Among the customary wedding traditions, many couples opt to open a gift wedding registry. When wisely implemented, it can be a wonderful tool that makes gift selection easier for your guests. However, you should keep a few things in mind as you proceed. Following some simple practices and observing etiquette guidelines can help ensure that your registry is a convenient and well-executed part of your nuptials instead of a massive headache for you and your guests.
The Origins of the Gift Registry
Although the wedding gift registry is now a customary tradition among Canadian couples, the practice has surprisingly recent origins. Racked contributor Erika Adams explains that guests were not expected to bring presents to matrimonial celebrations prior to the twentieth century. In time past, European and American brides collected goods to take to their future homes inside their wedding chests, which were also sometimes called “hope chests.” Once department stores began to offer bridal registries, many women were encouraged to include household goods such as crystal, silverware, and china.
Do You Need a Wedding Registry?
Western society has changed much over the last century, and it’s now common for couples to marry later in life or to wed multiple times. As a result, many adults have homes of their own and already own a substantial collection of household goods. If this description sounds like you and your sweetie, take heart. You may decide you don’t need to open a gift registry, as advice columnist Liz Moorehead of A Practical Wedding points out. She suggests relying on your family members to spread the word. Bride Online also suggests setting aside a preferred charity for guests’ donations in lieu of a registry.
Some Prudent Suggestions
Hana Abaza of Huffington Post Canada encourages newlyweds-to-be to think beyond the typical “big box” retail stores and investigate online wedding registries. Instead of feeling pressured to add items that you don’t really need, a virtual gift listing may permit more flexibility as well as the chance to include products you and your future spouse will actually use.
Abaza also provides some sage advice to help couples observe good etiquette practices and avoid offending family and friends. She suggests the inclusion of a wide variety of entries in the lower, mid-range, and upper price points. Furthermore, she stresses the importance of keeping your registry updated. Many retailers will help you track yours online. You may even be able to see what guests have purchased (but not necessarily who made the purchases). If you can, try to add more items to give your guests additional options from which to choose.
Have Fun With Your Registry
If you decide to skip a registry, that’s a perfectly valid choice. For newlyweds-to-be who choose to register, it’s wise to remember some useful suggestions during planning. Be sure to include entries at many different price points, and don’t add any products you don’t really want. Be sure to keep yours up to date. Remember that a donation to a designated charity organization is a great alternative. Whatever you decide, the goal is to tailor your wedding to reflect your wishes and those of and your partner.