(Closed) opinions on wedding registries

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
615 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I had a registry and I am very happy that I created one.

Registeries :

  • allows you some control over gifts you might receive (people often shop off the registry instead of trying to figure out a good gift
  • allows guests to give you a gift that you might actually want/use
  • allows guests to give you a gift instead of cash (some people do not like to give cash)
  • makes it easy for people to give you a present at a bridal shower or engagement party (if you have one or both of these parties)

Prior to the registry, my DH and I received a few engagement gifts.  While we were very appreciative of the thought, we had no use for any of these gifts.  The gifts did not go with the style of our house and basically took up room in our small apartment. 

Post # 4
572 posts
Busy bee

I think registries have almost become tradition. It just gives you guests ideas of what you and Fiance like and would be interested in getting. Its not quit the traditional world anymore, and most liekly you two have most of your living things because you have lived together.

People will get you what they want to get you, but there will be those few that have no idea and will be thankful for the registry!

Post # 5
1290 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I am always grateful for registries.  I still might pick out another gift, but it takes the pressure off of me. 

Post # 6
30388 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It depends on where you live and your cultural background.

Post # 7
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I work at a Crate&Barrel in Seattle and we deal with registries a ton. I also have A LOT of people coming in and registering who say their family was bugging them because no one knew what to get them but wanted to give them gifts. Or guests coming in buying random stuff saying the couple didn’t register but they still wanted to give a gift. I think people appreciate the guidance for what the bride and groom like. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who thinks they’re rude yet!

Post # 8
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I think registries are nicer than wishing wells (no offense to the wishing wells out there!), as long as you put stuff with wide range of prices for everyones budget, and mention that it isn’t compulsory, just an ideas board if people get stuck 🙂  even if someone doesn’t buy from the registry, having a look at it might at least give them more of an idea of what you would like/need.  I’m not a huge fan of the registries for honeymoons and stuff, I understand the practicality of it but personally when I attend a wedding, I’d like to give a gift of something a bit more personal.

Post # 9
2354 posts
Buzzing bee

Registries are not done where I live. I guess they used to be part of tradition at some point (at least, boxed gifts were when my grandmother was young), but even for my parents’ generation, couples lived together before getting married and didn’t really need househould items as much, and over time cash gifts have become customary. Most people will want to offer something to the bride and groom when they get married, so in prevision of that, most couples get a cardbox or ”wishing well” to collect the envelopes, it’s not seen as begging for money, but rather as a convenience for the guests who don’t have to carry their gift around all evening. Cardbox and wishing wells have even become part of the decor and they’re often made to suit the theme, just like the cake or the centerpieces.

Now when it comes to registries, of course my opinion is biased because I’m an ”outsider” to this tradition. It’s also why I don’t think of new forms of registries, like honeyfund or homefund, to be offensive. Coming from a place where cash gifts are offered to help the couple get WHATEVER with it (hell, a giant plasma screen if you wish), it makes sense to me to offer money for a travel or for a downpayment, as anyhow it will not entirely cover the cost, but it can allow the couple to have something nicer (or get a bigger downpayment faster).

What I don’t like about traditional registries is the belief it’s supposed to help the couple’s household, and that you should register for needs vs wants. Good if it makes you feel better, but I personally don’t buy it. Year after year all I’ve asked my parents for Christmas (when they ask me my gift list) is something useful to the household and this year, I just couldn’t come with any suggestion. Yes, that KitchenAid Mixer that comes in 10 different colors is awesome, but truthfully, it’s not a need, it’s a want for most people. Same with China. Same for decorative items, etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong : I don’t see anything wrong with requesting any of these. I am a firm believer the gifts offered to the couples must be to PLEASE them, and if having a 400$ mixer pleases you, good for you. I just have a problem with the mentality that says it’s the only way to go for wedding gifts, that any other form of ”gift suggestion” is tacky, and that you’re not supposed to tell anyone about the existence of the registry. If it wasn’t for all that, I would consider the registries the same way I consider any other gifts. But I tend to be more critiqual of registries, mainly because I’ve seen many people who use them being extremely judgemental about other forms of gifts and gift-giving practices.

