Do I Have to Buy a Wedding Gift from My Friend's Registry?

Etiquette, Home & Registry
can you open gifts before the wedding

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While setting up a wedding registry can sometimes be a pain (especially for the couple that has lived together for years and doesn't really need any more plates or wine glasses), it's a useful tool when it comes to helping guests figure out just what to buy as a wedding gift. If you're close to the couple and really know their taste, can you go off-script and get them something that's not on their registry? Here's what our experts have to say.

Buying a gift of a couple's wedding registry is recommended, but it definitely isn't required. That's especially true when you know the couple well enough to pick something off-script that they'll totally love. However, before you click "purchase," you might want to check in with your friend to see if there's something in particular they'd really love — on the registry or not. After all, if they're in serious need of some non-chipped plates or would love a new Wusthof chef's knife, picking a gift from the registry doesn't make it any less personal or cherished!

Want to get your friend something special, but aren't sure where to start? If nothing on the registry catches your eye, ask your friend! For a wine-loving couple, ask if there's a particular variety they're really into, and seek out a unique or acclaimed bottle. If they love art, suss out what style or artist they love. Do they love to cook? A gift certificate for a cooking class in a cuisine they enjoy (or one they've never made before!) would be a great option. Don't assume your gift has to be a surprise — instead, let the recipients help guide you.

If you do decide to buy a gift that the couple didn't (or couldn't) register for, make sure to check with your friend about shipping and delivery options. This information is usually already taken care of for wedding registry gifts, so ensure that you're sending the present to the correct address and using the right shipping method.

See more: The Best Wedding Registry Rewards and Perks

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