Navigating the world of registry etiquette is tough work. To put together The Registry Rule Book, we asked some industry experts to weigh in and answer some of the hardest questions engaged couples might have.
The reason wedding registries can be such tricky territory is that the whole process is a delicate dance. You want to provide ideas for your guests' generous and thoughtful gifting, but there's a fine (and sometimes invisible) line you don't want to cross, where helpful suggestions become a greedy gift grab. One of the tricker steps to the registry dance is figuring out where and when to tell your guests about your registry.
WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR:
Everyone Will Ask, So Tell Everyone!
You're excited! It's OK to share the news of your registry with your immediate families and closest friends. In fact, it's a good idea to get info out to those VIPs early, because it will help the news spread gently by word of mouth instead of boorishly broadcasting it to every cousin, acquaintance and plus one. "Share the necessary details with your immediate families and wedding party," Vicki Fulop of luxury bedding brand Brooklinen suggested. "Because inquiring minds will definitely come to them."
But whatever you do, Vicki says, leave the info off the wedding invitation. "Those are exclusively reserved for inviting guests to share in a special night with you because they play an important role in your life, not because they will be giving you gifts," she said.
THE EXPERT ANSWER:
Tip Them Off on the Wedding Website
Every expert suggested that the wedding website is the best place to share details about your gift registries. It strikes just the right balance of tact and efficiency.
"The best rule of thumb is to err on the side of courteousness when requesting gifts," suggests Lizzy Ellingson, founder and Chief Creative Officer at Blueprint Registry. "The best way for you to share your registry is on your personal wedding website or allow friends and family to share via a direct link."
Jennifer Spector, a newlywed of one year and Director of Brand Strategy at Zola, agrees that a wedding website is the perfect place for sharing your registry details, especially because it's designed to be a robust resource for your guests. "In addition to having the details of your engagement, bridal party, and wedding-weekend schedule, it's easy to put your registry on your site, as well," she said.
Having a wedding website resource also provides what I'll call a "gracefulness buffer" to the registry problem, which means you can feel free to tactfully share that detail in your invitation suite (which is where guests are likely to look for wedding-related details). "You put registry details on your wedding website, along with answers to the other 300 questions people will ask over the course of your engagement," said Tabitha Abercrombie, a newlywed and founder of event design company Winston & Main. "Then you can include your website info somewhere in your invitation, like on your RSVP card for example."
It's Always Apropos to Share on Shower Invites
Before you think registry details don't belong anywhere on the wedding paper, know this bit of etiquette: It's OK to list the locations where a couple is registered on the invitation to a bridal shower.
"You can include the information on your wedding shower invitations," Vicki Fulop of Brooklinen suggests. "Because the whole purpose of a shower is to 'shower' the bride with gifts."
Now you weigh in: How can a couple tactfully share details of where they're registered?