WHEN local couple Janette and Colin, got married last month, they didn't expect to receive wedding gifts such as toasters, cutlery or linen. The newlyweds - are among a growing number of couples who are asking for cash gifts instead of traditional wedding presents.
In a country where property prices are sky high and people marry later, many couples are now asking for cash to pay for anything from the honeymoon to a deposit on a house.
Traditional wedding gift registries offered by the big department stores are also facing competition from online cash registries and travel agents which offer fun alternatives to crockery and vases.
New concept registries such as OurWishingWell.com allow wedding guests to contribute to the honeymoon, household items or allow the bride and groom to choose experiences, such as a dinner at the Eiffel Tower.
Cash wishing wells can be a practical solution for today's bride and groom, but it is a touchy subject. Although it is considered desirable for couples to register for a long list of gifts from a particular store - supposedly as a convenience for the couple and their guests - asking for cash or hinting at the option of giving cash is seen as inappropriate.
This leaves couples, many of whom have lived together long enough and don't need traditional starter-home gifts, in a bind. Some are taking advantage of alternative cash gift registries: you can register for guests to contribute to gifts selected by the bride and groom at OurWishingWell.com, for example.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 74 precent of Australian couples have already lived together before tying the knot.
Sites like OurWishingWell.com make it easier for the bride and groom to ask for cash. As the site allows couples to create a list of gifts that guests can contribute to - guests know that their money is going to be well-spent on a special gift or experience they have selected.
Joe Renzi, CEO of OurWishingWell.com said "An increasing number of people seem willing to contribute to registries like OurWishingWell.com, where couples can list items that they would like their guests to contribute to - gifts that are often too expensive for one guest to purchase".
"As society has changed our needs as newlyweds have changed. The realistic thing to do is to help them in the next stage of life, which is likely to be buying a house or going on a honeymoon. The couple will appreciate it more than another toaster."
"It's certainly ok to register for cash gifts". Said Janette. "What's not right is to dictate to guests what their gift should be".
Janette said "OurWishingWell.com gave us the confidence to ask our guests for experiences that we could enjoy on our honeymoon together. We already own many household items, and we didn't want to offend our guests by asking for straight-out cash or tell them what they should purchase. The gift registry was such a success; we even had to add more ‘experiences' before the wedding because there wasn't any gifts left to contribute to!"