Whether you’re asking for a loan, a pay raise or for guests to contribute to a wishing well at your wedding, requests for money can be difficult, if not downright embarrassing.
That’s why asking guests for cash presents rather than traditional wrapped gifts can be awkward.
Are you buying your bridesmaids dresses off-the-rack?
However, with many couples already living together before marriage and so many who, individually, have their homes already set up with the items they need, it’s a request that’s becoming more and more common.
Of course, that’s not the only reason couple’s request cash gifts. Some genuinely need the money, others wish to put it towards, say, a honeymoon or a house deposit, perhaps even towards renovations or a bigger present such as a painting, something that constitutes a single, really big wedding present that they really want and will always remember, like a pet or a car.
And then there are the couples who just prefer cash.
Regardless of the reasons, it can still be uncomfortable asking your guests for presents of money and, as such, couples have come up with a more diplomatic means of doing so, wishing well poems.
Wishing well poems are a gentle way for couples to ask for cash gifts in the hopes of not offending guests. As you’ll see from the examples below, wishing well wording varies in length and diplomacy. Some are gentle and funny, others make their message immediately clear.
The term ‘wishing well poem’ comes from the fact that many couples provide a wishing well (though now it can be in the form of suitcases, birdcages, even just pretty boxes) into which guests can place their money-filled envelopes before making a wish, usually for the couple. However, they’re also known as Money Trees and Treasure Chests, among other things and, of course, many cultures feature such celebrated wedding traditions as pinning money to the bride’s dress or filling bride’s purse with money during the reception.
The aim of such traditions, which started long before people lived together before marrying, was always to ensure the bride and groom walked way at the end of their big day with a small nest egg to start their married life. Guests who put in what they could afford if they could afford anything at all.
So, just keep in mind that though you may prefer cash, your guests may not. Perhaps they don’t have the money to give or maybe they may prefer to give you something particularly special that you will treasure as something you received on your wedding day. Either way, if you are going down the wishing well route, be sure to make it clear that cash presents are not mandatory and that you are merely making a request, not demanding guests hand over cold hard cash.
You can either add the poems onto your invitation or, as so many couples do, simply print it out on a notelet or small slip of paper and leave it for guests to decided what they wish to do, but also what they can afford.
Here are some of our favourite wishing well poems:
1: Do not tell
“Our two families have come together as one.
We really hope you can join in the fun.
A wishing well we thought would be great,
but only if you wish to participate.
A gift of money is placed in the well,
then make a special wish, but do not tell!
Please do not be offended by our request,
as our day is complete having you as a guest.”
2: Short but sweet
If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us on our way.
A gift of cash towards our house would really make our day.
However, if you prefer a gift, feel free to surprise us in your own special way.
3. Make a wish
If finding a gift is hard to do,
Perhaps our wishing well is for you.
A gift of money is placed in the well.
Then make a wish… but do not tell.
If, however, a gift you’d prefer to find.
Be assured we will not mind.
4. Cash money
So what do you get
For the Bride and Groom,
Whose house needs things
In every room?
When shopping for a gift,
You needn’t be rash,
As there’s always the option,
To just give cash!
We hope you don’t find,
Our request to be funny
The decision is yours:
To buy a present or give money.
Now you have the choice,
Please do not fuss.
The most important thing of all,
Is that you’re there to celebrate with us!
5. Honeymoon in a foreign land
We don’t need a wedding list of dishes.
Our life together has already begun
We have almost everything under the sun:
Two kettles, two toasters, two microwaves
Though we also have dreams for which to save.
Our dream is to honeymoon in a foreign land
And walk along the beach hand in hand.
If you would like to give us a gift
A contribution towards this would give us a lift.
We like to think of it as our ‘Wishing Well’
Which will be filled with your love, we can tell!
But the most important thing to say
Is that you are there to celebrate our day!
6. Wishing well weddingSoon you will hear our wedding bell,
As friends and family wish us well.
Our household thoughts are not brand new,
We have twice the things we need for two.
Since we have our share of dishes and bedding,
We’re having instead a wishing well wedding.
But more important, we ask of you,
Your prayers of love and blessings, too!
(from reader Adrianna)
If poetry is not your style, you can just word the requests politely, something along the lines of:
The most important thing is to have you with us on our special day. No gifts are needed or expected, however, we have been asked what we need or would like and,
if you do wish to give us something, a little cash to spend on our honeymoon would be very much appreciated.
Do you have (or have you seen) wishing well wording that you like? If so please submit it below and we’ll add it to our ever-growing list!
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