Not everybody hosting a wedding or party wants a big pile of wrapped presents in the corner. There are plenty of practical reasons to forgo gifts.

With Zara Harper

We’ve collated the most common reasons why people ask their guests not to bring gifts to their big day and have included plenty of protocol-friendly alternatives. One might just resonate with you.

If you’re already certain that you don’t want wrapped presents showing up to your event, here are 10 Ways To Say ‘No Gifts’ Without Offending Your Guests.

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1. A Big Pile Of Gifts

Often a pile of gifts at a wedding or party simply isn’t practical. Perhaps you’re having a destination wedding and your suitcases are already full. You might be leaving for your honeymoon straight after the wedding and don’t want to ask anyone to store your gifts. There’s also that large table you need to keep clear for gifts which can look, well, a little… expectant.

Leaving guests to choose gifts for you can create a stressful situation for them as well. How often have you been invited to a wedding and wondered what on earth to gift the couple, then crossed your fingers that they like it and no one else bought the same thing. Providing clear alternatives will help your guests avoid any gifting stress.

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2. Gifts That Aren’t Your Style

It’s possible that Uncle Jo’s taste in tableware doesn’t match your own (or the style of your new kitchen). If you’d rather not hide unwanted gifts until the giver visits, a gift registry is your solution.  9 out of 10 newlyweds create a gift registry. The trick is to choose a registry that’s flexible enough to list whatever (and we mean what-ev-er) you want or need. A quick search will reveal that some registries limit you to select retailers while others are packed with overwhelming features. Find the registry that’s perfect for you, allows you to share your details and love story, and collects your guest’s details to help with thank you notes. We recommend GVLOV (yup, it’s ours – and Goldilocks reckons it’s ‘just right’).

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3. Your Swimming Pool Has More Cash Than Scrooge McDuck’s

You might prefer that your guests don’t spend money on you at all. If your event is a wedding you may have been together for some time, own a house full of furniture and homewares, and have paid for your honeymoon already. Or maybe your guests are travelling to your event and you don’t feel comfortable with them paying for gifts as well. In cases like this it’s a lovely idea to create a registry to fundraise for your preferred charity so that those guests who still want to contribute can do so in a meaningful way.

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4. Rules Were Made To Be Broken

Someone (ok, several someone’s) will bring a gift anyway. Someone too busy to read the small print, someone who panicked last minute thinking they’d forgotten, someone who thinks ‘you didn’t really mean it’, and someone stubborn. The trick is to be prepared. Strategy One: Create a gift registry and list gifts that will benefit the gift-giver as well, like a new mattress for your spare bedroom. If this is you, make it clear in your invitation that you don’t expect gifts, but guests are welcome to contribute here. Strategy Two: Hide a large box near your event entry where you can place any gifts that arrive. This way other guests won’t see them and feel uncomfortable about not bringing a present.

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Expect Everyone To Bring A Card

Most guests will arrive with a card. It’s not presumptuous of you to have a card slot or cage at the entry to your event. Using an antique bird cage or something equally secure will ensure that no envelopes with cash hiding in them will slip off the table and be lost.

How To Say ‘Thanks, But No Thanks’

We’ve listed how to say ‘no gifts please’ without offending Grandma or your best friend in our article 10 Ways To Say ‘No Gifts’ Without Offending Your Guests.


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