Years ago, a newly married couple used to need wedding gifts and bridal showers to help set up their household. But in today's culture, with the average marrying age rising, many people have already established households before they get married. Some people may feel that the last thing they need is more stuff. So, how does a bridal couple let guests know that money is preferred instead of gifts?
Most couples are trying to pay for their wedding themselves, and the idea of money for a honeymoon, down payment on a house, or simply some spending cash can be a lot more appealing than a second (or third) toaster. So what is the polite way of asking for money instead of wedding gifts? Is there a way?
Enter the bridal party and immediate family members who can pass on the word.
Wedding Invitation No-No
Although some couples have come up with creative ways to ask for gifts, money, or charitable donations on their wedding invitations, the truth of the matter is that doing so is rude.
Wedding gifts of any kind should never be mentioned on an invitation or even sent with the invitation. To do so implies that a guest is required to give you a present. A wedding invitation should simply convey that you would like someone to be at your very special occasion.
Your bridal party, close friends, and immediate family will likely know where you are registered and should be prepared to inform your guests that the happy couple is saving up for a house, the honeymoon, or something similar. Many guests will already know to ask these key people for your registry information. Usually, if you are close enough to have someone in your wedding party, then you can be honest with them about your hopes for money over wedding gifts.
So, if you are hoping to collect more cash then gifts, do you even register for gifts? There will always be guests (usually older generations) who believe that giving money is tacky, or who simply feel uncomfortable with giving it. Put together a modest wedding registry for these guests. Even if you have your kitchen and entertaining needs covered, there are so many different kinds of places to register for wedding gifts from camping stores to fine art and lots in between.
Honeymoon and Mortgage Registries
Companies have created registries that are essentially veiled ways of asking for money. For example, at a honeymoon registry, a guest can give you the gift of a nice dinner out or tickets to a play. You receive the cash, minus the site's fee, and can then use it for your honeymoon expenses. For example, if you have planned out a very specific honeymoon itinerary, guests can really feel like they are giving you a memorable wedding gift, and not just writing a check—that makes it special.
Hatch My House allows users to "register" or give money to help you fund a down payment on a home or renovation project.
Although the verdict is not in yet whether these directed donation registries are tacky or appropriate, many new brides and grooms totally appreciate it.
Once upon a time (and even still, to the most etiquette-picky in the world), any kind of wedding registry was considered tacky. As different registries become more common to use, it is likely that this stigma will become a thing of the past.