My fiancé doesn't want gifts

posted 3 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

In my culture (Italian) we don’t do registries. They’re tacky and grabby. Italians just give money, for showers and weddings. 

Could this be the case? 

Post # 3
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I think that your fiancé is being really unfair, and disrespectful of the fact that people have different traditions and comfort zones (and his is the only “right” one). 

 I think that a lot of people view it as a joy and not a burden to give a gift, and it is unkind to push that away. 

Moreover (regardless of the joy vs. burden thing), no matter how emphatically you say “no gifts”,  Half of the people will bring gifts anyway. And then you have a situation with the people who respect the request feel awkward and embarrassed (and probably resentful of the request that put them in that awkward position).  This is why with all kinds of parties I hate it when people say “no gifts”. 

 I am not saying that your fiancé’s preferences have to go completely out the window, but he absolutely needs to do some compromising here. At the very least he should  respect you doing your shower the way that you and your friends are comfortable with, and not judge or guilt you for that. in terms of a wedding registry,  having one but not mentioning it to anyone unless they ask is one way to go.  If he is completely uncomfortable with any kind of wedding registry, he should at least agree to a charity thing– because the bottom line is that a lot of people will be much happier and more comfortable if they are able to give something.  And he needs to start thinking about other people’s comfort in addition to his. 

Post # 4
9100 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
calibride3 :  The idea behind a registry is that it’s a list you’re compiling for yourselves, of things you’d like to eventually buy for yourselves and your life together. And if your wedding guests happen to find it, or are directed to it when they ask your parents what you might like as a gift, how convenient is that?! As long as you’re not including it in your invitations or offering up the info unsolicited, I don’t see why your fiance would have a proble with this. I would frame it to him this way and see if he can get on board. Even if HE still wants nothing to do with it and refuses to tell his side of the family about the registry, it seems extremely controlling for him to try to say YOU can’t have a registry, or to make you feel bad for having one. Especially if it’s more for the shower than the wedding. 

Do you mind sharing where he’s from that considers registries so terrible? Are your guest going to be about 50/50?

Post # 5
10542 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

If you are having a shower, in the US, you need a registry. A shower is a gift giving event, the point is to shower the bride-to-be with gifts. A good compromise would be to have the bridal registry for the shower and skip a registry for the wedding.

Your fiancé sounds very controlling and unwilling to compromise/see others perspectives on things. Is this how he is with all your disagreements?

I would tell him exactly what you’ve told us here – You grew up in the US and have looked forward to these cultural traditions. If he doesn’t want to participate that’s fine (and the norm for showers anyway) but his attitude is ruining what should be a fun and happy time for you and quite frankly I see no reason for it other than his own stubbornness.

Post # 6
47448 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Although he expects you to honor his feelings, he is showing no respect for your feelings on the issue. He doesn’t have to attend the shower, or use any of the gifts, if he is so inflexible.

Post # 7
3825 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

He’s being really unreasonable and judgmental. If you say ‘no gifts’, as a PP said, some people will always still bring a gift and then everyone else feels bad. Plus gifts are a way to celebrate. I don’t know what bee in his bonnet he has about gifts, but it’s so normal here that it’s not right of him to look down his nose at you for thinking about it. You need to come to a compromise, for example, you don’t create a registry but you also don’t say ‘no gifts’. You would just not mention gifts on the website/invite and if people ask you directly you could have a few ideas to give them. That’s what we did. 

If you don’t create a registry most people won’t just buy you random things. They either ask you what you want or take it as a hint to give cash. 

Does he give gifts when he goes to weddings? Maybe he feels bad getting gifts when he doesn’t give them? Or if he does give gifts, ask him why your wedding should be any different?

Post # 8
11385 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
calibride3 :  wow, I think he’s a little harsh with you. Does he realize how long you’ve looked forward to this and that you’re now dreading bringing gifts home? 

He is absolutely entitled to his beliefs and you guys seem to have found a good compromise for the wedding. But the shower is your thing, it has nothing to do with him and I would be concerned about his overreaction to what you get at a shower. What is this about? 

 Have you talked to him about how this matters to you? 


Post # 9
4810 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

View original reply
calibride3 :   You said he might not be keen on asking for donations to a charity, but have you specifically asked?   We had a sponsorship registry at the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind on Long Island, NY.   Thanks to the generosity of our guests a sight impaired man now has a guide dog.   Your Fiance might be willing to consider something simliar.

Post # 10
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

This is tricky. I feel you on the different cultures – things are so different in different places! I would first explain to him that saying “no gifts” is just as rude as asking for a specific gift or just money. A gift should never be assumed, nor should it be preemptively shut down. That’s pretty much true anywhere, and especially in the US. You both need to be willing to compromise.

My experiencs… We did not make a registry for a number of reasons, but I also would not let my husband directly ask for cash (normal where he’s from, rude where I’m from). Our compromise was just doing nothing… and all of our US guests were shocked! I was surprised by how controversial it was, but people are just very used to it. Some were at a loss of what to do. In the end, many gave cash, a few gifts and some gave nothing. I was totally good with that result. Also, I didn’t have a shower. What if you made an amazon wish list for you personally for the shower? Maybe then it wouldn’t feel so gift grabby to him. Another option is to spread the word through your mom or bridal party.. but remember, your culture counts too! Good luck

Post # 11
1072 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
calibride3 :  he seems insecure and not flexible. Does he know marriage is about compromising? He seems to think it’s his way or the highway. 

Post # 12
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

So. To clarify, at weddings in his culture there are no gifts of any kind (including money) given? 

Gift giving is pretty universal in the majority of cultures & I find it surprising that he wouldn’t realize that fact? 

Post # 13
692 posts
Busy bee

We have a registry for the shower, but not for the wedding. For the wedding people give money in my culture. 

Post # 14
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

We didn’t register because I thought it would look gift-grabby, and it’s one of the few things I regret. We spent so much time exchanging things that we simply couldn’t use (wine glasses when neither of us drink, for example). People wanted to give us gifts, wanted to please us–and we made it hard for them. 

I am so grateful for registries. I know I’m giving something the b. and g. actually want to have.

You will receive gifts anyway. You should register.

Post # 15
5757 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

View original reply
calibride3 :  I don’t see why you registering for your bridal shower can’t be a good compromise. The only reason saying “we don’t want gifts” would be “awkward” when someone asks about your registry is if you actually do care about the gifts.

I do not think your parents opinions on gifts being the point of having a wedding should be more important than your finances opinion. Honestly I would be mortified if my fiancé made us have a registry so I can understand your Fiance on this one.

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