Dear Wedding Planner:
We are planning our wedding for next spring but have come to a stand still as for wording on the “gift” registry. We have been together for over four years and have everything we need as far as registry items go. We recently were even blessed to use timeshare of a family member for our honeymoon. We would like to “ask” for just monetary gifts but don’t want to be tacky or seem rude. We think it’s a bit silly to register for things we already have or will just collect dust. Is this something you could please give us your insight on?
-Brooke, Oneonta, NY
So you don’t need a crystal swan or cloth napkins with embroidered with your new monogram … money talks and you are ready to listen! Your situation is very common in this day in age of couples living together, sometimes for years, before they get married. Not only do you not need extra “stuff” but you probably still have boxes packed from when you and your finance moved in together, that is ready for next years yard sale, right? There are subtle ways to ask for cash at your wedding without asking for it.
Don’t Register. I think it’s the parents of the bride and groom that feel that you need to register than the couple. They will tell you “everyone is asking where you’re registered, what am I supposed to tell them?” when in reality it is probably that great Aunt or grandparent who “in their day, you always shopped from the registry”. Nicely tell Mom, Dad and the new in-laws that you don’t really need anything and they can tell those few people who will ask to just get you whatever they feel is appropriate. The rest of your guests will get it. You don’t need glasses to see through those lines! No registry = they want cash! You may get a few scattered gifts and/or gift cards from guests who feel funny just sticking cash in your envelope, but most of your guests will just give you money. You have asked for it, without asking for it!
Get cute. I had a couple once who were in your same situation and they were actually in the process of buying a house that needed some fixing up, so instead of registering for gifts they wanted gift cards to Lowes and Home Depot so they could get the materials they needed for their new home. What did we do? Inside their invitations was a card with a poem that said
“To celebrate our wedding you may wish to buy us presents However this is not required, all we want is your presence If you insist, we must admit, some gift cards would be great To help us do some home improvements at a later date.
If you still feel the need, to get us a small token, We would appreciate vouchers for any shop that’s open Regardless of which choice you make, all we would like to say, is come along and have some fun, on this our special day.”
This worked really well and most of their guests gave them the gift cards like they asked or cash. Since you have this great honeymoon because of the time share, maybe come up with a cute poem about your vacation and how credit card gift cards and money would make your honeymoon that much better.
In reality, the present is something that your guest feel would be the best for the two of you, and just like gifts for a baby shower, a lot of the time, reflects the gift givers point of view of something that they felt was great at their wedding or in their home that they thought you would like.
So don’t be insulted when you get that waffle maker or candle set … it was a gift from their heart and most of your guests will give you a monetary gift, knowing that a couple just starting out could use some extra cash – especially after dumping 10, 15, 20+ thousand dollars on a wedding. The rule of thumb is each guest is supposed to give the approximate value of their meal, which in most cases is $50 per person. Not everyone follows this rule and not everyone can afford a $100 gift – but others will give more and you will be surprised when you open up your gifts and envelopes how much money you end up with.
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