Wediquette Wednesday: Is it OK to buy wedding gifts that aren’t on the registry?


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: An acquaintance is getting married in a couple of weeks. When a friend or close family member gets married, I usually buy something from the registry and then also a little lagniappe, New Orleans-themed gift. Since I don’t know the couple very well, I am hesitating on the lagniappe, off registry gift. Is it OK to buy wedding gifts that aren’t on the registry?

Answer: There is no rule that says you have to purchase gifts from the registry. In fact, registries didn’t always exist. Marshall Field’s, which is now Macy’s, is credited with creating in 1924, what we know of as the bridal registry. Prior to that, there were simpler incarnations of registries. The registry is a helpful guideline that can simplify gift buying for guests. It also opens a window into the couple’s style and preferences. But, people can and often do stray from the registry, offering instead cash, gift cards, honeymoon experiences, traditional gifts, such as monogrammed linen napkins, or even family heirlooms. Gifts are up to the giver. Your idea of adding a New Orleans-themed lagniappe gift is so fantastic, I may steal it! Enjoy the wedding!


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



Save the date: The New Orleans Bride Magazine January 2019 Bridal Show will be held Jan. 21 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Stay tuned to “Let Them Eat Cake” for more details.


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