Spin-Off: Must gifts be from the registry?

posted 6 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1536 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I was always notoriously terrible and would buy off-registry, but getting married opened my eyes. I genuinely appreciate when people want to give a nice gift, but I live in a tiny house and have no space to put things. My husband and I are also researchers by nature, so we’d rather buy the one specific thing we wanted ourselves versus being gifted something totally different. As a result, I’m a religious registry-only shopper now.

I read through that thread, and I think it’s especially important to not go off-registry for baby shower gifts. Parents put a ton of research into safety features of items. Beyond that, only they know what works for them/their lives. Yeah, my Mother-In-Law might think she’s going above and beyond by buying me a more expensive stroller, but what if we purposely registered for a different one because that’s the one that will fit in my husband’s small car? Same thing with things like bassinets, which I know were mentioned…those parents may have spent hours researching one that’s just the right height for their funky platform bed that’s really low to the ground. 

Post # 3
2700 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
temeculabride :  For our wedding, we had some people buy off the registry. It resulted in us needing to return the items because we already had them. Two people got us a pressure cooker, with no gift receipt. Someone else got us a set of monogrammed wine glasses, when I hate monogramming and my husband and I don’t drink for deeply personal reasons. We don’t use them, and we can’t regift them due to the monogramming.

When I was younger (but old enough to know better, I just was ignorant of all this), I bought items not on a registry. Now that I’ve had a registry, I see their purpose, and always buy off the registry. It prevents duplicate gifts or gifts that aren’t needed, not in style with the recipient’s taste or home, and ensures it’s a gift that’s wanted. Gifts should be about the receiver, not the giver. 

Post # 4
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2020

I will always get at least one item from the registry. If I see something that I feel they would want or just would be cute and is something I want to give I will do that in addition, but I would never go totally rogue and only get them off-registry items. That just seems rude unless the registry is all big ticket items OR everything has been purchased. 

Side vent- I want to slap people who buy stuff from the registry but don’t put it on the registry! It has happened the last two gift giving parties I went to! I gave something that had already been given because it wasn’t marked off 🤦‍♀️

Post # 5
10541 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I typically buy off the registry or give cash. But sometimes I go off registry if I know the couple well enough. For my sister-in-law’s wedding my husband handmade a box that could fit a bottle of wine and had a compartment for letters. Their names and wedding date were painted on the top. We asked each of them to write a letter to the other, bought a nice bottle of wine and told them to open the box on their first anniversary. They absolutely loved it. But I wouldn’t just like buy a random set of plates or a slow cooker off registry.

Post # 6
3901 posts
Honey bee

I’m pretty lazy and gifts aren’t my love language, so I prefer registries because I don’t have to really think about it.  So for the shower, you will get a registry gift from me and for the wedding you will get a cash gift.

There have been a couple of times that along with the registry gift/cash gift, I’ve given something thoughtful.  

Post # 7
5346 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
temeculabride :  I usually gift a gift card from a store I know for sure they like. Or if I’m too lazy to look at the registry or there’s nothing left, I get them a gift card from the same store they are registered at.

Post # 8
3555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

It depends on the wedding. One of my favourite wedding gifts was a picnic blanket and cool box / picnic set. It wasn’t on our registry but I loved it. So useful and we still use it now. The person who got it for us also put in a mini champers and some other bits. 

now we will often get something similar for a couple, but only if we know them well.

for babies, I make crochet baby blankets so I usually make one for the baby. 

if I don’t know them well or if they have asked for money / honeymoon stuff then we buy off their gift list 

Post # 9
601 posts
Busy bee

my view is if someone wants to give me a gift, it’s not up to me to dictate what they give.  we got many off registry gifts for our wedding and for the most part i love them.  i will sometimes buy off registries but will often try to get something more unique or personal for a close friend. 

i’m registering now for a baby shower and while i have registered for “essentials” like a stroller, car seat, bassinet, etc., i’m not going to bother registering for specific clothes or blankets but would happily accept those.  i also have seen that many people like to give more sentimental or handmade gifts at baby showers, and i think that’s lovely.

Post # 10
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

It’s incredbily obnoxious to buy an expectant parent a stroller or carseat or crib that is different from the one on their registry.  They wanted a specific one for a reason.

Smaller sentimental gifts like clothing, baby blankets, sentimental wedding gifts, etc are fine IMO.

Post # 11
1037 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I always do money or something from the registry. At our wedding, we did get a couple non-registry gifts, and they did end up being our favorites haha but they were very creative and personal gifts (like the friends who got us customized funkopop figurines of me and my husband! My hubby and I have close to 100 funkos and have been collecting them for years. So that non-registry gift was fantastic 😁)

Post # 12
2283 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

Whilte of course it’s 100% up to the giver, I think if you really want the person to use/enjoy your gift, stick to the registry. Otherwise you may be getting the person/couple something they don’t want or need. It may be someone else already got them that thing, they already have one, or it’s just not to their taste. Like anything home decor – something that’s very personal – is probably unwise. 

Post # 13
7707 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Registries exist for a reason. I always buy off registry. For baby gifts, I usually add a book to whatever I bought off the registry.

Post # 14
504 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
temeculabride :  The last two baby showers I went to I picked something off of the registry and also gave something off the registry. But the off registry stuff was just some cute onesies that a local artist near me makes, so nothing big that would be annoying for the couple like a stroller they didn’t pick out. I would not try and pick out something like that for someone else.

Same for a wedding, I have always just gone off registry or cash. 

Post # 15
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I buy from the registry and off … example- my best friend had a french press and coffee grider on their registry, so I got both of those, then had personailized cups made for them and a bag of really good coffee beans from the local coffee shop and I put it into a basket they could re-use— Another friend of ours wanted a marble wine chiller,  so we got them one and some wine! I like to do a little of both cause it’s something that the want/need and something that makes me feel thoughtful and like it’s a well rounded gift =)

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