No registry = rude?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I don’t know if I would have said anything at all about gifts, including that you didn’t want any. It brings up the discussion and then people feel it’s okay to make the cash comments. 

But not having a registry is fine. It’s traditional, but lots of couples don’t do them. When a person asks if you want cash, tell them their presence is more than enough and you’re sorry the invitation was not more clear that gifts are not necessary. 

Post # 3
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

There’s nothing wrong with having one. You can reiterate to people like the rude person who made the comment about money that you don’t need ANY gifts, but if they want to buy you something you’d love to have something they picked out on their own that reminds them of you. If they’re going to make that much of a stink about it. That being said it probably doesn’t hurt to have at least one small one if you have that many people that are concerned about it.

Post # 4
858 posts
Busy bee

Wow i cant believe the reaction you got!! I think that it is very thoughtful to state that you guys dont expect gifts considering the $$ spend to attned. 

There are many other ways around a cash gift, such as gift certificates….my BF had her wedding in hawaii and didnt do a registry and there was no issue. So needless to say, its fine you dont have a registry!

Post # 5
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

As the pp’s have said there is nothing rude about not having a registry. I think you had the best of  intentions when you included a message about gifts not being necessary, but unfortunately for you that was a bit of a faux-pas.

Theonly outright rudeness in this whole scenario was displayed by the person who made the comment about making money from your guests. That person is a boor and probably always will be.

Post # 7
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It’s totally fine not to have a registry!  Usually it’s advisable to at least have a small one because there will always be a few people who prefer to give physical gifts.  But it’s deifnitely not a requirement or against etiquette.

The person who made the comment about wanting cash was super rude!  And while it was actually against etiquette to mention not wanting gifts (it implies that you assumed people would otherwise give you something), it’s not a huge faux-pas, it definitely didn’t warrent that reaction.

I will say though that people assume that if a couple isn’t registred then they prefer cash as a gift (since there is nothing they need).  So while that’s not what you are trying to do, just be aware that is how people may interpuret your no-registry.

Post # 8
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Bzztjay:  The person who commented that you want cash was incredibly rude.

It’s totally ok not to register. The correct way for a guest to interpret this is “Oh, there’s nothing in particular that Bzztjay and her fiance want,” not “BZZTJAY AND HER FIANCE ARE TRYING TO SHAKE US DOWN FOR CASH!”

People are so crass. It’s an invitation, not an invoice. With that said, you shouldn’t have mentioned gifts at all on your invitation because (even though you meant well) it suggests that you are expecting gifts.


Post # 9
397 posts
Helper bee

Bzztjay:  Since I have been in this situation, I want to comment that while all of what these other posters are saying sounds GREAT about not having a registry being “okay”, they likely haven’t had experience with it.

We did not have a registry, nor did we mention it… Anywhere, not even on our website. When people would ask where to find our registry, we would reply that we did not have one and explained that many people were traveling, we could more than afford our wedding and have all that we need at home, etc. 

Several people still either hounded us or replied “oh, so you want money?”. Despite our good intentions and what PPs are saying, guests surely made it seem and feel like we were being rude… It sounds like your guests are doing the same.

We had a handful that acted almost like we were inconveniencing them for not pointing them in the right direction for gifts that they were clearly going to give us anyway (despite us making it clear that we didn’t need/want any)… Or, that not having a registry was an indirect way of asking for cash only. 

Some folks gave us a lot of cash, and some gave us nothing at all. We received xactly two physical gifts from guests who were able to thoughtfully pick something out as a TRUE gift, without a registry (gasp!!).

If we could do it over again, I would have had a small, basic one just to avoid all of the above. 

Post # 10
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Wow, the person who said that to you is a total asshole. I don’t think you have done anything wrong. It’s their own fault they’re asking about a non-existent registry after seeing the “no gifts” on your invitation. Don’t register for stuff you don’t need/want just for the sake of having a registry.

Post # 11
1104 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It is against etiquette to mention gifts AT ALL on the invitation, either a registry or ‘please don’t bring gifts’ (because the latter is assuming people would and telling them not to).

It’s OK not to have a registry so long as you’re OK getting some decor not to your taste (large porcelain dog, anyone?) and a random assortment of things that you may already have, not want, etc.

I would just not say anything about it further.

Post # 12
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I’m in a similar situation.  I HATE registries, to me they’re very gift-grabby and more rude than not having one, so I absolutely refused to register.  I’m 10ish months away from my wedding and already I’ve had negative comments, so after serious pushing by my mother FI and I registered (we will not be including that information anywhere though, so if people want to know about it I’m assuming they will directly ask us or my mother).  People can be crazy, so it might actually be better to play it safe and set one up.  

Post # 13
1155 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Yeah, whoever said that to you sucks. I think the reaction you’ll get having no registry depends 100% on your friends and family, but not registering is in no way “rude” or cash-grabby.

FWIW, we did not register, and we had a great experience. Some of my parents’ friends asked my parents for suggestions, and a couple of people asked me directly. Maybe 6 people total out of 70 guests. I told them their attendance was all we hoped for (lots of our guests were out-of-towners), but if they really felt like they wanted to go beyond that, I gave them the name of an animal rescue we support. Nothing was written on the website or invitation about any of it, though — just word of mouth for the people who asked directly.

In the end, we did receive a fair bit of cash but also several absolutely wonderful heart-felt gifts, some contributions to the animal rescue (score!), and a handful of folks who gave us nothing but their presence on the big day. It was fantastic all around.

Point being, it’s definitely not rude but you do need to be prepared for a range of reactions because everyone will interpret it a little differently depending on how common it is in their circles.

Post # 14
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I tried the no gifts thing – I even gave out a link for donations to a charity instead but it didn’t work and people kept bugging me so I made a 23 item Target registry. I still have comments that people are annoyed that we only registered at Target. I really just don’t have time to register and we don’t NEED much!

Post # 15
1589 posts
Bumble bee

I get that you really don’t want gifts and the comment from the guest was rude. I know you just wanted to make things simple. 

But in their defense look at the number of times on this site that brides post saying “we really want cash, not gifts”, and the response is “don’t register, people will get the hint.”  Then there is usually some back and forth about how some people prefer to give actual physical gifts instead of money, and why does it matter it should be whatever the couple wants.  Then there is the counter argument that gifts are whatever the gift-giver wants to give.  Back and forth.    

I guess rude comment making guests are proving the point that some (not all, and depending on local custom) people DO care about the difference between cash and physical gifts, and while they usually don’t say anything to the bride and groom, they do have an opinion about this.     

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