Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letterpress Gift Registry Cards

A question many brides often have for me is "should we put our gift registry information on our invitation?" This is a tough one, and the subject of much debate amongst etiquette experts.

There is one school of thought that says brides and grooms should never include this information anywhere in their invitation materials. Instead, it is the responsibility of the mother of the bride or maid of honor to communicate the bride and groom's registry details to those who happen to inquire. Although this is the more traditional way of sharing your gift registry information with people, it is not a method that always applies today for a variety of reasons (people may not wish to or feel comfortable contacting and asking someone what the bride and groom would like as a gift, there may not be a mother of the bride or maid of honor to ask, etc.).

The other option is to just share your wishes with your guests yourself. However, call me old-fashioned, but I think some thought needs to go into how you go about doing this - otherwise you risk coming off as gauche. Here are my thoughts:

1. Don't put your registry information directly on your invitation card – that's a bit too forward. Put the information on a separate card or insert. Some stores can provide you with business card-sized registry cards to include with your invitations. Better yet, have your own registry cards designed and printed to go with your invitation suite (see photo above for an example of one of our client's custom-designed letterpress registry cards). Your recipient will still get the information they need about your registry, but by placing the information on a separate card, you are not indicating that the gift is equally or more important than your request for their presence on your big day.

2. If you would rather not include your registry information with your invitations at all, consider putting this information on a wedding website along with other details about your special day (i.e. schedule, map of wedding location, etc.). This is also a great option because you can include a link directly to your online gift registry if you have one – and your guests won't even have to search for your name! (p.s. Did you know that Sunlit Letterpress can design a wedding website to match your letterpress invitations? Contact the studio for more information!)

3. Whatever you decide to do, never include "cash only gifts" as a request anywhere (invitations, website, or other). In fact, it is considered somewhat bold to even have someone suggest this by word of mouth to your guests. It is quite common for wedding guests to give the bride and groom money as a wedding gift anyways, so asking for money specifically tends to look, well...a little bad.

I was once sent an email from someone whose wedding I was invited to and the email went something like this: "Please give us money as a wedding gift because this is what we want". Ok, I paraphrased a little, but that was the essential message. It sort of left a bad taste in my mouth. I was always going to give money, and still did, but it almost felt like the financial gift I was planning on has been cheapened a little bit.

So there you have it...my thoughts on gift registries and invitations.

Happy letterpressing!

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