One of my favorite parts of attending a bridal shower or a baby shower is watching the honoree open up all of her gifts. It’s just so fun to see all of the little baby outfits the mommy-to-be receives, or the piles of pots and pans for the bride-to-be.
In our modern times, we all assume and are perfectly happy that the purpose of a shower is to help the honoree obtain all the things she’ll need as she takes a step into the next chapter in her life, whether she is becoming a wife or has a baby on the way. However, traditional etiquette states that the main purpose of the shower is to celebrate the joyous milestone occasion ahead, and that the shower should not be used as a “solicitation for gifts”. A little harsh? Yes. However if following proper etiquette, totally appropriate.
Traditional etiquette suggests that you invite your guests to your shower or wedding and leave the registry information off the invitation. Instead, it should be spread by word of mouth by the host of the event- or the guest can ask when they RSVP to the host. In our modern times, it is much more acceptable to list registry locations on your shower invitations, or include an insert card detailing the registry info. While this is greatly accepted for a shower, it is not, however accepted for a wedding. Wedding invitations should never indicate anything about gifts or registry locations. Even listing “no gifts, please” is considered inappropriate as it implies you are assuming that people will feel required to bring a gift. In short – if it’s a wedding invitation, leave everything gift-related off the invitation.
Most couples register at 1-3 places for their baby shower or bridal shower/wedding. You don’t want to list so many places that you appear greedy, however you do want to list a few different places so that people have a variety of places to shop at, with different price ranges according to different budgets for gifts. You also may want to provide a store or two that offers online registries, in case a guest does not have one of your registry stores near their location. Many modern bride and groom’s that “have everything they need” have taken to doing a honeymoon registry online. This is an amazingly neat way for you to purchase activities or extra “perks” for the bride and groom to use on their honeymoon. The bride and groom make a list of all the things they are interested in doing/seeing on their honeymoon, and then you can pick those things off of the registry.
If you decide to list your registry information on your invitations, be sure to make it one of the last details on your invitation. It should be listed very small at the bottom. You may also choose to include it on a separate card, about the size of a calling card/business card. Places like Babies R Us actually give you registry cards to include with your shower invitations, so be sure to check with your chosen registry location to see if they offer this service.