Asking for wedding presents: What to choose and how to ask?

When else in life do you actually choose your own gift and ask others to buy it for you (beyond sending Santa your Christmas list…!)? Some couples can feel uncomfortable or embarrassed when asking for wedding presents – but you needn’t. Honestly, your guests want to buy something for you both to mark the incredibly special day, and to recognise that you’re spending a lot on them too, so think about what you really want, and how you’re going to go about asking for your wedding gifts.

We found this issue particularly tough – for many people, just asking for things is a pretty unnatural concept.

People want to give you something to mark the occasion and contribute to your future together, but because noone needs 10 sets of Egyptian Cotton Sheets, or many more than 12 Vera Wang champagne flutes, you have to make some of the hard decisions first!

Your guests would prefer to buy you something you want and something that will be genuinely used and appreciated. Making some choices now does also mean that you, too, get something you want.  Take a break from planning the centrepieces and favours, and have fun choosing gifts…

Traditionally, the purpose of wedding gifts were to set up the household for the newly married pair (they having never lived together, of course), but these days, most engaged couples will have already cohabited for a year or more and have most household necessities.

We thought about this too, but as we are lucky enough to get plenty of holidays anyway (Blair is a pilot), we didn’t feel like it would ‘mark the occasion’ as much as something physical, as well as the fact that we wouldn’t be on our honeymoon until months after the wedding.

Some of  your options:
– A traditional wedding registry (see the guideFYI, Mildred & Co stock the little white booktwo birds, one stone 😉
– A honeymoon registry – many couples ask for money towards their honeymoon, rather than setting up registries;
– A copy of I still do… obviously!
Ask for cash, and do with it whatever you feel like. Maybe you’d rather have a lump sum to put toward your first home, or you already live together and have long since set up house. Asking for cash instead of gifts is becoming more and more acceptable, but there’s a right way to go about it.
– Register at a travel agency, e.g. Air New Zealand Travel Centres.
– Ask for a donation to your favourite charity, if you don’t need the present yourself; or
– Gift vouchers towards a particular store.

There’s been a lot of discussion (online and around the dinner table I’m sure…) about the etiquette of asking for money.  Money is often a “taboo” subject, and while it’s widely acknowledged that weddings cost a fortune, it seems to break social etiquette to ever actually talk about it (so I shared my wedding budget right here!). Of course, be aware that some people still disagree that it’s okay to ask for cash for a wedding present, and may instead choose to buy you something.

Whatever you choose, here are examples of wording politely asking for wedding presents:

Registered list
Please don’t feel as though you must buy us a gift,
we are more than happy just to have you.
However, if you would like to buy
a gift we have a gift list at Mildred & Co.
You may order on-line, by telephone
or in person.
Our gift lift number is: Hutchison and is open
from 12th Jan 2017.

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

Cash gifts, specific purchase 
As we have been sharing a home for some time
we have decided not to have a traditional gift list.
Instead, if you would like to do so, we ask that you contribute to
our married life together in the form of
monetary contributions for our honeymoon

A cute rhyme by Amanda of Southern Bride

Because at first we lived in sin
we’ve got the sheets and rubbish bin
A holiday is what we need,
a gift towards that would be great indeed

We ultimately decided that we’d really like to buy some furniture.  We bought a house last year, and don’t really have enough furniture to fill it.  If we weren’t saving for the wedding this year, it’s what we’d buy for ourselves, and it seemed like the perfect gift that we could keep forever and truly appreciate.  Of course, we’re not asking any individual guest to buy us a bar stool (or couch!) but instead we set up a Wedding Registry account which our guests could deposit into.

If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear how you overcame this issue!

P.S. Don’t forget to ask for a copy of I still do to begin your marriage with!

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