Should we mention our registry on invitations to our reception?

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My fiance and I are considering eloping, and then celebrating with a small-scale party when we get back.

Is it still kosher to say on those invites that we're registered?


Gift BoxesWhile eloping and then “getting weddinged” is a great plan, it's just not cool to put registry info on ANY wedding invitation — whether you're getting weddinged or doing the full shebang.

Call me old fashioned, but I just don't see invitations as the place to ask for gifts. Invitations are about telling your guests how much you love them and that you want them to be with you as you voice your commitment to your party.

To clarify, I don't see this as an “offbeat” issue…. To me, it's more about how you want to manage communications with your loved ones. A communication that says “We love you, come celebrate with us!” just doesn't feel like the place to say “…and here's what I want from you.” Imagine sending a love letter that ended with PS: I like milk chocolates and yellow roses, and I'm home on Sunday evenings if you want to swing by with something wink wink ow my eye. It just doesn't quite fit with the spirit of the communication.

The easiest way to share registry information is via a wedding website. Include the URL in your invitations, and then folks can get all sorts of additional info — venue details, directions, and your registry. Think of it this way: the invitation is all about THEM. Your wedding website can be all about YOU. I touch on this a bit in this advice video.

As for whether you should register when you “get weddinged”? It wouldn't be my inclination, but I think it's up to each bride to do what feels right.

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Comments on Should we mention our registry on invitations to our reception?

  1. I absolutely agree with this, and want to double that it applies to other forms of familial communication, as well! My family has an awful problem of having a reason to call. They always need something! They aren’t calling to say hello and ask how my day was–all that’s negated by the big, annoying (or tiny, simple) favor they had to ask.

    I think the “should we include reception information” question needs to be considered from the point of the recipient. Consider reading the invitation: “We’re getting married on this date! Gifts can be purchased at Target and mailed to our home address.”
    Even if the words “You’re Invited!” are bold, highlighted and covered in glitter glue, it doesn’t seem genuine any more. It seems like small talk on the way to getting to the favor you needed–a brand new toaster!

  2. I’m no wedding expert, but I recently received an invitation to a wedding that came with an insert from argos and a code for the registry. My first thought was ‘Phew!’ Because now I know I can get them something they need.
    Maybe I’m just easy going about it, but I wasn’t offended at all. It’s commonplace to bring a gift to a wedding, why not make it easier for your guest then have them fretting over what to get?
    Although I do like the link to wedsite idea, it lets people have a nosey and informs of the registry too. Everyone’s happy 🙂

  3. i’ve been invited to one wedding where the registry information was included with the invitation.

    at this point, i really didn’t think anything of it. i bought the happy couple a gift, a card, and wrapped it all up pretty.

    …and then i never heard a thing back from them…

    sure, thank you cards are pretty standard and one would have been nice. but all i was hoping for was a quick e-mail or something saying, “hey! we loved the gift, thanks!” shit, even pass the message on to someone i know to tell me.


    it upset me a little. …moreso because they clearly wanted and asked for gifts. that’s what including registry information with the invitation says to me, “please buy us a gift.”

    so i had a bad experience with it, and i don’t really recommend it. HOWEVER, if you really feel like you want to include the info WITH the invites… please please please send thoughtful thank you cards or make some phone calls/send out some e-mails.

    i do think it’s better to put the information on the wedsite, though.

    my guy and i are just going to ask for cards to keep in our wedding scrapbook, if anyone insists on wanting to get us something. not that i have ANYTHING against having a wedding registry…i just think the best gift of all has already been given to us. their love and support.

    • I never received a thank you either… Maybe there’s a trend here :-S
      I was a bit miffed about it too.

      • We were super late on our thank you cards, and I still feel kind of sick about it. I tell every friend, especially if they’re doing up paper invitations, to do up the thank you card envelopes at the same time! We did electronic invitations, in keeping with our environmentalism, but didn’t take enough into account when doing those.

  4. We included minimal registry information on a separate card (our primary registry store and a link to our wedding blog). It was sent in the invite envelope because a good portion of my invitees were folks who were expected to send a present, but who do not do things like check websites (older relatives and friends of my parents most of whom would not actually be attending the wedding).

    That said, I don’t like it when it is on the formal invitation to the ceremony, but at that point it’s probably an aesthetic decision. I’d say since folks will probably expect to bring a wedding present to the post-elopement party, then providing them the information to get you something you want is not crass.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck! And do send thank you notes. I got a couple thank you notes for my thank you notes and therefore know that at least some folks appreciate getting them. (even though they are a pain to sit down and write… keep a spreadsheet of gifts received mine trickled in over 6 months before and after the wedding and without my spreadsheet I would have been so lost when it came time to do the thank yous).

  5. I think including the wedsite address is an excellent compromise.

    Personally, I do enjoy receiving registry information with the invitation. I’m the girl who will fret endlessly about whether what I want to give the happy couple will match their decor, whether it will be something they’ve already got three of, etc. Having the registry info handy makes my life that much less stressful.

  6. I’m with Ariel.

    But sort of as a side note on that last sentance about maybe not registering for the post-wedding party? You can always just register (because no matter what, people are going to want to buy you stuff as a way to show their love), but just not mention it unless asked (or your moms are asked). That’s the super old school registry way of doing things, and I swear it still works. Because people will TOTALLY ask.

    That’s not pushing you to do that, at all, that’s just an option, should you decide you don’t want to register post-elopement.

  7. When i got married i had a very small wedding. I didn’t include registry information because although i LOVE gift that wasn’t why i was inviting everyone. I was surprised with how many people asked my now husband, my family, or me where/if we were registered. To our delight most the gifts we received were off the registry.

    When i receive invitations with registry information i alway feel like they are just trying to get kitchenaid out of me.

  8. I completely agree with this, but hear’s my question: what about the folks that don’t use or don’t know how to use a computer let alone a website? I’m mainly thinking of our grandparents. Should our parents or other relatives step in and let them know, or should we let them know via a different letter?

    • This is something I address in my book — our experience with web-illiterate family members was that they asked other family members to help them look at the website, and then there was family bonding time in front of the computer, looking at pictures and talking about the wedding.

      • This is what we’re expecting as well. At this point we’re not even planning on a registry because past experience in both families is that whether the couple is registered or not most people call their parents to find out what they want.

        We’re going to either make a list of some things we’d like and pass a copy to our parents, or just pass on some verbal suggestions and then let the info spread from there when someone requests it.

  9. We were planning on not having a registry at all and then got phone calls/emails from various relatives asking for information registry. So we included the registry website, along with all sorts of other information (accomodation, wedsite URL, directions, and such) on an additional sheet of paper inserted into the envelopes. We also stressed we have no great desire or need for presents.
    Hopefully our friends and family know us well enough to know we mean what we say and say what we mean.

  10. We did include registry information on our website, but people still just emailed and asked. I’m on the fence on this one – many wedding guests really enjoy having all the info (location, date, time, registry, etc.) all in one package (i.e. the invitation).

    However, I was quite horrified when friends had a destination wedding at a VERY expensive resort ($1500+ per person) and they included registry information in the invitation. Granted, I think it was mostly for family who wouldn’t be able to attend, and who had likely asked for the info. Still, my inner Ms. Manners cringed.

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