Post # 1
This is from a completely objective point of view as I am having NONE of these in my wedding, but I was wondering how UK bees felt about some more American traditions being absorbed into UK wedding culture? The main one I’m wondering about is the wedding registry; an associate of mine had one recently and was one of the only people I’ve known of to have one, and people were quite affronted by her presumptuous nature (she had one in John Lewis and the cheapest gift was £8 cookie cutters, but after that it jumped up to a £70 toilet roll holder/£75 salt and pepper set, alllllll the way up to a shoe rack that cost £1000 and a dining set that was nearing £2000.)
While the fancy nature of her registry was antagonistic, people were annoyed about it before they even saw it; I was a little bit ambivalent about the whole thing, feeling that on one hand it was practical though on the other it was hugely impersonal and didn’t leave many options in terms of thoughtful/more creative gifts (I always like to make up crazy fun hampers for weddings, filled with things I know the bride and groom love, but instead wound up just donating store credit to their account.)
There seems to be an rise in popularity of bridal showers (rather than just hen nights) and wedding announcement websites as well; is this just a new thing, or are people still weird about it?
I’m a really non-materialistic person and get very embarrassed about receiving gifts (especially if I’m not EXTREMELY close to the gifter) and so I can’t imagine anything worse than having a registry as it implies some kind of expectation, but I respect that it also lends a more practical sense to the concept of gift-buying if the couple have been together for a while and live together.
I was wondering what the general consensus is among UK brides, just out of curiosity?
Post # 4
My friend married last summer and had a John Lewis gift list. She had a variety of items on there, as she and her husband were just setting up home together. It was very easy to choose something to suit my budget. I think the cheapest items were probably a plastic kitchen bin, doormat, and coasters but I know one of her family members bought them a Dyson from it. There was also the option of purchasing gift vouchers – I think they started from £5.
I don’t see any harm in setting up a gift list as long as it is flexible. My friend and her husband’s families were fortunately both in a position to buy them more expensive gifts – that’s what they wanted to do and so that’s what they did. As a result, they had some larger-value items on there. That said, the couple recognised that most of their guests were in their mid-20s and some not long out of university so provided plenty of options. I ended up buying a couple of small items. It’s nice because their entire flat is kitted out with wedding gifts!
I think I will set up a Kuoni/John Lewis Gift List when the time comes. There’s not much we need but we would appreciate contributions towards our honeymoon, however small, and there’s always the option of tacking on the odd item for those that would prefer to buy a gift.
Post # 5
The most common thing in my circle of friends is the ‘buy us a honeymoon event’ thing you know they’ve booked their honeymoon but you can buy them a dinner in a special restaurant, send them white water rafting or on a tour of something etc. They usually posted a range of stuff they wanted to do with a description of what it is and how much it costs. Usually it ranged from inexpensive dinners to actual water sports or camping side-tours or something extraordinary that cost a little extra. Then when they came back they sent us all thank you cards which were collages of shots of them doing all the stuff that people had bought them. This seems to have worked well for those couples that have lived together for quite some time and already have the full house/kitchen compliment.
I will not be having a registry because we are asking people to travel to our wedding and stay in a hotel etc so we don’t want to increase people’s spending unnecessarily. I’m not having a bridal shower as that would be considered ridiculous or Kardashian-esque among my circle and I am also not having the traditional hen party because there was so much drama around it that I found it easier to cancel. I don’t give a s**t about the hen because I am getting married and that for me is the main event.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2017 - Bristol zoo
As far as I’m aware registrys were always pretty common, as a small girl I was aware of them (22 now) I think they’re less common than they were.
It’s a good way to let people know what you need for your home. Your example seems like the bride was being somewhat unfair though, £70 would probably be the most expensive amount I could allow myself to ask for lol. And at the same time I wouldn’t mind if people didn’t want to buy from the registry – all gifts are optional. But I’m not expecting to be rolling in money any time soon so any help with setting up my future home would be super appreciated 🙂
Definitely wouldn’t be bothering with a shower lol. Would possibly have a website to give directions to the venues or something but ehh, probably not :3
Post # 7
I too have had a couple of ‘registry’ weddings, I don’t see anything wrong with it at all so long as you choose items that are a reasonable cost. Or you split up bit items (so that 10 guests contribute towards a £1k item for example. It gives guests a chance to get you items that you’ll actually use and if you’re setting up home together, its a nice way for friends and relatives to help out.
Certainly, I think a registry is preferable to the ‘give us cash’ option….
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2014 - Baby #2 due Sep 2017
British bride here, no, I’m not planning on asking for any gifts at all. If anyone wants to bring/buy something, I will ask them for cash (I know this seems to be a controvertial topic here on the Bee but I really don’t find it offensive at all, and we will be marrying in Japan where it is the norm).
I’m not against registries since I think it’s fair for the guests to pay the couple back for the cost of the wedding, but I feel registries themselves are rather presumptious and fix the price of something whereas a cash donation would be left up to the guest.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@smealeys: £70 for a toilet roll holder that’s ridiculous!
