Registry and Gift Forum

Politely requesting that guests send gifts to our home (not bring to reception)

So, I have a huge extended family, they all live near each other, but I moved away.  To prevent my giant family from all having to travel, we are having our wedding in the area my family lives (and in a resort town so my fiancee's much smaller family can make the trip into a bit of a vacation).  

Here's my concern - Every family wedding I've been to has a huge overflowing gift table (which is wonderful - my family is really very giving, and they love weddings).  But since we have to travel from so far away we don't know how we will get big gifts back to our home.  We are considering driving out to the wedding, but it is a 26 hour drive each way.  We really want to fly there, and bring back what we can on the plane, shipping ourselves the rest. 

Since people are ordering things online so often now, we are trying to find a polite way to ask that those who are buying things online ship them directly to us, instead of bringing them to the reception. Obviously we know that some gifts will inevitably be brought to the reception (especially older relatives like my grandmother who hates computers) and we don't want to appear ungrateful to our guests. We also don't want to make our guests pay extra to ship things they bought in a store - just figure if people are already paying shipping to get things from amazon, it'd be great if it went directly to our house.

I'm going to mention it to my immediate family at Christmas as casually as I can, but trying to think of a polite way to let others know without being tacky and inconsiderate.  We are also making our primary registry on, with a second registry at Target for those who don't like online shopping, trying to limit the Target items to things that are smaller.  

Is there a way to do this politely? Should we just resign ourselves to 52 hours in my fiancees truck? Anyone else run into this problem?  Thanks

Re: Politely requesting that guests send gifts to our home (not bring to reception)

  • You know.... this is rough. If I were you, I would entrust your immediate family to spread word of mouth that you would prefer direct shipping to your home--- IF anyone happens to ask. Program your registries to ship to your home. Other than that, I don't think there's anything more you can do in a polite manner. To illustrate, I went to two showers (one wedding, one baby) for the same woman who had moved away but had showers in her hometown. Both invites went on and on about "expensive shipping" and blah blah and asked the guests to ship shower gifts to her house and bring a picture. I just remember thinking how insulting that was to assume I didn't have the brains to figure out that shipping huge boxes home would be a pain in the rear. I think you just have to hope for the best, sorry.

  • Word of mouth is the only appropriate way.
  • Yeah, I think you can mention it to immediate family. "Oh, it would be nice if people ship gifts to our home instead of bringing them to the wedding" but that's about it. Hope your family spreads the word for you.

  • lyndausvilyndausvi mod
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    I lived in a small Caribbean island when I got married.   Wedding was in NJ, closer to most of our guests (but still 100% OOT for them).

    We had a registry.   80-90% of the wedding gifts were money.   The others were physical gits.  Half of those were sent to our place in the islands.  The other 50% we shipped home ourselves.   We sent some via USPS and then rest put in an extra suitcase which we took on the plane with us.  It was actually less expensive then shipping.  

    My shower was back in the states also.   I shipped most of the gifts home myself.  Some of the breakable and heavier stuff  I took back to BBB, then had them shipped to our place in the islands.  That way if they broke it was on BBB, not us.  Some items were free shipping, so that helped too.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Asking that everyone send your gifts is implying that they'll be BRINGING gifts, which is rude to do because a gift is never required. Tell your loud-mouthiest family member that you're hoping any gifts will be shipped, and trust that the word will spread. If it doesn't, graciously accept what you've been so lovingly given and figure it out.

  • WOM... Other than that, its not really OK to mention it because it references an expectation that gifts will be given.

    You can ground ship things - takes more time but costs less.

  • It would be rude to mention anything about gifts including saying you want them shipped to your home. It is your responsibility to figure out how to get gifts to your home after the wedding. Discreet word of mouth would probably be ok. If it would be such an imposition for you to get gifts home, you might want to just do a small registry and hopefully people will give you cash gifts. Other than that there is really no polite way to do what you want.
  • I agree with PP's that you can't really ask your guests to send gifts to your home.  I understand it may be easier for you but really if they want to bring you a gift instead of sending one they will definitely be bringing the gift.  I would be prepared to have a back-up plan to bring gifts home if any are actually given.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • The only appropriate way to make any request concerning gifts is by word of mouth, and only after the other person brings it up first. I'd just be prepared to ship any gifts to your home or donate or dispose of them if you don't want to keep them.
  • Tell immediate family and let them spread the news when they tell people where you are registered. Or put it on your wedding website (if you have one) with your registry info.

    I also had wedding & showers out of town from where I live. Our parents were in charge of informing people that gifts at the wedding would be difficult. Most people were thoughtful enough to have larger gifts send directly to our home. The majority just gave us money or gift cards. At our actual wedding, we didn't receive any large gifts at all, only cards. I did receive some larger gifts at my OOT shower, which I had anticipated. I made sure to leave space in my suitcase and bring an extra bag (large duffle that I could stuff in my suitcase on the way there) so I had space to bring back what I could. There were a few items I took back to BB&B and had them shipped to my home. Or you can that value put on gift card and just purchase items back home. BB&B is really great about that, so they are good place to register for OOT events. So, you may just want to leave time before returning home and plan to take a trip to stores you are registered at to return larger items and have them shipped to your home. It really is a good way to avoid carrying them and not having to worry about items breaking in transport.


  • I would register at stores that have B&M locations where I live and were the wedding will be held. Then I would return, rebut and ship any gifts I receive at the wedding to my home, at my cost - the store my give you free shipping.

    Or I would not register/ very small registry as it would suggest you prefer cash gifts. Some people will still select box gifts for you.

    It is rude to ask people to ship the gifts bc it says you expect a gift, which is not ok. It also makes them incur an additional cost. You should incur the cost, not them if they do not choose to ship it in the first place.

    I would be leery of using Amazon as you will have to ship the gifts yourself vs using Macy's or BB&B.

    Consider registering for things you can pack. Leave all the boxes. Check an empty bag. I can't imagine the cost to ship the packages being more than 52 hours of driving in gas costs, so I would just ship whatever I couldn't pack in my luggage.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

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