I am officially the Mother of the Bride Ladies and Gentlemen. I am also experiencing things my clients have suffered throughout the years, especially where it comes to registering for the wedding gifts. Things are different than they were years ago.
1. A wedding years ago signified the beginning of life together, so you started the moving-in process with the wedding. The bridal registry was set up to help the couple start their home together.
2. 79% of couples today usually have lived together for more than a year and have most of their every day household products, including items for entertaining (china, glassware and serving accessories). Some have already inherited the family crystal and china already.
So what's left? Buying a new house together and furnishing it with light fixtures, new kitchens, bathrooms, garden furniture. Not the type of wedding gifts guests think about when it comes to a gift registry. However, more and more couples (my daughter and her fiancé included) are using more practical methods of using a bridal registry.
Online shopping is becoming the 'way to go' nowadays and nothing could be simpler than turning on the computer and clicking the mouse on a dollar amount on a chosen bridal registry and then clicking the 'submit' button. Even Amazon.com has caught on to the wedding registry business and offer a great service to those shopping for every day items.
However, what we seem to forget is that it is actually difficult for a couple to come up with a 'wish list'. It is hard for them to ask guests to shop for them, especially for high dollar items that they genuinely may need. Thus the birth of the Cash Gift Registries.
If I had a nickel for every time a couple asked me if it was acceptable to ask for CASH, I could have bought a small island somewhere. Let's be clear here. It is NOT acceptable to ask for money, no matter how close you are with family members and friends. There are guests like myself who get it and will give monetary gifts without having to be asked. However, it is not okay to assume this and certainly inappropriate to ask.
There are however, online registries that fix this problem (although true etiquette still suggests otherwise) and have found a way to break the mold. Yes, you can now send your guests to an online cash registry site and have your guests donate money towards your new home improvements, honeymoon get-a-way or down-payment for the home of your dreams.
Sites such as Traveler's Joy.com and Our Wishing Well.com (both below) allow couples to pull cash for things that they can truly use. Both sites have seen good reviews from companies like The Knot, Wedding Wire and online wedding industry leaders.
While some of these registries come with a price (all these sites charge for their services of course), it is cash that the couple would not have had otherwise to begin with. The couple have the money to spend on things they really need.
However couples need to read the fine print and also beware of tax laws in different states. A recent article in the Washington Times stating,
Elyn Rahman has been designing beautiful weddings for two decades. In her design series, she gives insight, ideas and practical advice for those who wish to plan weddings as a career. In this blog, she shares just a few of her creations. She shares some of her personal favorites during her hands-on workshops in the design series.