Using a gift registry for your wedding can be a great way to gently nudge your guests in the right direction – should they choose to bring you a gift. Here are some ways to politely ask your guests to bring their presence – and the right presents – but only if they want to of course.
The tradition of bringing a gift to a wedding dates back to the 16th century when brides would be brought gifts to help them set up their marital home. Gift registries became popular in Western culture the 1920’s, and crystal, china, and silver were favoured gift choices.
Here are some ideas on gift registry wording you could use to announce your gift registry:
If you have registered for gifts
When you create a gift registry you will be provided with a slip to place in an envelope along with your wedding invitation. This is a polite way to inform your guests you are registered and encourage them to shop from the list of items you and your spouse have put together.
Usually, if you have registered for gifts you will be given discreet cards to put in with your invitations showing where you have registered, and possibly giving a code and a website to log on to. If you decide to include these with the invites, there is really no need to add anything else as your guests will realise that you want something from your registry.
Many couples ask how they can politely say that they only want gifts from their registry, but that isn’t really possible. You can’t force guests to choose something from your gift list, and if you have already included your registry details, mentioning presents again will always seem rude.
If you would prefer money or vouchers
Many couples have already set up the house when they get married and have everything that they need for the home. If you would prefer money or vouchers instead of household gifts you can add a small card to your invitations with a note or poem indicating this. One popular poem is:
What type of reception venue are you using?
So what do you get
For the bride and groom
Whose house needs work
In every room?
If buying a gift please don’t be rash
As there’s always the option
To just give cash.
We hope you don’t find
Our request to be funny
But we could really use
A gift of money
This poem shows that the money will go towards home improvements, and it can be helpful if you tell your guests what you will be spending gifts of money on. Many couples ask for money towards their honeymoon, and in this case, you could say;
“Your presence at our wedding is gift enough but if you do wish to buy us something, a contribution towards our dream honeymoon would be appreciated”
Some couples prefer gifts of money or vouchers because they live out of town and will be travelling back after the big day. In this case, you could put something like
“Because we will be travelling home after the wedding, a gift in an envelope would make life easier”
This can look cuter and be made even softer by using a picture of a gift and a picture of an envelope instead of the words.
It can be easier to ask for gifts of money if the wedding invitations come from your parents and are written in the third party. An example of this might be
“Bride and Groom have not registered for gifts but are currently renovating their first home together. If you feel you would like to help them with this, money or vouchers would be greatly appreciated”.
If you don’t want gifts at all
Some couples don’t want guests to buy them gifts at all, especially if the wedding location means that guests will have to travel and pay for accommodation. However, it is tricky to mention that you don’t want gifts when you send out invitations without sounding as if you do.
One popular phrase is:
“We want your presence rather than your presents.”
Often just omitting gift list details from your invitation is enough. You can tell your close friends and family that you don’t want presents so that when people call up to ask whether you have registered they know what to say. It may be worth deciding on a store you’d like vouchers for or a charity you’d like people to give donations to for those guests that really want to give a gift.
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