WED’iquette 101: The Basics of Wedding Gifting & Receiving


For both the soon-to-be wedded couple and guests alike, wedding gifting can be a tricky task. What is a bridal registry, exactly? A bridal registry or wedding registry is a website or retail store service that helps engaged couples communicate their gift preferences to their wedding guests. A registry simplifies the process ensuring that the giver’s present will be well received and that the newlyweds can complete their home with things they actually want. Together the couple chooses desired items from the available store stock and the registry puts together a list for the guests to view and use. Once the gift is purchased, the merchant updates the gift registry in accordance. Not only is this process convenient, but also the entire gift-giving situation is more streamlined and accessible for everyone, leaving no “what-ifs.” However, gifting can still be confusing even if there is a registry. Shopswell’s site expert Sondra Drahos assists in proper wedding etiquette, aka WED’iquette, to ensure that you can find the perfect gift.


For the Guest

While some people think that purchasing a gift from the registry takes away the element of surprise and might be impersonal, the registry is always the way to go for a failsafe guideline, according to Drahos. Just make sure that whatever gift you’re giving demonstrates a meaningful gesture to the new bride and groom. Just don’t pick the first item you see on the list. Shopping for a wedding gift shouldn’t be a boring chore!

Another often asked question is whether or not you can purchase a gift as a group. For big-ticket luxury items, a group gift is very much acceptable. Keep in mind, though, that purchasing a gift valued at $30, for example, amongst a group of six people might not be the most polite thing to do.

This brings us to our next tip. How much should you spend on the couple? Don’t let the price of the item dictate your gift. Instead, work within your means and with what you have. In general, $110-$160 worth is proper for close relatives and friends. That means if you’re the brother of the groom or the bride’s best friend, you would fall into this category. The second group of people is the group consisting of familiar relatives and acquaintances. Whether you’re a cousin or a coworker, $70-$110 is the proper price tag. For all other guests, $50 is the acceptable minimum (no less!) followed by tons of added thought and meaning. To ensure that your gift arrives, is in proper condition, and makes the registry, give yourself at least a two-month window for gifting.


For the Couple

Plan, plan, and plan! Have a sit down chat with your fiancé and figure out what the both of you really want for your home. Don’t bog down your registry with gifts that you might think you want but are impractical in the long run. Keep in mind what the both of you already own so that you don’t ask for similar items. Don’t overlook your every day-to-day necessities and brands that are essential. Sure, a super high tech kitchen appliance might seem like a fun gift for your guests to splurge on, but if you only use it once a year and fail to buy the dishware you need, your kitchen items won’t go far in the long run.

Another tip is to think about the quality when putting together your gift registry. You want to register for durable, long-lasting products that can sustain itself for many years to come. For kitchenware, good items are usually microwaveable and dishwasher safe and some even are break resistant.

When should you set up your registry? To ensure that friends and family can buy gifts for your engagement party, shower, and wedding, plan your registry at least six months in advance. It is perfectly acceptable to include your wedding registry link on your invitations, your wedding webpage, and spread through word-of-mouth in case anyone asks where you’re registered.

Whether you’re a guest giving a present or a newlywed graciously accepting your wedding gifts, the registry and gifting process just got easier! With these tips from Sondra Drahos, keep the WED’etiquette in mind. is a website of a community that helps each other shop by asking and answering questions, and sharing lists, articles, and reviews of the products they love.

– By Bonnie Wong

Check out our must-have list of wedding registry items to help you!

Leave a Reply