More couples asking for cash for wedding gifts


Lauren Capriotti and Nick Guerin are planning a wedding and they are also building a plan to make their outdated house into their dream home.

"We decided to buy the foreclosed house here because it needed a little work, but it's in a phenomenal area," said Guerin.

So with their wedding around the corner - as well as the goal to update their kitchen and bathrooms - the couple decided to try something nontraditional with their gift registry.

"We requested cash because we had so much work to do on our home, and we realized that a lot of our finances over the next two to six months after the wedding are all going to go into these renovations," said Capriotti.

For the bridal shower, she asked for Home Depot gift cards, and for the wedding they signed up with Tendr, an online registry where guests can use a credit card to add to their renovation fund.

Capriotti and Guerin are part of a growing trend of bridal couples asking to fill their wallet instead of filling their cabinets.

"Couples today are living together well before they get married, and so they already have dishes and glassware and linens and towels. So they don't need to register for more of those items," explained Anne Chertoff, Contributing Editor, Yahoo Style.

Chertoff says some relatives may turn red over the thought of bridal couples holding out their hands for some green, so she recommends carefully explaining how you'll be managing the money on your wedding website.

"You don't want to come off as greedy or crass," warned Chertoff. "And so it's a really fine line that you make sure you find a registry site that's reputable and also something that looks appealing and secure."

About a dozen online wedding registries offer cash as a gift choice, but there is catch.

"There's fees associated with those services. So it's not necessarily that you shouldn't use them. But you should be aware of the fee associated with using the online registration," said financial planner Heather George, Wealth Planning & Analysis, AB Bernstein.

Despite those fees, more millennials are including cash in their registry. George believes this could lead to important pre-ceremony discussions.

"If you can make a decision that creates a greater sense of financial security to you as a couple from the start, as part of your wedding, that to me for sure has to have an impact on improved success down the road," she said.

George adds because millennials grew up during the recession, they're likely to put their registry money toward practical purposes.

Capriotti and Guerin are among the 65% who use some or all to fix a house, save for a home, or pay off debt like student loans, according to a survey by Tendr.com.

"It's just a practical way to go about your gift-giving process during the wedding. I think it's becoming the norm," said Capriotti.

Etiquette experts recommend couples do not just give their guests their bank or paypal account information, but instead, either request checks or sign up for an online cash registry. Those can charge anywhere from two to eight percent,  but also offer customized options to describe the fund and send e-cards from the givers and the recipients.

The following websites offer wedding registries with cash options: