken. Yes, they may put it towards a honeymoon, pay for part of the wedding so that money is freed up to replace or upgrade furniture or get a new car rather than waiting a year or two! However money dances, pinning money to the bridge´s dress (and then claim that it is a custom in another country – yeah – you know you are fooling no-one!), wishing wells, ootsy-kootsy poems, passing around a bucket, hat whatever; to pay for something that I do not feel comes under my responsibility – well that is just something else. Go with the chocolate, if you can say that you are smiling gently – if is more a passive agressive feeling behind it then leave well enough alone!

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Angel January 20, 2014 at 9:21 pm

The sad thing is, this doesn’t even surprise me in the least. Some people will do anything for a buck. I feel bad for the little kid they have collecting money. He won’t even get to have a good time at the reception because the couple is putting him to work!

Personally I think honeymoon registries are a trend that needs to go away. Quickly!

I carry a purse with a couple bucks in it, phone and some lip gloss. Most weddings I have gone to are open bar, I would be shocked if I had to pay for drinks–or anything else–at a wedding. I have never had anyone pass a hat for donations–at a wedding. I would probably be so shocked if I ever came across that–I honestly don’t know how I would react. Tacky, tacky, tacky. I would be tempted to dig into the bottom of my purse for pennies, and dump them in there.

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Phoenix January 20, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I say I would give the kid all the chocolate money to have for dealing with this nonsense. I don’t think these people deserve CHOCOLATE money, let alone real money.

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Jo January 21, 2014 at 12:17 am

I don’t really care about honeymoon registries. If I’m going to spend $50 on a wedding gift, it doesn’t really matter to me if I spend it on sheets and towels or towards their honeymoon. If they have everything they need, I’m happy to give to the honeymoon fund. However, it’s not my RESPONSIBILITY as a guest to fund the trip. Never should a couple plan on those funds to have the honeymoon. Any gifted funds should be a bonus.

And, I can not possibly imagine a little kid walking around begging for money. I also rarely carry cash – especially to wedding. If there aren’t free drinks (water, tea, soda) provided, we’d just be out of luck! I can’t imagine this is going to turn out well for the couple.

You know, I just can’t fathom the logic behind throwing a multi-thousand dollar wedding in order to get back half that. Keep the money from the wedding, have a small, private wedding and take the trip you want!

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HG January 21, 2014 at 2:09 am

Paypal is on phones now…you can scan your credit card in…*don’t* take a credit/debit card if you can help it!…even if they don’t know about the paypal developments, they sound like the kind of people that would take a mobile EFTPOS terminal to the event!

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NostalgicGal January 22, 2014 at 4:36 am

And those scanners are available for free or nearly so. You pay for the paypal one as you use it; so it would cost them nothing to have one.

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Barbarian January 21, 2014 at 5:56 am

I think it’s great that the invitees have the collective spine to not contribute anything to the PayPal honeymoon fund. That alone should tell the couple this request is not appropriate.

Kimstu had mentioned at one time that these tacky gift requests will only go away if people ignore them.

I’m glad to see this happen at least once.

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iridaceae January 21, 2014 at 6:41 am

If they wanted a honeymoon so badly they should have had a quiet wedding and put that money into the honeymoon. Or waited to get married and save up.

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Jess January 21, 2014 at 7:11 am

While I’m not shocked at having to bring money to a wedding (ones I’ve attended have had a cash bar; unlimited free wine, beer, cider, soft drinks, champagne for toasting, water, but paid for spirits), bringing money for …a honeymoon fund? Sorry, no. Gifts are bought in advance, not given as money into a hat.

How would they even thank everyone for their contribution!?

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flagirl January 21, 2014 at 8:18 am

My brother and his wife registered with honeyfund for their trip to France. They didn’t even bother registering for specific activities, just cash or checks.

My hubs to be and I discussed it, and then went and ordered them 100 Euros in small bills (for the always needed cab fare, coffee, etc on their trip), then wrote a lovely congratulatory message in French using Google translate.

