13 May 2020

Wedding Wishing Well - How to Ask Guests to Contribute

When it comes time to share your special day with your loved ones, there is no doubt that your guests will want to thank you with a gift for hosting them at your wedding, as well as celebrate the start of your married life. We know that asking for your guests to contribute to your wishing well isn’t something you first think of when planning your wedding, but inevitably it will pop up sooner rather than later in the planning process and we want you to be prepared.

A wedding decoration arrangement featuring a variety of flowers, including white orchids, pink roses, and dark purple blooms, surrounded by greenery. Transparent boxes and candles are placed around the floral display, and a guestbook with the names "Krista and Mitchell" is open.
A woman in a white dress stands in a warmly lit hallway, looking at a book on a wooden table. Above the table, two large pieces of brown paper with calligraphy and floral decorations are hanging on the wall. A doorway and a window are visible in the background.
A wooden table adorned with a large white vase of colorful flowers, including red, white, and pink blossoms. Next to the vase is a sign labeled "Cards & Wishes, Thank You," and a black box. A stand in the background holds a sign with handwritten text.
A table displays a wedding seating chart, candles, and a lantern. The seating chart lists guests' names written in white on a glass pane. Several lit candles, including one in a glass holder, add a warm glow to the arrangement. A leafy plant is in the background.


Prior to designing your wedding invitations, it is a great time to decide how best to ask for money in lieu of gifts (if this is the option you have decided to go with). Choosing how best to ask for money instead of gifts can sometimes be tricky. We’ve put together some practical help and have listed some thoughtfully curated phrases you could use in your wedding invitations to let guests know you’ve opted for a wishing well. You are unique as a couple and will want to choose some well-expressed phrases that best compliment you:

Traditional - The greatest gift to us both is that you can be present at our wedding. If you would like to contribute to our new married life, we will have a wishing well on the day.

Celebration - We can’t wait to celebrate with you! If you wish to help us celebrate with a gift, you can give to our wishing well.

Fun - If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us on our way, a donation towards our wishing well would really make our day.

Gentle - We don’t expect you to give us a gift, however, if you would like to, a small financial contribution would be wonderful to go towards setting up our new life together.

Simple - Instead of gifts, if you would like to wish us well, feel free to add to our wishing well.

Upbeat - To save you the fuss of shopping and buying, here is an idea we hope you’ll like trying; a wishing well we thought would be great, but only if you wish to participate.

An old, open suitcase serves as a "wishing well" at an event, placed on a wooden table. It contains mesh bags and cards. Behind the suitcase are three tall glass candles, and a sign reading "Wishing Well" explaining its purpose.
A white decorative box is placed on a small round table, with a sign reading "Cards & Well Wishes for the New Mr. & Mrs." Eucalyptus branches are arranged at the base of the box, all set against a pale yellow background.
A rustic wooden bowl with a floral arrangement of pink and red roses sits on a wooden table against a beige wall. To the right of the bowl, there are five lit candles of varying heights. In front of the bowl is a card that reads "well wishes.


You can use a range of different vessels for your wishing well and you can purchase one, hire one or even make your own. Perhaps you could use a woven cane basket or design a custom wishing well from Etsy online. If you would prefer something with sentiment, an old hat box from a loved one or even your grandparent’s old suitcase would be a unique and special touch.

If you, or someone you know is especially handy, it could be a fun activity to create your own! One thing to remember, is that guests will be giving you a card and these can come in all different shapes and size, so make sure you have a suitable opening if you’re using a closed box design. We encourage you to think creatively and expressively, for example you could decorate or personalise this mini greenhouse available for purchase at IKEA.


On the day of your wedding, it is important to decide on a suitable location at your chosen wedding venue to display your wishing well. At Gabbinbar Homestead, we often suggest placing this on one of our antique wooden furniture pieces in the front rooms of the Homestead. Often guests like to drop their card off as soon as they arrive, therefore, having this separate to your reception can often work best. You can embellish this space however you wish, you might like to add some tea light candles or some floral pieces. If you would like to add a decorative sign to display alongside your wishing well, you could ask your stationary designer to add this to your design suite (For invitation and stationary designers, click here.

We can assure you that asking for guests to contribute to a wishing well instead of gifts doesn’t have to be awkward and you can be confident that more often than not, guests like the clear direction on how to bless you on your wedding day. You’ll thank yourself later when you can put the wishing well money towards something special, instead of ending up with three sets of cutlery, two toasters and an ironing board cover that you really didn’t want!

A brown wooden dresser adorned with a white tablecloth features a decorative bowl, small floral arrangements, and a framed picture. Above it, two hanging brown paper scrolls display table seating arrangements, bordered with small bouquets of green foliage.
A vintage black dresser with a white cloth draped over, holding a clay bowl and a bouquet of pink and red flowers in a white vase. To the left, a white easel displays writing. The corner setup is against a light-yellow wall with a wooden floor.