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Raquel Kelley, E! Fashion Police producer and the creative force behind the wedding blog, I Guess I Do, reveals how to help prevent your guests from straying from the registry.
You've gone down many store aisles and zapped a ton of items to your wish list, but that doesn't mean your guests will stick to it! While receiving non-registry items may be inevitable, here are some ways to help keep those random gifts to a minimum:
1. Don't Be Afraid to Put it in Writing
If you want your guests to know something, then communicate it to them. Although you may think registry etiquette is implied, people aren't mind readers, so there is no harm in a well-mannered written reminder.
The best way to do so is on shower invites, which are most likely being sent from a family member or friend. They can specify what "The Couple" wishes, rather than it seeming like you are barking orders at your family and friends.
For example, you can use polite ways to convey your message. "Because of their cramped quarters, the couple requests that if you decide to give a gift, it be in the form of a gift card or from their specified registry list." If you live far away, also don't forget to talk about shipping. "Due to the distance, the couple requests that all registry items be shipped directly to their home in California. Let's help them avoid those outrageous airplane carry-on costs!"
2. Opt for Registries that Meet Your Specific Needs
If you are still weary that your guests may stray from the items you wanted, you might want to go with a more specific registry that is tailored to meet your needs.
At the time we were engaged, my husband and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles. We had no need for new china, vacuums, or serving platters because we had no room for them!
Instead of going with a traditional registry, we opted for a honeymoon registry instead. We chose to go with Honeyfund.com. That way, everyone could purchase different excursions or airplane vouchers for our trip. A little secret is that all of the money gifted goes into your banking account and doesn't necessarily have to be used on a honeymoon. So if you have extra money after your trip is paid off, go ahead and get that much needed iron, if you really wanted one!
3. When in Doubt, Turn to Gift Cards
This is a trend I've seen a lot of lately, both at bridal and baby showers— a gift card shower. It is clearly stated on the invites that it is a gift card only shower and it is specified where the couple would like the gifts cards from— Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon etc.
This seems like the easiest way for others to give gifts and for you to get what you want. Yes, it may not seem as personal as opening up an actual gift, but it does save you the hassle of returning items or receiving unwanted gifts.
In the end, it's important to say and write thank you no matter the gift that is received. (Ahem, and in a timely manner ladies!) People were gracious enough to give you a gift, be gracious enough to say 'Thank You' within that same month. But you shouldn't feel bad about politely implying that guests stick to your registry. No one want to waste money, and you won't have wasted all of your time!