In the past it may have been seen as rude for a couple to tell their guests what to buy them as a wedding gift, but these days gift registries are commonplace, and a perfectly acceptable way to help your guests purchase something they know you will enjoy. There are many advantages of creating a gift registry but there are certain etiquette rules to be followed if you decide to do so.
Should we register for gifts?
Here are a few of the benefits to registering for gifts:
- You will get wedding presents that you actually like and will use, rather than having to dig out that ugly fruit bowl every time the guest that bought it for you comes to stay.
- You can be extravagant and select items that you wouldn’t usually be able to justify buying for yourself.
- You avoid duplicate presents, and guests buying things that you already have at home.
- Your guests won’t have to worry about whether you will like your wedding present or not. Having the option to choose from your list makes the whole process of buying a gift easier for them.
Wedding gift registry etiquette
If you do decide to create a gift registry, you should do so six to eight months before the wedding and you should choose a wide selection of gifts with a variety of price tags. Choosing many small items is often better than a few expensive pieces. If someone wants to splash out they can always choose multiple gifts from the list.
Make sure you register at a national store so that your out of town guests won’t have to travel to buy your gift. Most stores now have an online shopping option, and this is essential to make life simple for your guests. If you want to register at more than one store, online gift registries can make this easy for you with a single list covering gifts from many different stores.
Are you serving coffee or dessert portions of your wedding cake?
Details of your wedding gift registry should not be included on the wedding invitation itself, but putting a small card in with the invitation that gives the store and website of your gift list is perfectly acceptable.
Don’t forget that your guests are not obliged to buy from your gift registry. If someone buys you a gift you haven’t asked for, be thankful that they have spent time thinking about a personal present that they think you would like, rather than being upset that they didn’t buy what you asked for.
Make sure you keep track of which guest bought which present, and send out thank you cards as soon as possible after the wedding. If the gifts are delivered directly by the store, they should be labelled with your guest’s name, but if the labels come loose, check with the store and they can usually provide you with a list.
Trends in wedding gift registry
Many couples are leaving it later to get married, and quite often they have already set up home together, buying all the linen, crockery, and silverware they need. There are several alternatives to the traditional gift list, and a few key trends have emerged in recent years.
Registering for donations towards the cost of your honeymoon is proving a popular way for newly weds to have their ideal post wedding vacation. You will need to put down an initial deposit and your guests can contribute to the remaining cost of the honeymoon until around three weeks before you are due to depart. In some cases, guests can pay for specific parts of your honeymoon, such as your arrival dinner, or a planned leisure activity. Your registry should provide you with a full list of contributors so you can send thank you cards.
If you and your fiance enjoy a good bottle of wine, you could consider opening a wine registry. This will allow your guests to choose from a selection of wines with varying prices, and will enable you to stock up your wine cellar for many years to come.
Registering with a national DIY centre may not seem overly romantic, but if you are planning some post wedding home refurbishments, it can be a very practical alternative to more frivolous gifts.
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A definite trend amongst couples that don’t feel they need any more gifts is to ask their guests to donate to a charity. Often it is a cause that is close to the hearts of the couple, and guests are often willing to donate more to a charity than they would spend on a traditional wedding gift.
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