So, you’re getting married. With the average cost of a wedding around $30-35k, the fact that you’re planning and hosting your Dream Wedding is a fantastic thing! However, by footing the cost of a wedding celebration, you may have some difficulty affording the household essentials necessary to start a healthy, well-equipped life with your new spouse.

Luckily for you, gift giving has long been a tradition for guests attending wedding ceremonies. You’ve likely received gifts for birthdays and Christmas your entire life, but never like this! Since it’s our goal to help you successfully plan the wedding of your dreams, we put together a guide on how to ask for the wedding gifts you really want.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED

An important step in the process of communicating what you want…is thinking about what you need!

Are you moving in with your significant other for the very first time? Well, if neither of you have lived on your own prior to this, then it’s likely that you don’t have the household essentials you need. In order to have a happy, healthy home, you’ll need the ability to cook and clean. That means kitchen appliances, cooking utensils, and dishes. Maybe you also want to ask for a Swiffer duster!

If these are the type of items you need, your best bet is to create a wedding registry! It is easy to set up a registry online—in fact, it’s just like creating a wish list on Amazon. You simply pick the items that you want as wedding gifts, and guests can easily go to the website and purchase them without having to worry about buying a duplicate—or worse, completely unwanted gift.

If you’ve ever gone shopping for someone who you’d describe as “difficult to shop for” or “already has everything,” a gift registry is a life-saver. It takes out the guesswork and ensures that the gift you buy will be used and appreciated by the person (or couple) who receives it.

You and your significant other may have bought a house already. If so, that’s great! Many newly married couples move into a “fixer-upper” home. It’s a great way to bond with your new spouse and overcome a challenge together. If this is the case for you, maybe consider a gift registry at a hardware store instead of a typical department store or Target. This way, you can get the tools you need to turn your fixer-upper into a beautiful home to start your life together.

YOU CAN ASK FOR MONEY

If you and your significant other already live together, or if you have lived on your own separately and are combining your items into one household, you likely already have everything you need! If you can only think of a few odds and ends that would help with the day-to-day tasks or spruce up your living space, you may not feel the need to create a gift registry. (Just think, if there aren’t enough items for it to be a gift guide to more than just a few guests, there isn’t much point!)

By not providing registry information, you’re opening yourself up to the possibility of receiving duplicates of household items you already own. So, if what you really want from your guests is money, then ask for it!

Your parents may have taught you that it’s impolite to ask for money, but that is certainly not always the case, especially for couples getting married. There are polite, and even cute ways of letting your guests know what you want. They won’t mind that you’re asking for money, because they know that they’re giving you the perfect gift. Plus, it’s a lot easier to carry an envelope to a wedding than a toaster oven!

HOW TO ASK FOR CASH

There are several ways of asking and phrasing your request for cash instead of purchased gifts. If you are including this request in your invitation envelope, be sure to include it as a separate insert, and not on the actual invitation. When you do so, you can politely specify that you want money by saying something like “flat gifts only,” “no boxed gifts please,” or by specifying that you are saving money for something in particular, such as your honeymoon or a home. This not only specifies that you want the money for something special, but encourages guests to contribute more to that special purchase.

Some couples even turn their request for monetary gifts into something cute and fun. Consider writing or finding a short poem that explains your request!

If you aren’t comfortable asking for money outright, that’s okay too! Let your parents and bridal party know what to convey to guests, as they will likely be asked what you need or would like as a wedding gift. That way, you can indirectly make sure that people are aware of what you want.

ACCEPT DONATIONS

If you’ve already talked about it with your partner, and you decide that you don’t want or need wedding gifts, you have the amazing opportunity to donate your gifts to a cause you love.

In your invitation envelope, explain that you don’t want a direct wedding gift, and include information on how guests can donate money to your favorite charity. You can also include this information online if you have a wedding website for guests to find information and RSVP. This way, you can provide a direct link to the charity’s website and make it easier for everyone.

Your guests will love that you are using your wedding to give help to those in need.

When you receive your wedding gifts (or donations to a cause) we hope you get exactly what your heart desires. Remember to be specific about what you want, and your guests will appreciate knowing that they’re getting you the perfect gift!