Post # 1
Two of my dear friends are having a cocktail wedding reception on the bonzaii deck at our national arboretum. They would like guests to donate money for the upkeep and preservation of the bonsaii collection in lieu of gift. As the collection is open during during the day, a donation box at the entrance of the room/deck.
How should my friends notify guests of this request on the invitation? I know its bad form to include any gift/money related matters on the invitation itself, but should they include a separate information card? Of course they will spread the request through word of mouth aswell.
Post # 3
They shouldn’t say anything. But if they choose to later donate any gifts they may receive to the arboretum that is up to them.
There is no polite way to mention that guests should make a donation. Charity is a very private manner.
Post # 4
I think the only way to do this is the same way that a couple shares registry information. Make a wedding website that is included somewhere in the invitation. On the website the couple may say that they would be honored by donations to the arboretum in honor of their wedding.
Post # 5
Donations can be tricky because people may feel like they’re being coerced. I wouldn’t say anything at all. If they don’t register people will take the hint. You could also spread the words through the couple’s parents. Like a PP said, if the couple chooses to donate the money after that’s fine.
Post # 6
@Notcool: For the Royal wedding, William and Kate opted for a charity fund. On the Royal Wedding website it graciously stated:
“Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have created a charitable gift fund to help celebrate their wedding. The fund will focus on assisting charities which support the five causes chosen by the couple. These causes are close to their hearts and reflect the experiences, passions and values of their lives so far. Having been touched by the goodwill shown to them since their engagement, they have asked that anyone wishing to send them a wedding gift consider doing so in the form of a donation to the fund.”
I would follow suit. Make no mention of the charity in invitations or at the ceremony whatsoever. Instead mention the charity on a wedding website where anyone who may be seeking gifting information may easily access it. Next, take care not to list the wedding website directly on the invitations. This should be listed on Save the Dates or on a separate enclosure card in the invitations. It is impolite to mention gifts on an invitation, and directly printing a website on the invitation may be interpreted by some as mentioning gifts when the said website lists gift information.
When a couple doesn’t register, one often assumes they just want cash. Listing the charity on a website lets people know the couple’s intent in saying “no gifts” is not to collect cash. Some people will not give a gift at all when they see a charity mentioned, but others will happily give to the charity, particularly if it is a non-controversial one that is dear to the couple.
Post # 7
Thanks everyone, they won’t be having a wedding website – so myself and their family will spread the word by mouth