Wedding gifts once were a way to get a young couple started in life. Toasters, china, and linens all represented items that the couple would need. Since most people went straight from their parents' homes or college dorm rooms to married life, purchasing these gifts took some of the financial strain off a couple. Now as people get married later, they have these items already. Many couples want money, but are not sure if it is appropriate to ask or how to ask. These steps walk you through the etiquette maze and help you get what you want--money.
Know how you plan to spend the money. While traditional advice is that to ask for money for a wedding gift is in poor taste, more people are coming around to the idea that money is acceptable. Plan to tell people how you will spend the money, however. Saving for a down payment for a home is the most common reason couples request money, but other financial goals can work as well.
Choose the custom that works best for receiving money gifts. In some areas, people just plop their gifts on a table, and cards with money would go in this pile. In other places, a "money dance," in which guests pin money on the bride and groom is popular and is in addition to gifts purchased for the wedding. Some companies now produce items, such as the wishing well or money tree, that give a place for guests to put financial donations. These gifts will tend to be anonymous, however, and probably work best for "extras" since you will not be able to thank the givers.
Explain why if you are asked. You should not be involved in asking for the money or explaining that you would like to receive money. If people ask though, you can explain that you did not need any household items or that reaching this financial milestone is important to you. Be polite and accept any gift graciously, of course.
Have others do your bidding. Instead of outright asking for money for gifts or including that with your invitation, employ your mother, future mother-in-law, aunts, and other relatives to tell people what you would like. In many places, the registry information goes through these relatives. Now they can share that you would like to save money for whatever goal you set.