If you’ve got a fresh ring on your left hand, the wedding planning process wheels are probably already turning in your head. Everything from getting your photographer nailed down to sending out Save The Dates to picking your venue and food—it’s a lot to digest. As you’re going broke and insane trying to put together all of the moving pieces that form a wedding, you’re probably fantasizing about the envelopes of cash and checks you’ll get to stuff in your bag on your way to the honeymoon. But… will you be able to count on those cash gifts, or are you going to be going on a budget beach trip to the Dominican Republic because all of his relatives insisted on buying towels, china, and pitchers?
Cash gifts have evolved more as the “norm” in the last 20 or so years, since more couples are living together before tying the knot—sort of nixing the need for the traditional housewares associated with wedding gifts. According to The Atlantic, the practice of giving the bride and groom household gifts started way back in the Renaissance, when a bride would drag a hope chest with her down the aisle (I assume), full of things like brooms and fabrics and whatever the f*ck else was considered a household necessity in 1500 (maybe, like, also plague repellent).
Depending where you live, you can expect a lot or a little in terms of cash for your wedding. Many Northeast U.S. folks treat cash gifts as the standard, but there are still plenty of hold-outs that still believe cash is tacky and gifts like irons and towels are the way to go (looking at you, Southeast U.S.). What’s a tactful way to ensure you do have a fistful of Benjamins and not a cabinet of useless sh*t after you say “I do” ? We scoured the internet and found stories and advice on the best and worst ways couples have kindly requested cash wedding gifts. We hereby present it to you as a guide to navigate getting that money, honey.
Don’t Ask For Cash Outright
The biggest f*ck-up couples seem to make is to explicitly ask for cash on their invitations or at a pre-wedding party. One bride-to-be (on Reddit, the home of all tacky wedding occurrences) outright asked her guests for cash wedding gifts at their engagement party—which she and the husband-to-be threw for themselves, which is an etiquette no-no in and of itself. When no one brought said cash, she sent angry texts demanding to know why. As you can imagine, most people were insulted that the couple would outright ask for money and would then confront them about it later. The bride is now considering un-inviting all the “mean people.” (I have to wonder who will remain in attendance.)
First of all, yikes. Secondly, a way around literally hounding your guests for money is to simply nix the traditional registry altogether or have a very, very small registry with only a few gifts available. This subconsciously and politely sends the message that you’re in the market for envelopes and not a new king sheet set.
Use A Funding Website
If you’re planning on using cash and check for a honeymoon excursion, there are plenty of websites that host trip-specific registries so guests can pay toward activities, dinners, spa retreats, and whatever other activities you’re planning on taking part in. Honeyfund, for instance, breaks everything down for gift-givers depending what you, the bride and groom, have specified you want. From upgrading airline tickets to adding dinners to tacking on snorkeling adventures, guests can pick and choose how much and what they want to sponsor on your honeymoon.
If you want to go a more intermediary route, Zola is an all-in-one registry that has the honeymoon registry pieces like Honeyfund, but also allows you to register for physical gifts so Aunt Diane feels better about being able to finally get those dish towels you need. You can even add options like putting a down payment on a house, so the options are endless and you can still get money.
Make It Feel Personal
One couple on Reddit defied expectations by not being tacky and leaned on their ethnic customs to get around the whole asking-for-cash thing. They wrote, “If you decide to give a gift, we prefer the Chinese custom of a red envelope, called hong bao, to help us start our lives.” Basically, the Chinese tradition of the red envelope with cash is twofold—it helps set the couple up financially, and it’s considered good luck. If you aren’t Chinese, you can put a note in the same vein on your wedding website.
How do you do that without being déclassé or culturally appropriating? Add a personal touch. Perhaps you’re having a really hard time buying a house as a couple, or just invested a fixer-upper, or are going back to school, and that cash would go pretty far. Whatever the reason, giving your guests a story to connect to their financial contributions will make them feel better about just throwing dollas at you, figuratively.
Mention The Gift Setup
There are, obviously, much better ways to imply that you’re into the idea of cash money without saying, “B*tch better have my money” to grandma. One couple from Australia put in their invitation their regular registry, but additionally, noted that there’d be a “wishing well” at the reception. After some in-depth Googling, I found out that a wishing well is the equivalent of those boxes or birdcages for envelopes we in America love so dearly. Oh, Australia—so wise, so strange.
