Setting up your wedding registry is an important step in preparing for your big day. Ideally, this platform is for providing helpful information to your guests so they can prepare suitable and fun wedding gifts to give you a jumpstart into your newly-married life.
However, as with most marriage traditions there is some etiquette involved. You don’t want to come across as rude to anyone, after all! Here are seven important do’s and don’ts of preparing your registry, so you can check it off your planning list and inch ever closer to your ceremony and reception!
1. DO: Make the Invitation Inviting
When addressing and putting together your wedding invitations, emphasize how the presence of each guest would be a tremendous honor for you. Receiving an invite to a friend or loved one’s ceremony is a beautiful feeling, and helps build excitement for your big day – extend those good vibes to everyone you want to attend!
While some people find it helpful to add information about a gift registry inside the invitation, most experts on proper wedding invitation etiquette state that it’s best to leave it out. Your family and bridal party can guide people to registries, and if you have your own website, it’s perfectly fine to have it listed there.
2. DON’T: Feel Obligated To Register For Certain Things
While traditional registries feature blenders and fine china, such things may not be a good fit for you and your fiancé – don’t feel obligated to list them! For instance, if you both prefer to order out and dislike cooking (or don’t have the time), there’s no reason to register for kitchen items.
Find things that fit who you are and that you will actually use in your everyday life. Maybe gardening or art is more of your jam. Find items that make sense for you. The people who buy gifts from a registry are looking for something that you honestly want. Think outside the box and land on something that works for you as a couple.
3. DO: Make the List Together
One of many key steps to wedding planning is divvying up tasks, but this is one task you can do as a team. It’s a great exercise where you can learn even more about each other’s tastes and preferences, so get together (over a beverage of your choosing) and iron it out! This has the potential to be a really positive experience, plus you’ll end up with gifts you both like. It’s a win win.
4. DON’T: Forget About Setting a Wide Price Range
There’s a good chance you’ve met people from all walks of life, and the same could probably be said about your fiancé a well. This means that there’ll be a nice variety of people attending your wedding. Because of this, you will want to have a nice variety of gifts to choose from on your registry.
Big-ticket items are great, but so are some of those low-cost gifts that you might never buy for yourself. Many couples don’t want to come across as greedy, and having a nice range is a good look and will make guests feel comfortable.
Having at least the number of items on your list similar to the number of guests that attend is a good rule of thumb.
5. DO: Register for Experiences
One way that registries have shifted recently is to include “experience” gifts instead of just material items. For example, listing something like a couples class that one of your guests could fund – an opportunity to further your romantic bond with your partner following the honeymoon.
You could also register for things that contribute to an experience, like camping gear or a canoe. Wedding registry websites are increasingly catering to couples interested in both everyday gifts as well as experiential things – give this a shot and you won’t regret it!
6. DON’T: Ask For Money In Lieu Of Gifts
People understand that there is always a need for money when starting a new life together; this is why so many people bring a card with money tucked inside as a gift. The difficulty in asking directly for money is that it will rub some guests the wrong way. As much as you might want some registered items over others, ultimately you’re not in control of what you receive because it’s the decision of the giver.
Times have changed when it comes to monetary gifts, and in the right circumstances–and with the right type of guest–you (or tactful family members and bridal party) can present an indirect ask for cash. Let them know that you would love anything that they would give you and that you are trying to save up for a move back home (or something that fits your story appropriately).
7. DO: Say Thank You
Years down the road you will be surprised when you pull a plate out of your dishwasher or light a candle holder, and you remember who gifted those items to you on your wedding day. Because the day itself is a memory and the items that guests add to your home will create new memories, it’s important to thank them for their gift.
There’s a lot of good will to gain from sending out thank-you notes, just like there’s a lot of positive energy associated with mailing out your wedding invitations. In the past the norm was to make sure these cards reached gift-giving guests within a year. Now, however, it is customary to send it within a month of returning home from your honeymoon.
A great wedding registry should provide guidance to guests on how they can help make life easier (or more fun) for the newlyweds. If you’re able to tailor yours to the lifestyle of you and your soon-to-be spouse while simultaneously being gracious and thoughtful to your guests, your registry will be a great tool to kickstart your days of blissful matrimony.
Do you have any other suggestions for our readers on how to handle their wedding registry needs? Your comments are much appreciated! Plus, don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages for more inspired wedding content and fun!