- 4 years ago
pglt09: First, weddingmaven is a godsend to this website, and you won’t go wrong by heeding her advice (except on the one or two teeny places where I disagree, of course, in which case I’m the one who’s right 🙂 )
Second, I do not know anyone outside of a nursing home, including people in their 90s, who doesn’t know how to use the internet well enough to find a registry or use an R.s.v.p. website. The ones who ARE in nursing homes have nurses to help them r.s.v.p., and the person I know who is most likely to screw up a simple computer task is my 26-year-old grand-niece. For that matter, my 83-year-old brother is the desktop-virus-cleaning and setup specialist for his small town and I built my first household website in 1994. So you can generally stop worrying about your elderly relatives and just concentrate on the relatives whom you know to be computer-illiterate.
Third, I am a stickler for traditional propriety and a huge fan of registries — but I despise “gift” registries. A traditional household registry is a plan for collecting your heirloom-quality household necessities over the years. If you didn’t start one when you were ten or eleven, start one now. Think about the future you want: thanksgiving dinners with children and inlaws ’round the laden board, peparing the guestroom for a houseguest with clean linen sheets and fresh flowers in a porcelain vase, rocking grandchildren in a comfortable rockingchair set next to a small bookcase filled with classic books. Or whatever your vision is. It’s your responsibility to equip your home, not your guests’; but guests often want to help. So if they care to, they will find your registry, and choose a gift for you that is informed by your registry and the insight it gives them into your tastes and plans. You don’t need to ‘help’ them.
Now, I am a huge fan of bone china, sterling, linen and crystal. But I am aware that not everyone is. Not everyone envisions grandchildren and dinner-parties. Some people find it easier to store awesome memories of collected experiences in their tiny inner-city highrise apartments, than a seven-course dinner service for fourteen. I get that. So, bucking the accepted norm for internet etiquette mavens, I am actually quite accepting of honeymoon registries. Shared experiences can be every bit as valuable to your marriage as shared Wedgewood. Feel free to put one on the web somewhere. Guests who are interested in helping you collect experiences will google and find it. It’s their choice — but it’s your responsibility. Don’t put a registry card in your invitation.
Don’t even put a separate website card in your invitation. The fewer inserts in your invitation; the more formal, dignified and proper it is. You can put the R.s.v.p. information in small font on the bottom left corner of your invitation itself, like this:
Incidentally, this is one place where we the geriatric crowd would appreciate your consideration. Don’t make your small print smaller than 10pt. Our minds don’t go when we cross the senior-citizenship line, but our eyesight starts to go before that.
If your long-time household planning list (or your mutual-experience bucket list) happens to be on the same website, or be linked from the same website, well, you’re not forcing them to do anything more at your website than R.s.v.p. If they explore the website, that too is their choice.
Incidentally, in my social circle we do not generally give cash gifts. So when I see a small registry, I don’t assume they want cash, I assume they simply don’t need very much stuff to complete their plans. If people in your social circle have different norms, they might get the “I want cash” message, or they might not.