Etiquette Tips to Avoid Embarrassment With Registry and No Children

Can I put my registries on my wedding invitation?

This is one of the most common questions I get in consultations. And the short answer – NO. NEVER. Here’s why…

Traditionally, it is improper to include registry information or registry inserts in a wedding invitation. It implies that you expect a gift. It is also not in good taste to include “no gifts please”, or “please make donations to…”, or “cash gifts only”.

Your family and your wedding party will be able to verbally spread the word of your wishes, but only when asked. Also, your shower hostesses will list information their invitations. The reason you are inviting your guests is to witness and celebrate your marriage, NOT to buy you gifts.

To list your registry on your invitation is seen as asking for or even requiring a gift. Some guests will still want to show their joy for your through gifts, whether on or off of your registry. A hand written note from you or your spouse is customary to send as appreciation of their gift.

Many couples are creating personal wedding websites with all their details included on one page. Many of these websites include a page dedicated to registry information.

Include your wedding website on separate enclosures and save the dates to ensure guests are properly informed. But, no matter what do not include it on your formal invitation.

Honeymoon registries are growing in popularity. The etiquette for this remains the same: include the information on your wedding website, include that website on your enclosures and allow your bridal party to spread the word. NEVER list it on your formal invitation.

All in all, trust that your guests are smart and will search and find your registry.

These are some ways to properly list that you would prefer monetary or honeymoon registries:

What if I receive a gift I want to return?

By all means, return it – AFTER you have sent a proper hand written thank you note regarding the said gift. Never share that you received a duplicate or that you will return the gift.

Always be grateful that you received any gift at all! If you don’t know where the present was purchased or can’t return or exchange it, it is acceptable to “re-gift,” only if it’s perfect for the recipient and the giver of said gift doesn’t know your new recipient.

I want and “adult only” wedding. How do I let me guests know that?

This can be a slippery slope. You want your friends and family to celebrate with you, but you don’t want a ton of rugrats running around and destroying the décor you paid mucho bucks for – I get it.

Know now, that if you have an “adult only” wedding, you will alienate some friends and family.

And that is okay. It’s your wedding. First, you shouldn’t say “no children allowed”. Anywhere.

You need to phrase everything sweetly on your invitations, RSVP cards, and wedding website. Consider providing a nursery or babysitting service somewhere on-site or at a close–by hotel where parents could easily leave their children and check in on them if they would like.

By providing that service for your guests, you let them know you really want them to be included in your day…without their kids. If you have a lot of guests with children and foresee possible issues, I would suggest hiring a wedding coordinator who can be the bad guy for you.

Here are some ways to suggest you would prefer not to have children at your wedding or reception. You can include these on your wedding website or on the program:

“We have provided child care service for all our guests with children in the church nursery and during the reception in room 123.”

On your reply card, on the line where you request the number of people attending, use “ ____ number of adult(s) attending”

Also use your envelope to address the people who are invited to the wedding. Inner and outer envelope can help you here! Use the outer envelope to formally address the head of the household. The inner envelope uses the casual names of those invited. If children are not invited, don’t list their names.

These are some of the more troubling issues when it comes to planning a wedding and following proper etiquette. There are so many more! If you would like to know more about wedding invitation etiquette, Jennifer book, Invitations Essentials: The Modern Guide to Wedding Invitation Etiquette is available now!