Giving money is becoming a more popular alternative to purchasing from a wedding registry, so here are few things to keep in mind if you're going green.
Most bride and grooms to be would agree that it would be nice to start off their married lives with a little extra money in the bank. Here in the US, guests traditionally gave gifts like toasters wrapped elegantly with a bow, but honeymoon and cash registries are now more main stream, where couples can ask for money and add non-traditional items and honeymoon experiences to their wedding registry. Things are a little different in our cultures. In many cultures, money has routinely been given as a gift to brides and grooms, sometimes in addition to other gifts. It can even be an intrinsic part of the wedding reception itself.
Here, we've outlined how various cultures around the world give money to couples on their wedding day.
If you are attending a Polish wedding, don't forget safety pins and some cash—that is, if you want a dance with the bride. At a Polish wedding, guests pin money on a bride's gown to get the chance to dance with her. Usually, the money is used to fund the newlyweds' honeymoon. In addition, guests may form a circle around the bride and toss money into her veil. Sometimes the maid of honor collects money in her apron. Also, in Spain each guest who dances with the bride during the sequidillas manchegas, the traditional dance, presents her with a gift of money. Many US weddings have incorporated a money dance as well.
In China, serving tea is a sign of respect. A traditional tea ceremony, called cha tao, helps to mark life's milestones and celebrations—including weddings. In Chinese weddings, the giving of money is linked to that special tea ceremony. Near the end of the wedding, a Chinese bride serves tea to her new in-laws. As the tea ceremony begins, the bride kneels in front of the people she will serve, who are seated. She serves the tea in a specific order, starting with the groom's parents and moving from the oldest to the youngest member of the groom's family. When the tea is finished, the bride takes the empty cups from each family member and she is presented with a red envelope, called a hung bao, which is full of money. In a more contemporary version of this ritual, both the bride and groom participate.
Today, brides and grooms of Chinese background often visit each table at their reception to toast their guests. After each toast, the guest may choose to offer money envelopes to the couple. Another option, particularly common in the US, is the wishing well or money box. This is a secure, decorated box that encourages guests to deposit wedding cards and money.