I Do, I Don't: The Wishing Well Debate

AUTHOR: Allie Hartford

Two Brides Provide Their Perspective On The Wedding Wishing Well Trend

Modern brides and bridegrooms are increasingly choosing to request money for their wedding through a wedding wishing well. Guest contributions towards honeymoons or home deposits provide today’s couples with a gift of real practical use over traditional tokens used to set up home together for the first time.

The wedding wishing well is a recent trend in the West, where money as a wedding gift has for a long time been frowned upon. However, in most eastern societies – Chinese and Turkish for example, offering money to newlyweds is a tradition that dates back centuries. I recently attended a lavish Turkish wedding during which the bride accepted guests to pin money to her dress. With these contributions, her and her husband placed a deposit on an apartment. Jewish custom requests money amounts in multiples of the number 18 which is considered good luck and Hindus believe numbers ending in one bring good fortune, so request wedding money to match - $101 for example. Historically, giving money as a wedding gift has never been taboo for these cultures so what makes western cultures so uncomfortable about cash?

Two brides-to-be with opposing perspectives offer their opinions on the wedding wish well.

For The Wedding Wishing Well: Claire, 30, Mosman, Sydney.

My fiancé Jamie and I have been together for four years, lived together for two years and have been engaged for one year. Our wedding is next month at Whale Beach in Sydney.

Through an online wedding wishing well, we have requested money contributions towards the honeymoon of a lifetime. We are taking six months off and renting our house out to travel the world before we have children. Of course we would appreciate the gesture of any wedding gift, but items to set up our home simply wouldn’t be practical when we already have everything we need. I would rather guests could give us amazing experiences to share in our first year of marriage. Treasured moments captured in the blog, photo journal and video diary that we plan to create on our adventure. For us, a photo at the top of Machu Pichu will provide us with far richer memories of the early days of our marriage than the silver photo frame in which it sits.

In our wedding wishing well wording, Jamie and I let our guests know exactly what we would be spending their contributions on. We brought the wedding wishing well to life with images of our destinations, a map of our route and the famous landmarks we would tick off along the way. We also provided them with a YouTube link to a video thanking them in advance for helping us to realise our dreams. We wanted the wedding wishing well wording to be very personal and unique and we were clear that a donation would be appreciated, but not expected.

By nature, I’m a non-traditionalist and practical in my approach to almost everything. I would hate to my guests to spend time, money or fuss on gifts that – whilst appreciated – might gather dust. If this sounds heartless it isn’t – my reasoning is mostly emotional. I value memories over material goods... Relationships and marriages are evolving and our attitudes need to keep up.

Against The Wedding Wishing Well: Sophie, 34, Toorak, Melbourne.

David and I married in the Yarra Valley last year with around 150 guests. The day was everything I hoped it would be - a traditional ceremony followed by a sit down four-course meals surrounded by stunning orchards.

We moved in together just after our engagement, buying a house that we renovated to our personal taste. So we have all of the kitchenware, utensils and design pieces we need - but that didn’t stop us from asking for home ware wedding gifts from an online registry at a Melbourne department store. For me, requesting money through a wedding wishing well isn’t appropriate for such a special occasion. Actually, I believe money gifts are inappropriate for any celebration – birthdays and anniversaries included.

Growing up in a traditional household, I lean towards older fashioned values and hope to raise my own family in the same way. My wedding day was the most meaningful day of my life and I wanted my guests to contribute to starting our family home with items that I can remember each one of them by.

Money from a wedding wishing well is cold and clinical. No matter how you phrase your wedding wishing well wording, you can’t escape the fact that you are asking for cash. I would also hate to think of my guests feeling uncomfortable and unsure of an appropriate amount to give too.

The advantage of an online registry is that our guests can give us a gift that no one else has bought, so there is no chance of doubling up. And, if they did choose to buy a gift that isn’t on the registry I would love it too. To use a cliché, it’s the thought that counts most. And to me, memories can be found in all of the material items in our home. From a throw on our sofa that kept us warm in our first Winter as a married couple, to the vase on our kitchen counter.

For me, a monetary wedding wish well would dampen the celebration of a marriage and it isn’t something I would encourage.

Regardless of your opinion on the suitability of a wedding wishing well, The Gift Collective is a simple and sophisticated solution for all brides with beautiful taste. Create a Gift Collective and request your guests to give a piece of a puzzle to your dream wedding gift, whether it’s a work of art or a ticket to your dream destination.

Create A Gift Registry Today!

Create A Gift Registry Today!