Vogue asking for what the general consensus is re: tasteful ways in which the bride and groom can ask for money contribution at a wedding.
Coming from a Chinese background, the giving of money as a wedding present in the form of the obligatory red packet is the norm. As Mr HSH and I live together, and have yet to purchase our first home, it was more tangible for us if the form of gifts from guests be in the form of cold, hard cash.
Of course, in our etiquette riddled anglo saxon society, I suspect that our preference would be socially shunned by some, especially those who are more traditional. In our experience, as most of the weddings I've been to have at least one of the marrying individual as someone of Asian descent, we have generally given cash in red packets as wedding gifts. I have also given a personally chosen gift, and also one from a bridal register for a couple of other weddings I've been to. The two weddings I have chosen to buy gifts for were for friends who we are less close to.
Our wedding will have quite a large varied group, and although we have a preference for money contribution, we did not wish to offend anyone, especially Mr HSH's corporate colleagues and bosses. Anyway, I wish to summarise the opinions of Voguettes who put up long and colourful arguments detailing the for and against.
In general, they conceded that there were no "tasteful" way of asking for money.
I was advised not to include a cutesy poem. To this I must say, i've seen a few tacky once going around but there are actually several poems re: money contribution in wedding which I thought were quite nicely written. It certainly wouldn't have occur to me to recoil in horror if i recieved one.
Bridal registry seem to be an acceptable alternative (but probably not one I would consider as we live together already and didn't want new gifts sitting at home for two years before we will use them in our new house)
Some feel that it is not only what the couple want, but also what the giver want to give. Etiquette aside, I think realistically, people who go to weddings generally bring gifts and the couple would generally expect to recieve gift. I think the mentality is a nice thought but if you've got guests bringing you toaster after toaster etc, well, it can get touchy pretty quickly.
A few people, I felt arched their backs a bit too much about the ettiquette around giving wedding gifts. My view is that the couple should recieve what they want. I don't mind whether this is in the form of money, bridal registery or at the guests's discretion. I do think that gifts and money should be welcomed graciously and never demanded.
Ultimately, Mr HSH and I have decided to not include any requests or details re: gifts or money in our invite. If asked, we'll spread through word of mouth that money contribution is preferred but otherwise, we trust (and are happy to take the risks) of gifts chosen by our guests.