(Closed) Spinoff: why is a honeymoon registry considered tacky, but a gift registry isn't

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 61
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547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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loveisbrewing:  

Here’s how I see it: gifts are meant to be more than just giving someone something. Anthropologically speaking, gift giving is truly an important social ritual. There’s an intention behind a gift that gives it its true meaning; it’s a way to show someone that you spent time not only buying them that gift but, most importantly, putting thought into what you think would make them smile so that every time they look at that item in their household they remember that there’s someone that cares about them. This is why I actually hate giving just cash as a gift unless I know for sure the couple is cash-strapped and would probably benefit most from it; I want my friends and family to know that I care enough to spend a lot of time thinking about their wants and needs.

Gift registries are basically a shortcut. Basic etiquette specifically says to not include any registry information with invitations because it’s very gift-grabby and basically destroys the purpose of a gift; however, the registries themselves aren’t inherently gift-grabby because their true purpose is to make it a little easier for anyone who wants to give you something but is having a hard time figuring it out on their own. Remember that weddings gifts are not mandatory, otherwise they would just be called ‘wedding entrance fees’.

Buying a honeymoon experience could probably still be ‘okay’ given that it doesn’t totally destroy the sentiment: when you’re at that dinner or on that scuba trip that a friend arranged, you’ll probably think of them and the fact that they cared enough to pay for you to have a blast. But simply asking for money to go towards a honeymoon is crossing that fine line. It goes beyond helping others out in the gift-giving ritual and basically says “We have everything we need, we just want your money”. 

Post # 63
Member
964 posts
Busy bee

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FantasticFawn: I never said that my family and I are etiquette focused; I said that where I was raised, asking for cash is not a polite thing to do. Not everyone grew up where I did (Midwestern U.S.) and I know that other regions and other countries view gift giving very differently.

I do not think registering for money and regsistering for gifts are the same, and as people in this thread seem split on the issue, there are plenty of people who agree with me and plenty of people who don’t. The OP asked for opinions on why some people think honeymoon registries are tacky, and I gave mine. That’s all.

Post # 65
Member
3470 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

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loveisbrewing:  There are already 5 pages of responses, so you’ve probably already heard most sides of the argument, but for me it boils down to a simple fact – the point of a gift registry is to provide guidence to your guests about your personal taste and preferences.  Historically, new couples wouldn’t have lived together prior to the wedding, so traditional registry items revolve around establishing a home.  

As you mentioned, not everyone needs this anymore. But no one needs “guidence” about giving cash; everyone knows it’s a versitile gift, and those who are OK with giving it will do so regardless of your prompting. It’s generally assumed to be tacky to ask for cash in ANY form, not just a honeymoon because you’re “guiding” your guests to give you something that requires no guidence.

If you don’t want to register for physical items to show your guests your personal style/taste, I think it’s best to do no registry at all – those who still want to give you something will gift cash, they don’t need to be “told” this is what you prefer, it’s already assumed.  

Post # 66
Member
1886 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Gorse Hill, Surrey, UK

I find this thread so funny, in the UK no one bats an eye lid if you ask for money towards your honeymoon, and some people even open a savings account specifically so guests can pay in to it. For couples that already have everything they need, money, or a honeymoon fund just seems more logical to pay for things they do need or to just have an enjoyable time. 

Fiance and I have set up a gift card with a department store that also has a travel agent concession. We booked our honeymoon and have every intention of pyaing for it ourselves, but if people would like to add funds to our gift card we can use it to pay off the honeymoon. We can also use money on the same gift card to buy any other items in the department store if we decide to not use it on the honeymoon, so if people add funds after the balance is paid off the honeymoon, we can still use the gift card towards things for our home. 

It really baffles me why this is considered rude, as we are not demanding money, just asking if people would like to give a gift, we would prefer to use money to have a nice holiday together as there is nothing physcal we need. I think the difference is that its not compulsary to give a gift here, and if you do want to give something no one cares if you give £100 or £10, we are just grateful you thought of us. 

Post # 67
Member
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

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raliel:  I dont agree that having a honeymoon registry is “asking for cash”. Just saying

Post # 68
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2076 posts
Buzzing bee

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loveisbrewing:  But the thing is, those that want to get you a physical gift will do so regardless if you have a honeyfund.  But those that want to gift you cash will do so regardless of if you have a traditional registry.  Everyone knows that cash is an excellent gift.  And those that prefer to give you a physical/boxed gift will do so regardless of whether or not you want boxed gifts.

And having a honeymoon fund is basically asking for cash since that is what you get at the end. And asking for cash in anyway as a present is very icky.

I think that maybe everyone (in general) should stop being so concerned about what gifts they may receive (and trying to control said gifts) and just be gracious for whatever they are given. So maybe all registries should go out the window.

Post # 69
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2076 posts
Buzzing bee

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ktsteimel:  But it is because that is the end product you get.  You don’t actually get a romantic dinner on the beach or a swimming with the dolphins excursion.  You get a check.

Most (I am hoping) people are honest people and will use that money for what it was intended for. But some people will just pocket it.  And honeymoon registries are deceitful to your guests.  Not everyone knows how they work.  Many will think that they actually purchased you a dinner.  They do not know that what you will actually receive is a check in the mail.

Post # 70
Member
3607 posts
Sugar bee

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raliel:  “Both my parents and FI’s parents are very concerned with how to do things “properly” (FI’s in particular… he’s very WASP-y).” Yup…you basically told us all about how your families are oh-so-WASP-y and proper and concerned with the appearance of things. As I mentioned, I have read the other inconsistent responses on this thread and understand you are far from the only person with this view – you just chose to express it a way that seemed unnecessarily smug, harsh, and judgmental to me (while disclaiming all judgment, lol).

