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Cash Registries: Tacky or Trendy?

Not too long ago, wedding registries overflowed with blenders, toasters and tasteful china sets. However, as the average age for marriage rises to the late twenties, the dynamic of a wedding gift registry changes too. At this point, many people already have the household wares typically found on a registry, and thus the cash registry has become a hotly debated topic among couples and guests.

While most of us have enjoyed the occasional twenty-dollar bill falling out of a birthday card, asking for large sums of money as a gift is an entirely different situation. How can you make it less greedy and more gracious for your guests?

Be specific and upfront.

Many online registries have an option for cash funding, which helps soften the potentially awkward blow of just adding a line on the invitation asking for cash. Utilize these registry slots by being honest. Say, “We have all the plates we need, but would love if you’d be a part of our story by helping us achieve this goal ... ” and include an idea of your future home, your married adventures or another dream that’s personal to you. 

Don’t make them feel obligated.

Just because it’s a registry option, don’t make it the only one. Some people enjoy giving material gifts, hoping that each time you use their gifted item, you’ll think fondly of them. Register for a handful of items you may need or enjoy in your home, like a fancy set of bowls or a luxurious set of towels. Plus, providing people alternative gift options may make them feel less like you’re shaking them down for cash and they may be more inclined to donate to your fund after-all.

Create a special place for cards with cash gifts.

You may have guests who would like to gift cash or check but not over the internet—particularly from your older generations of relatives. At the wedding or reception venue, place a clearly labeled box for cards to make your guests feel secure in leaving an envelope, which may have a monetary gift inside. If you can, try to even get a decorative box with a lock and key, depending on the size of your guest list. 

Last but not least, don’t forget thank you notes! If you have set up multiple funds or specific ones, include pictures or stories about what you were able to achieve in your new, unified life thanks to their generosity.


Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.

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