If that makes any sense…

Post # 10
1082 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Apratt:  Registries are the norm where I live and no one thinks of them as gift grabby or anything. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about registries actually loves them because it makes it easy for them to shop for the bride and groom.

Here’s the thing: bridal showers came about because “back in the day,” before a couple lived together before marriage, they obviously had nothing for their home. No toaster, no blender, no sheets or pillows, no vacuum cleaner, no plates, no towels, nothing.
So in order to help them out with that burden, family and friends threw a party prior to the wedding to “shower” the bride with gifts to help her get her home started.
Great idea, right?

Except of course, the bride would get, like, 5 toasters. And since people didn’t want the bride to know how much they spent on her, she didn’t have receipts to return them and didn’t even know which store they came from. And the bride didn’t want to be rude and tell someone she had to return their gift, so ….. she had 5 toasters.

So registries were invented so that the bride and groom could pick out what they needed or wanted and then share that store/that list with their guests. That way once guest A bought a blender, guest B wouldn’t also buy a toaster.

And the bride wouldn’t end up with hideous, scratchy towels she couldn’t return lol

So I happen to think that showers are sweet and helpful for the couple, and registries are convenient and make things less stressful for  guests.

Of course, there ARE couples who make registries out of control -like not having items available for less than $300. That’s where things get “gift grabby” (I hate that term), but that’s the kind of thing that gives people a bad taste for registries.

And of course, nowadays, a lot of couples DO live together before marriage, so they may have the basics, but they use the opportunity to register for new, better items. (ie: swapping out the mismatched plastic plates from college for a matching ceramic set lol).

Again, showers/registries, totally acceptable and fun and convenient when done correctly and everyone understands the background behind things.

Post # 11
5136 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Apratt:  i love registries. It makes picking out a gift so much easier.  But, a lot of couples live together before marriage so they have a different type of registry like a “honeyfund” (which im not crazy about but thats a topic for another thread).

DH and I didnt live together so when I had my shower we made out like bandits. We got everything on our registry and then some. We were very grateful

Post # 12
2354 posts
Buzzing bee

@Stace126:  See, I totally get why established couples would want to upgrade their plates, but why would it be tacky for them to register to have life experience as well, like traveling to Europe for the first time or just having the first couple travel ever ? Or buying their first house together ? Registries are not considered of poor taste but they’re mainly aimed toward material gifts, while other forms of registries are seen as gift-grabby and tacky. That’s what I don’t like. I’m more concerned about offering something that will make the couple happy, and a fancy restaurant can, truly, be more appreciated than a new set of towels. 

Just like the people in your example needed to adjust to life’s realities, I think wedding gift practices can still evolve now. If registries are still huge traditions in some cultures and families, it doesn’t mean other forms of gifts/financial help/community effort to celebrate the newlyweds can’t be legitimate. It’s the attitude that bothers me, not the registries. 

Post # 13
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t like them because I think that telling someone what you want them to buy you defeats the purpose of a gift. I never buy gifts off the registry, because I enjoy taking the time to think of the perfect gift for the couple.

That said, I would never begrudge a couple for having a registry. I do begrudge couples who include registry information on the invitation or whose registry is a thinly-veiled cash grab, like a honeymoon fund. I mean, please. Everyone already knows that cash is an acceptable gift. Reminding them is so obnoxious.

Post # 14
1099 posts
Bumble bee

To me, having a registry means that you’re assuming that you’ll be getting gifts, which I find rude. I will certainly not have a registry for this reason; I don’t want anyone thinking that we expect gifts (because we don’t).

However, if someone else has a registry I don’t judge them. I might think it’s a bit tacky but at the same time, I understand the reasoning and registries do make the gift-purchasing easier since I know what they want.

Post # 15
1374 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

To those who think creating a registry is rude because it implies you expect a gift, how do you feel about setting up gift tables and card boxes at the wedding? Doesn’t that imply the couple is “expecting” gifts as well?

Post # 16
8602 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I do not get the “it’s rude to register and expect presents” at all. You’re getting married and if youre an American couple (only culture I can speak for) you will be getting gifts as is tradition. Registries take the guess work away for your guests. It’s a courtesy, not a demand. It’s traditional etiquette and is NOT rude. 

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