Response: Having a wishing well at a reception and asking guests to give money or gift cards is a major breach of etiquette. The bride and groom do not mention gifts in any manner in a wedding invitation. The purpose of an invitation is to invite guests to celebrate a joyous occasion in your lives and it shouldnt be about gifts. If a guest cannot afford to send or bring a gift, that is fine; their presence is what is important.
The only socially acceptable way to inform guests of your desire for money and gift cards is to tell your parents and wedding party that is what you would prefer. Then when guests inquire, they can be told that you would prefer money. The wishing well can be present at the reception as a recepticle for the cards, but it should not be mentioned either verbally or in writing. To do so can offend guests and then they wont give anything. The original purpose of a wishing well is for guests to write their good wishes on a note card and insert them in the well. It was not intended to be used to obtain money.
Be aware that some people do not give money as a wedding gift, particularly older guests, so be prepared to graciously accept some gifts. You can always return them or you may find that you can use some of them.
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