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Registering Without Having an Actual Wedding

Ask a Savvy Bride: Is It OK to Register When There's No Wedding?

Wedding etiquette can be tricky, like this question below, which Carmen1983 shared in our Ask Savvy group. If you have a sticky situation be sure to ask our Savvy Bride for support.

Dear Savvy,
My fiancé and I will be getting married next Spring and have chosen to save the money and time that it would take to have a wedding. He recently went through a foreclosure and we really would rather begin saving for our future. Instead, we will have his father marry us in front of 10 family members and will most likely go out to dinner afterward. Here is the problem — many of my friends have asked me if I'm registered. I am not, and have no idea if it is really a good idea since hardly anyone will be invited to the actual wedding. What is the etiquette in this kind of situation? I wouldn't want people guessing on a present if they choose to get us one, but I also think it would come of as rude to send an announcement for the registry but nothing about the wedding. Do we have to explain to everyone that we have just chosen to skip the wedding? Is there some tasteful way of announcing that there is no wedding but there is a registry? Please help.

To see the Savvy Bride's advice, read on.

Savvy Bride says:

Since you are having some guests attend your ceremony, albeit just a few, I think it's a good idea to register even if it's just for a handful of things. Additionally, you might have friends and family members who won't be in attendance that will want to buy you a congratulatory gift, and like you said, you don't want people guessing and missing the mark.


I like the idea of sending a wedding announcement, but that could be pricey and some might consider sending them with a registry note uncomfortable, so I'd pass along that information by good old fashion word of mouth. It sounds like people have already inquired so rest assured that the word will travel fast. Good luck to you!

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out. If you are planning a wedding, already happily wed, or still looking for Mr. Right, start sharing your big day with our community.

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lauren lauren 5 years
I agree too, I think you should register! Your friends and family just want to say congratulations!!
bingbingboom bingbingboom 5 years
Go ahead and register. I agree with myhousemd, friends want to give a gift because they care, not to exchange for a party. So register for stuff at reasonable costs, just don't do it on a site like =) Congratulations!
myhousemd myhousemd 5 years
When I give a wedding gift to my friends, it isn't in exchange for a big party. I give them a gift to help them start a home and a family, and that gift makes our friendship a part of that home. So, I say register!
Renees3 Renees3 6 years
I also think it might be a good idea to have some sort of reception for a few friends and others to come. it can be just like a backyard BBQ, but something so your friends can celebrate your marriage. Just an idea!
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