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In our view / Modern marriage manners


We do: Now give us money

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Few of life's milestone moments offer more potential for significant family drama than planning a wedding. Increasingly, long- standing traditions are being challenged by modern couples who don't feel at all compelled to plan their nuptials within the stuffy boundaries of conventional etiquette.
One area of growing controversy is the notion that it is inappropriate to ask for cash in lieu of a wedding present. A recent survey of engaged couples suggests that over 60 percent would like to find a clever way to encourage their guests to give them money to help pay for the wedding, fund an elaborate honeymoon or even help with the down payment on a new home.
On one side of the argument are the pro-cash advocates who believe that asking for money directly is no different than visiting a department store and registering for loads of expensive gifts.
Some couples create elaborate engagement and pre-wedding websites as a way to share their preference for cash. One enterprising website offers invited guests a "menu" of personal items to purchase for the couple ranging from a night in the honeymoon suite and champagne brunch to a "massage/spa day for the bride" or a "round of golf for the groom." To make things easy on their invitees, they can click the boxes next to the item(s) of their choice and "check-out" through a link to the couple's Paypal account.
Others suggest that a poem included with the invitation is a way to make the cash-only preference somehow more palatable. They propose couples rake in some cash by incorporating this clever ditty into their announcement:
"Because at first we lived in sin
we've got the sheets and a rubbish bin.
A gift from you would be real swell
But, we'd prefer a donation to our wishing well!"
Those who favor tradition are left to wonder if there's a place where these cash-seeking requests cross the line and become just too vulgar and tacky. With tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, they offer the suggestion that guests could simply fill in the blanks on prepared bank deposit slips passed by collection plate during the wedding ceremony or drop off their wallets in large fish-bowls at the reception.
Even the staid Emily Post Institute, now managed by great-grandaughter-in-law Peggy Post, offers a progressive approach to this topic stating "... it is also now okay for the couple to signal that gifts of money would be welcome." We have to wonder if the original Emily would agree. Gifts of money have always been welcome. It just used to go without saying. Or hinting. Or begging.

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