Wedding registries are incredibly useful — not to mention fun to set up (hello, scanner gun and visions of your tricked-out home!) — but can also be a source of confusion. Do you have to have one? What can you put on it? How do you tell your guests about it? So we've rounded up the top five wedding registry etiquette questions, and turned to the experts for the answers.
Do We Need to Have a Wedding Registry?
While you might think you can skip a registry (especially if you've been living together for a while and already have the bases covered), putting one together is actually a useful tool for your guests. By taking the time to pick out items you'd love to have, from an upgraded set of dishes to the kitchen appliance of your dreams, you're making it easier for your guests to pick out a gift. Sure, there's always cash, but giving them some guidance will help them give you a gift that's more personal. And remember, there's always a honeymoon registry if you'd rather they help pay for the trip of a lifetime!
When Do We Need to Set Up Our Registry?
It sounds early, but you should start thinking about your wedding registry as soon as you've got an engagement party on your calendar. Sure, most guests will bring a card or a bottle of wine and gifts aren't required, but some guests (particularly older relatives) will want to get you a gift to celebrate your engagement, as well as one for your wedding. If that's too tight of a timeline, make sure your registry is nearly complete by the time you've sent out any information regarding your wedding website, so early shoppers know where to look. The hard-and-fast deadline is your bridal shower, as that's traditionally the first time guests will be giving you gifts purchased directly from your registry.
Can We Register for Our Honeymoon?
Yes! Honeymoon registries (as well as cash funds and those designed for things like down payment or home improvement funds) are incredibly popular, and the websites make it easy for guests to give you gifts that really feel like a contribution to something you'll enjoy. It also makes gifting cash much more seamless — no more worrying about envelopes with checks inside "walking away" during your reception! Of course, you should also consider a traditional registry, even if it's a very pared-down selection, for guests that might prefer to purchase a physical gift.
How Much Should Our Wedding Gifts Cost?
When you're putting together your registry, aim to select items in a variety of price points that will appeal to all of your guests, no matter their age or employment status. But that doesn't mean you need to opt for the cheaper versions of every item: Instead, look to smaller gifts (say, magnetic measuring spoons that will stick together in your drawer or a set of sturdy silicone spatulas) that are under $25 a piece. Guests can opt to purchase a few gifts to reach a total price they're comfortable with, add them to a more expensive gift, or pick up a single item and still feel like they're getting you something of quality.
How Do We Tell Guests About Our Registry?
First things first: your wedding registry information should not be printed on your wedding invitation. Instead, include the information on your wedding website, then either print the URL on your invitation or include it on an invitation insert. (Bonus: You can also use this card to direct your guests to your room block information, as well!) If you've registered at national brands, let your parents and wedding party know where, so they can answer any questions they might get from your family members or other guests. The one exception to printing registry information on an invitation? The invitation to your bridal shower. Since this event is traditionally an opportunity for guests to help you set up your home, it's perfectly acceptable for your bridal shower invite to read "Susan is registered at...".