Everything You Need to Know About Having a No Gifts Wedding

From appropriate messaging to charitable registry options.
maddy sims the knot associate editor
by
Maddy Sims
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
Associate Editor
  • Maddy writes for The Knot, with a specialty in beauty, sustainability, mental health and inclusivity.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Maddy wrote for several different publications, including Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
  • Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School ...
Updated Jul 28, 2021

Typically, the friends and family members you invite to your wedding give you something to help you start your new chapter as newlyweds. But if you're interested in hosting a no gifts wedding, there are still meaningful ways to use your registry leading up to your nuptials. Skip traditional items for your newlywed nest and consider asking your guests for charitable donations instead. Or, ask them to contribute to a cash fund for the cause of your choice (psst: you can set them up easily on The Knot). And finally, consider registering for a few key items that you might need through The Knot Gifts Back, which donates a portion of the gifts' costs to an organization close to your heart.

There are several reasons why couples may opt for a no-gifts wedding. Perhaps you've been living together for quite some time already and have everything you need for your home. Maybe you're about to move somewhere and don't want to pack any additional items. Or, maybe you simply would rather direct your guests' generosity to a charitable cause instead. Whatever your reason, we rounded up everything you need to know about hosting a no-gifts wedding, below.

Is it OK to request no gifts at a wedding?

It's absolutely OK to request no gifts at your wedding. While it may surprise your wedding guests, your wedding should be all about what makes you, the couple, happiest. However, there is certain wedding etiquette you'll still need to follow. Know that this unique approach may confuse your guests, so ensure you're clear on communicating your desires. Add an announcement on your wedding websites, include insert cards (similar to an RSVP card) with your invitation suite, or simply write it on your wedding stationery.

Understand that even if you want a no-gifts wedding, some guests may still want to do something for you. That's why we recommend offering some kind of charitable option for guests who feel so inclined. Ask them to place a donation to a charity in your name or set up a cash fund on The Knot that your guests can easily contribute to for your wedding day.

What do you do if you don't want wedding gifts?

While the idea of a no-gifts wedding seems simple, the execution of such an event can be complicated. Many guests will generously still want to give you something—even if you say you don't want presents. Make sure it's clear you don't want to accept any gifts (or boxed gifts) by stating it on your wedding invitation and your wedding website. However, we always recommend including one charitable option for close friends and family members who really want to do something special for you. Pro tip: Recruit your wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen and other loved ones) to help spread the word too.

No Gifts Wedding Wording Samples

The key to ensuring your no-gifts wedding goes off without a hitch is clear communication. To help you spread the word, we created a few invitation wording samples for your gift-free special day.

No Gifts Wedding Invitation Wording Samples

"We would prefer our guests don't bring gifts. We feel blessed enough that you're choosing to spend the day with us."

"We don't have room for a lot of wedding gifts, which is why we'd rather you gift us with your presence."

"Having lived on our own so long, we've amassed everything we could possibly need for our home. As such, we kindly request no boxed gifts."

"As we are planning on moving across the country, we kindly request no boxed gifts."

"We would prefer our guests don't bring gifts. If you would generously like to get us something, we would feel so happy if you made a donation at [ORGANIZATION NAME] in our name."

"We would prefer our guests don't bring gifts. If you would generously like to get us something, we would feel so happy if you made a donation at [ORGANIZATION NAME] in our name."

"We kindly request no boxed gifts. If you would generously like to get us something, please donate to our cash fund in support of [ORGANIZATION NAME]."

"Rather than traditional wedding gifts, we kindly request you send a donation to [ORGANIZATION NAME] in our name if you feel so inclined."

No Gifts Wedding Wording for Wedding Website

"As mentioned on our invitation we would prefer our guests don't bring gifts. Your presence at our wedding is enough of a gift for us."

"We kindly request no boxed gifts. If you would generously like to get us something, please donate to our cash fund in support of [ORGANIZATION NAME] right here."

Destination Wedding No Gifts Wording

"We kindly request no gifts for our wedding. Your journey to celebrate with us is enough of a gift."

"We would prefer that our guests don't bring gifts. Making memories in this beautiful destination together is more than we could ask for."

Second Wedding Invitation Wording For COVID Couples

"We received so many beautiful gifts on the date of our initial wedding, which is why we kindly request no gifts for our new date. Being able to celebrate together after such a long time is the best gift we could ask for."

"We received so many beautiful gifts on the date of our initial wedding. Iif you generously feel inclined to give something for our second celebration, please consider donating to [ORGANIZATION NAME] in our name."

No Gifts Wedding Charitable Registry Options

Even if you'd prefer absolutely no gifts for your wedding, it's always nice to offer your guests an option. One of our favorite gift ideas is to set up a charitable option that your guest list can give to in your honor.

Cash Fund

We love the idea of using The Knot Registry to set up a cash fund for the organization of your choice. Think of it like one big gift card you can give to the charity of your choice. That way, your guests will be able to contribute to a cause close to your heart directly on your wedding website. Make sure you clearly label the cash fund, explain why you chose the organization and what they do. That way, your guests will feel even more connected to the donation and to your love story.

The Knot's Ali Forney Center Registry Wishlist

If your guests prefer to give a physical gift, this option might be perfect for your wedding. In June 2021, The Knot partnered with Ali Forney Center to help support at-risk homeless LGBTQ+ youth. Direct your guests to Ali Forney Center's wish list, which you guests can purchase from. Their presents will be sent to young, unsheltered LGTBQ+ people who need help and support.

The Knot Gifts Back

If your guests are insisting on giving you a physical present. Consider setting up your wedding registry through The Knot Gifts Back. By setting up your registry through this program, a percentage of the cost of the item you guests buy will be donated to the charity of your choice.

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