National Etiquette Week: Wednesday

by epi on May 16, 2012

Registry Etiquette

Registries are incredibly organized and helpful, and it is not “greedy” to register.  Most guest find registries a very efficient way to select a gift that the couple would like, would need, and that wouldn’t be duplicated by other guests.  While it’s okay to have more than one registry, draw the line at three.  You want to be helpful by offering your guests variety, not self-indulgent by listing your every wish in the world.

It’s fine to have a less traditional registry – one with gardening equipment or camping gear – but include a traditional one, too, even if it isn’t very full.  Many guests, especially older ones, will feel much more comfortable with a few classic options.  As shower gifts are typically less expensive than wedding gifts, it might be a good idea to set up a shower registry separate from your wedding registry with lower-priced items, especially if there is a shower theme.

The best registries have a mix of both prices and types of items, so that all of your guests will feel comfortable finding something they will be excited to give you.

Just remember: in the end, the choice of gift is always up to the giver, so great-aunt Edna might still buy you a blender.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Winifred Rosenburg May 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

I’m not sure I like the idea of having a separate shower registry with inexpensive gifts. Won’t that mean that the wedding registry only has expensive gifts, implying that inexpensive wedding gifts aren’t acceptable? I think guests are smart enough to find the items on the registry within their individual budgets for both the shower and the wedding (or just shop off the registry).


Alicia May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

I agree one registry for both shower and wedding now that might mean registry at multiple stores but assume people will make choices that are within their budget off of both. People may surprize you either direction either getting a more expensive shower gift or a less expensive wedding gift. I know that I have bought the same items for a wedding gift for a distant friend and as a shower gift for a close family member before.


Jody May 17, 2012 at 7:22 am

I’m with Winifred and Alicia on this, that there shouldn’t be separate shower and wedding gift registries. I’ve almost always been able to find something in my price range; if not, it’s a case where the item(s) in my range have already been purchased. If I don’t buy a gift, I’ll purchase a gift card from the store, so that the couple can use it to buy something they think of later, or combine my card with others and get a more expensive item.


Jenda May 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I have a question about Second Wedding Etiquette. A friend of mine will be getting re-married soon and is in the beginnings of her planning stage. She’s planning on using one of the same dominate colors in her color scheme that she used in her first wedding. So my question is, is it okay to use the same color for your second wedding that you did for your first? I can’t find anything that speaks to that subject specifically, but I have found articles that state that you simply don’t do at a second wedding what you did for your first.

Personally, I believe it to be a big faux pas and I’m attempting to talk her out of it, but she is one of those people who needs hard proof before they change their mind. Please help.


Just Laura May 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm

No one owns a color, and no time period or event does either. I can’t think of one logical reason why something as mundane as a color can’t be used a second time. There are a lot of people who use the color blue, but the weddings all look very different. If her dress/cake/flowers/music/venue are all different, I fail to see an issue.


Alicia May 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Hey if she still likes the color and her fiance likes the color then she can use it again. There is nobody that she is hurting in any way by still likeing the same colors even having picked a better spouse.
The idea in terms of not doing the same thing is to not have the wedding look like all you swapped out was the spouse but you can do totally different feel and same colors. Even doing everything a model of the previous wedding would not be rude persay more just kinda weird.


Eloisa Santillan May 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I just want to ask for any advice–a friend of mine had sent me an invitaion for their 30 year wedding anniversary party and had enclosed a gift registry at Bed Bath and Beyond. Is that in good or poor taste to expect/ ask guests to check in the registry. They have a large extended family and I feel that they want to get rid of their old stuff and take in the new ones. I feel manipulated.


Emily Ann June 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I have a question about gift etiquette. My fiance and I are getting married in 3 months and we just recieved a gift in the mail from a couple who will not be able to attend. Are we supposed to open the gift now, even though we still have 3 months until the wedding? I am afraid if we do not open it and send a thank you, they may wonder if we, in fact, recieved the gift, but I love the idea of opening all of the gifts at once and sending a thank you with a picture of our wedding or honeymoon…


Winifred Rosenburg June 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I agree with Alicia and would like to add that I recommend you open it without opening it. By that I mean open the cardboard box it came in so you can see what it is and send a thank-you note, but leave the rest of the packaging (e.g. the box with the picture of what it is) in tact. Officially, wedding presents should remain returnable until after the wedding, just in case the wedding doesn’t happen (not that I think that’s something you should be worried about). It also makes it exciting to open everything up when you get back from your honeymoon!


Alicia June 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Congrats on your upcoming wedding. Yes please open the gift now and send the thank you notye now. If you want to send a picture from your honeymoon in a second letter after your wedding then that would also be nice but you really should open and send thank you note now.


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