Is having a wishing well wedding really that awkward? With the increase of couples already living together or deciding to tie the knot at a later age, there’s less need for traditional wedding gifts or even a gift registry.
According to recent statistics, 60% of Australian weddings have a wishing well, indicating bridal couples already have everything they need. Rather than receiving something they already have or remain unused, requesting money from family, friends and wedding guests is becoming the social norm.
Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about wishing well weddings.
How other cultures do wishing well weddings:
While asking for money at weddings is becoming more of the trend in Australia, for many other countries and cultures, cash has always been a significant part of the celebrations.
In China for instance, a tea ceremony will be performed by the bride. She will serve tea to the groom’s family members in a specific order. Afterwards, each family member will in turn hand a red packet (Hongbao) containing money.
In Hispanic countries, guests can pin cash on the bride throughout the the evening of the reception.
In some cultures, couples will document what they received from guests and relatives. This will ensure they will give the same amount when it’s time for their guests’ (or their family member’s) own wedding.
In good taste:
Of course just because a wishing well is increasingly socially acceptable these days, there’s still an elegant, discreet approach when asking for cash at your wedding.
When sending out the invitations, you can include a separate card with a cute poem or sweet verse that explains your hopes for cash gifts. Regardless, it’s nice to leave the option for to those who’d still rather stick with traditional wedding gifts.
Here’s an example of what you can send in your card:
“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.”
An online wishing well:
Gift Card Registry avoids the awkwardness of cash wedding gifts and allows guests to congratulate you by contributing to an online wishing well.
The process is simple. Create Gift Card Registry at giftcardregistry.com.au to set up your personal online registry. When the registry closes, Gift Card Registry will send you the total amount gift loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard that can be used anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted.
With a prepaid gift card, you can buy whatever you want and let guests know the special part they played in helping you start married life.
Spread the message:
The sooner family, friends and guests know, the better prepared and informed everyone will be on what to expect from a wishing well wedding.
The bridal party, immediate family and close friends can also inform other guests (especially if they’re too shy to ask) about a couple’s reasons and intentions in asking for cash gifts.
At a wedding reception, you will find the wishing well in a discreet spot. Guests will then slip their wedding card and cash in an envelope and into the decorative box. (Bird cages and mailboxes are also popular choices). Sometimes blank envelopes will be placed on the side for guests who made a quick last minute trip to a nearby ATM.
Money well worth spent:
For most couples, a wishing well is a special but also pragmatic way to start a new married life together. Telling your guests the financial goals or plans to how you’ll be using their cash gifts, is an intimate and courteous acknowledgement of thanks.
Couples can send a photo on how their financial contributions helped kickstart married life.
For some it may be a happy snap of their honeymoon, for others it may the first capture in front of their new home.
Putting a number on it:
Opinions often vary and differ when it comes to how much guests should give the couple. Some suggest contributing to the reception costs and feel that cost per head will be appropriate . However, this concept is has been considered a little outdated.
There are those who believe that depending how close they are to either the bride or groom, should determine how much to contribute.
Ultimately, there is no definite number or value. It’s entirely up to the guest and how much they can and would like to give.
Family and friends will give what they can so remember to accept all gifts graciously.
At some weddings, guests can remain anonymous as to avoid embarrassment. While other guests are happy to let the couple know how much they pitched in.
However you decide to organise a wishing well at your wedding, family, friends and guests will be happy to pitch in. Whether their contribution is big or small, their well-wishes and love for your new life together will be in abundance.