How to Ask for Gifts on Wedding Invites

Politely direct your wedding guests to your wedding registry

By Samantha Cabrera

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Etiquette traditionally forbids asking for gifts on a wedding invitation. But nowadays, many couples include a separate note with their invitations alerting their guests to their wishlist. After all, guests awould rather purchase gifts that the bride and groom will use and enjoy. Remember that a gift should never be a requirement for attending a festivity of any sort. The most important thing is having friends and family with you as you celebrate your wedding.

  • What You Need to Know
  • You can either order request cards or print them yourself on 3 by 4 inch swatches of paper.
  • What type of gifts you are requesting determines how to ask in your request card.

Step 1:

Include a small request card with your wedding invitation. You can have them printed with your invitations, or you can buy blank cards to be written by the bride, mother of the bride or maid of honor. If handwriting the request card, invest in a black, fine-line, felt-tip pen to create a polished look. You can also create your own request cards at home on your computer using any word-processing program. This small request card should be about 3 by 4 inches.

Step 2:

State where you're registered. If you're asking for gifts that you've registered for, the request card should state where you're registered, as well as the website for the store, if there's one available. Many retailers have online registry sections where guests can peruse your wish list, order an item, and have it shipped directly to your home. If they prefer to shop in person, they can look at the wish list prior to visiting the store to have an idea of what they want to purchase. All the card should say is where you're registered, as the guest will already have your name. Nothing more or less should be mentioned.

Step 3:

If you are asking for donations to your honeymoon fund, make this apparent to guests. On the request card, you can say, "In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom would appreciate contributions to a honeymoon fund." Never give a dollar amount when requesting cash: Your guests are free to give you as little or as much as they'd like. Remember this is not standard wedding practice, and it may offend some guests. Since some guests may not participate, you may still receive some gifts for your home, despite not having registered. Accept all gifts with gracious thanks.

Step 4:

For donations to a charity, name the charity on the request card. If there's a certain charity close to your heart, you can choose to have donations made to this organization. On the request card say, "In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom would appreciate contributions to [insert charity's name here]." Be sure to include the website, where guests can make donations themselves. Do not specifically request the donations be made in your name.

Step 5:

Never ask for cash on your request cards. There's no way to slice it, but you should never ask for cash for a gift of any sort. If you prefer cash, do not include any specific directions regarding gifts on your invitation. Allow your mother, maid of honor and others in the wedding pass along the word that you'd appreciate cash, never requesting a certain dollar amount.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Regardless of what you request on your wedding invite, a random gift is certain to come your way. Be sure to show the same appreciation as you would for a gift bought from your registry.
  • If you have a wedding website, then link to your online registries. You can then include your web address on your request card, rather than the individual registry information.
  • Don't be afraid to open multiple registries -- it's perfectly acceptable. And register for a variety of different gifts. You want to make sure there are enough items on your wishlist for all of your guests to find something in their price range.

About the Author

Samantha Cabrera is a freelance writer, covering fashion and beauty.

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Let the buying begin! A registry is perfect for helping you create your cozy first home, if that's your plan. If you already have everything you need, consider charitable donations or a honeymoon registry instead.

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