Once your friends and family members receive their invitations to your wedding, they’ll start considering the perfect day-of outfit, and travel plans, and searching for the ideal wedding gift. But what if you’d prefer not to receive gifts? It’s important to share that information upfront.
Many couples may not wish to receive physical gifts from their guests, whether it’s because they have everything they need, they may not have space for extra gifts, or there are other preferred ways to put funds to use. And that’s perfectly okay! But how exactly should you navigate the wording on your invitations to reflect your wishes? We turned to industry experts to find out.
Is It Appropriate to Ask for No Gifts?
First things first, the information you relay to your guests regarding gifts will be based on what you may (or may not) love to receive. “Evaluate where you're at in your lives and determine if it's truly necessary to receive gifts,” says Michelle Cousins, owner of Michelle Leo Events. If you feel like you have everything you need, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip a traditional wedding gift registry. The most important thing is to clearly communicate your wishes to your guests so there isn’t any confusion.
Meet the Expert
- Michelle Cousins is the owner and lead designer of Michelle Leo Events, a wedding design firm based in Utah focused on local and destination events.
- Sara Margulis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Honeyfund, a free honeymoon and cash registry site.
Include Information With Your Invitations or Direct to a Wedding Website
Your invitations include the most important information regarding your wedding day. Of course, you’ll include the date, time, and location of your ceremony. From there, the rest is up to you.
“Determine which details you prefer to include in the invitation or on the wedding website and go from there,” says Cousins. Including a card inserted with your invitation suite that offers specific details regarding gifts is perfectly okay. Or, you can choose to include an insert directing your guests to a link regarding more information about the wedding and include gift details on a wedding website. It’s entirely up to what you feel is best. Just be sure not to include a “no gifts necessary” message on the actual invitation, as that can be seen as a bit of a faux pas.
What to Request Instead of Gifts
According to Sara Margulis, CEO and Co-Founder of Honeyfund, it’s best to offer an alternative to physical gifts, rather than a “no gifts” message. “A ‘no gifts’ message is actually confusing to guests because it goes against their very instincts,” she says. “Who wants to be the person to arrive at a wedding with no gift? Because of this, it could backfire causing you to receive a lot of gifts you don't want.”
If you’d rather receive money to put towards the future, as opposed to physical gifts, include that information. “Couples can make it clear they would prefer the gift of funds, without directly asking for cash, by setting up a Honeyfund page,” says Margulis. “The couple can choose to use it as a full wedding website or keep it simple with a cash-based wishlist of items or experiences they are looking to fund in their early marriage—things like the honeymoon, date nights, paying off debt, or any savings goal.” You can also choose to receive funds for a future home or even create a wedding assistance fund.
Cousins agrees that asking guests to contribute to a honeymoon or house fund is perfectly acceptable. But if assistance in those areas isn’t necessary, consider a donation to a charitable fund instead. “I personally love when a more established couple who isn't in need of financial support for a home or honeymoon asks guests to make a donation to their favorite charity,” she says. You could ask your guests to donate to a charity that's near and dear to your hearts, or request they donate to their own favorite charity.
If you truly do not want your guests to gift anything, whether a physical gift, contributing funds, or making a donation, be sure your wishes are clearly communicated.
'No Gifts' Wedding Invitation Examples
If you’d rather receive funds:
- For more information about our wedding, please visit [insert wedding website link].
- In lieu of gifts, we would appreciate a contribution made to our [honeymoon, house, etc.] fund.
If a donation to a charity is requested:
- Please, no gifts. Instead, consider making a donation to your favorite charity.
- In lieu of gifts, please consider making a donation to [charity selected by the couple].
If you prefer no gifts at all:
- We're excited for your presence, not presents. Please, no gifts.
- Your presence is truly enough, no gifts please.