Ask Taylor, The Wedding Planner: Do Courthouse Ceremonies Need Gift Registries?

April 25, 2012  |  

By Taylor Lea Thomas

Question:

We are getting married on 12/12/12 at the courthouse. I am thinking of taking pics and sending photos with a message saying we got married. Should we still register for gifts?

Answer:

Dear Bride-to-be,

Love the 12/12/12 wedding date! It’s a very popular wedding date, and a great one at that. Now, on to your question…

Getting married privately in a courthouse setting without the big hoopla of a traditional wedding is one thing. Sending photographs along with a note announcing your marriage to friends and family is another thing. But requesting gifts, which is essentially what you’re suggesting, is looked at as bad wedding etiquette.

Traditionally, a gift registry is intended to aid wedding guests in purchasing a gift that the couple has taken the time to select to ensure that the items received are the items they would want to have and can be brought to the ceremony. In essence, the gift registry is simply a suggestive tool. However, by using the gift registry after the fact, it appears as if you’re asking for gifts. That’s a big no no in terms of proper wedding etiquette. I would, therefore, advise against registering for gifts since there will be no guests attending your courthouse wedding. If, however, those receiving your wedding announcements decide to purchase a wedding gift for you, then that’s fine, but asking for gifts by registering is, again, not the best idea.

Alternative:

Perhaps you can have a small gathering at your home, friend or family’s home, at your church, etc. whereby guests come to celebrate your married life together. In this case, guests can bring a gift if they so desire. Again, do not request gifts! That’s just as bad as requesting cash. You may, however, offer suggestions to those who ask if you’d prefer something specifically. In the end, be a gracious bride and those genuinely interested won’t need a gift registry announcement to buy you a wedding present.

Best wishes.

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