The past couple years have turned a lot of wedding traditions and wedding registry etiquette upside down — and here at Offbeat Wed, we're here for it! We've been breaking the rules since 2006, and have been talking about cash registries and alternative wedding planning for over 15 years. The pandemic changed a lot about how wedding etiquette works, and even more traditional guests have learned how to roll with the changes a bit more.
If you've got questions about how to do a cash registry in 2023, we've got answers. Because while a lot has changed, you still want to be polite, and respectfully in full integrity with how you communicate about cash wedding gifts. Let's talk over some of the questions we get most often from our readers…
First: Is asking for a cash wedding gift tacky?
We're of the opinion that the word tacky isn't super useful because it's subjective. Absolutely anything and everything wedding-related can be considered tacky.
That said, the question of whether it's tacky to ask for cash gifts for your wedding has become less relevant after the past few years we've all had. Delaying or canceling weddings used to be positively scandalous, but it's become completely normalized. Microweddings used to be rare, now they're super common. Receptions after elopements used to be unheard of, but with all the pandemic elopements that happened, reception-only invitations are no big deal now.
All this in mind, even your more traditional friends and family understand that it's been a rough couple of years and that couples getting married may need a little financial assistance. So here in 2023, it's not rude or presumptuous to want cash gifts for your wedding.
That said, be delicate about HOW you ask for cash wedding gifts
If you've made the choice to ask for cash instead of wedding gifts, you definitely don't want to appear presumptuous or demanding. The goal is to politely ensure that your guests know:
- No wedding gifts are expected AT ALL
- They don't have to give you money if they want to attend your wedding
- They don't have to give you a certain amount of money
That said, you will need to make your peace with the fact that someone's gonna be offended by something you do at your wedding, whether it's having cash gifts or serving pie instead of cake. The key is just to be accountable for your choices, and respectful in how you communicate.
All this in mind, let's talk through some of the details about how to ask for cash wedding gifts.
Should I use a honeymoon or cash registry website?
Honeymoon registries and cash registries make the process of asking for cash as a wedding gift SO MUCH EASIER and so much more cute!
Granted, your less tech-savvy guests may not use a cash or honeymoon registry, but these days it seems like even your boomer grandma who lives off the grid in a yurt has a smartphone and posts to Facebook daily, so you might be surprised how capable even your oldest family members are.
We're big fans of Honeyfund — don't let the name fool you. It's not just about honeymoons! The site makes it super duper easy to create a cash registry, and ensure that the result is easy to use and cute AF!
Should I say what I'm going to do with the money?
Absolutely! Your community of friends and family want to know how you're doing, and want to feel like they're a part of your story… so if you're planning to use the money towards a big project like a home renovation, say that!
Part of what's great about a registry site like Honeyfund is that you can register for big-ticket items (like say a brand new fancy-ass adjustable bed!) that guests can contribute towards. While you might not have anyone who's going to buy you a thousand dollar bed, you might have a dozen guests who are all willing to pitch in!
And of course honeymoon registries make it easy to say exactly what experiences you're going to use the cash for, so guests can give you cash for specific experiences like “Picnic on the coast in Big Sur.”
Should I ask for money on my wedding invitation?
Nope. This is one thing that the pandemic hasn't changed: it's never cool to put information about any sort of wedding gift on any sort of wedding invitation.
Invitations are NOT the place for talk of gifts…
- …Whether you're doing a traditional wedding registry from Bed Bath & Beyond, or are asking for a cash wedding gift
- …Whether it's a reception-only invitation or a wedding announcement
- …Whether you're sending cute paper invitations, or going for the email wedding invitation route
Think of it this way: would you go to someone's house and knock on their door and ask them to give you a present? Nope. It would feel presumptuous and demanding.
So the same is true with wedding communications: if you're reaching out to them, it's not the time to talk about gifts.
Now, if they're coming to you for information about the wedding, THAT'S when it's appropriate to talk about gifts. Most folks share their cash gift request on their wedding website from a place like Joy or Wedsites, and some folks print out little cards to have at the wedding reception like this:
What wording should I use to ask for cash wedding gifts?
Wondering how to ask for money as a wedding gift and neex wording examples?
This is a gift-free event
Your presence at this event is gift enough for us, so we kindly request no gifts.
We have all the material goods we need (and definitely a lack of room for more). If you'd like to contribute to our [wedding / honeymoon / new home], you're welcome to do so via our cash registry, https://zola.com/wedding/yournames .
Want lots more samples and ideas for how to ask for cash wedding gifts? We gotchoo:
Should I ask my parents or wedding party members to tell people?
Sure. You can talk to your folks and attendants about why you'd prefer cash gifts, and let them know that it's cool to let other guests know. Then, if guests ask your nearest and dearest for wedding gift ideas, your folks can share your plans, letting them know about any cash registry websites you might be using, or suggesting that guests can contribute towards your savings account instead of getting you a new blender.
Should I have a traditional registry if I've also got a cash registry?
We think it's overkill, but it doesn't hurt to have a few items on a registry with Bed Bath & Beyond or Amazon.
Do I need a card box at my wedding?
Since it's 2023, the majority of your guests will likely contribute cash via your honeymoon fund or cash registry. That said, there still might be some folks who bring a check or cash to your wedding reception, so you'll want a secure card box at the wedding. Be sure to ask a trusted wedding party attendant or wedding planner to check the box throughout your reception.
Who should wedding checks be made out to?
Both of partners, using the word OR between the names. This makes things easier for cashing the check, regardless of which of you goes to the bank, and whether anyone is changing their last name.