Wedding Gift Etiquette
Worried about cash gift etiquette? Don't! You can have it all.
In a nutshell, you can allay most etiquette concerns by having a traditional registry in addition to your Honeyfund.
Read on to get all the details on wedding gift etiquette. Just click a question below. And if you have questions that aren't here, contact us.
- Are guests expected to give us a gift?
- Are we expected to have a wedding registry? What if we don't want gifts?
- Is asking for a cash gift or money for our honeymoon acceptable etiquette?
- Who should pay the transaction fee on a cash gift?
- Is it proper etiquette to announce our registry in our wedding invitation?
- What if we don't have a wedding website?
- How should we spread the word about our honeymoon registry?
- Do we still need a traditional wedding gift registry?
- Where can I get more info about wedding gift etiquette?
Are guests expected to give us a gift?
Get ready for a big surprise: According to traditional American etiquette, gifts of any kind should never be expected. That's why it's uncouth to include any mention of gifts with your invitation—it comes across like you're expecting a gift.
Reality check! As we all know, most guests will choose to bring a gift. After all, they are the people that love and care about you the most. They'll want to honor your special occasion by giving something you really want.
Are we expected to have a wedding registry? What if we don't want gifts?
You might be thinking, "If gifts are not required, why should we go to the trouble of creating a registry?" Simply put, it's a courtesy to your guests. Your registry makes it easier for them to pick out something they know you'll love.
If you're the kind of couple that would rather not receive gifts at all, you'll find that requesting no gifts is tougher than you think. Any mention of gifts on the invitation is against etiquette, even requesting none. Most guests want to honor your special occasion by giving something. That's why a Honeyfund is such a great idea. You can easily set up a cash registry where guests can give you something you'll really use and enjoy, and you'll avoid accumulating more stuff.
Is asking for cash gifts or money gifts acceptable etiquette?
By and large, the answer is "Yes!" Even though asking for cash has, in the past, been against American etiquette, honeymoon registries and cash registries are much more common these days. As noted in a May, 2008 Wall Street Journal article on honeymoon registries: "'A honeymoon is a perfectly appropriate gift to request,' says Peter Post, president of the Emily Post Institute, a Burlington, Vt., etiquette think tank. 'There's no objection to it from an etiquette point of view.'"
And, since Honeyfund allows guests to purchase a piece of your honeymoon, home down payment, or anything else you are saving for, guests have the feeling they are contributing toward something exciting, something you really want and need, as opposed to the impersonal gift of strict cash.
We recommend you consider the culture and values of your family and guests. Cash gifts have long been the norm in many cultures. Look at your guest list and think about who would, and wouldn't, be open to the idea. And remember, you can always have both! Create a department store registry for those who would prefer to give you something more conventional. You can link to it from your Honeyfund page.
Finally, if you do choose a honeyfund or cash gift registry, never put the burden of a transaction fee on the guest. See the next question for more information.
Who should pay the transaction fee on a cash gift?
Guests should never pay a transaction fee to give you the gift of funds. Some cash registry sites justify their high fees by saying it is "less than tax and gift wrapping on a traditional gift." This may be true, but we still find it extremely tacky to charge someone to give you money. For this reason, Honeyfund offers free, offline payment methods. And, if you choose to accept online credit card payments, we offer you the lowest transaction fees available. Guests never pay a fee.
Is it proper etiquette to announce our registry in our wedding invitation?
In all our research, we've only found one answer to this question: No! Never mention gifts or gift registries on anything associated with your invitation. You can however provide the website address of your wedding website, which you can link to Honeyfund.com and your other registries. If you don't have a wedding website, see the next question.
Note: It is perfectly acceptable to include information about your registries in a bridal shower invitation.
What if we don't have a wedding website?
If you don't have a wedding website, we provide you with a wedding details section, which includes information about your wedding date, location and other registries. You can direct guests to this info by including your personalized Honeyfund.com website address with your invitation. We even provide customized inserts, which you can download in your Honeyfund account.
How should we spread the word about our honeymoon registry or cash gift registry?
See the previous questions for how to handle registry information in your wedding invitation. In addition, you can use Honeyfund to e-mail guests a link to your wedding website or your Honeyfund page where they can learn more about your wedding and registry. We even give you a tactful suggestion for how to word your e-mail. Also, make sure your bridal party and close family members are helping to spread the word and answer questions about your Honeyfund honeymoon registry. Word of mouth can be very effective.
Do we still need a traditional wedding gift registry?
We recommend you create at least one conventional gift registry for the traditionalists on your guest list. It's also nice to have for the bridal shower. And this way, your guests can choose from a wide range of things they know you'll like.
And there's one more benefit of a traditional registry: Many department stores entice you to "complete" your registry after your wedding by offering you up to 20% off remaining items. So if there is anything you've been eyeing for your home, put it on your wedding registry. If no one purchases it, you can get it later at a discount.