Wedding season is fast approaching and people are losing their minds. And with their lost minds comes a lot of confusion about the biggie as a guest: presentation. As old traditions quickly go out the window from new and improved Pinterest Board Creations, etiquette at weddings is also being thrown out with them. One of the biggest etiquette faux pas? Presentation. Before we move into what you should be putting on your invitation (and what you shouldn’t), let’s clear some things up.
There is a lot of talk and speculation from brides and guests alike that presentation is meant to cover the cost of food and drink at the wedding. This is completely wrong and incredibly tacky. If you want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your wedding, go for it! But, don’t assume and expect your guests to be paying for your wedding. Guests are guests. Unless you’re having a Christmas potluck, it’s okay for them to come empty-handed. Presentation is what a guest gives (previously a wedding gift, which is still given and should be accepted graciously and not with a scowl because it’s not cold hard cash) as a present to their friend/relative. Presentation is meant to help the happy couple out as they embark on their new wedded bliss.
A guest is by no means ever expected to give anything but their presence at your wedding. If a guest cannot afford to give anything, or much, that’s completely fine! A congratulations and a card (always give a card. Don’t be that person) will show the couple that you were happy to take part in their day.
A lot of your are probably saying ‘great, but how do we ask for presentation? We already own everything we need!’
It’s simple: you don’t.
You should never put presentation preferred on your invitations; it’s tacky and disrespectful. If a guest wants to give a gift, they’ll ignore your preference anyways and give you a gift. Because, in their mind, a gift is more special than just an envelope full of cash. Besides, receiving a wedding present that you’ll never use is just part of the wedding fun – you’re now part of the group called ‘everyone who has ever gotten married, ever’.
So, what do you do?
Register. Honestly, I can 100% assure you that you can find something to register for. Try myregistry.com
and register at all kinds of stores, including gift cards for home renovations that may be in your future. Upgrade your dingy towels that you’ve had since University, or get a new casserole dish that your fiance broke the other day. Don’t include your registry on your invitations; instead, include them on your website or let people know by the tried and true word of mouth.
Registering will not mean you will get only gifts at your wedding (you don’t even need to register for as many gifts as guests. If you have 150 people, register for 80-100 items – each towel counts as one registered item, keep in mind). People are lazy and love to just give cash. Unless I’m going to a wedding shower, or if the gift is an inside joke with a friend, I’m going to throw in cash or a cheque.
Still wanting only cash? Get over it. You’ll get a gift or two. But, you can still get the word out and keep your etiquette on point. Spreading your preference by word out mouth through family and your wedding party is the best way to let everyone know the details of your wedding.
And, don’t forget to stop worrying about all the nitty gritty details. It’s your wedding day. It’s meant to be a joyous occasion that is to celebrate the love between you and your fiance. Instead of focusing in on all the crazy details, remember what the day is really all about: your love. Just breathe and you’ll get through the wedding planning and onto married life!