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Dear Shower Diva, My friend will get married in February and I am her Matron of Honor. When I asked her where she was registered for her Bridal Shower, she let me know that since she and her husband-to-be will likely be moving soon, cash would make the best gift for them. She mostly needs big ticket items, i.e. a bed, a table, a couch. Is it okay to ask the guests to contribute cash for a "money tree" that we could put towards her purchase of a table or something? I don't know what to do. Thank you for your advice, Lula P.

Lula P. of Coconut Creek, FL


Dear Lula,

Our Diva research team turned up more "no's" than "yes's" on whether or not a money tree is an acceptable bridal shower theme. The consensus, even with the few "yes's" we uncovered, leads us to conclude that a money tree shower is only marginally acceptable and usually turns out to be awkward. Guests generally perceive requests for cash as offensive, so if the bride pushes this idea, she might wind up with a room full of resentful invitees.

We tried to do a workaround on this so that you, as Matron-of-Honor, could give your friend a shower that artfully opens the door for receipt of cash gifts without it being construed as "a troll for bling."

Here's the closest we could come to a money tree shower:

Shower Invitation:

On the invitation, in a discreet place on the lower right or left hand corner, add a note in small type stating that "The bride and groom will be starting their new life in ________ (city and state) and need home furnishings such as a bed, table, couch, etc. If you would like to contribute to the couple's household fund, please advise me by ___________ (date)."

Shower Theme:

Make the shower theme a "home improvement" or "home decorating" one. Gift cards are given to the bride at these showers and are universally understood to be acceptable "currency."

Have the bride choose a registry or two and add this information to the invitation in small type as well. Most bridal registries online offer both gift cards and products. The bride's registry alternative gives party guests options. They can participate by giving a card and cash if they're flush, but won't feel "obligated" to do both if they can't.

Gift Card Showers:

Gift card showers are trendy and acceptable so going with this theme is your perfect "cover." It provides a way for some of the Bride-to-Be's money tree dream to come true with finesse. Giving guests the double option of "money and/or gift card" puts an end to upsets that generally occur when cold cash is the only game in town.

Have a look at our shower solutions for Millie. I think you'll see how flexible gift card showers are and how you can combine one with a cash gift option.

Light touches and a graceful workaround will go a long way towards helping your friend get some, if not all, of the cash she needs to furnish her new home.

Happy Showering,

Susan - The Shower Diva


Susan "The Shower Diva"
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