Whether you register, and what you register for, is a private business matter between you and the store who is providing the registry service. Traditional registries were permanent records held by the store. We girls normally opened them about the same time we opened our first child’s bank account around age ten. Our grandmother or mother or maiden aunt would take us down to the china warehouse (Birks, for those of us who were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, Johnston Walker’s or Lawleys or even Eatons for those of us who could only aspire to silver plate spoons in our mouths) and we would pick out our “patterns”: china, crystal and silver. Then we would receive one piece per birthday or Christmas from the redoubtable women of the family, so that by the time we came out we could host our own tea-parties on our own china, and by the time we married it was typically just a matter of “finishing” our sets. The store kept the registry on file anyway, and sent us a note if the pattern went on sale, or if the manufacturer issued new pieces or if (horrors!) your pattern was scheduled for cancellation. In fact, I just got my final notice from Birks this spring, letting me know that they are cancelling all their patterns. Alas, for this decadent age we live in!
If guests — whether dinner guests who accidentally stepped on their Zweisel Crystal wine goblet, or wedding guests looking for the perfect gift — managed to suss out where we were registered (perhaps for the sake of replacing said wine goblet even though we assured them that it was ‘no matter’ while holding back our tears!) well, that was their problem. They didn’t ask us outright because, quite frankly, snooping into someone else’s registry is still snooping. It gave the gift shopper a pleasant thrill of underhanded sneakiness, while still knowing that ‘everybody does it’.
Regardless of whether you have a registry or not, if people ask about it you are supposed to say “oh, there is really nothing we need and we wouldn’t want to put you out: it is your friendship that we value.” You can go on repeating that infinitely, and as long as you do you can indulge in as many and as extravagant registries as you want. Think of your registry as a daydream of what you plan to acquire eventually (when you win the lottery, perhaps) to equip your home for every possible occasion for hospitality. It is only when a bride thinks of her registry as being a “gift”registry, providing “guidance” to guests’ who can be expected to provide gifts, thatshe is showing an unfortunate sense of entitlement and making a faux pas as a result.
We are having an extremely small (immediate family only) destination wedding. When we return we are having a small party for family and our closest friends at a restaurant. It is NOT by any means a reception, and we have made that very clear to everyone. Its just a night to get all of our loved ones together for a casual dinner and drinks.
A lot of people are asking us where we are registered. I always reply that we are not registering, and we do not want gifts. I just feel that its inappropriate when we are not having a large wedding. Everyone’s response so far has been to roll their eyes and be like “yeah, ok, like I’m not going to get you a gift – now tell me what you want.” First, this makes me extremely happy that we have such generous loved ones (FSIL offered to buy one of our appliances!) But then I don’t know what to do! I really am set on not having a registry because I think it is tacky in this situation, but I also understand that people are going to buy us gifts anyway, and want to get us something we really need.
It’s not appropriate for you to tell them what gifts to buy for you (registries were at one time considered a major faux pas!) Tell your parents some things that would actually be nice to get and let them tell people. If anybody asks directly, keep telling them there is no registry and you don’t expect gifts and if they push you for an answer, change the subject.
If people keep pressing you you can always say, “Just choose something you think we’d love, I’m sure it will be perfect!” And it will because there isn’t actually a registry and you aren’t hoping for anything specific.
Read more: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/registry-question-tiny-dw#ixzz2RE2KLJhH