As with most aspects of a wedding there is “etiquette” for receiving gifts, and these rules are as basic as the manners we all learn as small children. It is not polite to ask for a gift and when you do receive a gift, be sure to say “thank you”.
Unfortunately, it seems that these basic principles have been long forgotten when it comes to planning a wedding. Today many couples are asking, “How can I ask for money in lieu of gifts” or “How do I let my guests know where I am registered.” First and foremost, it is NEVER appropriate to ask for money as a gift. Couples should not plan on getting money or certain gifts, but one helpful way that couples can assist their guests in purchasing gifts is by using a bridal registry. A bridal registry is a way of communicating what the couple would like to receive. News of where a couple is registered should be passed along by word of mouth from close friends and family members and never, ever included with the wedding invitation. If you are sending out Save the Date cards, it is acceptable to mention where the bride and groom are registered.
You should send out thank you notes as you start receiving gifts. The thank you notes should be hand written and should mention the specific gift you received. If you receive cash or a gift certificate, yon should NEVER thank the person for the $25 they sent you, but instead mention how yon plan to use the money or certificate.