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The Marriage Wars: Donations to honeymoon? No!
May 07, 2014 | 4059 views | 0 0 comments | 165 165 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A friend was recently annoyed when she received a wedding invitation in which the couple requested a cash donation as a wedding gift to help pay for the upcoming honeymoon.  

My friend was incredulous; she opposed sending a check to offset the cost of an event directly connected to the wedding itself.  (“I’d be happy to send a gift, but I’m not paying so the couple can jet off to Hawaii and lay around on a beach!” she said. “The honeymoon should be their responsibility.”)

I agree.  The request is callous and somewhat selfish.  If you can’t afford a honeymoon, then wait to get married or delay this “great vacation” until a later date.  If you can’t afford Hawaii, do two days in St. George Р but don’t ask others to bail you out.

What’s next?  Asking for money to buy shares of General Motors to fortify the couple’s IRA?  Requesting a check so the groom can purchase a Corvette?  Inviting friends to pay for the bride’s diamond ring?  How about this romantic idea?  “Send money to my bank so I can pay off my credit card.”

I recognize that newly-married couples often get “unwanted” gifts.  (No one really needs six crock pots.)  But store wedding registries have narrowed the risks of duplicate items, and most couples look forward to returning unwanted gifts and receiving store credit for things they really need.

If a young couple is already asking people to bankroll their wedding trip, it is an indication of financial problems ahead.


I have the idea that when you give a gift, it should be what the recipient really wants/needs Р not what I want to give them.  I’m not offended at all by a request for honeymoon donations.  Just as I’m not offended by mention of a registry at Target, I think a gift should be for the couple, not for my idea of what they should want. It’s not about me.

Many couples tie the knot after they are established, living on their own, and are in little need in the way of toasters and towels.  Maybe they have been scrimping and saving for the purchase of a home. I wouldn’t be put off if I asked a bride-to-be for gift suggestions and she mentioned that a contribution towards a down payment would be appreciated. Why would a donation for a vacation bother me? 

Long after the glasses break or the juicer makes its last smoothie, a couple can look at pictures of their honeymoon and have fond memories of all those who contributed to it.  

It could be argued that any mention of gift registries is tacky Р assuming that people are going to give you a present in order to wish you well.  But if someone needs suggestions on items the newlyweds would enjoy, I see nothing wrong with saying, “They don’t really need anything, but if you would like to give them something, you can contribute to their honeymoon, a house fund, their favorite charity, etc.”  

Giving should be filled with love, good wishes, and from a generous heart.  If you are donating to a honeymoon fund begrudgingly, don’t do it.  On the other hand, I’m relieved if I can make someone happy by merely writing a check!  




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