Monetary Wedding Gifts
I am getting married later this year and have decided against a gift registry. Instead, my fiance and I are requesting monetary donations. We've been together for 6 years and have most of our household items. However we'd like to replace our aging living room furniture and would appreciate money to do so. How do we indicate that in our invitations without directly asking for money and offending people?
No matter how subtlety you word it, it's never appropriate to ask for gifts or money in a wedding invitation. Word of mouth is the best way to get your preferences across. Let your wedding party or parents know you'd prefer money and they can pass that information on to those who ask. If you have your heart set on furniture as a gift, consider registering at a furniture store for a particular piece or set. Your guests can pool their resources and purchase the furniture as one big gift. A money tree is another option. Many guests love this option as it relieves the pressure of trying to find that "perfect gift". However, if you do receive a gift instead of money, accept it with grace and gratitude.
My daughter and her fiance decided to postpone their wedding for several months. They have already received several gifts. Is it proper to keep the gifts since the wedding was just postponed, or should the gifts be returned to the senders?
I think it would depend on the length of time between the original and postponed wedding dates. If there is more than 6 months between the two dates, they may want to consider returning the gifts. If the new date is less than 6 months away, they could keep the gifts so long as they acknowledge receipt (and appreciation!) of the gift on the postponement announcements. They must also add that another gift is not expected for the new date. If the wedding was cancelled, it would be a different story altogether! However, as long as you invite all the same guests to the new date, it should be okay to keep the gifts. If you're worried about a particular guest's reaction, follow up the postponement notice with a simple note or phone call and ask what they'd prefer.
When it comes to the wedding costs, what does the groom's family traditionally pay for?
"Who pays for what" will vary from couple to couple. Traditionally, the groom's family pays for pre-wedding parties (such as the engagement party) and hosts and pays for the rehearsal dinner. Many couples still observe this tradition. The groom's family was also required to pay for the bride's bouquet as well as the boutonnieres and corsages for the wedding party. They may also pay for the wedding license (including the officiant's fee) and the transportation to the airport for the honeymoon. Some families of the groom offer to pay for the alcohol at the reception, but this isn't mandatory and can be very costly.
That said there are no specific rules regarding what the groom's family should pay for. With many couples paying for the wedding themselves, the traditional rules of "who pays for what" have been thrown out the window. If the groom's family would like to offer financial assistance, they should discuss it with the couple and the bride's family. With so many costs involved with a wedding, any help is sure to be gratefully accepted.
Out of Town Guests
We are inviting out of state guests to our wedding. Can you please tell me if we are responsible for their accommodations? They will be staying 2-3 nights so they can attend the wedding rehearsal dinner.
It's not your responsibility to pay for your guests' accommodations. If the wedding party traveled from out of state, you may want to pay for their rooms as a gesture of thanks for all their help. Otherwise, the guests are responsible for their own accommodations. If however you feel some responsibility to assist your guests, then research the rates and availability of local hotels and forward them that information. They'll appreciate it.