Post # 62
While I certainly do not agree with being annoyed/angry when non-registry gifts are purchased (because a gift is a gift, not an obligation, and should not be expected), I would like to offer another perspective.
I am a natural minimalist. I do not like having a lot of possessions and will only keep items in my home that are either useful (and used often enough to justify keeping them around) or are beautiful to me. I do not like knick-knacks or items to be kept on display. I even prefer to live in a small, functional space with less rooms so there is less to clean/care for/worry about.
When I choose items to purchase (and I only purchase things like clothing or household items very, very rarely, and only to replace items I already have that are worn out), I choose very, very carefully. I have struggled a lot with the idea of having a bigger wedding and specifically want a smaller wedding so there will be less gifts (things) to deal with afterward. If I choose to have a registry, I would certainly put an immense amount of thought into what goes onto the registry and would keep it small and limited to replacing items of need, so it would mostly be functional items (like towels etc.)
While I will not expect gifts (and will certainly not indicate a preference for gifts/registry items/cash/what have you on the invitations) and will not be annoyed if people choose to gift me knick knacks or other items of their taste off-registry, if I do not have space for it or it is not to my taste, I will very likely donate the item. I am not sentimental about stuff at all (part of naturally being very minimalist in nature) so it is not emotionally hard for me to let go of things like gifts while appreciating the thought that went into them.
Due to my own inclinations, I love registries – especially those with practical, useful items on them! – and happily buy off registries because I know the couple will get something they want and will use. People always gift based on their own inclinations, so please continue to be true to yourself, but I would hope that you do not have high expectations of what giftees should do with the gifts you give them.
I am always gracious and thankful of gifts of all kinds but it hurts my heart for the people who give them to me when I subsequently donate gifts that are not useful/beautiful to me. I always hope someone will find the donated item more useful than me. I would be much more happy if people gave nothing but their company than give me something I cannot or will not use or love the way they want me to.
Post # 63
@weddingnerd: I get it, and to counter, here is how I feel. I hate crap. I will never use a candlestick, picture frame, or a knick knack. You are welcome to give them to me, but there is no guaranteeing I won’t donate them and please do not expect them to be on display. I appreciate the thought, but I need new towels really, really badly. Mine are so old. I would much rather a set of towels (something that I need) that I need than a knick knack that will collect dust until Fiance allows me to donate it.
HOWEVER, I would never say anything to you and would send you the nicest thank you note. I totally get going off registry and think it is fine if you know the couple well enough. If you don’t know me well and make me a snapfish album of my facebook photos (which I am guessing I will get 4 of at my shower), you will never know that you picked out the world’s worst gift for me. I will be so greatful at the thought, but find it funny that you wasted your money on something that is so not me.
Post # 64
@Mara09: Very much agree!
Post # 65
@Pollywog: +1. I feel exactly the same way.
Post # 66
@vanessa7: Really though? You’d be mad at your new grandmother in-law for trying to buy you something nice and expensive (a pan set) even though it wasn’t the one you had originally wanted. I personally don’t get it. And like I said it left a really bad taste in her new in-laws eyes who saw it as a very kind gesture of their matriarch.
The reality is that these are very priviliged young people…she really should have chosen her battles and not pulled the bridezilla card out…because her new family was footing the bill for everything and they saw her greedy attitude as a real disappointment.
Post # 67
@icetea: No, I wouldn’t be mad, I would be grateful for any gift, but I wouldn’t understand why she wouldn’t purchase something that she could afford that I had actually wanted. What if someone actually got her the pan set that she registered for? Then she’s stuck with 2. If there’s a gift receipt, I suppose it doesn’t matter, but I spent a lot of time deciding what kind of items should go on my registry, reading reviews to decide what to bring into my home, so while I would never voice my opinion and I would send her a very gracious thank you card, I would return it. She sounds very classless and ill-mannered, but if you have a lot of items on your registry, both pricey and affordable, then why would you buy something that she clearly does not want? I could understand if her grandmother bought some item that she hadn’t registered for, like the OP suggested, knicknacks or candle sticks, but buying a pan set when there was one she preferred doesn’t make sense. I registered for Le Creuset and if we don’t receive it, we’ll use the post-wedding discount to buy them ourselves, but if someone gives me a knock-off, I’ll thank them and return it.
Post # 68
I think it’s okay to go off-registry but maybe pick something from a store that they are registered at, so if they happen to not want it they can still return it for something they really do want!
Post # 69
Thanks for all the insight everyone, I definitely learned a lot. I will still buy my own gifts though, but don’t worry I won’t buy crap or something I like just beacuse I like it-and returning a gift is totally legit in my book.