Wedding Gifts — How to Get What You Want


Before sending out the invitations for the engagement party, bridal shower, and/or wedding, sit down with your spouse-to-be and discuss how your married life will be. Where will you reside as husband and wife? Is the place fully furnished and equipped for at least two people (plus one, if in the family way).

Would you rather have your guests give to the less fortunate? The answers to these questions will determine what you need to have–and what the ideal wedding gifts for you are. Many well-meaning guests may unintentionally give you something you’ll never use–how do you keep this from happening?

Wedding Gifts — How to Get What You Want

Wedding Registry

Registering for wedding presents is a great idea for those who know specifically what they want. Doing this will reduce the chances of receiving duplicate gifts, make sure that you know the giver of each gift, and ensure that you truly get the items you want, down to the smallest detail. Although wedding etiquette says you shouldn’t include this information in the invitation, stores will give you cards for this very purpose. Ask your friends and family to distribute them if you feel that you shouldn’t include the cards in the invitations.

Word of Mouth

If you’d rather get cash, asking for it can get awkward and tacky. Rely on word of mouth–get close friends and relatives to spread the word. If people ask you directly, you can reply, “Oh, we wouldn’t want to bother you with wedding presents; we don’t even plan on signing up for a wedding registry.” And then make small talk about your future married life–for example, say you’re migrating and need startup money to set up a new home. Hopefully, they’ll take the hint.


Distant relatives and acquaintances will rely on the details of your wedding invitations to decide on what to give. If you’d like to receive cash gifts and must mention the fact on paper, do so subtly. Make it short and sweet–write a funny poem or anecdote. If you want people to donate to charitable institutions instead, make sure to include all the details in the invitations, too.

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