Gift-giving was historically one of the most traditional elements of any wedding, with the ritual dating back centuries. The purpose of a wedding gift was to help the happy couple set up their new home and begin married life together.
Traditional wedding gifts have become a little less mainstream over the years, and these days there are some more alternative options available. From online registries to wishing wells and even charity donations, couples can now opt for a gift-giving style that best fits their big day.
Whatever you decide, communication is key to give your guests a heads up before the wedding. Most couples choose to share their registry details via their wedding website, which can be a great way to make the topic of gifts feel a little less awkward!
With that being said, finding the right wording to let guests know about your wedding registry (or lack thereof!) can be tricky. So we thought we’d run through a few of the most popular wedding gift scenarios, along with some wording examples for each one.
From traditional gift registries to less-conventional alternatives, keep reading for some helpful guidelines to follow below.
Online Gift Registry Wording Examples
A wedding gift registry is best suited for couples who may still be in the process of setting up their home together and preparing for married life.
Many of your guests (particularly older relatives) will genuinely want to present you with a physical gift to help you begin this exciting new chapter. Opting for an online gift registry with a curated selection of items is a great way to help your guests navigate the dilemma of getting you a gift that’s useful, practical and suited to your personal taste.
In today’s modern world, gift registries are easily accessible online, with many department stores and homeware brands offering this service. After curating a selection of items, you’ll usually be presented with a unique link, registry code or ID to send your guests.
When it comes to communicating your online wedding gift registry details via your wedding website, it’s important to remember that you can’t force guests to purchase an item from your wish-list! Of course, they most likely will, but it’s not polite to request it.
Instead, keep your wording tactful, warm and appreciative. Make it clear that a gift is definitely not necessary or expected, but the options are there if they need some guidance. You’ll also obviously need to include your registry link or ID to point them in the right direction!
Here are a few wedding gift registry wording examples to get you started:
We are lucky enough to already have nearly everything we need for this new chapter together! However, for friends and family who have expressed an interest, we have created a gift registry for your convenience here: (link)
Celebrating with you on our special day is the only gift we require. However, for your convenience, we have registered at (store name) for the items we’d find the most useful as we prepare for married life! You can view our registry here: (link)
Please know that your presence at our wedding is present enough! However, for friends and family who have been asking for gift ideas, we’ve created an online registry with (store name) here:
Keep it short, sweet and unassuming. Remember too that guests honestly appreciate some direction with these things. Choosing the perfect wedding gift can be time-consuming and even stressful!
Wishing Well Wording Examples
If you’re thinking of scrapping the traditional gift registry in favour of a wishing well, you’re not alone! Nearly 1 in 2 couples now prefer a cash donation as opposed to physical gifts.
This option makes sense if you and your partner already have your household essentials sorted, and would instead prefer the money to go towards the wedding costs, a home deposit or your upcoming honeymoon.
But let’s be honest, asking for money can feel a little awkward! So how should you go about it?
The best approach is simply to be honest while still remaining polite and gracious. You’ll also want to keep things relaxed and light-hearted. Don’t guilt-trip your guests by mentioning the costs of the wedding or how much you need the money!
Similar to a traditional gift registry, you should also ensure you don’t explicitly tell people what to do, or assume they will be bringing a gift in the first place. If you’ve organised an online cash registry or “honeymoon fund” as opposed to a physical wishing well on the day, you’ll also want to direct guests appropriately.
Here are some short and sweet wishing well wording examples for your wedding website:
After spending nearly 10 years together, we are lucky enough to already have everything we need! However, for those who have expressed an interest in blessing us with a gift, a wishing well will be present at our reception.
Your love and company on our wedding day is the only present we require! If you do wish to honour us with a gift, however, a contribution towards our wishing well would be much appreciated.
Please know that your presence on our special day is the greatest present of all! However, if you do wish to celebrate with a gift, a contribution to our honeymoon fund would be warmly appreciated: (link)
Because wishing wells have become the norm for modern weddings, your guests are likely already familiar with the concept (and probably expecting it!). Don’t feel like you have to go into too much detail with a lengthy explanation.
No Gifts Required Wording Examples
Have the two of you decided to buck tradition and opt for no gifts whatsoever?
A request for “no gifts” is actually more common than you might think, particularly when it comes to destination weddings where guests are already paying their way. You might also feel this is the best fit for your wedding if it’s a second marriage, or you’ve already been inundated with gifts from your engagement party.
It’s totally okay to opt for no gifts, but how do you let your guests know? Remember that many of your guests will want to follow tradition and present you with a gift of some description, so consider mentioning the reason behind your decision.
Here are some “no gifts required” wording examples to draw inspiration from:
We are so incredibly thankful for the effort you’ll be making to join us for our special day in (destination). Your presence is your present, so please, no gifts!
We are lucky enough to have everything we need for this new chapter together, so please, no gifts required! Simply bring yourself and your dancing shoes – we can’t wait to party with you!
We have been overwhelmed with generosity since our engagement party, so for this reason, we politely request no gifts. Sharing our special day with our favourite people in the world is the best gift we could ask for!
Put the emphasis on how much you’re looking forward to celebrating with your guests. A simple sentence or two is all that you need to make your preferences clear!
Charity Donation Wording Examples
Charity donations in lieu of gifts can be a great alternative route for non-traditional couples. Maybe you don’t personally want presents or cash, but would feel more comfortable encouraging guests to contribute to a charitable cause instead.
You might decide to set up a “wishing well” for your chosen charity on the day. Or, take a leaf out of Harry and Meghan’s book by providing a list of different charities closest to your heart for guests to make a contribution.
Although this is an extremely thoughtful gesture on your behalf, it’s still not seen as polite to make a direct request of your guests. Instead, communicate the relevant details via your wedding website while still ultimately giving your loved ones the option.
Here are some wording examples for a charity donation in lieu of a gift:
We’ve recently been asked for gift suggestions by friends and family. Please know that your presence on the day is present enough, but for those who have expressed an interest, we’ve listed the charities below that are closest to our hearts. A contribution would be most appreciated in lieu of a gift.
We are blessed with absolutely everything we need for this exciting new chapter! However, for guests who have expressed an interest, we’d love for you to consider a charity donation in lieu of a gift. A wishing well will be set up on the day, with all contributions going to (chosen charity)
Friends and family may know we are both incredibly passionate about (chosen cause). For this reason, we’ve set up a fund with (chosen charity) in place of a wishing well, for those who have expressed an interest in blessing us with a gift. You can make a donation online here: (link)
Keep in mind that although this is a beautiful idea, many guests will still want to present you with a gift as per tradition. Making mention of why your chosen charity or charities are so meaningful to you can be the best way to get them on board!
Give Guests Clarity
Although the topic of gift-giving might feel like an uncomfortable one to broach with your guests, remember that some direction will honestly be appreciated.
Whether you’ve curated an online registry, would prefer a cash donation, or want to buck the tradition altogether, it’s important to follow the right etiquette when communicating the relevant details to your loved ones.
So simply keep these wording tips and examples handy when creating your wedding website sections, and you’ll be able to give your guests some much-needed clarity – without any awkwardness!