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Cash gift etiquette for weddings

Nancy Lee is President of MyRegistry.com, the leading universal gift registry site. The company currently provides hundreds of thousands of users with the ability to create one centralized online gift registry for any gift-giving occasio...

Go ahead, ask for cash!

Is there anything better than cash while you are knee-deep in debt planning your wedding? I don’t think so. Neither did Pam in The Office, when she asked why she couldn’t register at Crate & Barrel for a "toaster full of cash."
Bride and groom with cash

With the average cost of a wedding hovering around the $27,000 mark, any reprieve is welcomed by cash-strapped couples. This is why more and more soon-to-be newlyweds are registering for cash gifts in one form or another.

Poor Emily Post, the late wedding etiquette guru. If she were alive today, she would be appalled by this suggestion. But surprisingly, even the Emily Post Institute has softened with the change of times and acknowledges that asking for cash can be done by word of mouth through your attendants or parents, as long as it is done tastefully.

What are your options?

bride and groom

So, how does one tastefully ask or register for cash? Well, there are numerous ways to do so, and it can help to defray some of the major wedding expenses when done correctly. You can set up Cash Gift Funds on your registry, which give you a bit more flexibility on their usage. Another option is to utilize a honeymoon fund website to help cover the specific costs attached to your dream getaway. Either way, these funds are especially helpful when so many brides today have no need for new household items, or what would be considered traditional gift registry fare, as these types of items have already been accumulated.

With the etiquette taboo on asking for cash mostly lifted, people are no longer surprised to hear that about 75 percent of the engaged couples using MyRegistry.com register for cash gifts. These cash gift funds can sit among other tangible gifts, or alone. They describe the purpose of the funds with images and text to make them personalized and “tasteful.” While many of our members do use their cash gift funds to help pay for their honeymoon, general wedding funds are not uncommon either.

What will guests think?

Surprisingly, many wedding guests really do want to give cash, especially if they know what it is going toward. Be sure to be specific on your cash gift funds and tell the story of what and why. If it is for your honeymoon, tell your wedding guests where you are going and why you chose that particular destination. Let your guests know what they are participating in so that they can feel like a part of the process. Wedding gifts are for your loved ones, friends and family to help you and your partner start your new life together with whatever means the most to you. So, if that means letting you afford the wedding of your dreams, let them know and they will be happy to help!

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