To date, the honeymoon trip has yet to take place. I guess they wanted everyone else to fund it! Too bad our gift can’t, unless they exchange it and pay the fee….

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Kimstu January 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm

@flagirl, that is a VERY thoughtful and helpful way to give a wedding gift towards a honeymoon fund. I travel overseas a lot, and nothing beats the peace of mind of knowing you’ve already got a sufficient chunk of the local currency in reasonable denominations so you can immediately pay for what you need when you get there, without having to worry about finding an ATM or a currency exchange counter or a way to break a large bill.

And yes, by golly, if a couple specifically states they want money for their honeymoon, then there’s no reason you can’t give them money that can only be spent if they actually go on the honeymoon!

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Aly January 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

Tackiness aside, the math and logistics also don’t really work out. Even if their takedown of guests was successful, they’re unlikely to pull in more than $100-$200 total. That’s not going to pay for a honeymoon. Also, they’re not going to be able to cancel reservations that late in the game. The idea of booking something on the off chance of getting money is crazy.

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JWH January 21, 2014 at 8:55 am

Am I the only person who read the headline and thought it would be kind of cute to see a little monkey wandering around the room begging for chocolate money?

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Stacey Frith-Smith January 21, 2014 at 8:58 am

If you and other family haven’t committed to attending, perhaps a few of you could send regrets… it might prompt an inquiry. If not, at least you will still have your dollars and you can spend a small portion of them for a nice gift.

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Shoegal January 21, 2014 at 9:21 am

A coworker’s daughter got married a few years ago and she had indicated that you could donate to their honeymoon fund by gifting the couple an excursion or side trip . I was appalled but the coworker just thought it was a dandy idea. It isn’t the guest’s responsibility to finance the honeymoon or anything else pertaining to the wedding. I agree, if you can’t afford to go – then you don’t.

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Vicky Geary January 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

Tacky beyond comprehension. When my husband and I got married, we went on a honeymoon that we paid for ourselves (we drove to Vermont and spent the week hiking, biking and playing tennis)!!!! We paid for our wedding ourselves and we budgeted appropriately and saved appropriately for both.

I like the idea of the chocolate money but it is a bit passive-aggressive. I would merely decline to contribute and as a wedding gift – send a book on etiquette cause if they do this for their wedding, imagine what they will do when they have their first child.

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cami January 21, 2014 at 10:22 am

I find myself undecided about whether to attend this wedding or not. On the one hand, I don’t really want to be party to such crass behavior. On the other hand, what a story I’d have to tell afterwards…

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Prim January 21, 2014 at 11:23 am

I agree with the idea of leaving your purse in the car. The majority of people attending the wedding will have already purchased a wedding gift for the couple and they are going to be guilted into further emptying their pockets? I find this so tacky and I worry about the poor little guy who is being forced to shake down wedding guests.
I’d be interested to hear what Admin’s thoughts are on Honeymoon registries. I was invited to a wedding recently. The couple was having an elaborate, over the top wedding with about 250 guests attending, all completely funded by their parents. In addition to two registries at high end stores, the couple also had a honeymoon registry. Guest could not only contribute to their destination honeymoon, but also toward entertainment, shopping, transportation, meals, hotel upgrades etc. When I saw this, I was shocked. Both the bride and groom were gainfully employed and made a good living. Why they couldn’t have paid for their own honeymoon is beyond me. In the end, the couple’s honeymoon registry wasn’t completely bought out so they decided not to take a honeymoon and to just take the cash instead.

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Kimstu January 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

@Prim: “I’d be interested to hear what Admin’s thoughts are on Honeymoon registries.”

There’s a previous post by Admin on that subject on this webpage (not sure why the search engine found a “blogtest” location rather than the original thread, but never mind because internet):
http://www.etiquettehell.com/blogtestsource/?p=8

Main points are that honeymoon registries are generally (a) less bang for the giver’s buck because of fees/commissions, and (b) enablers of tacky greed by encouraging bridal couples to push their registry information at their guests.

