Etiquette Regarding Registry/Gift Phrasing

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

YellowDiamondBride:  1) Nope, not at all! You don’t even need to have a registry at all if you don’t want. A small registry suggests to guests that you don’t have much need for household goods (e.g. cash would be a more useful gift).

1) It is impolite to mention anything about gifts on the invitation, but the phrasing you proposed is perfect for responding if a guest asks you (or your parents, bridal party, etc) what you would like.

Post # 3
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

YellowDiamondBride:  As the pp has stated, it is inappropriate to make any mention of gifts on the invitation.  If you don’t want a lot of physical gifts, register for only what you truly want/need. The rest of the guests will likely give cash/checks. Any preference for cash gifts should be purely word of mouth if anyone asks.

Post # 4
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

It’s fine to have a small registry! But you may be able to find more things that you want than you think you will. We didn’t think we would be able to fill a registry, but we kept a running list of things that we would find useful and we wound up with more than you would think. You can also register for things that always need to be replaces (sheets, towels, etc). And think about things beyond the kitchen – we registered for camping equipment, board games, sound equipment, etc.

All that being said, you can have a small registry or none at all. Unless you’re having a shower – if you’re having a shower you should do at least a small registry otherwise you’ll end up with a hundred dish towels. 

Don’t mention any gift information on the invites.

This is kind of controvertial on the bee, but we did a honeymoon registry that went very well  and we were really happy with it. All our friends and family know we love to travel, so this was really a great option for us. Something to consider.

Post # 6
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

1. Totally fine, only register for what you really need/want. Ours was only 35 items or so and we had 150 guests.

2. I wouldn’t mention it on the invitations. If you have a wedding website, link your registry there.

Post # 7
1644 posts
Bumble bee

YellowDiamondBride:  Your most gracious course of action would be to disassociate yourself from the idea of gifts altogether: do not try to influence what or whether people give you anything. It is their responsibility entirely.

Registries and registering are fine; gift registries are a mercenary tactic of department stores that tend to screw with new brides’ heads. To be gracious, you need to think about your registry in a completely different light: Your registry is a household registry: a way to plan for the future of the household you will establish by your marriage. Over the years to come you will celebrate a great many family events: possibly including christenings and graduations and rehearsal dinners for sons yet to be born. You will offer overnight hospitality perhaps, to guests from out of town; you will host back-yard barbecues for the neighbours and influential cocktail parties for investors in your new enterprise, or perhaps entirely different events. Take some time to think about the possibilities, the household goods for the style of household you want to run for the next sixty years, your storage space, and the heirloom quality household goods you already own; and then register for whatever the difference is between what you have and what you will need.

You can then use it as a guide for how to treat yourself from time to time over those sixty years. Your department store will use it as a guide for what advertisements to send in your direction, letting you know of sales or discontinuations on your china pattern, for example. They will normally keep the registry alive as long as you continue to interact with it. Future dinner guests who accidentally knock over the wine, smashing a soup-plate and staining your damask linen will use it to arrange for replacements without having to ask you for your pattern names — because you would of course answer “oh, no need, it’s nothing”.

And yes, your wedding guests may snoop into your registry information to get ideas about what you would like; but that is their problem, not yours. If they do not find anything they want to give that is actually on your registry, then they will choose something that’s not on your registry: they have that right and your responsibility as a gift recipient is to be gracious and thank them, and then decide what to do with it afterward. If you really do not want another Royal Doulton soup tureen, you accept it anyway and then sell it anonymously on e-bay (you might be surprised at how much that approach will bring in, soup tureens being obnoxiously expensive.) But for now, forget about gifts completely. It will make your guests feel more generous, the less gift-focussed you appear.

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