Ask the Bride -- Asking for Money Gifts Only

Question: My fiance and I moved in together three months ago, each bringing a full household's worth of stuff. We have everything. The only things we need are the big things (like a new couch) that we couldn't possibly expect a wedding guest to give. I'd like to let our guests know that contributions to the couch or honeymoon funds would be sppreciated, but I don't want to be tacky about it. Any suggestions?

Answer: Since many couples are getting married at an older age, you are not alone in the prospect of combining two complete households. However, it is inappropriate for a couple to request only money gifts, which leaves many people with this problem. Here are several ways that you can give your wedding guests options without getting too many unnecessary or duplicate gifts.

1. Register for your honeymoon: your guests can purchase a gift certificate towards your honeymoon through your travel agent. When you're making your honeymoon plans and reservations, ask your travel agent if your guests can make a contribution to the trip deposit through them. Often they will give the guest a "gift certificate" card with the amount they paid that they can then insert in the card they give you at the wedding so you'll know that they contributed to your honeymoon.

2. Register at a furniture store: Stores such as Wickes and Levitz have wedding registries too! You can select your furniture and the guests can send their check to your account at the store to apply towards your purchase after the wedding.

3. Register at Home Depot: if you have a house, or are planning to move into one after the wedding, then you might be able to use some household or gardening tools.

4. Register for "upgrades": you can still register at the department stores. If you have a plain coffee pot, register for a multi-function espresso machine. Most people can always use more towels or new pots and pans. Increase your stock of every-day dishes, or start an heirloom china cabinet.

5. Supplement your hobbies: find a sporting goods store that will allow friends to pool together for your dream jet-skis, or register at the local gourmet shop for all the exotic kitchen utensils that you've always wanted.

6. Having a money dance at the reception is generally accepted as okay, but money trees at the shower are not cool by the etiquette experts.

Many couples select two registries, one at the department store and the other at any of the above, according to what you need. Also, you should inform guests about your registry by word-of-mouth, not through the wedding invitation.

One last thing--You have to accept that not all guests will follow the registries you select. You still might receive a toaster or set of wineglasses that you don't like, want or need, but if you're registered at a department store they will probably let you exchange those for a similar item or store credit.


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Copyright 1996-2001, Michelle Nordblom Hottya. Created: July 7, 1996. Last Updated: April 12, 2001.