Mar 02, 2014

Shower & Wedding Gift Etiquette

Shower & Wedding Gift Etiquette

Part of the excitement of the time leading up to the wedding day are the festivities that brides and grooms will be invited to take part in. Engagement parties, bridal showers, luncheons and even BBQs will be planned in honor of the couple and gifts will be bestowed upon them. The couple will soon learn the "fine art of the registry!"

Many couples will go to their favorite stores and register for items to be put on their "wish list." When my son was engaged and about to establish a registry with his bride to be, he called me from the store and asked, "Isn't this rude? Is it really ok to ASK for gifts?" Part of me reveled in this response - I loved that he was relunctant to "ask" for a gift...I even patted myself on the back and thought, that boy has good manners...good job, Mom!

The reality is that wedding registries are actually a "gift" to your guests. You are helping them by saving them hours of roaming and wondering WHAT it is you might need in your life as husband and wife. You steer them to POSSIBLE ideas of what your household will need; the gift registry is an EXCELLENT time saver for guests.

NOW, what is the proper way for guests to discover this list of registries? A wedding invitation should NEVER include a gift registry. Shower invites usually do include a list of stores that you are registered at - this is in good taste because the invite is not coming from the couple but from a family member or a friend who is hosting the shower. One should never invite someone AND include a wish list, expecting a guest to bring them a gift.

Most people know the protocal of the gift registry, but some do not...many years ago, I had a client who wanted to add a gift registry to their wedding invitation. I told them that is not proper and when they asked how will people know where we are registered, I explained that guests will probably know this when they are invited to a wedding shower or they can call their family members OR maybe even call the bride and groom direct to find out what stores to shop at for them. (This same client also wanted to include coupons from a tuxedo shop to ensure that most would come in black tie!!!)

Wedding couples that build a wedding website can use this format to also inform guests where they are registered - this is what I would call modern day ettiquette...still seems a bit like asking for a gift but acceptable in our social media world! This is just one of the benefits of creating a wedding website as it imparts lots of helpful information to your guests.

With the instant online visability of gifts being purchased, it does take away the element of surprise if the bride and groom are vigilant in checking their registry website daily! There are few wonderful surprises in life, I would encourage couples to be surprised when the expresso machine arrives - it just makes for a sweeter gift experience!

What prompted this blog today was reading Sunday's news and seeing a letter sent in to Miss Manners. A mother wrote in saying that they received an invite to a two year old's birthday party that included a gift registry...oh my...what a terrible start for this little crossing my fingers that someone puts a bug in their ear and that this little future bride or groom will not be sending out their elegant wedding invitation with a gift registry! OR that they hire me as their wedding consultant!!!


Posted Under: Etiquette