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How to Get What You Need from a Shower

Want to let people know where you're registered? Try word-of-mouth.

When you're a future bride or mom-to-be, there's nothing wrong with knowing exactly what gifts you want. But to avoid seeming greedy and presumptuous, you'll want to be sure you convey your preferences appropriately.

So what's the best way to tell people where you're registered? The most discrete approach is to tell your immediate family members and some close friends (especially anyone who is hosting a shower for you), and wait for people to ask them.

Etiquette mavens agree that it's in poor taste to include registry information on or with an invitation. Abigail Van Buren, a.k.a. "Dear Abby," writes that "to include a gift registry card with an invitation is considered a blatant request for a gift, and any blatant bid for gifts is a breach of etiquette." Rather, the shower hostess should provide this information to guests upon request, according to Emily Post's Etiquette (HarperCollins, 1997).

However, many busy guests aren't offended by a less formal approach, such as enclosing a registry card with the shower invitation or even printing the registry information on the invitation. The most informal approach of all is to send guests an e-mail. Although this might seem downright tacky to some, it might be perfectly acceptable to cyber-savvy guests.

Many engaged couples set up Web pages -- free on sites such as The Knot and the Wedding Channel -- with information about their wedding. "The Internet has largely alleviated some of the sticky wedding issues," says Carley Roney, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Knot, an online wedding resource and gift registry. "No one will be offended if the registry information is [on your Web page], and it's a convenient and successful way to get the word out," she says, adding that some couples even print their site's URL on their wedding invitations.

How you ultimately share your registry information depends on what's comfortable for you, and what's most appropriate for your guests. And you're the best judge of that, Roney says.

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