I’m getting married in a few months, and I don’t want to lose a ton of money on the wedding. So I was thinking a good solution would be to just ask for cash instead of registering, and let my guests know about my preference. My fiance says he doesn’t feel comfortable with that, but it’s not like he’s rolling in dough, either. We don’t need a lot of stuff (we’re merging our apartments already), is there really a problem with just telling people the best gift is leaving us debt-free?

-The Honeymoon’s Over Already If We Can’t Afford One

There is never, under any circumstances, a non-tacky way to request cash as a gift.

Even if you’re saying it to your parents at the holidays. They may understand your need better, and you’ll probably get a bye from the manners police, but it’s STILL tacky.

Some people prefer to give you cash–awesome! Others prefer a physical object, even (gasp) one they picked out themselves, without consulting a registry. Others are going to show up for your wedding, eat and drink their fill, and never give you anything at all.


Believe it or not, the entire point of getting married isn’t about setting up the newlyweds in comfort and style, it’s about formally uniting them and celebrating that commitment with family and loved ones. That shouldn’t be a pay-to-play arrangement; you should only be inviting people you want to see on that big of a day, regardless of their ability to give you something in return.

The least-tacky way I’ve seen to navigate this situation (note I just say least tacky, not un-tacky) is to say on your “registry” page or your invite that you don’t need more things for your household, but you would love to find a home/enjoy a honeymoon together. Then, set up a faux registry where guests can “buy” you a snorkel trip, or a window, or half of an extra bedroom, instead of a citrus peeler and a mixing bowl set. Each of those “items” has a specific price tagĀ (and just like on a real registry, there should be a wide range of prices, something you can accomplish by asking for a dozen “quantity” of more feet of closet space, say, at $15 a pop).

No matter what you opt to do, though, don’t plan on coming out of your wedding in the black. Because, let me reiterate, the point of this is not “what can I get,” it’s “I’m so thrilled to share.”