My fiance and I are in exactly the same situation as a couple who posted just recently – we have been living together for a while and have no need for (or desire to receive) gifts at our upcoming wedding. But, in the anticipation that our guests will feel compelled to give anyway, we would like to invite them to make a charitable donation in my father’s name at the local homeless shelter where he worked before passing away. We intend to take your advice to the previous couple and provide the information on the wedding website we will be creating shortly. Is this appropriate wording for the website?
“The best gift we could ask of you is your presence at our wedding. As a result, we have chosen not to register for wedding gifts. Your attendance on our joyous day is truly all that we could ever ask for. However, should you insist on making a monetary contribution in addition to being with us on our special day, we would invite you to join in honoring (bride’s) father’s memory by making a tax-deductible donation in Mr. X’s name to (charitable organization).”
We don’t want the message to be that “we’re just saying we don’t want gifts, but we are expecting you to donate anyway”. Should we give our guests the option of donating to a charity of their choice? Is making mention of the technical details (tax-deductible, attached form) appropriate?
Expert Answer: Donna, Wedding Queen:
I think the sentiment is wonderful but your wording is a little “stuffy”. I’d like to suggest a more friendly (IMO) wording: Since Jack and I have been blessed with all we need to be happy, we have decided not to register for wedding gifts. Really, we are not expecting gifts. [:)]
We feel that being surrounded by the people we love the most is our gift! However, for those who feel compelled to send us a token of your esteem, please consider making a charitable donation to (insert charity) in memory of my father, Mr. Bride’s Father. (Insert a little something about your dad here to really personalize it).
Love to you all,
Or write it from the two of you as a couple.
Expert Answer: Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
I completely agree and the suggested verbiage is wonderful. I would like to also suggest that you give your guests the option of giving to a charity of their choosing.