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by Robbin Montero
Despite the fact that most of your guests will bring gifts to your wedding, did youknow they are not a requirement?


             You’ve always envisioned a country kitchen . . .or maybe you adore fine crystal and contemporary china. Now that you’re getting married, you may receive gifts to help complete your dream. Despite the fact that most of your guests will bring gifts to your wedding, did you know they are not a requirement? Only those attending your bridal shower are expected to bring gifts, so keep this in mind when planning for your bridal gift registry.


Setting up

            Plan to register at least four to six months in advance of your wedding. Carefully go through your home first to determine what is needed and what is wearing out. Always consider registering for good china and stemware, as these luxury items will last a lifetime. And remember, if you do not register, you’ll have nowhere to return unwanted crock-pots or duplicate items. A variety of options exist for registries, which include catalogues, online services, honeymoon registries with travel agencies, or requesting that donations be made (in your name) to your favorite charity.

            Expect to spend at least two hours at the registry store. To provide easy access for most people in major cities, register at one national bridal registry location and consider regional shops or specialty stores. Visit the store ahead of time to see what items it carries. To accommodate a

variety of budgets, register items from $8 to $200 in value. Inquire if gifts can be shipped to your home and confirm the store’s return policies. If you plan a destination wedding, a registry can inform guests to ship gifts to your home, thus avoiding the inconvenience of carting gifts to the reception.

            Ask the store to keep the registry open for at least six months after the wedding or at least through the next holiday season. By doing so, family members often appreciate the opportunity to purchase china or crystal birthday and holiday gifts to complete sets that aren’t complete during the couple’s first year.


Gift etiquette

            The rules of etiquette are very specific around wedding gifts. Inviting a guest to the shower and subsequently excluding her from the wedding is a major breach of etiquette! Even if your kitchen is fully stocked, phrases such as “no gifts, please” are inappropriate because they imply that gifts are then expected at the wedding. Resist the temptation of this wedding no-no: Never insert the bridal registry card with your main wedding invitation; they should only be included with your shower invitations. Finally, family and friends will assist by spreading the word of where you are registered and what is needed.

            Traditionally, gifts are delivered to the mother of the bride’s home and not to the wedding. However, because more couples are now living together before marriage etiquette has been amended accordingly and guests may now bring their gifts to the reception. Designate a family member or friend to pack up the gifts in pre-assigned cars at the conclusion of the reception. The top priority of these helpers should be keeping cards with their respective gifts.


            Whether you register your honeymoon at a travel agency, or register for items at Joe’s Hardware Store and Bon-Bon Department Store, having a registry minimizes gift exchanges and confusion. It also assures Uncle Harry and Aunt Maude that the tool set and silver water pitcher they generously gave you are just what you wanted!


 “Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding.  Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” www.a-dreamwedding.com 

©2009 Robbin Montero



This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.


Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and special events planner in Northern California.

©2006 Robbin Montero
This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero's expressed written permission.