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Glitter January 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

I’m watching friends pay off debt from their honeymoon they just HAD TO HAVE right after the wedding. They didn’t seem to expect anyone else to pay for it (though they had said they were hopeful), but they were taking BIG LAVISH HONEYMOON come heck or high water. No matter one was laid off and they were barely making rent. No matter they were already thousands in debt thanks to their willingness to use credit cards for anything they want. Must have big honeymoon right after the wedding. Take unpaid time off work, go thousands more in debt, for a vacation. Smart. *eye roll goes here*

My other friends were much smarter. They wanted to take a honeymoon but after some quick number crunching realized they couldn’t afford it. So the weekend after the wedding they both took a little extra time off of work/school, shut off their phones, and had a nice long weekend just together. Then they spent a year putting away money, and cutting back on luxuries, so that for their anniversary they could actually afford the dream vacation they wanted. They aren’t thousands in the hole. And they didn’t even fathom anyone else paying for it.

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Lerah99 January 22, 2014 at 10:54 am

I know a girl who decided she and her boyfriend HAD to get married right after her father won about $25K in the lottery.

She said that it was the only time her dad would be able to “afford the wedding I deserve!”

So her dad spent the entire $25K to pay for the wedding and a honeymoon trip to Hawaii.
While on the honeymoon, the girl cheated on her new husband with a guy she met at the hotel bar.

That is the tackiest of all honeymoon stories that I have known about.

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Ashley January 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Oh how nice of them, send the five year old around so people will feel guilted into contributing because really, who wants to disappoint a five year old, and make him think he isn’t doing a good job?

I don’t carry cash, and even if I did, I’d be the one to disappoint that 5 year old. I’m a guest. Your reception is not a fundraiser.

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just4kicks January 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

That is beyond tacky and disgusting. Did they “train” the little one to cry and throw a tantrum is someone has the audacity to politely decline?!? Good grief, Charlie Brown!

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just4kicks January 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

My hubby and I funded our own wedding, which was at sunset on a Friday night. We hopped down to the NJ shore for a three day weekend. My step daughter was three at the time. Now I realize we missed a golden opportunity to strut her around the reception with a large basket and shake down our family and friends for a two week honeymoon in Fiji!

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EllenS January 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

We planned very carefully to afford our honeymoon, which consisted of…the drive home from the wedding! We basically took a detour and spent a few nights in a hotel on the coast, which detour included visiting friends who couldn’t make the wedding.
Spending $$ you don’t even have is a bad way to start off a marriage – fights over money are one of the top contributors to divorce.

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Wild Irish Rose January 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Where is it written that a bridal couple MUST have a honeymoon? I didn’t. Not that we didn’t want one, but we couldn’t afford it, and it never once crossed my mind to ask OTHERS to fund one for us!!!! This is one wedding I’d miss with no regrets whatsoever.

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Library Diva January 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I don’t have a problem with honeymoon registries, personally. A lot of people get married older and already have a full set of pots and pans, bed linens, little kitchen appliances, and other material goods. People do less formal entertaining and may not have fancy crystal, china or silverware high on their list of desires. Vacations, on the other hand, are the true heart’s desire of many. If you’re going to register, IMO, better to register for that than for something you don’t really want. I’ve given them before. I know that the company gives it as a lump sum — you may have registered to buy your friends a scuba trip, but they may well put it towards a fancy dinner or more trinkets once they get there. To me, that’s up to them — I gave them the money, just like I’d write them a check, and once I do, I can’t control whether they put it towards a down payment on a house or put it all into $1 lottery scratch-offs.

But yes, no matter what you register for or if you register at all, you should not have a gimme attitude about it, nor should you exploit an innocent child to try to get it.

