Q: My fiancé and I live together already so we don’t need a wedding registry and honestly really just want money as wedding gifts. Is that ok to ask for?
The answer is yes and no. I’ll explain, but let me back up a bit. Traditionally, a couple would register at a home goods department store like Macy’s in order to get all the home items needed for when they move in together after getting married. However, since most couples now live together (like yourselves) before getting married they have all the household items they need and thus a traditional wedding registry doesn’t always make sense.
In this case, it’s understandable that many couples prefer monetary gifts in order to either save for something in the future (like buying a house) or to put towards something specific they have in mind (like the honeymoon or a car or a washing machine). Asking for money is a tricky thing to do though. You don’t want to offend your guests, but you also don’t want to end up with things you don’t want. And many times guests (especially older guests) like to know what they are gifting as opposed to just giving cash.
People will get you whatever they want to get you (and I promise you’ll get some weird gifts no matter what), but it helps to give them some direction. I usually suggest to my couples who are in this situation to consider a few different possibilities. A great option can be to sign up for a honeymoon registry or a house registry where guests can contribute dollar amounts to your honeymoon or house down payment. If your worry is that the items you want are either at different stores or are more costly, there are registries that allow you to add items from any store and/or have guests contribute to purchasing something larger.
Another option that many times makes sense is to register at a place like Macy’s anyway and just choose an assortment of items at different price points. Then after the wedding, you can return the items and get a credit to use towards the item(s) you really want. Just make sure to pick a place that you want a credit to and register there. I recommend couples do this especially if they are having a larger wedding as it makes it easier on their guests to get them something within their price range.
If none of these options work for you and literally getting straight up cash is what you want, then spread the word via your close family and friends. When people ask them where you are registered, they’ll explain it for you. It’s subtle, but gets the word out. Just remember not to put it in writing! You don’t want to demand that people give you money in your invite or anywhere else. It’s a bit offensive and will not only make you seem ungrateful (because a gift is still a gift), but demanding as well. These are your guests and you don’t want to make them less than thrilled to celebrate with you.
So, to sum up my answer since it was a big long, yes you can ask for monetary gifts, but no you should’t do it directly. If you can find a way to do a wedding registry, that tends to work better as it makes it easier to explain and share with people. If you still just want cash, then just be tactful about it. Remember that wedding gifts are something people choose to give you. Even if it’s expected, it is still a gift that they are giving out of love. So, be respectful of that and of them.
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