There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to asking for gifts for your birthday, the holidays, or any other occasion. But when it comes to wedding gifts, things are a little different. From when to register to returning gifts, there is proper wedding etiquette you should follow. Before you pick up the scanner gun, here’s a list of 15 wedding registry dos and don’ts you need to know.
1. Do register in a timely manner
It’s better to register sooner rather than later. From the moment you announce your engagement, people will want to send you a token of their congratulations. Even if you don’t have a complete registry, that’s okay! You can edit your registry at any point. Having your registry done ahead of time gives guests plenty of time to purchase gifts before your big day. Items like champagne glasses and picture frames are common engagement gifts, so add those to your registry as soon as possible. Giving friends and family some gift ideas ensures you don’t end up with a teapot you can’t return.
2. Don’t include your registry information on your invitation
Once you’ve registered, feel free to share the information with family and friends. Ask them spread the word. It’s perfectly acceptable if someone asks you where you’re registered for you to let them know. However, mentioning gifts on your wedding invitation is not proper. Instead add your registry information to your website and list your website on your invitation.
3. Do register as a couple
The wedding registry is one thing that most grooms look forward to doing during the wedding planning process. After adding the linens and kitchenware, there’s plenty of room on the list for him to add tools, coolers, or small electronics.
Brides tip: Make creating your registry a date night! Pour yourselves a glass of champagne, put on your favorite tunes, and start clicking on your favorite things.
4. Don’t ask for money
No matter what, it’s not polite for you or your soon-to-be spouse to ask for money. Instead have family or friends spread the word by saying something like, “I know they would appreciate a contribution towards their honeymoon.” Financial registries, like Honeyfund, can make this less awkward as well.
5. Do take inventory of what you already have
Starting a new life together is the perfect time to think about the style of home the two of you would like to have. Use this as an opportunity to have a full set of wine glasses or a matching set of dishes. If you’ve already been gifted your grandmother’s china, don’t be afraid to skip adding it to your registry. This is your registry and you want to make sure you’re asking for things you’re going to use.
6. Don’t just register a one place
I recommend couples register at two or three places. Choose one national or chain store for household basics and make sure one of the places you register has a brick-and-mortar location. Not all of your guests will want to shop online. And seeing items in person makes some guests more comfortable. As you’re deciding where to register, choose stores what are low, medium, and high-end to accommodate your guests’ budgets.
7. Do register for gifts at various price points
Think about who your guests are. Register for gifts in a wide range of prices. It’s okay to put some more expensive items on your list. just make sure you balance them out with more affordable options.
8. Don’t feel obligated to register for only fine china and crystal
Wedding registries have changed over the years. Fine china, crystal and silver are traditional items to include, but make sure the items you’re registering for feel like you. Don’t feel obligated to register for a full set of china or crystal wineglasses you aren’t going to use. Mix those heirloom quality pieces in with more fun items like a piece of wall art or coffee table books.
9. Do register for enough gifts
One of the most common mistakes couples make on their registries is not having enough options for guests to choose from. People love having options, so having more gifts than guests is key. Choose individual items instead of sets, especially for things like pots and pans.
10. Don’t be afraid to register for non-product gifts
Non-physical gifts like charitable donations, honeymoon contributions, and couples experiences are becoming more popular these days. Remember, your wedding registry is yours. If non-physical gifts are more suitable to your personality, it’s okay to include them. Just be sure to include some physical gifts on your wish list as well.
11. Do think about your future needs
When you’re thinking about what to register for, think about what you need now, as well as what you’ll need later. You may not need a gravy boat or a platter now, but you may want it for entertaining in the years to come. These special occasion pieces are a wonderful way to honor loved ones in those important milestones.
12. Don’t worry about not completing your registry
There’s a good chance not everything will be purchased off your registry. But don’t worry! Many places offer “registry completion” discounts to you after your wedding date so you can fill in the missing gaps. Most stores keep your registry active for a few months or even a few years after the date. Family and friends can still purchase gifts off your list for other celebratory occasions like Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries.
13. Do check your registry every so often
Between engagement showers and parties, guests will be purchasing gifts before your wedding day. Check your registry to be sure guests have a range of items to choose from and add new ideas, as necessary. This also helps you stay on top of your thank-you notes. If you don’t get automatic notifications when a gift is purchased, checking your wedding registry allows you to see the status. You can see what’s been purchased and make sure there are still enough options for guests to choose from.
14. Don’t be afraid to return gifts
Unfortunately, returns are a normal part of the online purchasing process. You look at the photos and read the description. But when it arrives, it’s not be exactly what you want so you decide to return it. Gifts on your wedding registry are no different. It’s okay to return something you don’t love or decide you don’t need. If you do return it, don’t fee obligated to let guests know you’re returning their gift.
15. Do write thank you notes in a timely manner
In a perfect world, thank you notes should be written the day you receive a gift. That isn’t always feasible so sending it within two weeks of receiving a gift is acceptable. I know the last few months leading up to your wedding can be hectic, so thank you notes may not be your top priority. Just make sure you write them as soon as possible and no later than three months after your wedding.