"How do we say "No Gifts, Please"?

Not interested in wedding gifts? Maybe you’ve been living together for many years and don’t feel like you need anything or maybe you’re getting married for the second time and feel awkward about receiving more gifts. Here are a few etiquette-friendly options for communicating that you’d like to pass on the wedding gift tradition.

How to Say: No Gifts, Please

1. Word of Mouth
Let the information spread by word of mouth, and don’t worry about how to say this on the wedding invitations. Tell your friends and family that neither of you are interested in receiving wedding gifts and let them spread the word to others. You can say something like, “Tony and I would prefer that guests don’t bring gifts. We feel blessed enough that you’re choosing to spend the day with us.” You can also choose to give an excuse like, “Tony and I don’t have room for a lot of wedding gifts, so we’d rather guests gift us with their presence.”

2. Use the Invitation
You can use the invitation to communicate you don’t want gifts, although some etiquette experts do advise against this. However, we don’t see a problem with mentioning it on the invitation in a polite manner. You can be simple and direct by saying “No Gifts, Please” or you can add something a little cuter like "Your presence is your present." We suggest placing this copy in the lower right or left corner of your invitation so it doesn’t interfere with your wedding wording but is still noticeable. You can also place this wording on the reception cards instead of the invitations.

3. Give to Charity
Ask guests to donate to your favorite charity in lieu of wedding gifts. All you have to do is create some personalized information cards with the charity’s information and how to give. Then place these cards at every table at your reception. You can even add a personal story if the charity is something near and dear to your heart. Guests will love this alternative to bringing a traditional wedding gift and you’ll be able to raise a good chunk of money for your favorite cause.

Just because you’ve said no gifts doesn’t mean you won’t get any. Chances are you will receive plenty of wedding cards and a few gifts despite your request. Accept whatever gifts you receive graciously, and be sure to provide a designated place, like a card box, at the reception for guests to place their greeting cards.

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