Creating a wedding gift registry definitely falls into the “fun” category of wedding planning – but what’s the correct etiquette when it comes to putting a wishlist together for your guests?
Before you send out that registry link, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. From gift ideas to price points and timelines, keep reading for 10 wedding registry Dos and Don’ts you should know about (and some serious faux pas to avoid along the way!).
Don’t: Be Demanding
Remember, the purpose of creating a wedding registry is simply to provide gift ideas for your guests, not to pressure them into it!
Purchasing a gift from your registry shouldn’t be seen as an obligation. You can’t explicitly request that your loved ones purchase something from your registry, or express disappointment if they choose something that wasn’t on your wishlist. At the end of the day, your guests are attending your wedding to celebrate your love – any additional gifts should be seen as a bonus.
Do: Include a Range of Price Points
Make sure your wedding gift registry includes a range of ideas at different price points and not just big-ticket items. It’s totally fine to have some more expensive items on your wishlist, but you should balance them out with plenty of affordable options, too.
Including a mix of items at various prices will allow your guests to find an option that best fits their budget and the kind of relationship you share. Your parents may want to give you a luxury item, but your distant cousin? Probably not so much!
It’s also a good idea to register for more gifts than guests so that your loved ones have plenty of items to choose from.
Don’t: Include Registry Details On Your Wedding Invitations
Did you know including your gift registry details on your wedding invitations is considered an etiquette faux pas? Your wedding invitations are usually your first point of contact with guests, so it can be seen as impolite to mention gifts at this early stage.
Ideally, your wedding invitations should be reserved for details surrounding the wedding day itself, with your gift registry wishes communicated more discreetly. You can read our guide on wedding invitation etiquette here!
Do: Share Registry Details Via Your Wedding Website
Instead of sharing gift registry details on your wedding invitations, you can give your guests the heads up via your wedding website! Your wedding website will be a central hub for all things wedding-related, making it the perfect place to share your registry link for guests who may be interested.
So, what’s the best way to communicate your gift registry details tactfully with guests? We recommend keeping your wording simple and appreciative without putting any expectations on your loved ones. For example: “Please know that your presence at our wedding is present enough! However, for friends and family who have been asking for gift ideas, we’ve created an online registry here: (insert link)”
Don’t: Create A Gift Registry For a Destination Wedding
If you’re planning a destination wedding, creating a gift registry isn’t recommended. Remember, your guests are already contributing financially to join you for the day, not to mention making arrangements for work and childcare. Expecting an additional gift on top of these expenses can be seen as a little inconsiderate!
Instead, let your guests know that they are totally off the hook when it comes to gifts, and their presence at your wedding is all you desire. You could include a simple statement on your wedding website to communicate your wishes, such as: “We are so incredibly thankful for the effort you’ll be making to join us for our special day. Your presence is your present, so please, no gifts!”
Do: Include Gifts That Reflect You As a Couple
When it comes to gift ideas, your wedding registry is not the right place to request a new luxury handbag! Remember, your guests are attending your wedding to celebrate your love, so they’ll want to gift you something that will help you start this new chapter together.
With this in mind, make sure your registry includes appropriate gift ideas that reflect your relationship – whether that’s practical items like tableware and linen, or more unique ideas like wine subscriptions or cocktail-making kits. Check out our ultimate wedding registry checklist for modern couples here!
Don’t: Leave It Until The Last Minute
You’ll want to give your guests plenty of time to purchase a gift by organising your wedding registry at least 4-6 months before the day. Not only will this allow your guests to peruse your wishlist and place an order, but it can also provide gift ideas for your engagement party and/or bridal shower, too.
Do: Send Thank You Cards After The Day
Make sure you share your appreciation after the wedding by sending a thank you card to your guests, ideally within 3 months of your wedding date. Use your message to thank guests for their generous gift, and add a personal touch by explaining exactly how you plan to use it.
For example: “Thank you both so much for joining us on our special day and for your thoughtful gift. We absolutely love the wine decanter – it’s exactly our style, and we can’t wait to use it at our next dinner party together!”
For more wording ideas, read our guide on what to write in a wedding thank you card here.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Ask for Cash
If you already have everything you need for married life together, opting for a wishing well instead of a gift registry is totally acceptable. However, when it comes to appropriate etiquette, it’s important to consider your wording.
While you should never directly request cash from your guests, you can tactfully make your preferences known with a short and sweet statement such as: “Your love and company on our wedding day is the only present we require! However, if you do wish to honour us with a gift, a wishing well will be present at our reception”.
Do: Keep It Simple
Finally, make the gift registry process simple for your guests – don’t send them on a wild goose chase! There are plenty of online registry platforms that allow you to create an all-inclusive wishlist, with gift ideas pulled from multiple stores. This way, you can send out just the one registry link, and your guests will be able to view everything easily in one place.
Looking for more wedding etiquette tips? Read our guide on wedding food and drink etiquette right here!