Wedding Gifts: How to Ask for Wedding Charity Donations?
Q: My friend will be marrying for the second time and it will be a very small, late-morning, informal garden wedding. She does not want wedding gifts. If, however, guests feel so inclined, she would most like a donation to a wedding charity in her mother's memory. Everyone invited knows of her mother's recent death, but is there a way to indicate, other than word of mouth, that if wedding guests do wish to give gifts, a donation to the charity would be most appreciated?
A: Etiquette-wise, really the only way your friend can encourage donations to the charity is through word of mouth. Even though it is assumed that guests will give wedding gifts, you can't ask for them -- in any form -- outright, and so putting a specific request on invitations would be inappropriate and even presumptuous. The best thing for the bride to do is to communicate her wishes with her close friends and family, and have them spread the word. The fact that it's her second marriage, however, may work to her advantage, as more people may be inclined to give money rather than material gifts. She can then turn around and give the money to the charity in their names. Also, if people ask where (or if) she is registered, she and her friends and family should then feel comfortable in telling them about her donation wishes.