Some couples can feel embarrassed when asking for wedding presents from their guests and some don’t need the traditional wedding gift items. Most guests will want to give gifts so how can you ask for what you want without feeling awkward?

Traditionally a couple would be young, penniless and beginning married life with the support of their families. Support would be both emotional and also through items to start them in their first home together. Before the wedding a bride would start a ‘bottom drawer’, mainly a drawer full of items she would need when she was married… housewife pillows, embroidered aprons and beyond.

As times have changed and more couples live together before they marry, it has become the norm for couples to receive luxury gifts from their guests to mark the occasion. In order to avoid 12 sets of matching frog ornaments it’s usual for couples to request certain items; usually practical items they haven’t been able to previously afford. Today gift lists are popular and an increasingly acceptable means of contributing to a couple’s married life.

Wedding Gifts Sign on Table

Most good department stores offer a gift list service where you can choose many items from the store. These are placed on a list and your guests can shop your list by phone, via the internet or in person. A gift list is recognised by an account number. There are also online gift list services, and other options too…

Many couples already live together and do not wish to have a traditional gift list. They would prefer… err, cash! I once worked on a wedding where the bride inserted bank paying in slips into the invite, which at the time I thought it was fairly crude, as were the words “Cash gifts only” in another. Cash is a sensitive subject; some guests object to being asked for cash, some people prefer giving cash because you can then purchase something you will treasure.

It’s your day, it’s your decision. Ask nicely, that’s my advice, and ensure you communicate to your guests that giving isn’t compulsory.

Wording Suggestions for When Asking for Gifts

I’ve put together some wording suggestions you could use to ask for wedding gifts or contributions. You can include this when you send out your wedding invitations. Good luck, and happy shopping.

Asking for a Wedding Gift from a Registered List

Your presence at the wedding is more important to us than presents! However, if you would like to buy a gift we have a gift list at [name of company/shop]. You may order online, by telephone or in person. Our gift lift number is: [xxx] and is open from [date].

Asking for Cash Gifts

Your presence is present enough, but if you would like to give a gift, cash gifts would be greatly appreciated.

or…

As we have been sharing a home for some time we have decided not to have a traditional gift list, if you would like to mark the occasion any monetary gifts would be greatly appreciated.

Asking for Cash Gifts Towards a Specific Purchase

As we have been sharing a home for some time we have decided not to have a traditional gift list. Instead we are asking for contributions to our married life together in the form of monetary contributions for [item, e.g. our honeymoon, which will be our holiday of a lifetime].

Asking for Vouchers

Your presence is present enough, but if you would like to mark the occasion, [name of shop] vouchers would be greatly appreciated.

or…

As we live outside the UK we have been unable to set up a gift registry. Should you wish to give us a gift for our home, there are a few things we would like from [name of shop], so [name of shop] vouchers would be much appreciated.

or…

As we have been sharing a home for some time we have decided not to have a traditional gift list. Instead we are asking for contributions to our married life together in the form of [xxx] gift vouchers. You can purchase these online, by phone or in store in person. Thank you in advance.

Asking for Contributions Towards a Registered Honeymoon List

As [name] and [name] have been sharing a home for some time they have decided not to have a traditional gift list. Instead they have set up a honeymoon account. If you would like to contribute to their holiday of a lifetime that will mark the start of their married life together please contact [name of company]: [telephone number/website], reference gift list no. [xxx].

Guest post by Natalie O’Donovan of 2by2 Creative

Image from Lukas and Suzy Photography

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