Problem Solved: We Want Money, Not Gifts!

boxed wedding gift

I’ve seen “No boxed gifts please” to indicate a preference for cash. Is there any other way to state this, or is it plain tacky any way you approach it?

This used to be trickier than it is today. First, etiquette experts have very strong feelings about never ever ever mentioning gifts or cash in any form on your invitation. This may be a throwback to when registries themselves were seen as gauche. Obviously, they’ve become accepted over time. So while everyone knows that being invited to a wedding means you need to send a gift, evidently, we’re not supposed to acknowledge this.

To add to the confusion, I’ve seen “No boxed gifts” mean “Cash gifts please” and also “Please don’t bring boxed gifts to our wedding because we’re going on our honeymoon directly after and won’t have time to deal with transporting gifts to our home that’s in a completely different location than our wedding. Just send gifts via our registry. THANKS!”

Indeed, mentioning anything about a preference for money on a wedding invitation does have a certain “You’re invited to our wedding, now give us cash!” ring to it. Luckily, that’s easy enough to avoid these days thanks to wedding websites.

Even then, most experts would say to spread your preference for money by word of mouth, but I have a better suggestion: Use “cash registries,” such as Deposit a Gift, Wedding Republic, HoneyFund (geared specifically toward funds for honeymoons), SimpleRegistry and Upon Our Star. They are an unusually graceful way to forgo the traditional gift registry in favor of cash.

Here’s how most of the services work: You list a bunch of items that you would like your guests to put money toward. The items can be as big (a car!) or small as you want (a wire whisk!). More traditional guests will probably like the idea of putting money toward a specific thing as opposed to handing over cash,  but in the end, you will receive the money for these items, not the items themselves.

Of note: Most of these sites have a service fee – up to 7.5% – after all, they have to stay in business somehow.  Different sites have different approaches to pricing and it’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it. However, keep in mind that these service fees aren’t much different than tax and the shipping and handling fees that we see with traditional registries. And some cash registries allow you to determine whether that fee is added on to your guests’ contribution or whether you want it subtracted from your total amount.

For more, read our previous post on “Alternative Registry Ideas.” If you prefer a traditional gift registry, check out our article on “Modern Wedding Registry Etiquette.”

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