The MANual: Wedding Registry

Asking For Money With A Cash Registry

Though asking for money as your wedding gift can be awkward, there are a couple of ways you can pull it off that won’t leave you looking like a completely tacky cheapskate.

The Mafia had it right. Watch classic gangster films like The Godfather and Goodfellas, and there’s always a wedding scene where a bride is being handed envelopes stuffed with hundred dollar bills. Not all of us can expect such a windfall, but the cash registry is now an accepted standard among polite, non-murderous society.

Still, asking for money twists a knot in some people’s stomachs. There are ways to do it without embarrassment.


You can start by setting up a cash registry online, just like you would with a traditional gift registry.

Most wedding registry services such as MyRegistry, Honeyfund and Zola offer options for requesting cash, either on an existing gift registry, or separately for specific items and projects.

Social conventions aside, plenty of guests will secretly be grateful to have a cash gift as an option, as they won’t have to wonder if they got you the right gift: it takes the thought process–and thus the stress–out of things.


Some merchants still have a cash return policy , which means you can return the gifts you don’t want and get sweet cash in return.

Feel guilty? Don’t. It’s not like your Uncle Donny hand-crafted that microwave himself. He just made a few mouse clicks, and that’s all you’re doing.

One electronic transaction is replaced with another, and everyone gets what they want.

Wedding Registries

Alternative Registries: Thinking Outside The Gift-Wrapped Box


Eliminate any embarrassment you may feel by telling your guests what you’re going to do with their generous gift.

Acknowledging what it’s for–even if it’s just a general household fund–takes away some of the transactional flavor of the gift.

With one notable exception. Never tell your guests you’re using their gift to help pay for the wedding. It looks cheap. You might as well set up an admission booth in front of the chapel, or get Ticketmaster to charge outrageous prices for seats at the wedding.


Keep in mind that a registry isn’t a cash machine. It’s more like an ATM that works through the mail. You may have to wait a bit before it lands in your hands.

But here’s the silver lining: once your guests relinquish their money, it’s yours to do with in any way you see fit, barring the illegal or morally ambiguous. (Actually, morally ambiguous is up to you. But illegal is definitely out.)

Bottom Line

If you don’t feel like picking out a bunch of gifts, asking for cash is a valid alternative, as long as you ask the right way.

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