(Closed) Why Don’t People Respect the Registry?

posted 10 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 47
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’ve only been to a handful of weddings. Both of my sisters and my two best friends from high school (who married each other), and I think a couple other friends.

For my oldest sister, I was about 13-14 at the time and therefore didn’t get a gift that I remember. My mom, however, made them an elaborate cross-stitch to commemorate the date.

When my best friends from high school got married, I thought that was a great idea so I made them a smaller cross-stitch that had their names and the date on it in her wedding colors. I gave that to her for her bachelorette party and got her something off the registry for the bridal shower and wedding.

When my middle sister got married last year, my mom had developed carpal tunnel and could no longer do an elaborate cross-stitch, but I wanted to carry on the tradition, so I made one for them. It was an egyptian motif and the thing was huge! I started working on it a year out and still almost didn’t finish it in time. I put their names and the date in hieroglyphs and my mom paid to have it framed nicely to match their other decor– papyruses from Egypt.

So will I deviate from the registry? Yes, but only for family and close friends, and only because I know that it means something to them to have something handmade and traditional. Will I be mad if people deviate from our registry? No, not if the gift is something like this. Of course, no. Will I be mad if people deviate from our registry to buy us towels in a color we didn’t ask for because THEY think it will look better in our house? Not mad, but peeved. Will I be mad if we get four vacuums because people didn’t even bother to look at our registry? Quite possibly, since we’re only registering for a few physical items and really want mostly honeymoon funds. To us, who have already established a life and household together, experiences are more important than stuff. We will not be ungrateful for any gift received, but annoyance doesn’t equal ungrateful-ness. It will show how well people truly know us how they gift us for our wedding.

What my point boils down to is that I think it really depends on how well you know the bride and groom whether you should deviate or not.

Post # 48
Member
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

To those who think it is “bratty” to prefer a card, a personal gift, or a registry gift – I don’t think you’re being realistic. I saw my FSIL’s gifts and most of the people who bought off the registry didn’t bother to include receipts. Now she can’t use their gifts or return them, and will probably end up re-gifting them. 

If you think a “thoughtful” gift is “knowing” that a couple needs that Dutch Oven that they didn’t register for, consider that they might already have it. 

Understand this: it’s not about being upset that the gift buyer did not purchase something on the registry – it’s about being disappointed/feeling guilty that their gift ended up being unusable. To me, I love remembering the story behind gifts I get. I hate returning gifts. I would be really sad if a relative who was special to us bought us a stand mixer and I just had to re-gift it or sell it. 

This is not about being snotty or wanting really particular things. I’m sure that some gifts off the registry work. But I would prefer a heartfelt card with NO gift or cash to someone assuming they know more about what my kitchen needs. Because I will tell you that my parents have no clue what kitchen appliances we have. I love cooking but my relatives don’t have inventory of my kitchen. 

Post # 49
Member
13095 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@lilyfaith – I think you just said what I’ve been trying to get accross much better than I managed to say it!  I totally agree with everything you just said!

Post # 50
Member
3124 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

@lilyfaith – keep in mind that a lot of people, whether it’s generational or b/c they simply don’t care, will not EVER look at your registry. So rather than think of a teal plate as disappointing b/c you wanted and registered for a robin’s egg blue plate and you have to take it back or regift, it’s that you needed Plates and that’s what you got as a gift. It’s another thing if the person goes to a lot of trouble to look up your registry, print it out, and then willingly choose something that doesn’t match. But you can’t assume that’s the case of someone’s getting you something that you’d reasonably need.

Post # 51
Member
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Melissabegins – I don’t think that’s an issue – something like a plate is not a one-of-a-kind item. Most people have different sets/some mismatching plates. I wouldn’t mind if a buyer used discretion – knowing they were buying something that a person can easily have multiples of like mugs, glasses, etc. My point is that most of what people buy in regards to “you need this” in my experience are the bigger items – stand mixers, Dutch ovens, cookware, small appliances, etc. Maybe my situation is unique because we literally have about five kitchen cabinets. Our kitchen is too small to fit even a portable dishwasher. So if we’re getting doubles and triples of things that we already have, it’s not an issue of having just one more, we’d need to get rid of it right away. 

Like I said, this is just my opinion. I don’t expect gifts and I don’t feel like anyone owes them to me. If someone wants to buy a creative gift, I’d love it. But I’ve heard older family members talking about “the state of cooking today” and how young brides “just don’t know what they need” – so I’m not talking about someone who doesn’t know how to use a registry or wants to buy a personal gift or no gift at all, I’m talking about those people who just think that the b & g forgot/underestimated something. I still think that is very rude. 

Post # 52
Member
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

So, i think a lot of what’s been said is being taken out of context. I don’t think anyone is saying that they find it disrespectful that a guest would buy the “eggshell” towels instead of the “ivory” towels they registered for. The problem is with those who think they know better and give you the cat clock that youll never use when you really couldve used an iron or silverware.

I agree that it’s very frustrating when people go off the guest list just because they think they know better…especially when they dont know you well enough to get you a personal gift. i love the personal gifts that actually apply to me but not so much when they’re more fit for the person giving the gift. Im part of the group where Fiance & I don’t live together and registered for things we really need because the things we already have are minimal. It’s really frustrating that we spend hours registering at BB&B and Kohls when people arent even looking at the registry. We really do need the plates, bowls, glasses, silverware, & appliances that we registered for. & we have a range of items on our registry with varying prices. i really did consider my guests pockets and know if it were me, i wouldnt spend $50 on a coffee pot. i didnt ask for anything that i wouldnt be willing to buy for myself or someone else.

I have a hard time buying the “technological barrier” when it comes to the generations. The majority of my older relatives actively use facebook. If you can use facebook, you can ask the sales clerk at the store to help you with the registry.

