Post # 1
My FH and I decided to not make a registry. We don’t need household items, and literally have no space for them. We’re still working on fitting in our stuff to our (1 bedroom) place. There is not a spare shelf/cabinet/drawer/any kind of storage unless we throw stuff out.
Generally, this isn’t a big deal. We were both born in another country, and registries aren’t common at all. However, I invited a couple I used to work for in college, and got an email asking about our registry.
I don’t want to come off as rude. However, I feel like any response might be misconstrued. When someone at work asked me about it a couple weeks ago, I said I didn’t have one, and the response was something along the lines of, “oh, you want cold hard cash.” I was taken aback, to say the least. I definitely don’t want to repeat that situation.
Basically, how should I respond to the email without sounding rude. A simple “I don’t have one” seems a bit cold to me, but I feel like if I add more, it’s going to sound like I’m digging for money.
Post # 3
I would just be honest as your reason is very valid. You’re not just out for cash.
“We don’t have a registry as we currently live in a very small place and we don’t need anything. Thank you though!”
Post # 4
@lilbluebird: +1 This is what we pretty much said. No one really asked, but if they did we just said we didn’t register as we live in a 2 bedroom apartment and all my stuff is in storage. We said thanks and left it at that.
Post # 5
@lilbluebird: Thanks! Sometimes I just have trouble phrasing things. That sounds much better than what was going through my head!
Post # 6
@futurefishy: I will echo lilbluebird‘s excellent advice: tell any iinquirers that you are not collecting any material possessions, and thank them for the kind thought. You can even go so far as to say that you are collecting kind thoughts, and theirs has a treasured place in that collection.
But let me go on to say that the response you received the first time you answered the question was unkind, and therefor itself a breach of etiquette. Your registry if you have one is your own business, and for someone to ask you right out and then misconstrue your plain answer to your detriment is an example of how interpersonal communications go awry when people decide to discard etiquette in favour of being “direct”. In circles where people are expected NOT to be on the take for presents, and asking for a bride’s registry information is considered to be just a little bit nosey, guests are more likely to tread lightly, and to be just a little slower to pass judgement, since they know that they are being just a bit intrusive. I can certainly understand if you carry a little resentment toward that coworker on the basis of their denigrating response.
But I can also understand the co-worker’s response, expecially if she is recently married herself or in the process of marrying and, when she tried to find out the polite way to ask for money, found the bad-etiquette tip that having no registry is bridal-magazine-code for “give me money”. As you know, that simply isn’t true. Having no registry just means that you have no registry. Etiquette in no way requires you to have one. But many people do want to give gifts to well-loved young couples at their marriage. That is one reason I recommend mentioning “collecting memories”, which may lead people to gift you with experiences rather than chattel. I still think bone china, sterling and crystal make great gifts even in one bedroom apartments: you have to eat your breakfast cereal from something, and why shouldn’t it be from a bone china bowl with a sterling silver spoon? But I respect the value system of those who value bungee-jumping and gorilla-trekking more than place-settings. One way or the other, So I hope that you can find a way to treasure the gifts you do receive, and that you may have a long and happy marriage.
Post # 7
@futurefishy: Great! I’m sure it will be fine. There is no appropriate response for anyone that is so rude as to immediately assume you want cash in lieu of boxed gifts. This truthful response is good for the other 97% of the population who are more polite. We’ve been told this same thing by other couples and we never saw it as a direct request for cash. This response leaves it open for them to get anything they want, whether a boxed gift of their own choosing, cash, gift cards or even an “experience” gift (e.g. a fancy dinner for two or a spa treatment for two).
Post # 8
“I don’t have a registry. I don’t have any specific expectations about what guests might like to bring. I prefer it that way!”
It is important not to come off as asking for cold hard cash, because unfortunately sometimes that’s what people try to imply with it.
Post # 9
@aspasia475: Thank you for your response! The more bizarre part of the entire conversation was that it was a male coworker, who is in a supervisory role, and has been married for several years. I’m still shocked that he would say that, and I’m fairly certain he was asking out of curiosity, not to get us a gift. It came up in conversation about my wedding I was having with him and another male coworker.
I am not inviting people to treat them as ATMs at my wedding, but if they are generous enough to give us gifts, I would prefer cash, gift cards, and the like. I prefer not to have nice china, as I am very clumsy and have been known to break many dishes, glasses, and the like. If I was to have a registry, I probably would not put china on it. Of course, I will appreciate the thought behind any gift!
Post # 10
Be warned: people will still give you gifts. that’s how people show that they love you and want to support your marriage. The gifts are as much for them as they are for you. Not having a registry defitely implies you’d like cash instead, but it also means you might some rather interesting presents.