(Closed) Is it rude to not want a shower or wedding gifts?

posted 12 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
2680 posts
Sugar bee

It is not rude to not have a shower, its your preference.  My friend did not want to have a shower until we came up with a really cute theme and invitations the other day and now she is really excited.  Her and her fiancee live together and have stuff already, but they have registered for "upgraded" stuff.  I do agree with your mom that people will want to (and will) buy you gifts and you should have a registry, if even a small one, for people to buy things for you from.  Even though you already have nice stuff, what about getting nicer stuff?  This is the one time that people will buy you china if you dont already have it, or nicer bedding, pots and pans, etc.

If you want to do a charitable donation in lieu of gifts, that is a great thing to do.  Just do not put it on your wedding invitations anywhere!  If you have a website, put something on there that you would either like people to make a donation in your name to a certain charity.  Other than that, just have it mentioned by word of mouth. 

My suggestion would be to do the charitable contributions, but still have a small registry of items for people that prefer to buy you a gift.

Post # 4
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think it’s a good idea to have a wedding registry, because there is always that person who is going to not be able to think outside of the box and feels the NEED to get a present for you.  How about creating a webpage with information, including your explanation about how gifts are absolutely not required, a link to the registry, and perhaps a link to some non-profit organizations you love, and suggest people donate there in lieu of a gift as well?

Also, if you make it clear to the people around you that you don’t want a shower or engagement gifts or anything like that, I’m sure their feelings won’t be hurt.  Just be really, really upfront about it.

In the end, if gifts REALLY make you uncomfortable, you can always return the ones that you get (choose a place to register with a cash return policy), and donate the money.

Post # 5
48 posts
  • Wedding: July 2009

We have a similar situation, we don’t have a house or a lot of nice things, but we plan to move to another country in a few years.  We don’t want to register for a lot of excess because it will be a pain to ship – in addition to US electronics that won’t work anywhere else in the world without a converter.

In the end, at my mom’s urging, we did register.  We kept it to small items, a few pots and pans I’ve always wanted, a nice set of towels, and some sheets.  Its not nearly enough for our 200 guests, but enough if I have a small shower or for some of my mom’s friends that want to buy gifts.

In the end, if there is not enough stuff on the registry or if you don’t have a registry, people will just give money as a gift.

Or look into registering for sa honeymoon fund. I also like the charitable organization. We are also advertising a non-profit for donations on our website and in our favors.  



Post # 6
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

As a guest, I would prefer a charity to donate to over a honeymoon fund. We’re going to a wedding this month in New Orleans and they’ve added a little note to their website that they would like donations to the Habitat for Humanity Musician’s Village {they also have a registry though} and that’s what we’re planning on doing. They’re older, 2nd marriage for the guy and I’m pretty sure they’re fairly established in their home, etc. based on what I see on their registry, so I can’t think of a better way to honor them then donate to something that means so much to the city of New Orleans. They’re apparently huge NOLA fans, as are we. Now, if I could just figure out how to let them know we donated. πŸ™‚ I don’t want to look like we didn’t send a gift!

Post # 7
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m not having a shower either because my family just aren’t the shower throwing type. I don’t think it is rude not to request anything. Maybe because you have everything you need you can create a charity registry instead where guests give gifts to the charities you choose- like through Idofoundation.org

Post # 8
5867 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m with you girl!  I think it’s crazy consumerism to feel forced to register for things you don’t want.  

Have you considered non-monetary alternatives?  Maybe for your shower you could ask them to bring you a gift of marriage/relationship advice?  Or treasured recipes?  A crafy host or bridesmaid might even make these into a little book.

 I do think that if you genuinely don’t want gifts you should not register and explain on your website that you only want the gift of their presence.  But if you are sure that you will get tons of gifts anyway just go ahead and register – just make sure it’s for things you actually want and will use. 


Post # 9
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

you should totally check out:


!!!!!! my friend regestered there and it was awesome because you can register for a whole lot of things, all of which are charitable. That way if someone "HAS" to get you something, they can choose! Also, as someone who would have been fine with a larger, one big charitable donation thingy, this was cool beacuse we could choose a gift and have a little interaction and decide where we spent the money!


Post # 10
405 posts
Helper bee

I think we’re twins! Same for Fiance & I… there are things we’d like or that would be nice but nothing we NEED. I told my Mother-In-Law that I don’t want a shower and that we’re asking guests to donate to a charity if they feel lead to give a gift, but that didn’t go over well with her. She said that some people have said they don’t want go give money to a "stupid charity" (oh yes she did say STUPID CHARITY!), they want to give it to us and would be offended if we then gave it to a charity in their honor…

I’m looking forward to the responses here! I could use the advice too! πŸ™‚

Post # 11
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I wouldn’t say that it’s rude to not want a shower, but if someone wants to throw one for you and you don’t want it to be a gift-focused shower but you’d still like to be able to celebrate before the wedding with friends and family, I think you have a couple of options available.

How would you feel about requesting that people make donations to a non-profit organization that you’re passionate about instead of giving you gifts?  They could still feel like they’re doing something for you, but you  wouldn’t have to feel obligated to ask for things you don’t want or need. 

