Gift Registries and Wishing Wells – Yay or nay?

When I got married 9 years ago, my then fiance and I said that we wanted to have a gift registry to assist those guests who prefer giving gifts in making their selection. We figured it would be a win-win situation – they don’t have to think about what to buy and we get the items we want. We didn’t count on the fact that it would not be so well received by our parents…

Despite having attended many weddings where a gift registry was included, they still felt as though it was rude to ask for a gift. I wasn’t prepared to back down and I stomped my little bridezilla foot and said that it was to stay. To keep the peace, we did agree to pick and choose which invitations the gift registry card went in to. Needless to say, the older relatives and those whom we felt potentially would be offended did not get one. After the fuss, we ended up receiving pretty much everything on our registry, money and maybe 2 gifts that never saw the light of day in our house.

Fast forward to today and the debate about asking for gifts and money is still very relevant and a hot topic of discussion. The gift registry has become accepted but asking for money is still taboo.  After visiting numerous wedding websites, blogs and bridal discussion boards, the general consensus is that it is ‘rude’, ‘tacky’, ‘poor etiquette’ and ‘offensive’  but brides are still happy to do it anway. In traditional wedding invitation etiquette, it is considered rude to make mention of any kind of gift on the invitation. If we take this literally then is it ok to have the gift registry/wishing well printed on a seperate card? Despite what tradition says, the majority of our couples will use either a gift registry, wishing well or both.


There are a few ways you can word a gift registry/wishing well. Some of  our couples have chosen to compose their own personal message to their guests whereas other couples choose to use one of the many poems that can easily be found online such as:


If you were thinking of giving a gift
To help us on our way,
There are two special things
that would pave the way,
The path you choose is listed below,
Though any gift you give will help us grow.
A gift of money in our Wishing Well
Bridal Registry at Myer 123456


Because we’ve been together for a little while now,
we’ve collected all our household things, before we took our vows.
If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us on our way,
A gift of cash in our ‘Wishing Well’
would really make our day

We have not come across many couples who have been straight forward in asking for money. We have been fortunate to not have had to print the words – ‘cash please’ or bank details for direct deposit (don’t laugh as it may well get to this point in the future). The more polite forms we have seen include:

If we are honoured to receive a gift from you
as we celebrate our marriage
May we respectfully request the gift of money


In the place of a gift with traditional style, a paper gift would bring many a smile

As we always say, the choice is up to each individual couple. They need to do what is right for them and their family and friends. What may offend one family may well be accepted by others. The most important thing to remember when planning a wedding is that you will NEVER please everyone!