There are many schools of thought when it comes to registering for wedding gifts. There are also a number of questions which frequently arise. Luckily, etiquette has answers for all of them! This the proper wedding etiquette for gift registries:
Are bridal registries required?
No, but they are a good idea. People often want guidance as to what you would like to receive for a wedding gift. Setting up a gift registry can be very helpful in that regard. It is ideal to establish at least one wedding registry at a national chain store to make it easy for your out of town guests to access it. If you wish, you can then supplement with a registry at a local store that has unique or specialty items.
Even if you do not need formal china or crystal, you can surely find something useful for your wedding registry.
Are alternative registries in good taste?
This is open to debate. There has been an increased popularity in recent years of the honeymoon registry. Rather than buy an item, guests are invited to contribute funds towards the couple’s honeymoon trip. Some people are comfortable with this, while to others it is too close to asking for cash. The registries which have cropped up more recently to help fund a down payment on a home or pay off student loans are really not in good taste, especially the loan registry. There is simply nothing romantic about paying off someone else’s debt as a wedding gift!
How do we let people know where we are registered?
There are only two acceptable ways to inform guests about bridal registries: word of mouth and your wedding website. It is never okay to mention a gift registry in the wedding invitations! People are entirely familiar with the concept of bridal registries, and if they want to know where you have registered, they are smart enough to ask the bride or her mother. It is also acceptable to post a discreet link to your gift registries on your wedding website as a back up.
Is it rude to buy a gift not from the registry?
Some brides mistakenly believe that their wedding registry is akin to a list of items which guests must purchase. Not so. The gift registry is just a wish list. It lets people know what types of items you are interested in, and then they can buy from the list or make their own choice. Just be thankful that your friends and family want to give you presents!
Remember that some of the best gifts you will receive are the creative and unexpected ones which were not on your wish list.