Ask Dana: How Can I Inform Guests About My Registry?

Gifts are a part of every wedding, but it seems like we still have to tiptoe around the fact that guests would like to give them and couples are more than happy to receive them!  If you don’t share your wishes, guests will be frustrated and left to guess what you want, but some people fear that communicating what would be most helpful to you at this time in your life can come off as greedy.

That’s why registries make so much sense and have been a welcome way to communicate your needs since 1924 (yes! they’ve been around for quite some time). But it wasn’t until the 90s that they went online, and ever since then putting this information at people’s fingertips has never been easier!


Still, for many the big question remains, how do I get the word out about my registry in a tasteful way while still making sure it is obvious and easily accessible? Read on, for tips on how to go about it…

Create a Wedding Website

Thank goodness it’s 2011 and creating, what I like to call, “an online home for your wedding” is absolutely the norm. It’s the number one place to store all your wedding details and registry information and really makes things easier for guests when they are on the go (and have forgotten your invitation at home — which, yes, happens all the time!). It’s also seen as ‘code’ for: Go here to find the registry information, without having to say it outright. The other great thing about wedding websites is that they really simplify things with the invitation, which should just be focused on the basics of the ceremony and reception. Include an invitation insert that directs them to your wedding website for further details, which you can update as you go along. Some great FREE options for sites are WeddingWire or Deposit a Gift.

Print an Invitation Insert to Include in the Envelope

Once you’ve created your site, you still need to direct guests to it!  The invitation seems like a good place to do this, but it is important to never put your registry information on the invitation.  We do a funny dance around gifts in North American culture, and stating registry information on the invitation can come off as a demand for a gift in exchange for their attendance.  The invitation should simply be about inviting guests to celebrate and sharing the ceremony and reception details.

On the invitation insert, say something like: “For your convenience, we’ve created a wedding website with all of the details for the Big Day!  Please visit this address for everything you need to know about the wedding.” Remember, if they don’t know about it, then they can’t use it, so make it convenient for your guests to have your site at their fingertips!

Photo Credit: Twisted Limb Paperworks

Send Email Reminders

As the wedding date nears, send an email to touch base with guests. Reach out to them four to six weeks in advance and another when the wedding is a week away.  It’s a chance for you to let guests know how excited you are to see them, to share any updated information, and to insert the wedding website again.  The email shouldn’t specify the registry or mention gifts (subtlety is key!), but should make it easier for guests to have the wedding information handy.

Friends and Family

Don’t forget to give the wedding website and registry information to close family, friends and the bridal party.  They will be asked most often about your wishes and can communicate the information for you.

Photo Credit: Moss and Isaac

Don’t Forget the Shower!

Subtlety is key for the wedding, but showers are a totally different story!  Showers are typically thrown by a friend and are all about gifts, so it’s perfectly acceptable to print the registry information on the shower invite.  It makes the lives of the guests easier to know exactly what you want and where to find it.  If the shower is themed or you want to give more direction, you might do so in a cute poem like you see here.  However, this should ONLY be done by the shower host, never by the engaged couple.

Photo Credit: Alders Photography for Style Me Pretty

The registry is an important part of your wedding, but it shouldn’t give you cause for stress.  With just a few simple steps you can ensure that it’s easy for both you AND your guests to easily navigate and enjoy the process!