As a couple in our late 20s who have been living together for more than a year, my fiancé and I have all our household necessities and are not inclined to set up a conventional registry. What we could really use is money for a down payment on a house. Is there a tactful way to get the word out that we'd prefer cash?

The tried-and-true method of telling people what you’d like for wedding presents is word of mouth. It’s a good idea for couples to provide their parents, their attendants and those close to them with a list of registry sources or, as in your case, let them know cash is preferable. But remember that there’s no dictating to guests what they must give; it’s their prerogative to choose. If you’re asked directly, be honest and polite: Say, “We’re saving for a down payment on a house, so if you’d like to give a check, that’s how we’ll use it. But whatever you decide will be terrific. Thank you for thinking of us.” Cash presents are perfectly acceptable–as long as the guests feel comfortable with the idea. Some people just don’t like giving money, and that’s okay too. For this reason it’s a good idea to set up a traditional registry–even if it has only a few items on it–so guests have a sense of what you like and need.