How Can We Encourage Guests to Give Cash Instead of Buying Gifts?

Updated 04/24/16

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Whether you've lived together for years and don't really need to upgrade your home, have a tiny space that won't fit a stand mixer and new luggage, or are working on a project that's getting pricey, sometimes all you really want as a wedding gift is cash. But tradition is tradition, and some people just really want to give you a physical gift! Can you ask guests to skip the wrapping paper and go straight for the check? We have a few tips for how to do just that.

One of the best things to happen to wedding registries is the invention of the cash fund, championed by sites like Honeyfund and Zola. You can ask guests to pitch in for your honeymoon flights, add money to your downpayment fund, or help you pay for new furniture — you know, once you've moved into your new place and finally know what you'll need! If you'd much rather have guests help out with one of these items than buy you a new set of plates, skip the traditional registry and put a little extra time into personalizing your cash fund.

Sure, Aunt Sue's $200 gift won't necessarily pay for dinner on your first night in Bali, but it will help cover the costs of your once-in-a-lifetime trip in one way or another!

If you're in the middle of a big project, like renovating your home or moving across the country, let guests know about it on your wedding website. Adding a more personal touch with the story of how the project got started, how far along you are, and even the pitfalls you've faced along the way (now that you know how expensive it is to rewire your whole house!) will both make your guests feel more connected to your lives if they send you a check and also serve as a plea for help that they'll be more inclined to answer.

And finally, use the grapevine to spread the word. If guests are asking your parents and wedding party about what kinds of gifts you might like (and why you're not registered for new pots and pans), arming them with the details to let guests know what you'd really like will (hopefully) avoid too many awkward conversations and help get you the checks you really want.

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