Q. I am bridesmaid in a wedding coming up. I am working with the maid of honor on some ‘non-traditional’ shower ideas. The most recent has been a ‘Nest Egg Shower’ suggestion:

Her words explaining this to me (not my idea!):

‘The basic idea…is to try to bring everyone together to get the bride & groom a small nest egg to start off their marriage together. I think that every couple would absolutely love to start out with a little bit of money in their savings account and this could really help them out. I also think that most people who she would want to invite will probably know that the groom will be a student…and will be willing to give to this.’

I feel very uncomfortable hosting (yes, it will be at my house) a shower that is only for giving money to the bride and groom. I live in NC and it is my experience that very few people give cash at weddings. A shower is for giving the bride & groom items for their home and their marriage. Weare only planning to invite 10-15 people, and to be honest, the most each person would give might be $25 (most are fresh out of college).

How do I tell the maid of honor that I feel very uncomfortable with this idea, without sounding like I don’t care about the future of the bride and groom?

A. You are correct. While it is fine to indicate by word-of-mouth that money would be the most appreciate wedding gift, showers are about presents. The main “entertainment” of a shower, in addition to the refreshments you serve, is the opening of presents. It is very awkward for the bride-to-be to sit and open envelopes while the gathered guests watch in silence. You may indicate where they are registered in the shower invitation to help guide guests to gifts they would like, but it is not appropriate to ask for money as a shower gift.

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