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Wedding Registry Etiquette

couple-registryIf you’re registering for wedding gifts – and you should – you’re probably wondering how to get the word out and what you should register for. Whenever we have wedding etiquette questions, we go to the experts for answers: The Emily Post Institute.

Should you register?

Yes, you should register for wedding gifts, even if you want cash. Some guests, especially older ones, prefer to buy a gift rather than writing a check, and registering will ensure they buy something you want or need, not another blender you can’t use. Couples marrying for the second time can also register; your registry list will likely be focused on hobbies and activities you do as a couple rather than the housewares first-time newlyweds seek.

What should you register for?

The Emily Post Institute recommends setting up registries at no more than three stores or online shops. Register for a variety of the things you need, but don’t overdo it with lengthy lists at a half a dozen stores. Register for items related to your shared hobbies and things you’ll do as a couple, but be sure to also register for more traditional items. Some older guests will prefer to buy you housewares rather than something nontraditional like camping equipment.

If cash is what you seek because you’re saving for a house, set up a down payment registry. Again, set up a registry for items in addition to the down payment registry. Some guests don’t want to write a check; they want to give a gift.

Be sure to also register for gifts in a wide variety of price points. Everyone’s gift budget will be different.

Where should you register?

The beauty of wedding registries in the Internet age is that you can register at your local chain store, and your guests can visit their local store or visit the store’s website to shop your registry. You can also register at online-only stores like Amazon.com and Etsy. Choose a variety of stores to make it easy on your guests.

How do you spread the word?

This is where things get tricky. Wedding gifts should never be mentioned in your wedding invitation, not even “No gifts, please.” Instead, give your registry information – store names, website addresses, shop telephone numbers – to your close family and wedding party so they can answer guests’ questions about your registry. It’s OK to include registry information on your wedding website – guests go there looking or information, after all – and if a guest asks you directly about wedding gifts, it’s OK to tell them.