Ask A Wedding Planner // Is it tacky to ask for money?

Dear Heather,

My partner and I are set to be married this fall and have invited lots of family and friends to celebrate with us. Already we have been peppered with questions about where we are registered and when the registry will be available on our wedding website. The thing is, we are two people in our 30s who have lived together for several years. Our home is furnished with all of our favorite things and we see no reason to upgrade anything or accumulate more needless things. However, we would like to go on a honeymoon and cash would really help us out with that! Can we ask our friends and family for money? Is that tasteless?!

-Experiences, Not Things

Dear Experiences, Not Things,

It is absolutely not tasteless! Would you be offended if a friend wanted to go to Maui instead of receiving monogramed towels? Yeah. Me neither. The truth is, I get this question all of the time! I have clients who live in studio apartments and donʼt have room for half of Crate and Barrel, and clients like you, who have already started their lives under one roof. You donʼt need to embrace modern minimalism to be happy with the things you have.

So how do you pitch this without offending your more traditionally minded guests? If you're uncomfortable directly asking for funds on your website, I suggest breaking it up into a list of digestible experiences that your guests can “buy” for you. Basically you're building an experience registry! Say you would love $5,000 to go to Paris (like my partner and me) after your wedding, what would you need? Airfare, hotel rooms, train tickets, lunch at the museum, a wine tasting, whatever you like to do. Assign a monetary value to those experiences, and break up large items into digestible amounts to get to your goal. All of your loved ones want you to have the best time on your honeymoon, and would be tickled to buy you cocktails at Disney Paris.

So now that you have a list of experiences, how to you communicate this to your friends and family? There are websites that will do everything for you—Honeyfund for example—and are free to use. GoFundMe is also great and familiar to almost everyone. Be aware that youʼll lose about 3% on everything for credit card processing, however! Put a link on your wedding website or direct guests on your invitations to your chosen platform. GoFundMe is also great if you decide to ask for funds to help you reach a financial goal like a down payment on a house or savings for a rainy day instead.

All in all, donʼt be scared to ask for money. This is a celebration of you and your partner, and your family and friends want to give you gifts that are meaningful to you. Enjoy your trip!

Heather Kemman

Heather joined the Wood Grain & Lace Events team in the summer of 2015. With a background as a Craft Service Professional and Art Director in the film world, Heather strives to bring a creative and organized approach to event planning. Educated in Journalism, English and Art History at Randolph Macon and VCU on a swimming scholarship, she fell into film work in 2011 and has freelanced since. She is a lover of good food, cake icing, all the top 40 hits of the 1990s and especially books.

Heather has lived in Richmond since 2003 and met her partner here in 2011. They live in Montrose and have a happy little girl who loves the water like her mom and dancing to the Beach Boys! She loves to see family come together and hopes to share in the joy of your big day.