Dear Ms. Cards Etiquette,
For my housewarming party, I’d really like gift cards instead of gifts people bring me. How do I put that in the invitations?
New House Girl
While it is perfectly proper to state “no gifts please” or “your presence is your present”, it is absolutely, never ok to ask for a particular gift in an invitation unless you are collecting gifts or donations for someone else’s cause.
What do I mean by this? Well, if, for example, you were throwing a party for someone else who had a child who was in a car accident and was hospitalized and you wanted to ask for donations to help the family, then saying “Donations will be collected for the family” is ok. Asking for donations on your own behalf, however, is not, as is asking for a particular type of gift.
However, in this case, you’re setting up your own new house, and since people often want to give gifts to help you out, what do you do?
The gift registry comes to the rescue! All you need to do is register with a popular department store and list what you really need. You can then be assured that if people want to get you a gift for your housewarming, they will get you what you need.
Sometimes, though, people need stuff they don’t feel right asking others to buy for them. (We all need a toilet plunger, for example.) For items such as that, you can list a gift card as one of the items on your registry list.
Be sure that you have several amounts of gift cards so people can get you a gift card they can afford. Listing only a $50 gift card might be a little much for some people’s budgets.
On the invitation, all you need to do is state that you are registered with whomever you are registered with. “I am registered at the following locations” and then list them.
Hope this helps you, New House Girl, and have a happy housewarming.
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