Wishing Well Wording


I am hosting a bridal shower for my sister and wanted to have a wishing well for people to contribute small inexpensive kitchen items. As I understand it, this small gift is in addition to the actual shower gift. I have never heard of a wishing well until I started researching showers and my guess is that there are going to be some people who may not know what I am talking about. My question is how do I word it in the invitation without making people feel that I am demanding two gifts from them? Thanks so much!

I don’t know where you have been performing your research but a wishing well, when displayed, is normally at the couple’s wedding, not the bride’s shower. And, regarding the wishing well, many people frown upon it at the wedding because it represents that a couple is more interested in collecting money, not gifts, from their guests.

If you insist on having it at your sister’s bridal shower, you do not include this information in the invitations. You would communicate it word of mouth. We never include any type of gift/registry information in invitations. But you are going to be hard pressed to explain why it is necessary to bring two gifts instead of one, and money at that.

While a bridal shower is in essence a gift giving party, you should not overburden your guests with the cost of purchasing more than one gift. Doing so is gratiutous and may reflect negatively to the shower attendees. I am sure you do not want that for your sister.

A word about wishing wells and registries. They do not obligate anyone to contribute money, or purchase a particular thing. Guests should always be free to ‘shower’ a bride, or bring a gift to the wedding, based on what the guest can afford and wishes for the bride/couple to have.

My recommendation – skip the wishing well, stick with decorations and fun invites

Actually some of my research has been done on this very site. Several of the wedding etiquette consultants spoke in favor of wishing wells at bridal showers that were for very small items for the kitchen, bathroom, etc. (not money). I just trying to figure out how to communicate this to guests. I am surprised about the advise you gave about not including gift registry information in the invitation all of the other sites I have been on have advised otherwise. But I definitely agree with your point about guest bringing gifts based on what they can afford or foregoing the gift and simply bringing their love and wellwishes.

Thanks so much for your advise and taking the time to answer.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom –

Actually Rhonda, in many locations throughout the US, wishing wells at bridal showers are common. It is considered appropriate to include gift registry information for showers since they are a gift giving event. You can simply mention that a wishing well wil be provided and allow the guests to bring the items if they choose.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Including registry information in the shower invitation is relatively a new development. So, many people don’t know that it is now appropriate. And, in some areas it may not be view positively yet. But, it is fine to do so now.

As for the ‘wishing well’… I’m right there with Rhonda for most of her answer, as in my part of the good ‘Ol US of A’ we only know of wishing wells as a cash deposit and very tacky. In the past, they were seen at weddings and never at a shower. But, Donna is correct. Wishing wells used for collecting very small tokens for the home is common in some regions. I probably wouldn’t display it as some may think this is asking for money and I, personally, feel that this could put additional pressure on my guests.

If you want to include this, you could mention it on your invitation as a suggestion for the guests, such as: We will have a wishing well at the party if you would like to contribute a small household item such as measuring spoons, spatula, or … This way the guests know that this is more for fun than gathering tons of extra gifts. But, personally I would still skip it.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom –

Thanks for that response, Rebecca. I am in the NY/NJ area and I have had knowledge of this tradition since I was old enough to attend showers (we won’t say how long that it though!) [;)]

Just making mention of there being a wishing well does not obligate the guest to bring something to deposit and no one will know if they brought something or not. Plus, it’s such a nominal expenditure, I doubt any guest would be annoyed by the wishing well, when used in this type of venue, and not for depositing cash.