Gift registries can be a real sticky subject. Everybody and their mom has an opinion about the giving and receiving gifts in relation to a wedding. One post couldn’t possibly cover all there is to say on this topic so I'm keeping the focus today quite narrow, 'should you or shouldn’t you include registry information on your wedding invitation, and if not the invitation, then where to you share this info?'
In my opinion it is in poor taste to put your registry information on your wedding invitation proper. By this I mean the physical card called the invitation is not the place to let guest know where you are registered. I've heard it argued that guests just want the information and that no one cares (and if fact some prefer) that all the facts are out in the open. My reasons for disliking this notion are two-fold;
1. This day is about you doing the giving; Your wedding is one of, if not the most important day of your life. On that day you are making an enormous commitment and GIVING YOURSELF to another person. This giving of yourself is the gift that I want to keep the focus on at your wedding not aunt Mabel giving you a toaster. There is a time and place for a toaster, but this big 'ol commitment you are about to make is the thing that your invitation should focus on.
2. Aesthetics! As a designer I favor a clean wedding invitation. I like lots of negative space and for the eye to focus on what is important. For the most part when a guest receives an wedding invitation in the mail they already know to expect it, and they probably have already saved the date. The thing you are really communicating here is place and time. Please don't clutter up this small bit of real estate with information about gift registries.
So if not on the invitation itself, where can you best communicate registry information? There are two ways that I find are effective in letting folks know where you are registered;
1. Website; Far and away this is my favorite option. You wedding needs a website for a number of reasons and one of the most important is communicating your registry information. It is so easy to dedicate one page of your site to gifts and then include direct links to the places you are registered. Guests can easily view your list, see what remains and take care of the order in a few simple steps- make this easy for people. You can even expand your options of gifts by including a PayPal link on your site for guests to easily send you a monetary gift- so much simpler than a check book. (Helpful hint; if you use the PayPal option be sure to set it up for bank transfer only otherwise you will incur a service fee).
I have a few suggestions as to where it is best for you to share your wedding website address with guests, the first option being an enclosure card. When putting together your wedding invitation suite ask about a small inclosure card for your website. This one card can take the place of all other enclosure cards. Simply direct guests to visit you online and be sure to keep the wedding website updated. Do keep in mind that some elderly guests might have difficulty with this step, so consider your guest list before making this decision. My second suggestion for sharing your wedding website is to post it on your social media channels. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you at least one link in your profile if not more, so use this as a way to communicate your wedding information. Younger or more forgetful guests can easily find the site from anywhere and save them (and you) the hassle of contacting you to re-share the link. I would advise linking to the home page, linking directly to the registry page would be real tacky.
2. Inclosure Cards; If you are hesitant to go the route of one enclosure card with the website address then consider a registry inclosure card. It can be done tastefully and look every bit as good as the accommodation card. Simply state that you are registered at shop X,Y and Z on a tidy little card. Please, please don't use the registry inclosure cards that some shops (I'm looking at you Macy's) provided when you set up the gift registry. They don't match and would be a big sore thumb amongst the lovely wedding invitation you selected.
Beyond these avenues the only other place I think that you can come right out and list where you are registered is on a bridal shower invitation. We all know that showers are about 'showering' you with gifts, eating lots of pasta salad and playing silly games. This being the case I do believe that it is perfectly acceptable to include registry information on this invitation. A personal pet-peeve of mine is when registry info is listed on engagement party invitations (how have you even had time to put that registry together at this point!)
If you are in the thick of wedding planning, happy registering to you- in a post coming soon I'll be sharing the story of my own registry nightmare and how I nearly lost my mind in the middle of Crate and Barrel.