Wedding registries are difficult sometimes; the experience differs from couple to couple. What’s appropriate and expected in your circle will differ from family to family. So, when you’re ready to start scanning coffee grinders and knife blocks like a mad woman, it’s good to be informed. If you’re not so “into” weddings and you aren’t sure what the gifting norms are in your “circle,” here are a few tips about what to steer clear of when you’re looking through the many tempting aisles of your local wedding gift shoppe:
Items that don’t belong
While sometimes stores drop the ball a bit with registries and add not-so-important items to your list without your knowledge or consent (picture a guest getting a toothbrush at the same time he purchases your new washcloth set and both items end up on your “purchased” list), some couples really do run out of ideas in the store and start getting a little excited and scan-crazy in aisles they have no business in. Your guests would like to aid you in the building of your home – you buy your own bleach.
Items that only fit one budget
As you’ll probably have guests of all budget levels celebrating your marriage, so it’s pertinent to note that not all of them will have endless budgets. While it’s true that some of your guests will team up to get you something big, or will dig deep into their wallets to provide you with the stand mixer you need to lead a happy married life, most of them won’t. Weddings are expensive, and after hotels, meals, flights, and maybe even time off of work, an extravagant wedding gift often isn’t on the table. Guests will want a selection of items to choose from when they hunt down just the right gift. Some guests might even want to purchase several smaller items instead of one big gift. Make that selection process easier by registering for gifts in all budget ranges.
Items that aren’t items at all
Asking for money is where many brides deviate in the etiquette world. In some circles, traditions such as honeymoon funds and the “money dance” are a part of wedding culture. That’s completely fine. This is a warning to brides who might not have tested the waters yet. Honeymoon registries, and “CASH ONLY” notes or other variations of the phrase on invitations and websites can be taken the wrong way by guests. Gifts are always an option, not a requirement, of wedding attendance, and you want to make sure you aren’t offending anyone before they even show up. Many guests will find the suggestion of monetary gift giving rude – make sure you’re familiar with the customs of your circle before committing to a non-traditional registry. Create a very small, or nonexistent, registry in lieu of a large one, and guests will get the hint.