Let Your Guests Know About Your No-Gifts Wedding Before It's Too Late

From appropriate messaging to charitable registry alternatives, we have it all.
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Feb 29, 2024

Typically, loved ones want to give something to help to-be-weds start a new chapter as a married couple. But not everyone wants or needs traditional presents, which is where no-gifts weddings come in. But why would anyone opt for this unconventional route? Perhaps two people have been living together for a while and have everything they need for their home. Maybe the engaged pair is about to move and doesn't want to pack additional items, or they would rather have cash instead. Whatever the reason, we rounded up everything you need to know about no-gifts or boxed-gifts weddings so you can decide if it's the best choice for you. From how to say no gifts for our wedding eloquently to the best present alternatives, we provide you with a comprehensive guide for it all.

In this article:

No Boxed Gifts Meaning

"No boxed gifts" means the engaged couple doesn't want any physical gifts at the wedding. This phrase can also broken down to mean the couple thinks your presence is present enough (we love a pun) or that they're only open to cash gifts and cards. So since "No boxed gifts, please" can have two meanings, let's walk through how to word it clearly and concisely.

No Gifts Please Wedding Wording

The key to ensuring your no-gifts wedding goes off without a hitch is clear communication. To help you let your guests know your decision, we created clever ways to say "No gifts, please" for your special day.

  • Thank you so much for your generosity, but we prefer our guests not to bring gifts. We feel blessed enough that you're choosing to spend the day with us.
  • We would love to accept your present, but unfortunately, we don't have room for a lot of wedding gifts. Please give us the wonderful gift of your presence instead.
  • Having lived together for so long, we've amassed everything we could possibly need for our home. As such, we kindly request no boxed gifts.
  • Thank you for thinking of us during this celebratory time. We prefer our guests not to bring gifts, but if you would like to get us something, we would love it if you donated to [Charity's Name] in our name.
  • As we mentioned on our wedding website, no gifts please. But if you must, please donate to our cash fund in support of [Charity's Name]. Thank you!
  • In lieu of gifts at our wedding, we kindly request you donate to [Charity's Name] in our name if you feel inclined.
  • Instead of traditional wedding gifts, we would greatly appreciate if you contributed to our cash fund. For more information, please visit our wedding website.
  • Even though we would love to accept every guest's boxed gift, we unfortunately don't have the space in our home. We kindly request you give to our [honeymoon, house, adoption, etc.] fund instead.

What Is the Etiquette for No Boxed Gifts?

It's absolutely okay to request no gifts at your wedding. While it may surprise your guests, your wedding should be about what makes you and your soon-to-be spouse happiest. However, there's wedding etiquette you'll need to follow. Know that this unique approach may confuse your guests, so ensure you're clear when communicating your desires. (We'll go into detail below about how to share this information.) This doesn't mean you and your partner should explicitly say, "We want cash" or "We don't want your gifts." Instead, use the no presents for wedding wording examples above and the appropriate channels to tell guests about your choice.

How to Communicate No Gifts to Wedding Guests

To successfully get your message across, you'll need to ensure you hit all your bases. Here are three ways to let your guests know about your no-gifts wedding.

Share it on your wedding website.

After you share your wedding website with your guests, include this important detail under your gift/registry or FAQ section. Write a statement saying presents aren't required and a short reason why, or highlight the cash funds you have linked. Since your wedding website will have all your nuptial information, guests will inevitably see this on this high-traffic tool.

Add a note on your wedding invites.

You should never directly reference gifts on your wedding invitation since it seems like you're saying gifts are required. With that said, you might be wondering how to write no gifts on a wedding invitation. Rather than saying "no boxed gifts" or "no gifts" under the wedding location, add an insert with your invitation suite that speaks to your decision. You can keep it short and expand on your wedding website if necessary.

Spread the word in person.

The final step to letting your guests know about your no-gifts wedding is to use old-fashioned word of mouth. Mention this while socializing with your guests at your engagement party or on the phone with friends and family. To increase the likelihood of everyone being on the same page, recruit your wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen and other loved ones) to help too.

Alternatives to Boxed Gifts

Understand that even if you want a no-boxed-gifts wedding, some guests will want to do something for you that doesn't involve cash in an envelope. That's why we recommend offering alternatives for those generous people, like a money registry or charity option. Asking your guests to contribute to your honeymoon, house, sports ticket or subscription service fund allows you to get money towards the things you'll like instead of a fourth high-powered blender. (You can easily link these cash funds on The Knot Registry Store, by the way.) You can also insert gift cards and experiences (like cooking classes or cabin getaways) to your registry as well.

For those who don't want any cash or physical gifts, add links to your favorite charities so you and your guests can give back to the community. Include no wedding registry wording on your wedding website and invitations, and write short explanations for why you want to donate to each charity.

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