(Closed) Is it rude to receive gifts or have a shower if you already live together?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 32
1094 posts
Bumble bee

@BEWLove:  Hello, my dear, and welcome to the Bee. You show good manners by your assurance that you certainly will not be asking for gifts. Some brides feel so entitled to gifts that they do ask, or hint, or “spread the word” or try to “help” their guests choose gifts, or feel entitled to gifts and get peeved not to receive them. Those behaviours are all rude, whether one is a bride or not, whether one has lived together with their spouse, or not. But blushing young brides are forgiven a great many things, because society loves a wedding, and the sweetness of innocent youncoung love. The more “experienced” a couple seem, the less doting fondness they are likely to inspire and the less they can count on society’s indulgence.

Nowadays, very few young couples get married without first living together, so I doubt that you will seem any less sweetly innocent than the norm. It is a trend that leaves us with no other outlets for our fondness for weddings, so people are likely to be just as generous as you might hope. In fact, your honest admission that you do NOT “already have everything we need” and your implied appreciation of actual gifts; even ones that might — horrors! — be selected by the guests themselves, rather than just taking orders; is likely to inspire more generosity than the norm. Most of us are a little tired of the implication that our taste and sense are so execrable that “going off registry” results in gifts that are tacky eyesores or multiple instances of toasters. Frankly, most of us imagine we have excellent taste, and your friends are probably looking forward to exercising that taste on your behalf inspired by love for you and their knowledge of your needs.

So while asking for gifts is rude, and expecting gifts to the extent that you feel entitled to hint for specific gifts, receiving gifts is a completely different matter. If someone offers you a gift, refusing to receive it would be a snub. It would create a distance between you and them, suggesting that you do not wish to be close. In short, not receiving a gift voluntarily offered would itself be rude.

The same goes for showers. Arranging them for yourself, hinting about them, asking for them: all are self-serving and rude regardless of the celibacy of the far-from-innocent young bride who feels so entitled. Having good friends who want to shower you with love and gifts is a blessing, and you would be unkind and rejecting of them — in short, rude — to decline to be their guest of honour. 

As for a registry: that is entirely your business. It is very sensible to put some thought into planning your future household, and a registry is very helpful for so doing, especially since you are envisioning good-quality heirlooms that will provide graciousness to your everyday life. As you say, you will gradually accumulate such things, starting with second-hand goods and replacing them with better according to the end-result you are planning in your registry. But if guests happen to snoop into your registry and buy you things as gifts, that is their look-out and no-one should be passing judgement on you.

Post # 33
1262 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

@BEWLove:  I don’t think so. A wedding shower is someone else hosting, anyway, so I don’t see how that could possibly be rude (unless you are the one running the show – but when you have zero control over it). It also doesn’t sound like you have much (have established yourself), and even if you had it would still not be rude. I mean, you don’t even have a bed frame.You are only rude, as others have stated, if you expect people to give you gifts and don’t thank them. If someone wishes you well then that is just fine. The point is not the gifts but that is the tradition.

Don’t worry about what other people think. The statement “haters are going to hate” springs to mind.

Also, go in with no expectations and anything that does come to you accept with a smile and a thank you. Send a note thanking them. You’re just fine.

Post # 35
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Rustic mill, historical site

I certainly hope not, anyway.

My fiancé and I have been together for over 8 years.  I had my own apartment for the first 3 years, where everything I had was old hand-me-downs, and as we got our apartments together, and now finally a house, we still have a lot of cheap things, or hand-me-downs.    Just because we’ve been living together for so long, doesn’t mean we should forfeit traditions like showers, IMO.   I have no idea if I’ll actually get one, noone has spoken about one yet, and my wedding is in 4 months, but since I’m not throwing my own shower, I don’t really know yet.    

Besides, even if we didn’t live together, we would still have all hand-me-down stuff, we would just have two of everything.    And less money because we’d have two houses or apartments to pay for.

Post # 36
3162 posts
Sugar bee

@BEWLove:  I don’t think it’s rude. Regardless of why someone gives a gift, for whatever reason, as long as you graciously accept and give proper thanks, then it’s not rude!

My Fiance and I have lived together for 5 years. We have been together for over 9 1/2 years. Do we have lots of things? Yes. Are they good quality things? No. 

I didn’t really want a shower, but my Maid/Matron of Honor and mother insisted. So I am going with the flow. We registered only for things we need or will need to upgrade. We included items in a range from $5 to $80, with lots of selection. 

Post # 37
1229 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Of course not!!

Post # 38
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Only if it’s your second wedding. Also if you’ve been living together and raused kuds together fir years a shower would be gift grabby.

Post # 39
1298 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We will have lived together for a year and a half before we marry, and I know my mother’s church friends will want to throw me a shower. I don’t feel guilty about it, I’d feel worse about turning it down. They’d be so hurt.  

I don’t mind, the man and I are using the 19 dollar set of four plates and bowls I got at target in 2001. We don’t have a blender. We don’t have a toaster. None of our flatware matches as it was cobbled together from 3 incomplete sets. He moved to this country 2 years ago and when he moved in with me he brought only his clothes, a computer, and a tea kettle. Which I’d love to replace as it has some serious dents.

We have spent the last year purchasing furniture (tables and chairs, sofa, lamps, etc) we really need and haven’t really been able to focus on the smaller household items. Anyhow, we have ones that work – or we can fake it for now.

I will not find it hard to register for things we actually need. I can’t wait to throw away his towels, they are riddled with holes. It is not gift grabby IF someone else wants to throw you one.

Post # 40
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

While I see where others might think it’s rude, it’s your call. It’s your day. It’s the start of a new life and that’s really what you’re celebrating. You’re celebrating the day that your new life starts. There is nothing wrong with a little fanfare.

My fiance and I lived together for a year before getting engaged. We had both previously been in serious relationships that didn’t end well and it was important for us to know that we could live with eachother before taking the next step. We don’t think of ourselves as “traditional” and won’t be registering for typical items (sheets, fine china, basic kitchen tools) instead we’re opting for something that fits our personalities better (funky fiestaware, honeymoon exersions and such). 

It’s not like you’re standing at the top of the stairs with your hands on your hips demanding a shower and brand new everything. You are celebrating something beautiful and wonderful.


Enjoy the ENTIRE process…you only (should) do it once! 

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