Once you reach adulthood, asking for presents might feel uncomfortable, but when it comes to choosing your wedding gifts, it’s better for both yourselves and your guests if you ask for what you’d really like to receive. If you choose not to specify what sort of wedding gifts you would like, either in setting up a wedding registry, a honeymoon fund or asking for cash, for instance, you will find that many of your guests ask you anyway. Save yourselves the hassle of repeated conversations, and be upfront about your wedding gifts of choice. If you’re not comfortable receiving money, and you don’t need anything yourselves, set up a Give a little or ask for donations for a charity you’d like to support.
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It’s not taboo to be upfront and choose your wedding gifts
You needn’t feel awkward about specifying what you would like for your wedding. Honestly, your guests want to buy something for you both to mark your special day, and in recognition that you will be going to a large expense to celebrate with them. I understand that asking for things is a pretty unnatural concept, but there are polite ways to do so, even if you want to ask for cash for your wedding gift.
The tradition of wedding gifts
The purpose of a traditional registry was to set up the household for the happy couple (they having never lived together, of course). Until recently, most couples would set up a wedding registry list of all the things they need to set up their house. These days, most engaged couples will have already cohabited for a year or more before their wedding date and have most household necessities.
Do I need a wedding registry?
Many couples will be asking if they really need a wedding registry, especially if they’ve lived together already or are marrying later in life. Nowadays, many couples steer away from registries in favour of honeymoon funds or other experiences. There’s no point in having a traditional wedding registry if you don’t need anything, so don’t worry, you have other options. Last year, we sent a survey out to 1000 couples, asking what their choice of Wedding Gift was, and only 25% of them used a Wedding Registry (often in combination with asking for money via a Wishing Well or Honeymoon Fund).
Wedding Registries for people who don’t need anything
Like the name suggests, you can register for guests to contribute to your honeymoon. Rather than just giving you cash, guests can specify what they’re purchasing for you.
Ideas for your honeymoon registry:
- a romantic meal
- a night’s accommodation
- a scuba-diving trip
Similarly, another ‘registry’ option for wedding gifts is to register for an experience you’ve both wanted to undertake. If you’re not immediately planning a honeymoon, or you’re not going overseas, you might want to register for a particular experience to do together.
Ideas for experiences:
- cooking or language classes together
- couples day spa experience
- tickets to a festival
- a wine subscription
Can I ask for cash for a wedding gift?
If you’d rather have a lump sum to put toward your first home, some furniture or something else entirely, asking for cash as a wedding gift has become more and more acceptable. There will always be some guests who prefer to buy gifts with a personal touch, such as a special photo frame to put wedding photos in, or perhaps special wine glasses for future celebrations.
Some couples choose to have a ‘wishing well’ at their wedding, whereas others will provide a bank account or use a gifting website
If you’re having trouble deciding between all the different kinds of wedding gifts, or between different registries, you can certainly register at multiple registries? If you have a wedding website, it’s easy enough to list alternative wedding registries.
Should Wedding Gift information go on your Invitations?
Traditional etiquette would say no, and that this information is to travel by word-of-mouth. Being realistic, I would say yes – otherwise your guests are all going to have to ask you where you are registered, or assume you’re having a wishing well.
How to ask for wedding gifts: Polite wording to use.
Whatever you choose, here are examples of wording politely asking for wedding presents.
The first was recently used my by friends, and I honestly think it takes the cake, I’d love to know what you think:
“We are so thankful that you have all travelled to join us on our special day in one way or another, and we feel this is the best present you could gift us. However, should you wish to still give a gift and not have a small something in mind, please read on…. We think it would be special to have your gift linked to an experience or an item to make it that much more memorable. So, should you wish for your contribution to go towards any of our ideas, please write which one (or multiple) in a card and pop it on our designated box at the wedding, then we will make sure we send an appropriate selfie of us enjoying the experience with you!”
Otherwise, here are a few cute little rhymes:
Please don’t feel as though you must buy us a gift,
we are more than happy just to have you.
However, if you would like to buy
a gift we have a gift list at XYZ.
You may order on-line, by telephone
or in person.
Our gift lift number is: Johnson and is open
from 12th Jan 2017.
Your presence is present enough,
but if you would like to give a gift,
cash gifts would be greatly appreciated.
Cash gifts, specific purchase
As we have been sharing a home for some time
we have decided not to have a traditional gift list.
Instead, if you would like to do so, we ask that you contribute to
our married life together in the form of
monetary contributions for our honeymoon
A cute rhyme by Amanda of Southern Bride
Because at first we lived in sin
we’ve got the sheets and rubbish bin
A holiday is what we need,
a gift towards that would be great indeed.