By LOUISA CLEAVE
Former Shortland Street actors Blair Strang and Katrina Devine have asked their wedding guests for cash instead of gifts.
Strang and Devine, who played Rangi Heremaia and Minnie Crozier in the soap, will marry on November 10 in Auckland.
Traditional gifts are out. The invitation asks for financial contributions towards an overseas trip. Accompanying it is a list detailing the destinations and tourist attractions guests can help to pay for with a contribution of $50 to $350.
At the bottom is a voucher to attach to the cheque and post to the couple's wedding coordinator at a post office box number.
The list covers about 40 items such as tickets to a Broadway show. At the top guests are told the couple have enough tea towels and candles.
Strang and Devine have already sold their wedding story and photos to Woman's Day for thousands of dollars. The magazine also paid them for their engagement story in May after Strang proposed on a Sunday and contacted the magazine the following morning to arrange a deal.
In the article, the couple said they would do everything traditionally.
The financial gift request has shocked some of the invitees, who feel it is not the New Zealand way.
An independent wedding coordinator, Sarah Terry, said it was not common to ask for money in lieu of gifts but it did happen.
Sarah Terry, who is involved with 50 to 60 weddings a year, said that in some cases gifts were not practical because often the couple were moving overseas after the wedding.
Devine, aged 21, was among cast members sacked from Shortland Street last November. Strang, 29, left the show in February for stress-related medical reasons.
Their guest list includes many of the actors axed from the show and only a couple of the present cast.