It is a tradition in some cultures to display a money tree during weddings. Although, it is not uncommon to put up a money tree for occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays and retirements too, especially when they involve the elderly. To some people, the whole concept of putting up a money tree, may seem very absurd. They feel that putting up a money tree on special occasions is like begging the guests for money! This actually is not true and can be avoided, if proper money tree etiquette is followed.
Wedding Money Tree Etiquette
- If you plan to put up a money tree during your wedding, see to it that you belong to a culture in which money trees are a tradition. In case you have planned a wedding around a cultural theme and in that culture money trees are a tradition, then this is another scenario in which money trees do not look out of the way.
- In no case should money trees be mentioned on the invitations. Money is a gift and just like no one asks for gifts on the invitations, no one should ask for money or mention money tree on invitations too.
- When it comes to receiving cash as a gift from guests, word of mouth is the best way to convey the point to them. So, tell all your friends, family and bridal party members that in case the wedding invitees inquire about the gifts for the bride and the groom, they should tell the guests about the money tree at the reception and also mention that cash gifts are acceptable by the couple.
- At the reception venue, the bride and the groom should never ever mention the money tree to the guests themselves. If they do that, it would come across as being extremely rude or blatant to some of the guests.
- Ideally, a close family member, like an aunt, should announce about the money tree to the guests during the reception. This way it would seem as if the guests are participating in the money tree custom voluntarily. If you are having a DJ play music at your wedding reception, he too can, in between playing music, announce to the guests the location of the money tree.
- Announce the money tree towards the end of the wedding reception. You can even make the announcement when the wedding reception is halfway through, but never before that!
- Not all guests would want to contribute to the money tree. Some may even find it embarrassing to give money. Some of the guests may be unaware of this custom and its meaning. So, in order to let the guests know that money gift is welcome, one of the wedding money tree ideas that you can use is to put some folded bills or cash yourself on the tree. When the guests notice this, they will automatically know that you are expecting them to contribute to the money tree.
- Some of the guests would not feel comfortable with the idea of putting on display how much cash they are giving as gift. This might refrain them from putting money on the money tree. To avoid this situation, it is suggested that you place a number of envelopes near the money tree. This way, the guests can place money in these envelopes before putting them on the tree.
Money Tree Etiquette for Other Occasions
For occasions such as anniversaries or birthdays or bridal showers, the money tree etiquette more or less remains the same as it is for the weddings. You should not mention about money trees in the invitations. Instead, spread the word around amongst the friends and family that you are going to put up a money tree through word of mouth. Place the money tree in the corner of the room and never at the entrance, other wise it looks like a charity box. Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, place envelopes near the tree so that your guests can put money in it, rather than straightway hanging it on the tree.
If you follow the money tree etiquette outlined above, you would save yourself and the invitees from embarrassment and discomfort, which can otherwise arise due to cash gifts. One last tip before I sign off – if you are not convinced about putting up a money tree, you can instead put up a gift certificate tree! This way you get to choose your own gifts and your guests do not have to hand you over cash as gift!