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Can I request for money gift in my wedding invitation card?

The original idea behind wedding gifts was to help new couples start out in their new life together. So, people gave them things to set up their new homes. Things have changed. Most people now get married from a place of independence. 

What if you have gotten all the household items, kitchen equipment and electronic appliances that you will need for your new home and all you really want as a wedding gift is money? What if you do not want to receive the same type of items multiple times? Even though monetary gift is what you truly want, your guests may be see your invitation card as a blunt request for money. 

Lately, most Nigerian wedding invitation cards now includes account details of the intending couples and a special information that says "Only Monetary Gifts." An invitation card may read, "Your presence at our wedding is enough of a gift, but should you wish to give us something, we would greatly appreciate a financial contribution towards our new home."

The reality is that this is becoming a norm in Nigeria today. Although other couples prefer not to mention anything at all on their wedding I.Vs, the truth is that most intending couples appreciate money as a wedding gift. 

Asking for a money for a wedding gift may rub some family members and friends the wrong way. One of the reasons why some persons frown at this and find it uncomfortable is because a gift is supposed to be inherently obligation free and a request for money means it is no longer a gift. 

If your guests want to give you money as a wedding gift, it's perfectly ok, but asking for monetary gifts may sound offensive to most Nigerian guests. Your guests want to be able to freely choose the gift they give, and may find it rude to be told that one kind of gift is preferred over another. 

My problem with this is that most Nigerian weddings are planned in such a way that couples count on guests giving them money to make up for all the wedding cost incurred. Many intending couples go into debts, sign 'prophetic' contracts and commitments with vendors with the hope that whatever money they get from their guests will be used to pay these vendors. 

In order to avoid unrealistic expectations and financial troubles on your wedding day, never expect to make back all the money you spent in your wedding from your guests. Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed. 

Spend only what you can afford outrightly. Your wedding is not a fundraising event. Your are inviting people to celebrate your special day, not orchestrating a fundraising effort. Don't count on making money back on your wedding. Just have the wedding you can afford. 

The big controversy is, Can I request for money gift in my wedding invitation card? Well, it is not unethical to ask for money instead of present. You just have to do it the right way.

1. Use a wedding website
If you want to request for money gift on your wedding day, it is preferable to include it in your wedding website, not in your invitation card. You can then include your wedding website on your invitation card. 

It is not even write a good idea to write a short note about what you will be using the money for. Put these details in your wedding website. Phrase it carefully. It does not have to look presumptuous. In everything you write, NEVER request for a specific amount of money.

2. Be specific about how you will use the cash
You can politely ask for money as a wedding gift if you are going to let your guests know what the money will be used for. Letting your guests know where the money will go helps your guests feel more connected to your plans. If you are in the middle of a big project, let your guests know about it on your wedding website. 

Include a more personal touch with the story of how the project got started, how far you have gone and even the challenges you have encountered. Letting your guests know why you need the money is a tactic plea for help that they will be more willing to provide.