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Anonymouse January 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I have no inherent problem with honeymoon registries. Essentially, you’re gifting the couple with a memory, which I can support. I’ve noticed, though, that a large number of the people who use honeymoon registries have the same entitled attitude as the couple in this story. When people don’t fund the entire honeymoon, they throw the same fit as the bride who doesn’t get the whole set of $200/plate china she registered for and is now calling guests demanding more. Selfish.

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Wild Irish Rose January 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I’m sorry, but the purpose of a registry is to receive household items, not to ask people to pay for your vacation for you. If you have everything you need, you don’t register for gifts and you don’t EXPECT them (which is the one thing about gift registries that leaves a bad taste in my mouth). Registering for a honeymoon is in poor taste, in my opinion; if you can’t afford the vacation, you don’t go. Buying something a newly-married couple needs is one thing; funding their honeymoon is quite another. Here’s an idea: Cut back on the wedding expenses and pay for your own honeymoon!

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NostalgicGal January 22, 2014 at 4:55 am

My wedding was one step away from the JP; it cost my dad $30; it cost my mom and aunts about $100 for the food for the reception they INSISTED on (see $30, that was for the church basement they used… the minister was our friend and wouldn’t take a cent for the wedding, we tried and my dad tried). I had $10 in a dress off a clearance rack and about another $10 for the cakes which were baked by future hubby then turned into a mess by my aunts (he wanted to do the cake, I promised he could do the cake, he baked the cakes; then they horned in and left us a kitchen mess that took three days to clean up). Honeymoon? After over 30 years we still haven’t had one. We’re still just as married.

(there was major disjoints as the wedding my mother had planned-the one she wanted and never got-wasn’t what I wanted and there were major budget issues, what she planned was 10-15x what dad could afford and totally nothing fiancé and I could afford. I didn’t want him to even borrow a dollar for this; and to this day I’m glad I didn’t cave. I also had no registry, no gift grab, no whining or expecting anyone to pay for anything. I got a wedding shower a few days before the wedding, we got useful things like TOWELS and a few items in the $20-35 range that a few people went in on. I still have a few of those towels even!)

I think the idea of chocolate money for the 5 year old is great, you can also get gold foil wrapped chocolate coins…(‘gelt’) and let the kid collect something alright.

If the couple already reserved and deposited on the honeymoon, let them figure out how to deal with it. What are they going to do for the rest of their life, dealing with bills and reality? Nobody even owes them a towel, yet alone paying for their gimmes.

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Wild Irish Rose January 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Precisely. Thank you.

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Ann January 22, 2014 at 9:48 am

When I got married, my parents in law gave us two nights in a nearby hotel as a wedding gift. It wasn’t the splashiest hotel in Akron, Ohio but it was a kind of traditional gift and it was perfectly fine. We got married on a Saturday; on Monday, we went back to my in-laws to collect our wedding gifts and a few things from my old apartment, turned in the keys, and drove downstate to home. My husband went back to work on Tuesday. We didn’t actually go on any trip until New Orleans, seven years later (and the year before Katrina).
I was just remembering Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book about her first four married years, and how she had to cook a big meal for the threshers a day or so after her wedding. Yes, they got married, but it was all about getting back to work.
I have to admit, I got a picture of tables with chocolate coins set out like a centerpiece, and a monkey going around collecting them. Then they would be turned in to the B&G for kisses :). Later, they could be favors at the door as guests left. No shakedown or even real cash involved.

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Mya January 22, 2014 at 9:50 am

The Honeymoon was traditionally a time when people that had not lived together before got a chance to get used to each other and in some cases get to know each other properly. In todays society (well, most of it anyway) we have lived with and know our spouses well so in theory the ‘Honeymoon’ is no longer relevant. To my grandparents who married after WWII having not lived together, a honeymoon was a time for them to be alone and really sort out this whole cohabiting with a spouse thing. My partner and I already live together so if we married there would be no need for a period of adjustment. The honeymoon is just a glorified holiday. That is not to say that I don’t want one, but considering that I’m still paying off last years ski-ing holiday we don’t have the budget for something excessive and if I’m being honest, it all feels a bit fake to make a big deal of going on holiday after the wedding as ‘newly weds’ when we’ve been on several holidays previously – the experience is no different.

