Jan 10, 2024


The art of requesting cash gifts: a thoughtful guide for your wedding registry

Emily Luk

CPA, CFA - CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

Guest contributor: Brooke Figlo, COO of Riley & Grey 

When you’re a newly engaged couple who have been living together for a while, are more established in your lives, or have less tangible goals you’re aiming for, making a physical gift-heavy registry may not sound very appealing. But how do you tactfully ask for cash instead? And how do you avoid ending up with a bunch of random things you didn’t ask for? 

As cash gifts have become more of a cultural norm, it’s definitely possible to steer your guests in this direction. While it may feel challenging to ask for cash in a socially appropriate way, we're here to guide you through the process to make it a seamless and considerate experience for everyone involved.

This article was brought to you by Riley & Grey, the premium wedding platform that helps you build a wedding website, set up your registry, manage your guests, and create your digital or printed invitations. Planning a wedding is hard. Riley & Grey makes it a lot easier. 

Honesty is the best policy:

When it comes to requesting cash gifts, transparency and honesty are key. Your friends and family understand that planning a wedding involves significant expenses, and they genuinely want to support you. Be open about your intentions and clearly communicate your reasons for preferring cash gifts.

Use heartfelt language on your wedding website, explaining how the cash contributions will be used to create lasting memories and build a solid foundation for your future together. Unsure about how to build your wedding website and weave in that request? Riley & Grey has you covered. 

Tailor your message with tact:

While it's essential to be honest, remember to convey your request with tact and sensitivity. Avoid sounding demanding or making your guests feel obligated to give cash gifts. Make sure not to use the term “in lieu of gifts,” as a cash gift is still a gift. Frame your message in a way that emphasizes the thoughtfulness behind their contribution and that their presence at the wedding being the most important gift of all.

Offer gifting options:

To accommodate different preferences, consider offering a variety of gifting options. Some guests may prefer to give traditional gifts, while others might feel more comfortable giving cash. A popular option with guests is to set up experiences or very specific elements of a goal, say a house fund or family planning, where they feel that they are contributing to something more tangible.

By providing choices, you demonstrate that you value their participation, regardless of the form their gift takes. Include a mix of items on your wedding registry, and if possible, select a few cash fund options for guests to contribute to, such as a honeymoon fund, home improvement fund, or a future savings fund.

Utilize your wedding website:

Create a dedicated section on your wedding website to discuss your registry and gift preferences. Riley & Grey’s wedding website templates allow you to provide detailed explanations and enables guests to feel more connected to your wedding journey. Use engaging visuals, photos, and heartfelt messages to communicate your wishes and make the process more personal.

If you’re stuck on how to tactfully say “we’d prefer any gifts that you give us to be monetary,” here are three notes you can use to start and personalize a message of your own: 

Note 1:

As we embark on this exciting journey together, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your love and support. With a home filled with cherished memories and the essentials already in place, we kindly ask for your understanding as we opt for a non-traditional approach to our wedding registry.

In lieu of physical gifts, we are focusing on our dreams and goals for the next chapter of our lives. Your generous cash gift contributions will help us build a solid foundation for our future together, allowing us to pursue our passions and create lasting memories.

Your presence at our wedding is the greatest gift we could ask for, and we can't wait to celebrate this special day with you. Thank you for being a part of our love story.

With love and appreciation,

[Your Names]

Note 2:

We are beyond grateful and excited to celebrate our wedding with you. As we merge our lives and create a future together, we find ourselves blessed with a home full of love and our love for cooking has us well-equipped with kitchen and homeware.

Knowing that our loved ones are invested in our happiness, we've decided to focus on experiences and aspirations that will shape our life's journey. If you wish to contribute to our dreams, a cash gift would be greatly appreciated. Whether it's a dream vacation, advancing our education, or saving for our future nest egg, your thoughtful gift will be treasured as we embark on this new adventure together.

Thank you for being a part of our special day and sharing in our happiness.

Note 3:

As we eagerly anticipate our wedding day, we are filled with gratitude for the love and encouragement we've received from each of you. Your presence on this joyous occasion is a cherished gift in itself.

Since we already have a home filled with love and essentials, we've chosen to take a different path with our wedding registry. As we look towards our future, we aim to embrace new experiences and set our sights on shared aspirations. If you would like to contribute, a cash gift would be a meaningful gesture that will allow us to pursue our dreams and build a solid foundation for the years ahead.

Your support means the world to us, and we can't wait to celebrate with you at our wedding!

Send personalized thank-you notes:

Gratitude goes a long way, and showing appreciation for your guests' love and support is essential. After the wedding, send personalized thank-you notes to each guest, expressing your heartfelt gratitude for their presence and their thoughtful gifts, whether in the form of money or physical items. Adding specifics about how you'll be using their gift goes a long way. Acknowledging their generosity with sincerity will strengthen your bond and make them feel cherished.

Requesting cash gifts on your wedding registry can be approached with grace and consideration. By being honest, tactful, and providing various gifting options, you can make your guests feel comfortable and valued. With Riley & Grey’s wedding websites serving as the perfect platform to share your journey and connect with your loved ones, you’ll ensure that your wedding registry and gift preferences are understood in a warm and sincere manner. 

With Riley & Grey you can:

  • Build your registry with cash funds and any item on the Internet that can be converted to its cash value. 

  • Get bonus dollars for redeeming your cash gifts for gift cards from popular retailers - the only registry option to offer this feature.

  • Enjoy truly the lowest fees in the industry that you can choose for your guests to pay or take on as a couple. No hidden costs or fake “fee-free” options. 

  • Build a gorgeous registry that fits seamlessly on your wedding website and is enjoyable for your guests to use. 

  • Keep track of your gifts and thank you notes with our management software.

  • Receive best-in-class customer support to help you and your guests through the whole journey.

Try Riley & Grey for free. 

Ultimately, the love and support from your guests are the most meaningful gifts you can receive, and by expressing gratitude for their presence, you'll create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


Emily Luk

CPA, CFA - CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

Emily is the ceo and cofounder of Plenty. Started by a husband and wife team, Plenty is a wealth platform built for modern couples to invest and plan towards their future, together. Previously, she was VP of Strategy and Operations at Even (acquired by Walmart/One) and a founding team member of Stripe's Growth and Finance & Strategy teams. She began her career as a VC, and was one of the youngest nationally to complete her CPA, CA and CFA designations.

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