Wediquette Wednesday: Can a couple register before the engagement party?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My boyfriend and I got engaged recently and we wanted to start the registry, since that’s the really fun part and because we want to take our time with it. My mom says however that you can’t until after the engagement party. Can a couple register before the engagement party?

Answer: Mother usually knows best, but I’m not familiar with this rule. It doesn’t seem to be a throwback, or something regional, but I encourage anyone familiar with it to post what you know in the comments or email me. Meanwhile, the conventional rules are the sooner the better; no more than four registries; pick a balance of price ranges; and don’t put registry information on invitations (use a word of mouth campaign via your family, friends and bridal party and add registry info to your wedding website). Registering early means people can visit the registry (or registries) if they want to bring gifts to the engagement party. It’s also OK to do unconventional registries for honeymoon activities, camping  equipment, house buying funds, cash donations and charities, just be sure to do at least one traditional registry for your more conventional family and friends. Go forth and register!




Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email


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