buying registry gift somewhere else

What is the proper etiquette regarding buying a gift that is listed on a gift registry at another store? I can afford to buy someone the exact item they are requesting if I buy it on sale from another merchant at a considerable saving. Is that bad etiquette, and if I do this, is it proper to inform the bride / the bride’s mom / the bride’s maid, that I am doing this, so that the item can be removed from the registry to avoid duplication? There is not a way to tell the registry merchant that the item has been purchased elsewhere, is there?

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Guest,

The registry is merely a guide. If you see something on the list that you would like to give the couple, try to purchase it as inexpensively as possible. It isn’t necessary to notify anyone. If there is duplication, they can decide what to do at that point.

It is best to ship your gift to them as soon as you purchase it though. So, they will know what you gave them and remove the item from their list.

Thank you for being so thoughtful.

Best wishes,


Thanks for your advice. I know that the couple will appreciate the gift; I just hope they won’t need to return a duplicate. Wouldn’t it be nice if store gift registries allowed you to inform them that an item had been purchased, even if it was from somewhere else. Think of all the returns that could be avoided!

Thanks again!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

I think Rebecca’s solution works since, as soon as the couple receives your gift the couple should open it in order to return a thank you note. So, they can then remove that item from their gift registry. Just another reason it is important to send the gift to the home of the bride before the wedding.



Update: I sent the store hosting the registry, a national chain, an email. I explained that one of the gifts on the couple’s registry had been purchased elsewhere and asked them if they would update the registry to reflect this. They responded that they would, and they marked the item as “purchased” in the registry.