In working with brides, one of the most prevalent questions I’m asked has to do with where to list registry information. Every single book, article, pamphlet, slip of scratch paper, or bathroom stall graffitti I have read on the topic state that nowhere on your written invitations should you include your registry. Some even go so far as to state that this information shouldn’t be included in the same envelope as the invitation. To do otherwise has been described as gauche, uncouth, and highly improper. Brides are given dire warnings that they will offend their guests by even mentioning the registry in the invitation package. However, these same resources tell brides that the invitation should refer guests to a website that would provide registry info or that they should rely on their mom or bridesmaids to get out the word.
I, for one, am all for decorum and complying with social mores. However, rules evolve and change with the times and this is a rule that I believe has run its course. In a society where friends and family are spread across the globe, the invitation has to do a lot more work. Invitations provide all of the information a loved one may need to travel to the event, itinerary information, maps, and/or points/places of interest to visit. People no longer live in one spot their entire lives so their friends and family are widespread. It is impossible for some moms or bridesmaids to spread the word to everyone on the guest list. Besides, anyone who is planning to purchase a gift for the couple out of genuine love will not abandon that plan because they are offended by the invitation. In fact, informed guests are happy guests. No one likes buying wedding gifts. It’s not like a birthday present where it’s for one person and it can be something fun and not a blender (although I personally love blenders AND food processors). Who likes trying to figure out what the couple needs to complete their household, especially couples who are getting married later in life? A registry satisfies two needs: first, the couple gets to decide exactly what they’d like and need for the home and second, it takes the pressure off of guests to decide something the couple would like – just pick something from the list.
So, I tell my brides to include any information in the invitation package that will make their guests’ experience easier, stress-free, and fun. If anyone gets offended, tell them 1869 called and it’s time for them to come home. No seriously, if someone is offended, it’s most likely a person who would never buy you a gift anyway. So apologize and move on.