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How crass is it to ask for money on your wedding day?

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A bride posting on the Mumsnet website has been blasted for asking if it is alright to ask guests for money as a wedding gift.  The posting led to a flurry of responses, some very strong, both for and against the idea. 

So, what’s de rigueur at weddings these days? Some wrote that it is bad form to even present a wedding list let alone ask for cash whilst others could not see anything wrong with it. Couples may need the cash to cover the cost of the actual wedding which for some can cost upwards of £20,000.  Greek families seem to have the right idea – just pin the money on the happy couple and if you’ve got any left, throw it on the dance floor to pay for the band!!

In this day and age, many couples are increasingly living together before they take the plunge. This means that for many who say “I do”, they already have the glass and china ware, the cutlery, the towels, the bedding etc. They may not need the crystal vase that makes an appearance at most weddings that you struggle to find a place for in the marital abode and is left languishing in your cupboard until the next wedding invite giving you a recycling opportunity  – or is that just me?

Forget the cash or the crystal vase that has been doing the rounds since the 1970’s, the best gift of all is a pre-nuptial agreement that protects your hard earned pre-wedding wealth against an early break up. Nobody walks down the aisle to the sound of wedding bells after making one of the biggest commitments to each other thinking that it won’t last. We all want a happy ending.

Happily, for about half the wedded population the fairy tale doesn’t end but for the other half, marriage will sadly end in separation and divorce and you have to be ready for it if you want to protect your assets.  This is especially so for second marriages - for couples who have had time to build up their own wealth, they are anxious to protect not just for themselves in the event of divorce but for their children from a former marriage. This is when a pre-nuptial agreement can be really useful. It also forces couples to talk about their financial expectations before they take the plunge which reduces the risk of shock, disappointment and anger in the event that the marriage doesn’t last.

If you are thinking about taking the plunge and getting married and you want to talk about a pre-nuptial agreement, come and sit down with one of our specialist family lawyers who will explain the options and the process to you.