I’m not sure the wedding registry is really an American tradition – certainly all my family from waaay back used to get gifts of housewares when they got married. It was to help people set up a new home together. Hell, FGMIL was asking what everyone had got us as an engagement present, which we didn’t think anyone did anymore.
We’re probably going to have a registry simply to please the older and more traditional members of our families (although there is some stuff would be nice to upgrade on – a crockery set that FH won’t break for starters, and maybe a new duvet), but I’m toying with the idea of just asking for a donation to the “Help Us Buy a House” fund too, or maybe a honeymoon registry.
But seriously, I think it’s pretty cheap/free to set up a registry in a lot of shops, and then they’ll give you a voucher regardless if anyone actually buys anything off it or not, so it seems pretty worthwhile. You just have to think about the different budgets, which the girl above didn’t at all.
That said, I think bridal showers are a bit of an American tradition, and that will definitely not be happening here. It seems very cheeky, and feels egocentric to me – how many events about ME do I need? At least at the Hen Night the focus will be more on drinking than me, and no gifts required!
Post # 10
I had a John Lewis gift list – I don’t think it’s a particularly American thing!
Post # 11
@chronicwhimsy: I agree. I didn’t think registries were an American thing. Literally all of my relatives have made comments about houseware FI and I can ask for when we get married. We just moved in together about 8 months ago so we were setting up house then, and people kept telling us “buy something cheap for now, then you can ask for a nice cutlery/dinnerware/towel/bedding set when you get married”. I think we’ll certainly be having one, but like PP have said we will make sure to get a good range of prices in there! Most of my friends are fresh out of uni but I know our grandparents for example would like to get us more costly gifts (and feel like they will actually be useful).
Bridal showers and wedding websites, on the other hand? Nope, we won’t be doing those.
Post # 12
@chronicwhimsy: Lol, I am with you completely about bridal showers! 🙂
Post # 13
we already live together, and although we dont own our sofas etc, there would be no point having a registry as our one bed london flat (which we will be in for another 2 years) literally cannot fit anything else in it.
We quite like the idea of a honeymoon gift list, but i know a lot of people will be offended like “I didnt have a honeymoon”.
FMIL thinks we should have one and expects people to give us vouchers to john lewis for example. We are so against that because john lewis is somewhere we wouldnt want to buy things because its so expensive (£70 could buy us a brand new set of Tefal pans not a toilet roll holder!).
Not sure what to do really. Some people suggested asking for money but i find putting it on invites REALLY tacky. Current plan is to do nothing and if people ask for a registry we can tell them we either dont have one and would love money towards our honeymoon, or our honeymoon fund. No doubt people will be offended though…
Post # 14
I’m a UK Bee and I’ve never heard of NOT having a registry! In fact, I think we seem more relaxed about the whole thing!
I am personally put-off by buying ‘cheap household items’ – one of my colleagues got married and all that was left in the lower-end price bracket were a flour sifter, salt and pepper shakers, and some other bits and I didn’t really want to buy a few random items to bump it up to the price I wanted to give. In the end, I coupled up with another colleague and we bought something bigger between the two of us.
We’re having a honeymoon registry and tried very hard to have gifts that covered a range of prices. Our cheapest thing is £10, going all the way up to £150 but the majority are in the £40-£60 range as we thought that would be what most people would feel comfortable in giving.
Though that said, our invitations were sent out on Saturday and yesterday (when they arrived) we received a very generous £110 donation that we were not at all expecting. Some people don’t like registries, but other people will always surprise you with their generosity.
Post # 15
@smealeys: Glad you started this – I’ve been wondering this too! This site surprised me, I didn’t realise how many differences exist between UK and US weddings.
There have been registries for some of the British weddings I’ve been to. I’m going to bring a gift anyway so I’d rather they told me what they want (unless everything is crazy expensive). If there’s no registry I’d assume it was a hint to give cash but an outright ‘no boxed gifts’ line is a bit cheeky, although I know that’s pretty common in south asian british culture and in east/south east asian weddings cash is culturally standard. I probably won’t have a registry because I’ll most likely get married abroad but if I did I wouldn’t put it in the invite – I don’t know why!
I don’t know anyone here who’s had a wedding website, but they’re a really good idea – no bits of paper to lose.
I’ve been to one bridal shower here (she had no hen night) where we all paid for our own afternoon teas at a posh hotel (chipping in a bit extra for the bride) and didn’t bring gifts. If someone’s paying for me to eat and drink then I like to bring a gift, but equally I’m fine paying for myself and not bringing a gift. Celebrations are always fun and I think the more the better. Engagement parties aren’t common here but I’m having one anyway!
Does anyone know how it works here with hen dos? I was under the impression that everyone pays for themselves (including the bride) but I might be wrong?
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@Audrey2: Haha, I suggested a wedding website as a helpful way to share information and my FH and Mum but a great smacking veto on that as quickly as anything. FH considered it briefly when I mentioned that it might save on postage, but I think that’s gone out the window.
FH’s vote for the photographer was also for the one that DIDN’T offer an engagement shoot, because he doesn’t like having his picture taken.