- 8 years ago
@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.