One of the first things couples do after announcing their engagement is to register for their wedding gifts. The wedding registry is an age old tradition, and began as a way of providing the home-making essentials every newlywed couple would need to begin their life together.
Creating, and managing, a wedding registry is easier than ever. Most shops have on site personnel to help couples build their gift registry, and online buying options make it easy for guests to find the right gift at the right price. However, while creating a wedding registry is easier than ever, it is not always so simple to know what to include (and what not to include) on your gift list.
Once you’re ready to set up your gift registry, here are 7 things you should NOT include on your wish list and other proper wedding registry etiquette suggestions for the following topics:
- Overly Expensive Gifts
- Individualized Gifts
- Intangible Items
- Intimate Items
- Gifts for Others
- Baby Items
- Money and Gift Certificates
Knowing what you want is one thing, but knowing what not to ask for is something else all together. Let’s get started!
Overly Expensive Gifts
It can be tempting to include overly extravagant gifts on your registry. After all, this is your wedding and you should enjoy a few indulgences. But be careful. A few pricey household items may be appropriate, but a long list of expensive gifts is a no no.
Rule of thumb: if it is something you don’t need, or something you could never afford, it does not belong on your registry.
Your wedding registry should include gifts that will benefit both of you. Items that you will share, and that both of you will enjoy. Never include anything that would benefit one of you more than the other. For example, if you love to play golf but your husband to be can’t bear the thought of it, asking for a set of new golf clubs is bad form.
Intangible items, such as subscriptions or club memberships, should not be included on your registry. Your registry should include material items that your guests can present to you in the context of a wedding ceremony and reception. Part of the wedding gift giving experience is the formality of receiving the gifts at the celebration. The only time this rule should be ignored, is if you are using your wedding registry as a way to raise money for charity.
This should be obvious, but it bears highlighting. Intimate items, like lingerie, should never be a part of your wedding registry. These types of gifts can prove embarrassing for your guests to purchase. Remember, your wedding guests will include your parents and grandparents, as well as co-workers and casual friends. Leave the more intimate gifts for the wedding shower and the bachelor party.
Gifts for Others
Never include gifts for others on your wedding registry. This includes any gifts for the bridal party. It makes you appear greedy, and pretty much cancels out any generosity on your part when it comes time to give gifts to the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Some traditions still hold sway. It may not be unusual for a newly engaged couple to be expecting a child, but it still remains bad form to ask for baby items on your wedding registry. Gifts for the baby should be reserved for a separate baby registry, and should be given at a proper baby shower.
Money and Gift Certificates
Everybody knows that cash makes a welcome gift, but asking for money on your wedding registry is insulting to your guests. It also implies that there is a minimum gift price that you expect all of your guests to meet. You should never ask for money or gift cards through your wedding registry. Of friends or family want to include a cash gift with their wedding present, that is up to them. But you should never ask for it.
Setting up your gift registry can be fun, but there are some pitfalls to avoid. Beyond the major points I’ve covered here, you should also avoid asking for things like joke gifts, collectibles, unnecessary duplicates, or perishable items.
Remember, the purpose of the gift registry is not to simply get great stuff for free. The purpose of the wedding registry is to get things you both need to set up your home, and start your new life together.