Although I wouldn’t outright say, “hey, we’ll have a box for money in the cocktail area” you could say something on the RSVP card like “Check our wedding website for more information.” From there, you can explain whatever gift setup and/or birdcage you plan on having. This is still sort of tacky, but if you feel the need to spell it out, go for it.
Spread The Word Quietly
Since putting that you want cash in writing anywhere on a Save The Date or invitation is in bad taste, make sure your parents, future in-laws, and wedding party all know that you and your beloved would greatly prefer cash gifts over physical stuff. Chances are, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and close family friends are going to reach out and ask those folks anyway what you all want as gifts, and it’ll be gentler coming from mom and dad versus scrawled on the bottom of an invitation.
Altogether, no matter what you do or how you do or don’t ask for cash, just make sure you’re taking notes on what not to do from that bride that demanded $1,500 per guest for her dream wedding.
When it comes to planning a wedding, practically every step of the way is overwhelming. When’s the last time you actually put something in the literal mail? Do you even know where to buy stamps? You can’t even decide what to order for lunch, let alone what kind of meal to serve at dinner. At least registering for your wedding is super easy, because you’re used to asking people to buy you stuff.
Like posing for a candid photo, registering for your wedding is something that is probably way more difficult than it needs to be if you don’t think about what you need to do ahead of time. Here are a few tips for making the whole process much easier.
1. Register ASAP
I know we’re all used to ordering sh*t off of Amazon Prime and having it arrive like, five minutes later, but registering for your wedding is one thing you really shouldn’t procrastinate. It might sound like a hardo move, but you can actually register pretty soon after you get engaged, especially if friends or family members want to get you a gift for some of the earlier celebrations in the neverending spectacle that will become your wedding.
2. Know The Rules Of Etiquette
Even though you can’t procrastinate, your guests actually can. According to like, old school wedding etiquette, wedding guests can gift give up to a year after the wedding, so it’s a good idea to leave your registry up past the “I do.” Ask your Lilly Pulitzer-wearing aunt.
Another etiquette-related issue: you’re not really supposed to straight-up ask people to buy you things. It’s technically a faux pas to put your registry on your wedding invitation. Instead, you can put your wedding website on a details card that you include in your invitation suite, and you can include your registry information there. If someone else is throwing you a bridal shower, they can include registry information on the invite, no problem. (P.S., I worked at a wedding stationery company, I promise I’m not just pulling this out of my ass.)
3. You Can Actually Ask For People To Pay For Random Stuff
Remember the bride who went viral for asking everyone to contribute $1,500 to her wedding budget? She wasn’t that far off. Okay, just kidding. She was f*cking insane.
But actually, you can ask your guests to contribute to your honeymoon, savings for something like IVF (if you’re like, trying to have kids on purpose) or a lifetime supply of avocados. Yup, people actually do that. Two out of three couples who register on Zola have some sort of cash contribution set up, and a lot of those are designated for a specific thing.
4. But Like, Don’t Forget The Classic Things
Your wedding registry isn’t your Instagram feed, so you don’t have to try to impress everyone by making it interesting. Really. You can just put normal stuff that you want on there, and it’ll be way easier for everyone involved. Don’t forget traditional items you’ll probably need in your new life as an actual married adult, like sh*t for your kitchen… which, yes, you can ask for in aesthetically pleasing colors.
“Until death do us part, the most popular registry gift is always going to be the KitchenAid stand mixer. It’s so classic, and couples today are registering for ‘trendy’ colors like copper, millennial pink and sky blue,” said Zola wedding expert Jennifer Spector. “Specialty kitchen gadgets are also having a moment right now; millennial couples are loving appliances like the Instant Pot, airfryers, and sous vides.”
5. Basically, Just Give Everyone A Ton Of Options
You won’t look really spoiled if you ask for a bunch of stuff on your wedding registry, especially if you keep a variety of price points. Remember that the guests attending your wedding will likely be people who know you very well and want to splurge on an amazing gift, but there will also be people who may not want to drop a ton of money on you, like your coworker who is kind of only there because she has to be. Guests would much rather have a myriad of options so they can feel like they’re truly giving you something that is appropriate for the relationship you share, but also like they’re spending money on something that they like, too.
