Q: My fiancé and I have set up a family college fund, and we would like to tell our guests to contribute toward the fund as their wedding gift to us. Is this OK? —Rockville, Maryland
A: Frankly, no. You can certainly set up a family college fund and contribute monetary wedding gifts to it, but you shouldn’t tell your guests what they should give you—or how. Keep in mind that although most guests do give wedding gifts, it’s not a requirement. And the type of gift they choose, whether it’s cash or a coffeemaker, is solely up to them.
A less obvious way to let your wishes be known is to ask your family and friends to help spread the word that you’d prefer a cash gift. And if a guest happens to ask you what you’d like, simply say, “Thank you for inquiring. We do have just about everything we need for our home, but whatever you give us will be greatly appreciated.” It’s a subtle way of letting them know that you’d rather have cash without asking for it outright.