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Gift Registry Dilemma – To Say or Not to Say

Alpha Prosperity Event Blog Post - Registry Dilemma - To Say or Not to Say, Gift Registry Etiquette, Missouri City Wedding Planner, Wedding Planning, Invites

From an etiquette standpoint, we all know the rule. Never include registry information in or on the wedding invitation.

But how are we suppose to let our guest know where we are registered?”

The answer is clear if you care about proper gift registry etiquette or what people will say. If you don’t care about what people say, then do what you want. The fact that you don’t care or that you think your situation is different doesn’t change the etiquette point of view, that you just don’t give the impression that you are expecting a gift from anyone. Information about the gifts or a registry is generally spread by word of mouth or in more recent times, listed on the couple’s wedding website.

“Is it proper to ask for cash in lieu of gifts?”

You cannot determine, decide or demand the type of gift someone wants to give to you. Believe it or not, some people shop for wedding, birthday, and Christmas gifts far in advance of the occasions. When a gift is required, they will go into their gift closet and pull something out that matches the occasion. More than likely, the gift won’t match you or anything about you as a couple. On the other hand some people believe that gift cards and cash gifts are impersonal. They take joy in heading out on that expedition, searching for the perfect gift for the two of you. Either way your friends and family may not want their gift equated with a dollar amount.

There are instances where gift cards or cash makes sense, like an instance where you all will be traveling to a new home city or state after the wedding. No one wants to pack up tons of gifts that you just have no place for at the moment. Or, in the case of those who’s homes are already established with everything one needs, it just doesn’t make sense to register and receive more place settings or new pots and pans. This is another instance where you get friends and family to communicate your wishes to as many people as possible, and of course, if asked directly, you can be honest about your wishes but always leave the impression that the ultimate decision about a gift is theirs.

No matter what the situation or circumstance, you should never communicate information about a gift or gift type in your wedding invitation. Is this just my point of view? Of course it is, but as the professional wedding planner, I would be derelict in my duties if I didn’t give you the proper information. The only talk you want to hear after your wedding is that everyone had a wonderful, memorable time; not that all to often heard phrase, “Can you believe they had the nerve…”  Just my professional two cents!

Now, for my personal two cents. I understand completely the dilemma of gift giving and receiving.  I have been on both sides of the coin.  When I remarried, I certainly didn’t need the normal gift registry items that accompany a first wedding. My new husband and I were avid travelers and we would have loved cash to help us upgrade some of our honeymoon plans. When attending weddings for friends and family, I became very fond of giving cash or gift cards because, I knew, from experience that couples rarely registered for everything they needed and I knew that my gift of cash or gift card would come in handy, when they least expected it. My friends and family always considered me the practical one; always prepared for the unexpected. Go figure. 

It seems trivial in this day and age to dance around the subject of communicating your gift registry, especially if there is an easy way to do it as apart of the invitation, right?  Are wedding guests really offended when you include registry information in the invitation or are they appreciative of a helpful hint of what you might like or need for your new married life.

Inquiring minds want to know!  What are your thoughts on the subject?



  1. Very informative! This is one of the taboo subjects that no one likes to address! Thanks for the article!

  2. I have brides ask me this all of the time. Often their biggest concern is that people will overlook the registry information. However when it is done correctly, there should be no worries.

  3. I don’t know if I can ever get on board with the whole including your registry information in your invitation, nope NEVER! However, what do you think of a wishing well or a decorative box at the reception in lieu of mentioning a gift registry?

    • Nancy, I am all for the decorative elements to hold. There are some really pretty and creative options out there. The card box shown in the post was created just for my bride and all the guests were talking about it, while putting their cards in.

  4. Great advice!