Images: Giphy (3)
Wedding registries are something that, unfortunately, must be done. Obv, everyone would just love a fat stack of cash for their wedding, but Great Aunt Diane insists on getting an actual gift. So, here we are. Don’t get me wrong—brides and grooms would love for you to just write them a check. But, if there is a wedding registry and they need some shit, there are a few guidelines.
As a former bride, I can attest to the fact that some things on your wedding registry are there because your mom/future mother-in-law insisted you need it. Not all gifts are created equal. Here are the things to stay away from on the wedding registry if you want the super happy couple to be as happy about your gift.
1. Fine China
Plainly put, they won’t use this. Ever. It’s a waste of space. They’d be better off getting some interesting artisanal plates from a local potter or plate maker or whatever they’re being called these days.
If they’ve already been living together, they definitely have towels already. A few giant bath sheets are great if they’re on the registry, but don’t feel like you have to get them the ultimate towel set made from the finest hand-spun cotton from a country no one has heard of. They’ll survive. Plus, if they don’t get towels, it gives them a chance to have a happy couple visit to Bed, Bath and Beyond, the ultimate test of any marriage.
3. Crystal Vase Or Pitcher
Is this couple that bougie that they require a crystal vase to hold all of the freshly cut rare flowers that’ll be on display in their home? If they do, they can buy it themselves. Assholes. Same rules apply for the pitcher. If they have an option for a more reasonable and practical pitcher (like one that won’t get smudges all over it), go for that. How often are they going to use a goddamn crystal pitcher? Tell me that’ll be out every Saturday AND Sunday for mimosas and every weekday for freshly squeezed orange juice, and I’ll buy it for you.
4. Single Use Kitchen Items
I’m not buying a panini press, quesadilla maker, popcorn machine, or anything else off your wedding registry that does literally one thing. If you want popcorn, get the microwaveable kind like the rest of us. If you need quesadillas that badly, learn to make them in a fucking skillet. Trust me—the soon-to-be wed couple will not miss something that does one trick, then sits in the back of a pantry taking up space for the next 10 years.
5. Ice Cream Makers
Hey, you know what’s a pain in the ass? Making fucking ice cream. You know what’s a lot easier? Buying a few pints of Talenti and Breyer’s (or Halo Top if you’re a dieting betch) and going to fucking town. Yeah, you may think that having an ice cream maker will bring out your inner Ina Garten, but, you could be wrong.
6. Serving Platters
Everyone always ends up with too many fucking serving platters. I unknowingly put four on my registry, got all four, and now have roughly 10 because APPARENTLY I had six that I’d forgotten about. Oops. Do you know how many times I use and need 10 serving platters varying from cream-colored porcelain to slate board to polished drift wood? Not often. The most I’ve ever used at one time is six, which happened because I got drunk and made too many appetizers.
7. Weird Sex Stuff
Alright, look. Maybe it’s the really weird, overly sexual couple getting married. IDK, they’re your friends, not mine. But if they have the gumption to put some kind of weird sex toy or Kama Sutra book on their registry, do not be the one to buy it. What they do in the privacy of their sex dungeon bedroom is up to them. Besides, do you want to walk away knowing that it was your money that contributed to a sex injury when they attempted the flying dragon or the crouching lotus or some shit?
8. Throw Pillows
If you REALLY want to piss off the groom, get throw pillows. No man truly understands them, and having lots and lots of them on the bed sends the male species into a rage and confusion blackout. They’re really fucking pointless, but hey, at least they look nice.
Images: Giphy (4)
In what is undoubtedly the most extra engagement announcement of 2017, some doctor is marrying her medical degree after nine beautiful years together. You know how when you’re in college, there’s always that one friend who pretends she’s married to her studies because she barely has time to curl her hair, let alone go on a date with some fuckboy with too much hair gel and a Sperrys addiction? This is basically that, but after the dial has been turned up so far it broke off. I get that med students are constitutionally incapable of chilling out, but did nobody think to tell her that spending $3,000 on a fake wedding when you’ve got loans to pay is borderline insane?
