For decades, part of planning a wedding has always included registering for gifts. By registering with a website or retail store, spouses-to-be are able to easily communicate what kinds of gifts they’d prefer to receive from their wedding guests.
However, as the millennial generation continues to reach peak marriage age, a major generational shift is taking place.
According to a July 25 New York Times article, more young couples are forgoing the traditional gift registry, instead asking their guests for home-repair gift cards, honeymoon experiences and straight-up cash.
“It’s a generational thing,” said Nina Vitale, who oversees weddings at the Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles, NY. “During the past two years, guests have been bringing mostly envelopes, no gifts.” As a result, Vitale has placed cardholders where the spa’s gift table used to stand.
The Chattanoogan, a popular hotel and wedding venue in Tennessee, has also seen this decline in wedding gift-giving.
“It is the social norm now to give gift cards or cash,” said hotel wedding specialist Casey Reese. “One couple posted on their wedding website that they would rather receive monetary donations than anything else.”
The trend can be attributed to a few factors, including the millennial generation’s notoriously large student loans. Additionally, many young people choose to get married later on in life, at which point they often have furnished houses of their own. As a result, common wedding gifts like dishes and coffee makers aren’t as needed.
Still, however, a wide array of affordable and inspirational gifts can be found — if one simply looks for them.
And if you do decide to give your newlywed friend or family member a monetary gift, be sure it’s not too much — or too little — money.
Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of wedding site TheKnot.com, told Bustle there is a set of loose guidelines for giving cash as a wedding gift. For distant relatives and coworkers, a gift of $75 to $100 will suffice. For friends and relatives, this should increase to $100 to $125. Lastly, for close relatives, Cooper advised giving about $150.
While more millennials are becoming relatively nonchalant about their wedding gifts, it’s still important for wedding guests to remember the proper gift-giving etiquette.