@Apratt: Registries are the norm where I live and no one thinks of them as gift grabby or anything. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about registries actually loves them because it makes it easy for them to shop for the bride and groom.
Here’s the thing: bridal showers came about because “back in the day,” before a couple lived together before marriage, they obviously had nothing for their home. No toaster, no blender, no sheets or pillows, no vacuum cleaner, no plates, no towels, nothing.
So in order to help them out with that burden, family and friends threw a party prior to the wedding to “shower” the bride with gifts to help her get her home started.
Great idea, right?
Except of course, the bride would get, like, 5 toasters. And since people didn’t want the bride to know how much they spent on her, she didn’t have receipts to return them and didn’t even know which store they came from. And the bride didn’t want to be rude and tell someone she had to return their gift, so ….. she had 5 toasters.
So registries were invented so that the bride and groom could pick out what they needed or wanted and then share that store/that list with their guests. That way once guest A bought a blender, guest B wouldn’t also buy a toaster.
And the bride wouldn’t end up with hideous, scratchy towels she couldn’t return lol
So I happen to think that showers are sweet and helpful for the couple, and registries are convenient and make things less stressful for guests.
Of course, there ARE couples who make registries out of control -like not having items available for less than $300. That’s where things get “gift grabby” (I hate that term), but that’s the kind of thing that gives people a bad taste for registries.
And of course, nowadays, a lot of couples DO live together before marriage, so they may have the basics, but they use the opportunity to register for new, better items. (ie: swapping out the mismatched plastic plates from college for a matching ceramic set lol).
Again, showers/registries, totally acceptable and fun and convenient when done correctly and everyone understands the background behind things.