Tacky Tree: Can I put a “money tree” at my wedding reception

Q: Is it appropriate to have a “money tree” at a wedding reception?

A: It is not appropriate to stand a “money tree” in the middle of a wedding reception for guests to clip money to.  Money trees sometimes work for other venues, such as a fiftieth wedding anniversary party, where the couple is saving up for a cruise, for example.  In the case of a wedding reception, remember that guests are guests, not sponsors.


  1. Winifred Rosenburg

    How does a money tree work at a 50th wedding anniversary party? Are guests sponsors then? That doesn’t seem right.

  2. Elizabeth

    Winifred, I agree completely. I cannot think of any occasion that a money tree would not be tacky. One reason in particular is that the recipients do not know who gave them the money (by design), so they end up not (being able to) thank those who gave them the gift. No – if people want to give cash for a wedding, they will do so in a signed card, and will expect a thank-you note.

  3. vincenza zuabi

    For a bridal shower is it appropriate to ask for a monetary gift when the couple is moving abroad where there are no American stores and they do not have a permanent address to send gifts to.

    • Alicia

      No showers have a physical gift focus. If no physical gifts wanted either skip the shower or if still want a party then a bridal tea which involves no gift neither money nor physical.

  4. David

    Is this tradition based in Western cultures? I never heard of such a thing.
    Maybe in your invite you could say, as you are moving abroad, you’ll “not have a bridal registry. However, congratulatory cards are welcome and appreciated at the reception, if you wish.” I think the subtext will be clear to most.
    Congratulations to you,

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