Forget the wedding gifts, we'll take cash instead

The bride and groom's polite requests for bed linen, toasters and sets of cutlery might soon be over, as more than a third of couples exchange the traditional wedding list for demands for cash.

Around 35 per cent of engaged couples say they plan to ask their guests to give them cash or vouchers on their special day, compared to less than a quarter who are compiling a gift list, according to a recent survey by internet bank First Direct. While Prince William and Kate Middleton have asked guests considering giving them presents to instead donate to a fund for 26 charities, only three per cent of those questioned for the survey said that they planned to follow the same route.

One in five of the couples said they were happy for their guests to choose their own presents, while 19 per cent said they were not asking for any gifts at all on their big day.

Richard Brown, senior savings product manager at First Direct, said: "With couples needing huge deposits to get on the housing ladder and the cost of everything from honeymoons to petrol going up, the economic reality for most couples is that money is the most useful gift they can ask for."

The gift of cash may be good for couples but it seems guests are not so keen. In the same survey 39 per cent of people said they felt giving money was not personal enough, with a third not wanting the bride and groom to know how much they spent on their gift. 22 per cent of people disliked being told what to give. Londoners have the strongest fondness for a wedding list, with 27 per cent using a gift service and only 19 per cent asking for something that guests choose themselves.

Anne-Marie Mould, assistant manager at The Wedding Shop in Selfridges, which helps couples design personalised wedding lists, said she thought the demise of the tradition would be "tragic."

"Couples should get nice individual gifts that they can remember for ever as opposed to cash, which can go on anything, like a bread bin. That's the tradition for weddings and it should stay," she added. The survey was completed by 1,942 people.

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