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How to Politely Request No Gifts For Your Wedding

When your friends and family members receive their invitations to your much anticipated wedding, they’ll excitedly start considering the perfect outfit for your big day, their travel plans (if necessary), and they’ll also start the search for the perfect wedding gift. But, what if you’d prefer not to receive any gifts? It’s important to share that information upfront with your guests, but it’s best to do so in a way that feels authentic and appropriate.

The truth is that many couples do not want to receive physical gifts from their guests. The reasons are varied and may include: already having everything they need/want in their daily lives, not having the space for the gifts, or maybe there are other goals or needs that they are already saving for. And that’s perfectly okay! But how exactly should couples navigate the wording on your invitations to reflect those wishes? 

Is It Really Appropriate to Ask for No Gifts?

First things first, the information you relay to your guests regarding possible wedding gifts will be based on what you may (or may not) love to receive. Meaning…If you feel like you already have everything you need, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip setting up a traditional wedding gift registry. The most important thing is to clearly communicate your wishes to your guests so there isn’t any confusion or hurt feelings.

One way to go about this is to include a card inserted with your invitation that offers specific details regarding gifts. Or, you can choose to include an insert directing your guests to a link and include gift details on a wedding website. It’s entirely up to what you feel is best. Just be sure you don’t include a “no gifts necessary” message printed on the actual invitation, as that can be seen as a bit of an etiquette faux pas.

What to Request Instead of Gifts

It’s best to offer an alternative to physical gifts, rather than a “no gifts” message, because a “no gifts” message is actually confusing to guests because it goes against their best instincts. After all, who wants to be the person to arrive at a wedding with nothing in hand?!

So if you’d rather receive money to put towards the future, as opposed to physical gifts, please include that information. Couples can make it clear they would prefer the gift of funds, without directly asking for cash, by setting up a Honeyfund page which can be used as a full wedding website or can be kept simple with a cash-based wish list of items or experiences they are looking to fund in their marriage. This list may include things like their honeymoon, date nights, paying off debt, or any other savings goal.

And, if you’re worried you’re committing a social no-no, rest assured that asking guests to contribute to a honeymoon or house fund is perfectly acceptable!  But if assistance in any of these areas isn’t necessary, you may want to consider asking for a donation to a charitable fund instead. To that end, you could ask your guests to donate to a charity that’s near and dear to your hearts, or request they donate to their own favorite charity.

‘No Gifts’ Wedding Invitation Examples

And, if you truly do not want your guests to gift you anything, whether a physical gift, contributing funds, or making a donation, make sure your wishes are clearly and concisely communicated.

– We’re excited for your presence, not presents. Please, no gifts.
– Your presence is truly enough, no gifts please.
– Thank you for being generous with your support and time, to that end, please just bring yourselves! No gifts necessary!

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