Registry Etiquette

One of the things brides and grooms really look forward to during the wedding planning process is registering for wedding gifts. It can be a tricky subject, though, and a lot of couples have etiquette questions.  Hilton Head Monthly is sharing tips from the wedding industry experts – here’s everything you need to know about registering for gifts!

  1. How many places should we register at?
    We suggest registering at a minimum of three places. Choose a general, universal site that all of your guests around the country will have access too (like Newlywish, Bloomingdale's, Macy's.)  You may want to choose an accessible department store (like a Bed, Bath & Beyond or Target) and a specialty store like Tiffany & Co, Michael C. Fina, Jonathan Adler.  It is not proper etiquette to register at more than 5 places (it may seem greedy.)
  2. How many items should we register for?
    As many as you want but a good rule of thumb is to take your guest list number and double the quantity.  (E.g. you are having 200 people, you should have approximately 400 items -- this includes small kitchen tools, napkins, lower priced items.) Keep in mind the longer your engagement and the more wedding events you have (like engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and more), you will need more gifts. Keep an eye out for when items get low and add more.
  3. Any minimum price or maximum price to pay attention to?
    The average spend for a wedding gift is between $75 - $150. Keep that in mind when registering. Of course, there will be some family members and friends that are very generous, and some friends like to go in on "group" gifts.  For this reason, it's okay to register for the $500 Calphalon Cookware set (or whatever your high price fancy may be!)
  4. Can I register for personal items, just for me?
    There's nothing in our etiquette books that say you can't register for a bathrobe just for you, but we think couples should be reminded that wedding gifts are meant to be for the couple. So keep that in mind when registering! (Maybe choose the "his" and "hers" bathrobes!)
  5. Is it tacky to register for gift cards?
    No! Not at all. Many guests will give you gift cards at the places you register anyway, but if you'd like to register for gift cards as well, that's perfectly acceptable.
  6. How do we communicate that we want CASH?
    Your best bet is to quietly tell your matron/maid of honor and your best man.  IF (and we mean IF), they are asked for gift suggestions, they can suggest a cash donation instead of referring them to a registry. Some wedding sites have cash registries – check online.

Whatever you do, DON'T be tempted to see who purchased the item off your registry! Certain websites make it easy for brides to see who purchased what, immediately. We recommend trying to wait until your shower or the gift is shipped -- just so there's some element of surprise! No cheating!

Don't forget that local stores often offer wedding registries.  Be sure to check out Pretty Papers & Gifts in Wexford Plaza for dinnerware and accessories and J. Banks on Main Street for home décor, accessories and furniture and their wedding registry program!