Wedding Etiquette 101: The Wedding Registry

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Wedding Etiquette 101: The Wedding Registry


Are you in the planning phase of your wedding? Well, among the millions of things you have to do to prepare, like send out the invitations, plan the rehearsal dinner, and hire the vendors–which the LGBTQBizList streamlines for you–you and your partner should make a wedding registry. A wedding registry is a wishlist of the couple’s preferred gifts, usually set up through a brick-and-mortar or online stores like Amazon, Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond. Guests can purchase an item from the registry, simplifying the gift-giving process. With a registry, now Aunt Geraldine and Uncle Otis won’t have to say, “I just don’t know what to get ’em.”


While we touched on gift-giving etiquette in “Wedding Etiquette 101: Gifting”, here are some wedding registry etiquette tips for soon-to-be-wedded couples:


Tip One: Create your registry well in advance.

Shortly before or after you send out the invitations is when you should register someplace. The primary reason for that, said Emily Rochotte of, is to give budget-conscious guests sufficient time to purchase an item from your registry.


Tip Two: Cash funds are a type of registry.

Since gifting and receiving cash is no longer uncouth for weddings, a couple could choose to have a cash fund instead of a traditional wedding registry. Cash funds could be a honeymoon or new house fund, or it could go to a charity (but try to stay away from political or controversial charities).


Tip Three: Having multiple registries is fine.

The Emily Post Institute, one of the leading organizations on the rules of etiquette, advises couples to have no more than three registries. Since cash funds are acceptable now, a couple could set up a traditional wedding registry and a cash fund.


Tip Four: Only tell invitees by word of mouth.

Wedding invitations are not the place to mention that you and your partner have a wedding registry. Etiquette experts unanimously advise guests to be informed of your registry by word of mouth. More than likely, members of your wedding party will be asked about your registry, so make sure they are familiar with your registry’s details.


Tip Five: A guest purchasing an item from your registry is optional, not mandatory.

Etiquette expert Elaine Swann advises on her website, “It is the guest’s prerogative to choose what to give. So don’t strong-arm them into using your registry. Remember that your registry is not a requirement but a suggestion for gifts. So, you should expect that not all the items on your registry will be purchased.


Tip Six: Choose an alternative wedding registry if a traditional registry is not for you.

Some couples may feel like they have everything they need. An alternative wedding registry might be your solution if you fall into this category. published a list of 14 alternative wedding registry ideas. Among the options, couples can set up a registry for cooking classes, wine subscriptions, spa packages, or language classes.


Between the fittings, selecting the floral arrangements, and establishing the menu with catering, setting up a registry early in the wedding planning process is beneficial for you and your guests. Be it a traditional wedding registry, a cash fund, or an alternative wedding registry; your guests want some way to celebrate your special day.



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