Also, how exactly is registering for some plates and cups different from requesting money for one’s honeymoon? I just want to hear someone who holds this view explain it in a logical, rational way. I’m sure you and your Fiance haven’t been living without any household goods until this point in your lives, and that you wouldn’t die without a blender or toaster or whatever you registered for, so how are those gifts you registered for any less of an unnecessary luxury than a honeymoon? If someone swipes their credit card for $50 to buy you something vs. writing you a check for $50 or donating $50 to your honeymoon fund, what exactly is the distinction and what purpose does it serve? (Other than wanting to look down on other people for doing things differently from you.)

Post # 71
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

It always fascinates me that American bees seem to be so preoccupied with other people money and wedding gifts. Except of this forum, I have never experienced it in my country, and I’ve seen it all – people asking for wine instead of flowers, people asking for cash instead of boxed gifts. I have never had elaborate thoughts about it – I was just giving them what they wanted. I frankly don’t know if all those lengthy discussions about etiquette from American perspective are healthy. A lot of things that are appropriate in the US (like for example inviting people without plus one) are totally NOT appropriate in other parts of the world. Culture changes, certain things shift.

I want to give a couple gifts that they will like and use. I see no point in guessing what they exactly want, and I think we are already wasting far too many objects. I don’t want the couple to resell/donate or even worse, throw our a perfectly usable object when I can give them exactly what they want and like with their direction. It’s less about me or them, more about general philosophy of respect for objects and of trying to limit the amount of unecessary clutter in my life. There is a cost for every object producted/sold and the cost is not only money – it’s also energy etc. Why would I contribute to the culture of wastefulness by giving people something they will not use?

 

So If someone wants money for honeymoon or just money – I will happily give them 100 usd instead of 100 usd gift. Frankly, it’s less of a hassle for me. 

Post # 73
Member
2729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Didn’t read the whole thread so forgive me if I’m repeating here.

 

In my opinion, registries should be for things the couple essentially needs rather than simply “wants”. Yes, it can guide style and preference but the most important is to say “we really need a frying pan but we have plenty of Tupperware”. Then I’m not buying a gift the couple already has and doesn’t need. DH and I both lived with our parents until after our wedding. We literally had no household items save for a few thrift store pots and mismatched silverware from my college days. If people chose to gift us cash, we would simply buy what we needed with that. It was nice to have our family and friends help us establish our home, something we really needed.

I don’t know the history of showers and registries but in my opinion, they began when couples got married young and went straight from parents house to married home (just like DH and I). It was also when these young couples weren’t established in high paying careers and able to afford all of these things on their own. It was to help the young couple build their new household.

I personally don’t like honeyfunds. However, I also don’t like couples who have showers and register for gifts when they already have an established household and wish to “upgrade” their appliances or decorate their home with lavish Pottery Barn items. Mostly though, I think it’s always tacky to ask for cash or to say “Hey, we don’t NEED anything and we don’t want you picking out some stupid item we won’t like, so give us cash to fund our honeymoon (which is a luxury and should be paid for by the couple themselves)” If you don’t need anything, then make no mention of gifts and guests will understand cash is appropriate or will choose to pick an item them wish to gift you on their own. No need to stick out the hand for cash.

ETA: I personally did not want a bridal shower or to create a registry. I don’t like asking others for anything (needed or not). We were strong-armed by my mother and Mother-In-Law to have a shower and I made a small registry of things we absolutely needed in a wide range of price options ($5-$100). People still gave cash, gift cards, boxed items not on the registry and we were greatful for everything we received.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  SoonAsYouCan.
Post # 74
Member
2076 posts
Buzzing bee

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loveisbrewing:  I accept traditional registries when bridal showers are held, since that is where box gifts are a necessary thing to give (and gifts are expected).  And, for me, I will use it more as a guide to their likes in color and decor rather then purchase the exact item(s) off of it.  But if someone is not having a shower then I don’t think registries are necessary at all, and should be skipped completely.  I generally never give a boxed gift at a wedding.  Cash all the way.

Post # 75
Member
5866 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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loveisbrewing:  I totally agree with your premise and have often wondered this myself!  I think that there is only one TRUE reason why one is “tacky” and the other is acceptable: time and tradition.  Traditional registries have been around for decades while honeyfunds are new.  At the end of the day, both are equally “tacky” in that both equally presume that someone, somewhere is going to want to give you a gift and you are going to communicate a prefrence.  Even with traditional registries people get all worked up about never actually directly communicating that the registry exists, so you can see that registries have just as much hype around them.  

However, traditional registries do, of course, have one key reason for existence that honeyfunds do not.  They allow your wedding/shower guests to get you different pieces that all contribute to a whole.  For example, different people can each get you a few place settings of the same china.  A honeyfund does not actually do this as it is, at the end fo the day, just cash with a suggestion of where to spend it.

However, I still wouldn’t have a honeyfund/honeymoon registry because:

1) You can effectively communicate you want cash by not registering at all.  

2) Don’t those honeyfund sites take a cut of the proceeds?  Seems so unnecessary to me.

But you know what?  Even your personal choices often go out the window went faced with real life!  At my wedding I didn’t want to do a registry at all since I was having a Destination Wedding and I thought it was distateful…but my mom and sister pressured me into creating a small traditional registry to make things easier for the shower.  At the end of the day the opinions of those in your community matter more than those in the bee!  They are plugged into the expectations of your location and your specific group of family/friends.  If they seem to think there is nothing wrong with a honeyfund, go for it.  That’s all that really matters.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Profile Photo .

The topic ‘Spinoff: why is a honeymoon registry considered tacky, but a gift registry isn't’ is closed to new replies.

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