Wedding Planning

How to Tell Your Guests to Stick to the Wedding Registry

Without leaving a bad impression.

Some people never ask what their recipients want for birthdays or gift-giving holidays. Maybe they think that choosing something themselves is more meaningful, or that the gesture should matter more than the present itself. Maybe they think that surprises are fun, and want to bestow something unexpected. Whether you like it or not, there are those who dislike being told what gifts to buy for their nearest and dearest. While they have every right to feel that way, if you’re really trying to stick to your wedding registry, you also have a right to let that be known.  

Of course, you don’t want to leave a bad impression by coming off as greedy or unappreciative. So, what’s the best way to get the message across? Brides and grooms have a few options.


Put It in Writing

It’s likely that few, if any, of your guests will be completely morally-opposed to wedding registries. The wishlists are common practice, after all. That being said, they still might divert from your registry unless you make it clear that you don’t want them to. To avoid this, note your expectations somewhere, like your wedding website. If you’re worried about coming off as rude, explain your choice. Your guests can’t blame you if you live in a small apartment, and can’t accommodate unplanned-for presents, for example! They also can’t blame you if you have a lot already, and are worried about being wasteful.

Make It Easy

Give them access to your registry in a timely manner. If they’re stuck waiting for your list to be created, they might grow impatient and venture out on their own. Make your asks as easy as possible to fulfill, so try to create a registry on a user-friendly shopping interface.

Think About Your Guests

Register for a surplus of items. That way, you won’t get everything you’ve asked for, which should help satisfy your surprise-loving celebrants. If your registry lets you view what’s been purchased for you, avoid checking it, too. Giving guests an abundance of options also lets them choose something that really speaks to them. In the same vein, provide items in various price points—attendees are more likely to work with your registry if it contains things that they can afford.