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People are marrying at a later age, historically (27 for women, 29 for men, reflecting a decades-long steady increase from age 23 in 1960).  This means most married couples already have a lot of the items they’d normally have registered for in the past – cookware, coffee makers, even dishware.  Thus the question comes up now constantly:  “We have everything we need already. But we’d love to buy a house or save up for starting a family.  How do we ask for cash without seeming tacky?”

According to Miss Manners, you don’t.  Miss Manners is insanely strict – wise, but strict – but she is right: You cannot outright ask for cash, or gifts, ever.  You are inviting people out of the goodness of your heart, with the intention to have a beautiful wedding surrounded by the ones you love – a selfless host.  But, if your guests have manners, they will indeed likely send you a gift. (Although, do forgive a friend or family member under significant financial duress who cannot afford to.) It’s the unspoken etiquette about wedding gift giving.


Gift table at a Marvimon wedding.

Gift table at a Marvimon wedding.

Here is how you can ask for cash, as tastefully as possible:  The modern way around spreading the word about your registry is to list them on your wedding website.  From there, you can slip in a cash registry that is dignified enough to not offend your guests.  Well, Great-Aunt Edna may still disapprove, but these days, it’s accepted – not spoken of outright, but accepted.

Registries that process cash gifts:

My – My Registry was one of the first registries to allow couples to register for all sorts of items from a variety of stores.  Typically you don’t want to register at more than three stores – no more than three registries for your guests to review – but MyRegistry consolidates all your desired gifts into ONE registry. You can also add cash gifts as well to the registry. You will pay a standard PayPal fee for the transactions.

Tendr. The cleverly named, super straightforward cash-only registry charges 5% for cash gifts.  It may be a little…too straightforward for Aunt Edna, so please round things out with 1 or 2 more traditional registries for household items you still need instead of forcing all guests to give cash gifts.  This can be hard for guests on a limited budget who don’t want to seem cheap by sending only $15 or $20, but can instead send you something nice from your registry for the same amount – and thus their total spend is not as obviously known.

NewlyWish is a more modern-looking version of My Registry, in a way, with a 2.65% fee for cash gifts, and nifty amenities like group gifting options.

Happy planning…happy shopping!