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.
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 Registry.com – 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!