Haha. I’ve posted about this A LOT. I’m sure people are annoyed with me. But there is a difference between registering for gifts and requesting cash for several reasons:
1. A regsitry acts as a guideline/wish list. It lets guests know what is missing from a couple’s household and what their style is. It helps prevent a couple from getting 7 blenders, 5 toasters, and a cermanic rooster when clearly the couple prefers ducks. It also helps ensure that the china, dishes, napkins, towels, bedding, etc. all match. A guest can see that the couple is in need of new pans and can opt to get a set or ones of better quality. A request for cash, on the other hand, pretty much dictates the gift. There are no options and it isn’t much of a guideline or wish list.
2. It is taboo to talk about money. Some people aren’t comfortable giving cash and letting the couple know how much he/she spent. Sure, you know the retail price of the items you registered for, but that doesn’t mean you know how much I spent. I could use coupons, shope sales, use gift cards, buy it from another store for cheaper, etc. Plus, it’s also considered polite to register for a bunch of things at varying price points. That way there is something to fit every budget. If you ask for cash, a guest is pretty much stuck and it could easily lead to an awkward situation.
3. Asking for cash makes one look greedy. There has been and will probably always be a stigma of greed associated with money. When one asks for cash, it sends the message that he or she has everything they need but they still want something so please fork over your hard earned money for his/her spending pleasure. It’s one thing to freely give cash for this puprose, it’s another to demand it. This is also why the usual advice given to those that prefer cash is to spread via word of mouth that you are saving up for something specific. That way the guest knows you have a specifc goal for the money and it’s not a case of the gimmy-gimmies.
4. As I mentioned in #1, asking for cash dictates the gift given. You cannot register for different types of cash. Well, I suppose you technically could if you registered for different currencies, like $100 US, $50 euros, $1000 pasos, etc., but you get my point. It makes guests feel like that must give you cash and that any other gift isn’t really appreciated. It’s not polite to dictate what type of gift you want. No one wants to be told what to give (unless, of course, they specifically ask).
5. Miss Manners equates asking for cash to begging saying that if you have everything you need, why must you harass your friends and family for money. To some extent, I agree. I mean, if you do have everything you need, then I’ll give you cash because I want to give you something, but don’t be greedy and ask for it.
Hope that clears up why some people think asking for cash is rude. I get that in some cultures it’s ok, but at least in the States, it’s typically not. Also, people know cash is appreciated, guests aren’t stupid. If there is no registry or a small one, they’ll figure out that cash is the best gift. Unless specifically asked, there’s no need to tell a guest. I’ve never understood why brides and grooms can’t grasp this concept