(Closed) I don’ want to register for gifts – advice please!

posted 6 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 3
5479 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We’re in a similar situation, in that we already own our own home and have enough “stuff” for it.

We decided to do a small traditional registry (for the more traditional family members who are going to bring a gift- it may as well be something we like).  We registered for things that would be an upgrade from what we have (nicer dishes, pots & pans, better coffeepot) and things that we could use more of (towels, sheets, linens).  We plan to sell or donate our older items so we don’t end up with lots of clutter.

I’d probably not try to sway Future Mother-In-Law as she seems fairly set, but are there other family members who can pass via word of mouth that you guys are trying to save up for a down payment or honeymoon?

I also would not do a cash or honeymoon registry, I know they are gaining in popularity, and maybe I’m just a tad TOO traditional, but they are just not my thing.  If I want to give a cash gift at a wedding, I certainly don’t need someone to tell me how.  I am perfectly capable of writing a check and putting it inside a lovely card with some heartfelt words.

Post # 4
2616 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

There is is no pretty way to ask for cash. Indirectly, you can have family members and friends “spread the word” via mouth, but do not put it on your website, invite, or basically in writing anywhere. If people ask you what you want, you can respond (but don’t be surprised at how awkward you might sound!), but do not go around broaching the subject yourselves.  

Some people are just uncomfortable gifting cash (and I classify honeymoon registries as cash and stuff like that). I’m one of those people–I’ve done it when I hear that’s what the couple wants, but there’s somethign about it I don’t like. I’ll be straight with you–I think one thing I don’t like is in my head, it’s sort of like, “Well, if you really need the cash that much…why are you having a wedding??” A toaster is one thing, but it’s not my responsibility to pay for a car or a mortgage payment or vacations. I understand that this is a psychological distinction and hey, cash is cash–the $50 I spend on a plate is no different than $50 I contribute to HoneyFund. But for some reason, it’s just something I’ve never really liked (although I will do it for good friends). But I would much prefer to see a side registry that I can purchase from in lieu of cash–I think that if you would like to be an understanding bride, you might consider having a small registry for fuddy-duddies like me (and a small registry is usually the subtle nudge that the couple wants cash). Other (usually older) relatives might be equally put off because they see the object itself as symbolic of you or their relationship with you–hell, I know some people (my MIL) who are scandalized by actual gift registries!

To answer your questions: 

  • Is it ok to not register for gifts?

Yes. Although you run the risk of people getting you seriously weird stuff (and a few who will grumble that you made them put the effort into going shopping!). You sure that you don’t want to register somewhere big, like Sears or Macy’s or Target, and take advantage of their return policy? You may not need flatware, but a new lawnmower or flatscreen from Sears might be nice. 

  • How do I politely let people know that we would prefer money and not gifts? I don’t want to force people to give anything but I also don’t want them wasting their money if they do want to give us a present

You can’t, really. You can ask others to spread the word on your behalf. 

  • How can I get my Future Mother-In-Law on side?

Again, you can’t. Some people are uncomfortable with cash gifts. By pressuring her to do this for you, you are asking her to jeopardize her social relationships with her friends and family. Which isn’t very gracious, is it? 

  • Should I set up a cash registry instead, to try and appease FMIL?

I don’t think the issue is the registry, I think the issue is the cash. So I’m guessing that a cash registry wouldn’t appease her. You could set one up, but I wouldn’t count on her spreading the news about it. 

Post # 6
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@Shaerena:  BothCoasts did a great job of covering the main points in answer to your questions. Just a couple of additional insights/suggestions:

– As noted, your guests will get you gifts whether you want them or not, and a registry (which is only ever a list of “suggestions” for guests) is a way of helping them find something you will like and use. Fiance and I found the idea distasteful and didn’t want to register at first, until my already-married sister told us about how she and her Darling Husband felt the same way initially … and then at her shower, she got (no lie) 37 embroidered dish towels (!), a wooden duck (!!), and a lawn gnome (!!!). The kicker? They live in an apartment in Brooklyn. THEY HAVE NO LAWN! So, she recommended that we register, as a tactical defensive measure if nothing else. Wink

– She also had the good (albeit cynical) suggestion of choosing a store where you would shop anyway (i.e. Target, Macy’s) and putting items that you think people would enjoy buying, even if you’re not sure you’d use them. (My cousin, for example, was complaining that all the “fun” gifts from someone’s registry were already taken. It wasn’t just a question of “I’m going to spend X dollars and buy whatever from the registry” – she wanted to buy something that she, at least, found meaningful.) You only have so much room in your house for “meaningful” gifts – but this way you satisfy a psychological need in your gift-givers, and then if you decide that you have to, you can return items for store credit that you would use anyway. You can also accumulate the credit and use it for a larger-ticked item that you wouldn’t necessarily expect a guest to spring for on their own (a KitchenAid mixer, a mattress set, etc.), if you register at a store that has those types of items.

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