wedding registry etiquette

5 Wedding Registry Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid

The wedding registry experience has changed a lot over the last twenty years. Couples today have many more options, from traditional department stores to online services, and even honeymoon or other experience-based registries. Yet, even as technology changes, good manners never do. The rules of etiquette still apply. And, not to make you nervous, but there are some important wedding registry etiquette mistakes that you definitely don’t want to make! As you embark on this important part of your wedding planning, here are five of the biggest faux pas to avoid.

Mentioning the wedding registry on your invitations. We all know that a wedding invitation brings with it an unspoken obligation to give a gift. But the important thing is that it’s just that: unspoken. In fact, mentioning the registry on your invites is probably the biggest wedding registry etiquette no-no. But how do guests know where to find it? The traditional answer is to spread this information by word of mouth through your family and bridal party. However, a more modern solution is to add your registry info to your wedding website. Not only is this socially acceptable, it’s very convenient. Just remember to include the website address on your invitations or save the dates!

Only registering for pricier items. Good wedding registry etiquette is all about keeping your guests’ comfort in mind. Not all of them will have the same gift budget, so it’s important to choose a range of items at a variety of price levels. That way, everyone can find something that you’ll love and that they can afford. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t add any big-ticket items to your list! Especially as some friendship or family groups may choose to band together to buy something you absolutely love. But be sure to balance out those luxury picks with some more moderately-priced options as well.

Asking for cash. While it’s always been acceptable to give cash as a wedding gift, asking for it isn’t a good idea. There’s really no polite way to put ‘cash only’ under your registry information! However, modern registries do provide a great alternative. You can sign up for contribution-based items like a honeymoon or first house fund, or even stocks. If you go down this route, be sure to also register for some physical items at your favorite retailer as well. That way, guests can choose if they feel comfortable with a cash contribution.

Registering for personal items. The general rule of registries is that the items you choose should be ones that can be shared by the couple in their lives together. So you should stay clear of personal items like designer shoes or sunglasses, books (apart from recipe books and coffee table ones), and hairstylers or electric razors. Save these items for your birthday list!

Neglecting your thank you cards. Sending thank you notes is a vital part of wedding registry etiquette, but it’s also about when you send them. Ideally, you should acknowledge gifts sent before the wedding within two weeks of their arrival. Of course, it’s easy to fall behind at a busy time, but the final deadline for all thank you notes should be three months after your wedding. Don’t put it off! Set aside a bit of time each week and you’ll have the job done in no time. Most importantly, your guests will know how much you appreciate their generosity.

Stick to the advice above and registry shopping can be a great experience for both you and your guests!