The bridal registry has been around for a long time. It was designed for a very pragmatic reason: to help wedding guests figure out what gifts might be pleased to the bride and groom, and to help the bride and groom by eliminating the issue of receiving duplicated or simply undesired gifts. And yet, when you are basically telling someone what they should buy for you, it can be easy to get into territory that is not so polite or correct. This begs the question, is it tacky to have a bridal registry?
The short answer is no … and yes. Even the most strict etiquette mavens will agree that establishing a traditional bilateral registry is perfectly acceptable, and generally rather useful. There are, however, many exceptions to this rule, and that is where you can run into some pretty tacky criminal registry situations.
A classic bridal registry is completed at one or two stores (sometimes one large national chain and one smaller boutique or specialty store). The usual items that are included on the gift list are the things that are thought of as the basics for establishing a household. You usually see categories like linens (sheets, towels, tablecloths, etc.), cookware, china (everyday and / or fine bone china), crystal (and maybe nice everyday glasses), small electrics (toasters, blenders, and so on) , decorative items like clocks and vases, and if they think anyone will spring for it, a set of good silver.
Where you start to run into questions is in the inclusion of the elements of contemporary living. Is is okay to register for a flat screen television (borderline) or a gaming system (no!)? I once knew a bride and groom who were avid model airplane enthusiasts who wanted to know if it would be tacky to set up a bridal registry at their favorite hobby shop; their mothers absolutely forbade it! In other words, while no one will bat an eye at traditional household goods on a registry, once you start including very expensive items or things that appeal only to a certain crowd, things can get a bit dicier.
As people start to get more and more creative in the types of bridal registries that they are designing, they are more likely to do something really tacky. One thing you should never do is try to use your registry as a vehicle to get your guests to finance your wedding expenses. In other words, you should not register for things like bottles of wine or wedding jewelry in the hopes that you can spend less on your wedding. (An exception to this would be if a bride wanted to establish a small wish list of items like wedding jewelry, a veil, or a tiara that would have given out only to immediate family members before a bridal shower, and only if they ask. )
Wedding guests tend to be put off by registries that make them feel as though the couple is looking for sponsors to support their lifestyle. This is why newer revenues like honeymoon or mortgage registries are right on the edge of poor taste. In some circles they may be acceptable, but many older guests are likely to find them a bit offensive.
The most important thing to know about a bridal registry is how to spread the word. Never, ever include registry information in a wedding invitation! Include it in the shower invitation if you must, but know that this is in questionable taste. Including your bridal registry details discreetly on your wedding website is fine. The best way of all to spread the news about your bridal registry is the most old-fashioned: simply wait for your guests to ask you about it. Rest assured, if a wedding guest is interested in receiving the guidance of a registry, they will not hesitate to inquire, and if they are not a fan of bilateral registries, they will not feel pressured to buy off of a wish list.
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Source by Laura Firenze