You could also ask that your shower hostess specify that you’d like the shower to be a "love" shower! The invites could say something like, "Join us as we shower Mrs. R with love before she joins Mr. R in wedded bliss" and request that guests fill out an enclosed notecard with either a favorite recipe or a favorite bit of advice on married life. Then, the cards could be compiled in a book for you! You could even separate it so that people are asked to bring a recipe, but make the advice thing into a sort of shower game or activity. πŸ™‚ 

Good luck! I hope that helps!

Post # 12
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I don’t think it is rude. I think you are being very practical about it all. I would just specify on invites that you would not like gifts. People will probably still give them to you, but if you don’t register, then they are more than likely going to be monetary gifts. Good luck! πŸ™‚

Post # 13
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - The 19th Century Club

I agree with many of the comments above – find a charity (or charities) you believe in that would impact your community and ask that donations be made there in lieu of gifts.

I work in fundraising for a non-profit and my suggestion would be for anyone thinking of doing this – connect the organization(s) that you want donations to be made to. They will most likely be able to help you work out the best way to have these gifts made – for example, they could provide you with envelopes that are coded so that when they receive the gift they’ll know it is part of a donation made in your honor, so at the end they can let you know how much money was given/make sure you’re aware so that you can thank people for their generosity. Another option might be a personal fundraising page if the organization does those, where you and your HTB could set up a page tell why the organization is important to you and then people can make their gifts online.

Just a couple of suggestions! πŸ™‚

Post # 14
46 posts
  • Wedding: November 2008

We didn’t do a shower and we told people that their attendance was their gift. It was a Destination Wedding (although only to Texas), so it’s a little easier to use that line since everyone was incurring pretty large costs just be attending.

I didn’t register, and we did receive some gifts.  A couple are things that aren’t my taste, but I did really appreciate the gesture.  A couple others are really great things I’d never have registered for, but absolutely love (we got a hand-blown glass bowl from some place in Denmark that’s stunning).  One set of friends had a huge cheese and fruit plate and champagne sent up to the girls while we were getting ready; another couple had strawberries and champagne sent to our hotel the first night of our Honeymoon.  A few people did gift cards, which were great, too.  Some people didn’t get us anything, which was totally fine — that’s what we said to do. πŸ™‚  Overall, I’m glad I didn’t register — it was fun seeing what people came up with on their own. 

I also heard that you should register regardless, but I was worried that if I did, people would think I wasn’t sincere in not wanting gifts.  I was worried it would look like I "said" I didn’t want gifts, but I actually did.  A few people complained about our not registering, but very very few.  And for those people, I told them that if they wanted ideas, they could talk to my sister (and I’d given her a few ideas in varying price ranges, plus she knew stores I liked). 

If it matters, we requested no gifts b/c (1) everyone had to travel and (2) we have/can afford everything we really need, and don’t really even need to upgrade.  When people asked, our response was "coming to the wedding is more than enough." If they persisted, we said "honestly, we really have everything we need.  We’re just excited to see you there."  If they went further, I said "if you really want to do something, you could ask [Sister] for ideas.  But it’s really not necessary."

Post # 15
21 posts
  • Wedding: May 2009

Hey!  I’m so glad you posted this!  I actually am doing the EXACT same thing as you and your fiance!  We minimized our registry as much as possible, and I’m not having a bridal shower either.  Neither of me nor my fiance want any additional presents, only because we know we won’t use them for a long time and we still have at least 2 moves ahead of us within the next 3 years and we want to minimize the stuff we have to move w/ us.  That being said, our families complained that we didn’t have enough "nice stuff" on our registry (they ALL want to buy us china and glassware and that kind of thing, when I really want the Ralph Lauren bath sheets).  So we had to add stuff we don’t really want to our registry, which was supposed to function as an outlet for people who really wanted to gift us something physical.  However, we’re also doing the donations, and we already got a donation in our name!  Anyway, I’m blabbering, but to get to the point, I don’t think it is rude at all to do what you are doing.  Times are changing and I think families and guests recognize that there is a balance between tradition and practicality.  I don’t think you should change a thing!

Post # 16
8 posts
  • Wedding: December 2008

I’m with mrstye. I didn’t have a shower, nor did we register for gifts, and I have no regrets! My husband and I had lived together for 4 years, and we really didn’t need much in the way of housewares. Plus we didn’t really like the idea of giving people a shopping list of things to buy for us. What we really needed was some "big ticket"  items like a dining room table and a new sofa, and home improvement-type stuff like buckets of primer and drywall mud – neither of which you can really register for anyway.

My aunt tried to insist on throwing me a shower, but she finally gave up once I managed to convince her that I truly didn’t want one. (I don’t even like going to showers as a guest – who wants to feign interest in someone else’s towels or teapots?!)

I think you’ll have to accept that people will give you gifts, whether you register or not, and whether you say "no gifts" or not. But gifts are lovely, especially when they’re surprises! We received a lot of cash (husband’s family is asian), which is infinitely more helpful to us than a set of china would have been (now we can buy a dining room table and have our guests over for dinner to thank them!). And like mrstye, we also received some things that I never would have dreamed of registering for, but have proven really useful and/or beautiful. We did receive a couple of things that we don’t care for, but it really is the thought that counts (plus registries don’t stop people from giving weird gifts!). Finally, a few people gave us nothing at all, but just came to celebrate with us, which was all we really wanted!

None of our guests complained, so don’t let people bully you!

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