Post # 1
My FI and I are moving to Spain (where he’s from) a week or two after our wedding in August 2011. While our friends are not too hung up on tradition (and I’m not too hung up on the idea of receiving gifts), we’re going to be having a lot of my grandparents’ friends/friends of the family there who are uber-traditional and I know are going to want to give thoughtful and/or elaborate gifts.
FI & I are selling absolutely everything and starting from scratch in his mother-country — we’re doing a four-week bike trip for our honeymoon. We have to travel light.
I just keep having this mental picture of us trying to figure out how to pack a toaster.
Does etiquette dictate a way to handle the situation when bride & groom cannot accept material gifts? Is it in poor taste to request donations instead?
Any other ideas? I really don’t want to be rude. So open to anything.
Post # 3
I received an invite to a wedding like this. The bride and groom are moving to Norway, and so they requested monetary gifts only. On one hand, I found it slightly rude, but I do understand their situation and I will honor their request – they don’t have a choice. I think in the case of moving overseas, it’s definitely acceptable. Just explain to people who may not be aware that you’re moving, and they’ll soon change their tone. Everyone knows how hard it is to move, but few can even imagine doing it overseas. :
Post # 4
We were in this situation as I relocated from Texas to England to be with my husband. We struggled for quite a long time with how to handle it. We didn’t want to have to ship things, nor did we want to obligate our guests to pay for international shipping for our gifts. In the end, we registered at Amazon.co.uk which was an easy site for guests since they were familiar with Amazon.com and kept shipping rates local to England. A friend of my Hubs collected the gifts for us until we returned from the wedding.
Several guests gave us checks/cash because they knew our situation. On the whole, most people understand and are happy to accommodate your situation. That said, we did receive a few ridiculously large gifts (15 piece pyrex set!) which we returned and used to buy more practical things we could actually use.
Overall, this worked really well for us.
Post # 5
If you want a registry for the relatives that are dead set on traditional gifts, you can set up a registry on amazon.co.uk. A lot of their household and garden items will ship to the mainland EU, HOWEVER, you need to put each item into your basket and try to check out with the shipping address to spain to see if the item will ship. Oh, and don’t register for appliances from the UK amazon. 😉 Power conversion.
You can also check out the German and France Amazon and see if they’ll have any items that will ship like appliances. Just keep in mind manuals will be in French or German.
Otherwise, get the word of mouth going that you guys are moving and won’t be taking much with you. That you’ll be purchasing everything from scratch in spain for your new household. Maybe even write about it on your wedding website if you have one (how you’re so excited about starting all over in spain, yada yada and so on).
Post # 6
We are goin to do a house hold shipment a few months after our wedding. I Have a large storage unit full of stuff that needs to get moved anyway, so I’ll just throw all the shower/wedding gifts in there.
Post # 7
@Swiss Miss to Bee – That would be a great idea for a more patient couple, lol! We’ve done waaay too much traveling in the past year and I’m pretty sure that my FI will absolutely kill me if I suggest he pack anything more than a carry-on at this point. <3
Wonderful advice, everyone! Thank you so much! <333
Post # 8
I would suggest using a Europe-based online wedding registry.
I use http://www.wunschboutique.de – they will ship Europe-wide and are much nicer than amazon for a wedding. They do cash gifts and charitable donations as well as household items.
Wish I had found the website in time for my wedding – we ended up shipping gifts from India where we had been living temporarily to Germany, and most of them were not things that we will ever use!