25 Ways to Word ‘In Lieu of Gifts’ in an Invitation


From birthday parties to weddings, guests often offer gifts during many types of occasions. However, you might not want your guests to purchase any specific items for you. Instead, maybe you’d prefer they donate to a charity or give money instead of gifts. You may not know how to tactfully ask for it.

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You could let your guests know of your wishes by including the words “in lieu of gifts” on the invitations to your event. You might simply not know how to properly make this type of request.

We included some ideas to keep in mind. Use them exactly as they appear in this blog post or use them as inspiration to come up with your own in lieu of gifts wordings.

‘In Lieu of Gifts’ Wording for a Wedding

If you’re not sure how to request money instead of a gift for your wedding, use one of these requests:

1. “In lieu of gifts, we wish to spread more love by requesting that guests make a donation to [charity].”

Asking for a charitable donation helps you and your spouse share your love with those less fortunate and may inspire guests to donate right away!

2. “In lieu of gifts, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice.”

Sometimes guests won’t make a requested donation if they don’t like the charity on the invitation. They may prefer to donate if they can choose a charity themselves.

3. “Our love has already brought us so many gifts. Rather than buying us another gift, you may instead make a donation to [charity].”

Acknowledging that the love you and your new spouse share offers a sweet way to request donations instead. 

4. “In lieu of gifts, our registry allows you to donate to our home improvement, honeymoon, or another fund.”

Many wedding etiquette experts warn against specifically asking for money instead of gifts when sending invitations. However, asking for money instead of gifts lets you tactfully ask for money without breaching proper etiquette.

5. “No gifts, please. Your presence is enough of a gift. If you wish, you can make a donation to [charity].”

You can request donations instead of gifts without directly asking for money. Even when you request that guests donate money to charity rather than your own personal projects, you might feel more comfortable letting guests know they have the option to make a donation, but it’s not something you expect or require of them.

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‘In Lieu of Gifts’ Wording for a Funeral or Memorial Service

Consider these ideas for an obituary, funeral invitation, or general wording for a memorial donation:

6. “[Deceased] was a passionate supporter of [charity/movement]. In lieu of gifts, we ask that you consider making a donation.”

You may use this “in lieu of gifts” wording if the deceased supported a specific charitable organization during life.

(Tip: If you’re trying to come up with ideal gifts for a grieving friend but you don’t know what to give, make a donation instead.)

7. “In lieu of gifts, we appreciate any financial support guests may be able to offer during this difficult time, but we also entirely understand that times are tough for everyone.”

Asking for financial support to help you manage the various costs of an unexpected death is another tricky task. “In lieu of gifts” mentions like this lets guests know they can offer money but they don’t have to.

8. “The family requests that anyone considering sending flowers or gifts instead make a donation to [charity].”

This “in lieu of flowers” wording might be ideal for an obituary.

9. “[Deceased] wished that any memorial gifts be in the form of donations to [charity].”

Did your lost loved one specify that they wanted guests at their funeral to support a charity instead of giving gifts? If so, mention this in the obituary or funeral invitations.

10. “No gifts are necessary. Instead, we encourage you to keep [deceased’s] generous spirit alive by making a donation to [charity].”

Guests may make donations if you suggest that doing so offers a way to honor the memory of the deceased. If you’re not sure what charity to name, consider the deceased’s passions and values. Doing so will help you come up with memorial donation ideas.

‘In Lieu of Gifts’ Wording for a Birthday Party

Tell your birthday party guests you don’t need any gifts with one of these examples:

11. “You all know how much [charity/issue] means to me. Instead of a gift, I’d appreciate a donation to [charity].”

Are your friends and family well aware that you’re passionate about a certain cause or issue? Ask them to make donations to that charity!

12. “It may be my birthday, but [charity] needs donations much more than I need gifts!”

This wording allows you to casually suggest your guests donate to a charity instead of buying birthday gifts.

13. “We all know I buy myself enough gifts already. Donate to [charity] instead?”

This is one way to encourage donations instead of gifts with some mild self-deprecating humor. Depending on your personality, you may need to modify it to more accurately apply to you.

14. “Gifts aren’t necessary, but help with this big party would be nice…”

If you’re close enough with your birthday guests that you feel comfortable asking them for some money to help fund a large party, you could do so with this wording (or something similar).

15. “A friend like you is the only gift I need. Donate to [charity] instead if you were planning on giving one.”

Request charitable donations and let your birthday party guests know how much you appreciate them with this phrasing!

» MORE: Honor those who served their country. Create a plan this Memorial Day.

‘In Lieu of Gifts’ Wording for a Baby Shower

Depending on the circumstances, you might not need anyone to give baby shower gifts. These examples can help you express this:

16. “We’ve already been blessed with an abundance of gifts. Instead of giving us more, consider making a donation to those less fortunate.”

Consider using this type of “in lieu of gifts” wording to acknowledge that others may need donations much more than you need any gifts.

17. “We’ll have a much better idea of what to buy when we know whether we’re having a boy or a girl! No need for gifts now, but we appreciate donations!”

If you’re waiting to learn your baby’s gender, you might wait to buy those items until the baby arrives. You can ask your guests to donate money to help make those purchases when the time comes.

18. “We can afford to buy all the items we need now. Instead of a gift, please consider making a donation to [charity].”

This type of phrasing lets guests know you’ll handle buying the types of items someone might give at a baby shower. Instead, they can make a donation.

19. “We’re so lucky to have a supportive family who is helping us in all ways (including financially) as we prepare to meet our new arrival. Because we don’t need gifts, we instead ask that guests think about contributing to [charity].”

This phrasing explains you don’t need any gifts because you’re already fortunate and would prefer that guests consider sending money to those who genuinely need it.

20. “The average cost of raising a child is almost $250,000! Keep that in mind if you wanted to give a gift…”

You can use humor to subtly imply you’d prefer financial help over gifts!

‘In Lieu of Gifts’ Wording for a Wedding Shower

Most wedding shower guests assume they need to bring a gift. Let them know that’s not the case with wordings such as:

21. “The average cost of a wedding is almost $35,000! Just something to remember if you planned to give a gift but weren’t sure what we needed…”

Consider this variation on the above suggestion for a wedding shower!

22. “As you know, we’ve already made a comfortable home together. In lieu of gifts, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities.”

Wedding shower gifts often consist of items that a young couple might need to “get started” in a new home. If you’re already settled in your home, ask for donations instead!

23. “We’re so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. No gifts needed. However, if you wish to donate to those less fortunate, we would of course appreciate your contribution.”

You may use this type of phrasing if you and your spouse-to-be are religious.

24. “Our love is the only gift we need. Instead of a gift, we request that guests consider donating to [charity].”

This “in lieu of gifts” wording offers a less religious take on the above example.

25. “No need for gifts. We don’t have the space! Consider donating to [charity] instead?”

This is another somewhat humorous way you might request donations over gifts!

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In Lieu of Gifts Wording: Options to Consider

Remember, these examples offer some ideas. You can absolutely change them according to your preferences!

infographic of how to say "in lieu of gifts" for a funeral or memorial service

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