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Couples opt for hard cash over traditional wedding gift list

12 Apr 2011

Cash is King for engaged couples as the majority ask for money or vouchers as a wedding gift 

Will and Kate have generously asked for donations to charity for their wedding, rather than opting for the traditional gift list, but not all betrothed couples can afford the same luxury. According to research from online bank first direct , most prospective newlyweds (35%) would ask for money or vouchers as a gift for their wedding, while just 3% would ask for donations to charity to celebrate their nuptials. 

The survey of 1,924 people also found that 22% of people would follow the example of Charles and Diana and ask for presents from a gift list or registry service, and 19% of people would ask for a gift of their guests' own choosing. Surprisingly, another 19% said they would ask for nothing for their wedding. 

Wedding gifts couples would ask for:

  1. Cash / vouchers (35%)
  2. Gift list / wedding registry (22%)
  3. Gift of guest's own choosing (19%)
  4. Nothing (19%)
  5. Charity Donation (3%)


While most couples would prefer it, guests are less keen on giving cash. Thirty nine percent of people said they felt money was an impersonal gift, while a third (34%) would prefer the couple not to know how much they have spent on their gift. Twenty two percent dislike being told what to give as a gift, feeling it is rude. However, reflecting the difficulties young couples face in getting on the housing ladder, 18% think that giving money towards a mortgage is a good idea as a wedding gift. 

The survey also found that men are less happy to be told what to give as 24% think it is rude to be told what to give as a wedding present, compared with 20% of women, and men are more likely to give a gift of their own choosing (20%) than women (16%). Similarly, women (19%) are more likely to give a wedding present from a gift list than men (16%).


Richard Brown, Senior Savings Product Manager said,


"It is a wonderful gesture that Prince William and Kate Middleton have asked for donations to good causes to celebrate their wedding. However, 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. While guests can feel this is impersonal, it can help the couple to save for important purchases that will hopefully help set them on the road to a lifetime of happiness."


Regional Findings

  • London is the most prescriptive region with the highest proportion of people using a gift service (27%) and the lowest proportion of people asking for a gift of the guests choosing (19%)
  • The North East has the highest percentage of people who think that asking for money to pay off the mortgage is a great idea (24%) compared with the South West which has the lowest approval for this (13%).
  • The South East has the highest percentage of people who think that money is an impersonal gift and they would rather give something more traditional (44%) followed by Scotland (43%).
  • Scottish people are most likely to feel that being told what gift to give is rude (38%).



For further information contact Rebecca Hirst on 0113 276 6899, or Suman Hughes / Hugh Murphy at The Wriglesworth Consultancy on 020 7427 1400, /


Notes to Editors

The online survey was carried out by Opinion Matters between 25th February and 11th March among 1924 UK individuals over the age of 16


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