8 Classy Ways to Give Cash as a Gift
Updated: Feb 25
Wondering how to make cash classy? You don’t have to stuff it in an envelope. We have 8 great ideas to share!
Gone are the days when handing over an envelope of cash was considered a wedding faux pas. As more couples chose to live together prior to tying the knot, more often they are opting for a cash registry in lieu of traditional gifts for the very simple reason that it’s far more flexible.
Every couple has different circumstances surrounding their events and in today’s uncertain climate, cash lends itself to having comfort and security for things that come up. Whether it’s a new home, a dream honeymoon, or tackling leftover debt, this method of gifting benefits the couple in the way that they feel it is most needed.
There are plenty of other ways gift cash. Getting creative and adding a layer of sentimental value is what will separate this one size fits all, everyday gift into something personal and unique. It’s can be as simple as a thoughtful personal message.
Pair With a Card Rather than stuffing your cash straight into an envelope, adding a card with a personal note to make your gift stand out really makes it all the more meaningful. Giving cash can come across as a little impersonal. Technically, every single guest attending can essentially give the same gift, which will making it far less memorable. However, if you share your best wishes and words of advice to the couple with a card. It shows that you care about their love story and that you support them. Share your personal words, not just the ones printed on the inside of a greeting card it will express your desire to aid in their growth and mile markers, this makes your gift less about the cash and more about the love,
Go Though a Virtual Platform juggling an envelope of cash and a cocktail isn’t the simplest maneuver. Instead, consider sending your gift virtually through a digital payment service. You schedule a payment to arrive in a couple’s account via Zelle on their wedding day or you can set a reminder on your calendar to hit send on a Venmo. Paypal also works well for gifting. They even have an assortment of digital card designs to send along with the payment notification.
Send as a Gift Card Since you know that couples will be setting up their new life together, gift cards are a great way to let them pick out exactly what they want or need. Even if the couple has a traditional registry, gift cards are always helpful when they need to purchase smaller items they likely would not register for, such as a shower curtain, organizing bins, or recycling containers. The best gift cards are from credit card companies, such as Visa and American Express since they can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted, giving them total control and flexibility. Gift cards to specific stores can be great too. Just be sure they have a store nearby and its one they frequently shop at. This avoids extra shipping fees and adds the assurance they will find something they love!
Think beyond home goods and department stores, too. Consider giving them a gift card to their favorite local restaurant for a post-wedding date night or for a couples massage to relax after the craziness of the wedding. Or, think of stores that support their mutual passion. If the couple is outdoorsy, try a gift card to REI where they can stock up on gear.
Distribute Over the Course of Time Surprise! Cash gifts don't have to be one lump sum. One way to do this is to attach the cash to a gift they must open at different milestones. Pairing a card notifying them of when to open it along with bottles of wine to share is always a delightful way to do this. For example give them the wine, marking them not to be opened until their 5th, 10th, and 15th anniversaries or for different milestones like their first child or their new home. Breaking it up to represent these milestone years or milestone events and pairing it with a reputable wine that the couple can open that day makes the toast all the more worthwhile...not to mention the little surprise bonus gift they will find waiting for them in each card! If waiting years seems long, you can make this idea into a more immediate gift: place different bills at the start of each chapter of a book you’d recommend they read together. As they begin each chapter, they’ll accumulate cash and wisdom.
Start a "Rainy Day" Fund Gifting cash doesn’t have come with the assumption that the couple can do anything they want with it. You can direct how you’d like the couple to use the money you just handed them. We recommend putting the bills in a bottle and labeling it as a “rainy day fund.” It comes with the idea that the couple should hold onto it until a serious need arises. Then, the couple can break it open, should one person lose a job, a pipe burst in the house or the world gets hit with a pandemic. The act of having to break the bottle just to get the cash out provides another layer of reasoning: ‘Are we sure we really need this right now? Is this really an emergency? A savings fund can really benefit in times of need. In other words, they will really thank you.
Give to a Honeymoon/Pet/House/Baby Fund You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple that doesn’t make a honeymoon fund part of their registry. Whether they are heading to Africa or a road trip to an Airbnb, honeymoon costs stack up. Consider giving “cash” toward the couple’s big trip. Registry sites like Zola offer honeymoon funds as an option on the registry and plenty of couples opt for the independent Honeyfund, which allows guests to give specific experiences, like skydiving or sunset sail, that is part of their destination.
A honeymoon fund isn’t the only way you can give cash to a couple’s larger goal. Today’s couples create funds for all sorts of big purchases, such as a down payment on a house. There’s no use for monogrammed towels if you don’t have a roof over your head! Even if a couple owns their home, they still might host a home fund for things like renovations and improvements. Puppy funds are another big one we have been seeing, as adopting a pet can come with a hefty price tag for healthcare, food, and other supplies. Another is a general nest egg for future children and other important life events. People are thinking outside of the box and really digging into what their needs are versus their wants. Giving a couple the choice is the true form of love, rooted in freedom.
Donate to a Cause The idea of donating to charity instead of handing the newlyweds a physical gift is becoming a more popular way of celebrating a couple’s nuptials. You can make your cash gift an in-kind donation to any number of nonprofits. Some couples make this straightforward by including charities they support on their registry. If they didn’t, rather than thinking of the causes important to you, consider the philanthropy of the newlyweds. If they love animals, consider a donation to the ASPCA or local shelter. If they are striving to end world hunger, opt for a donation to World Central Kitchen or No Kid Hungry. If they are patrons of the arts, try a local museum, ballet company, opera company or philharmonic orchestra. And if either of them is a board member or volunteer with a charitable organization, they’ll sincerely appreciate what you give to that nonprofit’s annual fund.
Transfer Stocks and Bonds Paper money comes in more forms than dollar bills. Consider giving stock and bonds. We typically see this among immediate family members, with older generations opting to give stocks and other investment properties to the newlyweds. Participating in this kind of gesture creates generational wealth for generations to come. Companies like Vanguard allow you to transfer mutual bonds to any recipient with a Vanguard account. Plus, anyone can give a savings bond for generational wealth creation. Savings bonds, issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, are paid back with interest when the bond matures, so your gain value over time.