Post # 1
I was hoping that title would catch a few eyes and help me get some feedback.
So, we are eloping and having a couthouse wedding in December. My mother has always known that I dind’t want to have a big wedding and said that she respected my wishes but that she would want to throw me a reception/party. Fine. Deal. Now, how do we register? We don’t need a lot of household things. Maybe a nicer set of pots and pans and a new set of sheets or something. We are trying to save for a down payment on a home and are renting right now. So, how do you go about explaining this to your guests without sounding money hungry? ANy suggestion. We have so many things so for us to register for a bunch of stuff, doesn’t really make any sense.
Post # 3
Short answer: You don’t. You’re choosing to elope/courthouse and not have the bells and whistles of a traditional wedding and reception, therefore you do not get to accept the spoils of one.
Do not register for anything. If people want to give a gift, they can. You chose to not include people in seeing your wedding, therefore you do not have the right to expect a gift from them, cash or not.
Post # 4
You can’t directly ask your guests for money – it’s rude. But what you can do is not register or have a very small registry and then when guests ask where you are registered you can say you are registered at X but are saving up for a house. Your mom, FMIL, and other family can also tell people this. When you have a small or no registry, people take that as a hint that you have everything you need and would prefer cash.
Post # 5
@Blanche: that was my short answer too. i agree 100%
@turkey22: you don’t
Post # 6
@Blanche: +1 Completely agree
@turkey22: Are you having guests at your wedding? I thought courthouse weddings did not usually involve guests. A lot of people think registries in and of themselves (regardless of the occasion or number of guests) are tacky and money hungry. Honestly, the manners experts would tell you that it’s not good manners to ask for money or gifts no matter what the size of your wedding. You should not be telling the guests what gifts you want, you should be telling them how much you’re looking forward to seeing them on your special day. The reason there’s no tactful way to ask for money is because that is a contradiction. Asking guests for anything is rude, it’s just more rude to ask for cash than it is to ask for other things.
ETA: Instead of wondering about how you can get cash from your guests, maybe it would be wiser to be thankful that you do not actually need anything. 🙂 It sounds like you are doing fine in that regard, you have all the supplies you need. That is certainly something to be thankful for! 🙂
Post # 7
@Blanche: I agree. Sorry if thats not the anwer you were looking for.
Post # 8
We will each have our best friend there because our state requires two witnesses.
Post # 9
@turkey22: So you are having a total of 2 guests? I wouldn’t expect a gift from either of them honestly. I think it would be extra rude for you to ask for anything in this particular situation. You should actually be giving the two of them gifts since they’re witnessing your wedding for you and can be counted as attendants 🙂
Post # 10
@turkey22: I’m confused, you are having a courthouse wedding and then your mom is throwing a reception? Are we talking large or small?
I agree with what other PP’s have said about not asking for money, but since you’re having a reception I would assume most people would want to get you a gift. I think my recommendation is to register for the few things you need, and if it’s not enough people may be more likely to gift money.
Honestly though, if they aren’t seeing your wedding I wouldn’t push the gift thing to hard.
Post # 11
I respect everyones opinions on the subject. I knew that this was where I could get good and honest opinions from a variety of people. Thanks for your help.
Post # 12
I’m not sure where you live, but where I am, most people don’t bring gifts to the wedding anyway, but give gifts at the shower and cash for the wedding. If you don’t register for anything, and depending on how things are done by your family, most people will bring cash. You can’t really depend on that, tho, especially if it isn’t the norm where you live.
I also don’t see why people wouldn’t want to give you a gift at any reception given for you, as they’ll presumably know it’s to celebrate your marriage!
Post # 13
No two witnesses at the wedding in December. My mother would like to throw a party like a back yard picnic/bbq when spring summer comes around and then invite family.
Post # 14
@Blanche: +1 Agreed
Registry etiquette says that if you are creating a registry, there needs to be at least two items on it for each guest attending, (so if you are having 110 guests to the “reception”, you need to have 220 items on your registry). Since you said you only need 2 items, I think creating a registry at all is out of the question.
Etiquette also says, that guests are not expected to give you a gift at your wedding reception, but rather, the shower is the gift giving event, and given your situation, I think a shower would be completely inappropriate.
Given the situation, guests may give you cards, and not gifts, so I think a registry is EXTREMELY presumptious, and inappropriate.
Your best bet is to do nothing (do not request money, and do not have a registry) and if guest wish to give you a gift, they will.
I honestly feel that in this circumstance, the phrase “your presence is present enough” is what I would expect to hear from the bride/ groom and the person hosting the “reception”.
Post # 15
I think that some of the posts here were pretty harsh. I wouldn’t come to a reception (BBQ or otherwise) without a gift. At the same time, guests are not required to give anything. There’s also no polite way to ask for cash. The message that cash is preferred is generally conveyed discreetly by having no registry, or a very small registry. There is certainly no etiquette rule that says that you must register for 2x the number of gifts as compared to guests. Many stores offer this as a suggestion to couples, but you must understand that a store’s motivation is to sell more stuff, not manners. Hope that helps!
Post # 16
Don’t register for anything, and don’t say anything. If guests ask your mom or someone else where you’re registered, the answer can be something like “They have all the household items they need so they chose not to register.” Many people will read between the lines and figure that means to give cash. If people give you physical gifts it’s probably because they’re not comfortable giving cash (not everyone is), and they probably wouldn’t like being encouraged to give cash anyway. And it’s not polite to request cash. Gifts should be selected by the giver, not the recipient.