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Sanity-Saving Wedding Registry Etiquette Advice

BY: Andrew Bosco | Dec 11, 2018

Tying the knot usually means untying the bows of wedding gifts, whether you asked for them or not. As wonderful as this is, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed—or, sometimes, to lose sight of common decency. Keep your nuptial sanity with these tips.

Sanity-saving wedding registry etiquette advice.

1. Discuss what you actually want.

When building your wedding registry, you’ll come across some household items you never even dreamed of owning. Tempered glass wine decanter? Stainless steel cookie press? Waffle maker with free wi-fi? You might be thinking: all married couples must have these. Should I get them too?

Don’t be fooled. The reality is this—stores will merchandise certain products in their wedding registry section because these products provide higher margins. If you registered for everything stores suggest, your living quarters would become unnecessarily cluttered, like a pawn shop.

Instead, you and your spouse-to-be should discuss things you actually want for your everyday life. Cooking pans don’t work as well as they used to? Consider adding new ones to your registry. Buy garlic in a jar? Leave out the garlic press. Have a lamp set bought in the past year? Consider skipping this as well.

2. Decide how much is too much.

If you’re like me, you’re very uncomfortable asking others to buy you gifts. It just doesn’t seem right, and goes against every moral fiber of your being. The truth is this—by creating a wedding gift registry, you provide your guests a better experience. They no longer have to guess what you want, and a complete registry provides them several purchase options.

In short, it’s completely okay to fill up your registry with items until it runneth over. Just make sure you’re only registering for the stuff you want, as we discussed in tip #1.

3. Be practical.

A wedding is a symbolic ceremony of new life. Your guests help celebrate this new life by gifting practical items you two can use again and again.

Now, I’m not here to judge which items you classify as practical. However, here are some items you should and should not include in your registry.

Should: dining sets, glassware, cookware, bathroom accessories, linens, luggage, small furniture items

Should not: TVs, smartphones, jewelry, clothing, sectional couches, memory foam mattresses, Beyonce concert tickets

4. Don’t list your registry on your invitations.

This is kind of silly, but it’s worth noting. When you craft your wedding invitations, it’s proper etiquette to not list registry information on them. Others may perceive this as a request for gifts, which can be considered rude. Guests typically find out your registry information by word-of-mouth, or on your wedding website.

To recap: your guests want to and will give you gifts for your wedding. Setting up a gift registry provides them with a better gift-giving experience. It’s okay to list your registry information on your wedding website. However, it’s poor taste to include this information on your wedding invitations. Got it? Good.

5. Write gracious thank-you notes.

Can’t stress this enough. Keep a record of your wedding gifts as you open them. The week after your honeymoon, pick up some thank-you cards. Set aside some time each night to write five notes. As a rule, your cards should reach your guests no later than one month after your wedding.

Don’t worry about sounding too repetitive. The simple fact that you took the time to handwrite a thank-you card goes a long way in today’s digital age of email and texting. Your guests will appreciate this.

Hosting a wedding this season? Check out our wedding deals page for ideas on gift registries and much more.