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Wendy B. January 22, 2014 at 10:35 am

When I was planning my wedding, people couldn’t believe that not only would there not be dancing, there would be no money dance. I said in my mind it was a form of prostitution, plain and simple. Someone is paying me (or my husband) to spend physical time with me. yeah…no. It actually ended up in an argument with my then-future husband and I…he said “everybody does it.” Just because everyone does it DOESN’T make it OK.

But I’m thinking of investing in some of that chocolate money now. My husband will probably kill me. ;)

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Tracy January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

A few people have mentioned that the couple would have already paid deposits on their honeymoon, but this isn’t necessarily the case. If they weren’t staying at a resort or taking a cruise, and weren’t flying, there would be few if any pre-paid expenses. Of course, if they had a hotel reservation and didn’t cancel it ahead of time, assuming they’d get enough cash that evening, I suppose they’d be on the hook for the cost of one night.

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Gabriele January 23, 2014 at 12:20 am

I worked for a company where everyone below management made the same basic wage. There were always people who either didn’t plan or something but were always short on money. I had a longer commute (more gas) and other expenses they didn’t need to know about. I packed a lunch, they bought theirs.
I learned to leave most cash (I didn’t carry credit cards then) stashed away in the car so it was easy to say ‘no’ but there were still the occasional urgent request for ‘money–anything will help’.
I love visiting Chinatowns and I had come across Chinese ‘Hell’ Money and bought a bundle….
The next ‘urgent need’ brought a response of a couple of hundred thousand dollar/yen/whatever bills.
Person was livid! Did I think her urgent need was funny? Was I telling her to go to hell? I told her I thought I had told her I didn’t have any money to spare but she had again insisted so I gave her the only money I had.
She was angry for weeks (but didn’t ask again). My direct boss heard about it and asked to see the bills.
He asked if he could have some….because he was single, he was always getting hit up to buy the drinks, pay for dinner, etc. when with friends….next time out, he got up before they had attempted to stick him with the check, told them, ‘I know you think I should always pay, so here’ and threw half a dozen bills on the table and walked out. His friends didn’t think it was funny, esp since none had cash, only plastic and the restaurant wouldn’t split the bill…
I gave him the rest of the bundle and it became our joke…..
If you look up the money online you can find some…cheaper (and longer lasting) than chocolate and decorative, too.
I remember when you could get a gimmick rubber banknote…turns out they still make something similar…a Rubber Ducky Dollar Bill….and let’s not forget the TP rolls printed with money……

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NostalgicGal February 9, 2014 at 1:04 am

‘hell money’ is taken seriously in many Chinese communities, and it is considered a serious offense to give thenotes to a living person. It is meant to be burned as an offering to the dead for the afterlife. Do be careful.

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Kate January 26, 2014 at 4:39 am

Count me in as another who didn’t have the money for a honeymoon, and therefore didn’t have one. I got married six months ago, and my husband and I are planning a trip overseas this December when we’ll actually be able to afford it. We jokingly call that our ‘honeymoon’. But hey, maybe we should have recruited a cute relative to shake down our guests for cash instead?!

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Enna February 8, 2014 at 8:08 am

This is a very tackey thing to do. What did the couple expect?

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InTheEther April 7, 2014 at 1:14 am

I’m not even sure how someone would approach me for money at a wedding. I usually wear a dress at more formal events, which generally don’t come with pockets. Since I don’t like keeping up with my purse when I’m going to be doing a lot of moving around I generally put car keys, card, and cash in … … a woman’s natural holster? I am drawing a blank on how to say this tastefully. Basically, I’m kinda generously purportioned up top and taking out money on the spot would require a certain amount of groping.

I do it for conveniece, but if you’re worried about the gimme pigs it might be a good option so that when asked you can point out the entire lack of any purse, pockets, ect. to carry said cash.

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