Modern Gifting: The New Rules of Wedding Registries
24 September 2015

Modern Gifting: The New Rules of Wedding Registries

Gift Registry Ideas

Today's couples are not bound by old school traditions, yet when it comes to weddings and gifting, there’s often a bit of confusion and discomfort with “registry rules” and the “right way to do things”.

We think weddings should be all about your own style and taste and certainly not burdened by rules or rigid traditions. However, given that the gifting element can be tricky, we've put together some helpful tips on the new etiquette surrounding wedding gift registries.


The Purpose of a Wedding Gift Registry

A gift registry was originally organized as a helpful way to suggest gifts; as a way to assist guests with their gift giving ideas and this still applies. A registry is NOT a cash or gift grab, and certainly not the end-all of gift giving options. Having said that, loved ones want to give gifts, preferably ones that will be welcomed, used, helpful and loved. A gift registry gives friends and family the option of contributing to a couple’s specific wishlist, as well as to larger, group gifts that will be gratefully received.


When/Where to Announce your Registry

Plan your registry early to give guests a chance to prepare pre-engagement or shower. If you are having an engagement party or bridal shower, be sure to include gift registry details in the invites (as this is usually the purpose of a shower).

Wedding experts still strongly oppose announcing your gift registry on any formal wedding stationary. It can and should be highlighted on your wedding website though.

No shower, wedding website or close knit circles to share registry info? Then experts agree - word-of-mouth is the best.


Give Guests an Option of Stores & Price Points

Again, since a gift registry is used to assist guests, be sure to include multiple items on your registry at varying price points. This is where group gifts shine. You probably don’t need or want smaller kitchen items, but would definitely appreciate a financial contribution towards a more costly piece such as furniture, airline tickets for a honeymoon or home renovation.


Is it Taboo to Create More than One Registry

On the one hand, some people think multiple registries indicate a desire for more gifts, while on the other, multiple registries can actually better cater to guests. Friends may prefer a certain type of store while some family members can only afford another. Although we think it’s absolutely acceptable to register with more than one registry, it’s more efficient to easily create a custom GiftSpaces registry with a multitude of varying items (or experiences) from different stores.


Register Non-Traditional Items

Most couples already have dishes, towels and sheets and certainly don’t need special occasion china; so asking for things that you are actually passionate about, such as camping and outdoors gear, art or even food and wine is absolutely acceptable.


Register Experiences & Travel

Honeymoon registries, cash gift registries and group gift registries are becoming popular for a very good reason - people are already living together and don’t need housewares, they instead understand the value of memorable experiences.

A honeymoon or travel wedding registry is a perfect option for modern couples who already have everything they need.


Use a Cash Gift Registry if You Prefer Cash

It has always been, and still is, taboo to downright ask for cash, which is why cash gift registries tastefully do the work for you! Set up in a professional registry so guests can see what their cash is going towards and feel good about contributing to bigger items.


Show Thanks Right Away

In the old days, thank you notes were written and sent with wedding pics that took a long time to develop and receive. Now, in the digital age, photos can be printed immediately and included with thank you cards. However, photos or not, thank you cards should be sent ASAP - make it personal, reference the gift and be sure to use snail mail.

While it’s customary to give cash as a wedding gift in some cultures, in North America it’s still the norm to purchase gifts. In the past, gift giving revolved around helping new couples accumulate homeware, but with more people already living together, this is a passing trend.


If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like:

  1. Mind Your Manners: A Guide to Wedding Gift Etiquette
  2. Alternative Gift Registry Ideas for the Modern Couple



 *Here at GiftSpaces, we are dedicated to helping brides-to-be, new parents, honeymooners and all those celebrating life's special moments turn their visions into reality through the power of community. GiftSpaces allows users to curate one registry with anything from anywhere and have friends and family contribute financial gifts.

Create your own GiftSpace registry for free here.

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