One of the great perks of getting married, besides gaining a life partner and a host of new family members, is receiving wedding presents. Wedding presents originally were given to give newlyweds a proper start in life, often stocking their homes with household goods. Whether the couple already has their home life established or are starting fresh, the gift request process is fraught with etiquette rules many couples are not aware of or prepared to observe.
- WedNet lists the wedding registry as the best way for the couple to express their gift preferences to their wedding guests. There is no limit to what the couple can register for, however, couples should understand guests are not required to purchase from the registry.
Traditional wedding etiquette dictates there should be no reference to wedding gifts listed on the wedding invitation. Previously, couples relied on friends and family to spread the registry information among guests. Modern couples and guests appreciate enclosure cards with registry information.
- Cash gifts are perfect for any wedding--the right size, color and shape, however, the Emily Post Institute along with other leading wedding etiquette experts at The Knot, Wedding Channel and Bride expressly forbid a couple from requesting cash in lieu of gifts on an invitation. This includes enclosure cards as well. Wed Net contends it's tacky to ask others to spread the cash preference, while The Emily Post Institute does allow a couple or their close family and friends to reveal their preference if directly asked.
Beyond First Wedding
- According to Wed Net, it is acceptable to register for gifts for a second, third or more wedding, but it is not required that a guest give a gift if they were present and gave a gift for the previous wedding.
This couple should follow all the general gift request etiquette rules as a first-time married couple, including sending thank you cards and not putting gift information directly on the invitation.
- Engaged couples should have no qualms about registering for expensive gifts, say the experts at Brides. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event (hopefully) and registering for expensive gifts that will benefit a couple in the long-term is completely acceptable. Even if there aren't any wealthy guests invited, expensive gifts are often purchased as group gifts from friends, co-workers and other well wishers.
- It is acceptable to request that guest not bring gifts to a wedding though couples should expect some will bring gifts, cards or money anyway to express their happiness for the couple. The couple should send a thank you note for every gift they receive.
The Wedding Channel also points out that the "No Gifts Please" clause should not be included on the wedding invitation. An enclosure card may be used or the no gift preference should be spread by word of mouth via the wedding party and family.
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