Honestly, she has gone all the fucking way with this one, to the point where it’s almost admirable. Not only did this chick have an engagement-style photo shoot with her diploma, but she created an elaborate “graduwedding” page on The Knot, complete with guest book and registry. According to the webpage, there will be speeches. Cake. Formal attire. A themed Snapchat filter, which is hopelessly lame but I guess you can’t expect people who’ve lived and breathed medical textbooks for the last decade to understand the nuances of social media. I’m not sure if there’s a hashtag, but there probably is, and I would bet my life savings it’s a pun so bad my dad wouldn’t even make it.
Normally I would never condone this kind of behavior—fake engagements stopped being funny after that guy married a burrito. In fact, I would like it on the record that the very fact that I had to type that sentence means we’ve gone too far. Everyone gets it: Engagement season sucks, we place too much value on relationships, blah blah blah. I just fail to see how pretending to marry your dog or a fucking diploma accomplishes anything except annoying everyone on your Facebook feed.
However, I’m prepared to make an exception in this case. Instead of staging some half-assed photoshoot with a diploma and calling it a day, the future Mrs. M.D. is spending thousands of dollars and rounding up dozens of friends and family for a party to celebrate her own damn self. It’s the kind self-absorption I have no choice but to respect. However, even if I’m on my deathbed I will never let this woman treat me, considering she prioritized planning an elaborate party just for the purposes of going internet viral over like, studying for med school and shit. I hope FAFSA sees this.
Anyway, I believe I’m forced to offer my congratulations to the happy couple. May they have many happy years together, etc. etc. But so help me God, if I see another fake wedding go viral I’m going to do something drastic like delete my Instagram.
If you know anyone who’s gotten married (so like, everyone reading this rn) you’ve probably bought some stupid shit the couple registered for as a gift. I mean, I love a gorgeous china pattern and some Baccarat crystal as much as the next betch, but like, I eat takeout five nights a week and when I don’t I’m eating cereal out of a Solo cup. It’s not like the day you get married you turn into Martha Stewart and start baking muffins and hosting dinner parties for the governor and shit. No one needs this stuff. And per usual, the gods at Domino’s just get it, so they’ve created a registry that gives married people something they’ll actually enjoy: a pizza registry.
The registry is filled with a handful of different pizza-filled occasions like the “Thank-You-Card-a-thon” so writing hundreds of thank you notes to your parents’ friends isn’t as miserable, or a “Post-Honeymoon Adjustment to Real Life” because the only thing that can make coming home from a trip to Bora Bora or Europe not so terrible is cheesy, delicious pizza.
The only thing that’s kinda lame is that it’s really not a registry at all, just a glorified gift card that can be used on the Domino’s website. Fuck you, Domino’s and your marketing team. You just created a separate landing page for a concept that has existed for YEARS. Like, I would disown someone who got me a Domino’s giftcard for my birthday, but I’m expected to ask for that for my fucking wedding, the only occasion where I can ask my closest family and friends to buy me expensive shit I can’t afford without it being considered panhandling? Hard pass.
However, if some entrepreneur decided to take it upon himor herself to come up with a registry for any of the following items, let’s just say I wouldn’t be mad.
1. Vodka Of The Month
This very well might exist, but honestly, I’m lazy and don’t want to type it into Google. Regardless, any relative who gave me a monthly vodka subscription would be at the top of my thank you note list. Marriage is apparently work, so I’m going to need a lot of fermented potatoes to make it through.
2. A Drug Dealer Concierge
See previous note about marriage being work. Why do “work” when I can register for enough Xanax to kill a large mammal to be delivered to me at some later, unspecified date?
3. A One-Way Ticket To Canada And A Valid Visa
Just saying, I might need this later on with the way things have been going lately.
4. A Lifetime Netflix Subscription
Anybody who puts a $50 Domino’s giftcard on my fucking wedding registry is a cheap asshole. But someone who charges my lifetime supply of Netflix to their tab? That shit’s going to add up real quick. Though, given my current alcohol consumption and exercise regimen, my doctor would disagree. But fuck you, Dr. Bernstein. I don’t need your negativity.
5. HBO Go
NO IT IS NOT THE SAME AS A NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTION. Do you actually know anybody with HBO? I mean somebody who’s actually your age—their parents don’t count. No? That’s what I thought. That’s because HBO is expensive af/for real adults who can afford cable packages, which is something I will never be if my current spending habits are any indication.
But I mean if someone wanted to do all these things and buy me a ton of pizza, I wouldn’t exactly complain either.