Ask the Expert: Can’t We Just Ask for Cash?

Wedding planner Sheryl Garman gives tips for keeping your manners in check

Question: My fiancé and I are in our 30s, we’ve lived together for years, and really don’t need to register for toasters and towels. What we really need is a down payment for a house — would it be OK to ask for that?

Answer: “It is considered impolite at any event to ask guests to bring a gift or money,” says Sheryl Garman, president of Perfect Weddings in Conshohocken. “But if you’ve been living together for quite some time, most of your guests will probably know that already and give you money in lieu of a wedding gift.”

Since registry information isn’t actually printed on wedding invitations, guests usually call a family member or someone in your bridal party to get the skinny on gifts anyway. “If your friends and family mention that you are buying a home, and are saving for that, it’s a diplomatic way to get your message across,” says Garman. And for the few things you do probably need or want to replace — and for the guests who are going to want to buy you a gift, anyway — she recommends registering at one store. “Most gifts include a receipt, so you can return it after the wedding for the cash, if you really need to.” Or, a gift certificate to fill your new nest.                            

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