Post # 53
Member
3124 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I can see both of your points. But keep in mind that a chunk of your guests haven’t seen your registry, and maybe haven’t heard there is one. You can’t and shouldn’t assume that anyone has gone on and looked you up on the store’s website. That’s why it’s also my opinion that all invitation materials be mailed, b/c you can’t trust that someone will go online and look at every word of your website or RSVP to the correct email address etc. Those people that get you your second crock pot? the only issue with them is that they just didn’t give you a gift receipt with their gift.

Post # 54
Member
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

The frustration is when you get something that you either have already, the cheapy version of somethign you were hoping to upgrade, or something that doesn’t go with your decor anywhere.

If you arent going to bother with the registry, give a gift card, cash, just a card.

Post # 55
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I have so much to say about this topic, lol, bear with me!

First of all, I think a lot of the frustrations brides feel over not receiving registry gifts can be easily avoided, at least in most cases. If you can find a store that will sell gifts to your guests as easily in person as it does online, that’s a big help. Places like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, JC Penny, Target, etc all have great registry sites, but a guest can walk into the store and ask for the same gifts with comparable ease. If you HAVE to register at a store that’s either online or in person only, you’d better find a few gifts you like at another store and give people more options. Or at least register for gift cards!

Personally, I think having a registry at more than one store gives guests a lot of options and makes them feel like they can easily find a place to purchase you something you like.

Now, if you’ve done all these things and you still have people giving you random items because ‘they know best’, you have every right to feel annoyed! I sooort of understand the argument of, “I don’t want to give a thoughtless gift.” People want their gifts to be memorable and special. They’re paying for it, and they might want the couple to have a special memory of them every time said item is put to use. But my response to that argument is that registry items are the most thoughtful of all – the COUPLE thought them over and picked them out! They’ve made these items part of their big, beautiful wish list, and these are the things they want and/or need for their future home. Why not help them with that vision and give them exactly what they want? Don’t YOU enjoy getting a gift that you’ve always wanted?

I think this idea of having to be “original” when giving a gift is a bit… selfish. It has good intentions, but sometimes that line of thinking makes gift giving about the giver, and not the couple in question. And as someone else has pointed out, a registry can tell you what a couple really has little of. If they’re registered for flatware and electrics, they probably REALLY need these things; don’t go and buy them a random bowl or tabelcloth and ignore that they have none of the essentials necessary to run a kitchen or serve a meal.

Furthermore, I have heard of people receiving gifts that completely clash with their decor, their china, and their overall personal taste. Those are the worst gifts of all, especially if there’s no gift receipt! A friend of mine registered for kitchen items all in blue and white; a white Kitchenaid, a blue Emile Henry baker, white and blue Williams Sonoma floral placemats, etc etc. Her FI’s cousin bought her a random set of pistachio green mixing bowls and some bright yellow and green polka dot spatulas. Very odd, and totally out of sync with everything else on the registry. Nothing they’d registered for had indicated that they wanted things in those colors, so why would the cousin pick them? To make matters worse, there was no receipt. My friend was VERY gracious to the cousin, but told me privately she wasn’t sure what to do with these things at all, especially since she didn’t even need the items. Just goes to show, thinking you know best can be a big headache for the bride.

I think if you want to personalize a gift, or pick something you think the couple would like but hadn’t registered for, you should do so carefully and GENEROUSLY. That is to say, give them something they’ve requested along with the additional gift of your choice. My own cousin registered for a pasta roller attachment to go with her own KitchenAid and some olive oil dipping bowls. I bought them for her, along with a bottle of fine imported Italian olive oil, a pasta making cookbook, and a pretty glass cruet. She was delighted, because my additional gifts were thoughtful and went along with her theme, and because she actually received some of what she’d asked for. I’ve also purchased a cocktail shaker and tipsy olives to go with Crate and Barrel martini glasses a friend had requested, with similar success.

Finally, I think the excuses given on page one are unacceptable, not to be rude or offensive. “Not everyone wants to stand around a target printing off forms and touching the dirty touch screen before they go shopping..” Seriously? That’s kind of lame. This is a WEDDING. This is what happens when people register. You look up what they’ve asked for, hunt it down, and buy it for them. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or watse your precious time doing so for them, then why don’t you at least buy them a gift card at the store of their choice, or just write the couple a check and be done with it?

Post # 56
Member
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

When I went to go purchase something for my friend they didn’t have anything left!

Post # 57
Member
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I usually don’t buy off of registries. In twenty years, I guarantee you that you won’t remember who gave you the can opener or the coffeemaker (even though they were things that you especially wanted). And appliances can break or become outdated.

I prefer to give something beautiful and elegant and timeless, like crystal. Even if the couple didn’t register for crystal, most people love a set of flute glasses. It is hard to find an item that could become an heirloom on a registry. (China and crystal are not common, at least not in my circle of friends).

And another reason: I was invited to a wedding while I was still in school. I could not afford to spend more than $50. Getting something from a registry is like giving someone a gift with the price tag still attached. There were not many great options for that price, so I went out and found a gorgeous set of crystal candlesticks that were marked down. They were worth much more than $50, but the bride and groom would never have known. I dunno…something about the price visibility on a registry just turns me off. Takes away the romanticism and feels so pragmatic. (Which, again, is fine if you’ve got $300 to spend on your gift and are okay with the couple knowing it, but when you are on a budget, it’s different).

Post # 58
Member
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@Jadore Glamour: Wow. You realize that your friend was given gifts that are meant to prepare food, not to serve it and remain on display in a glass case?

Heaven forbid someone dares to give a polka dot spatula that doesn’t match a blue and white colour scheme!

Post # 59
Member
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

@azure6700: I dont think the friend was being ungrateful. I think when things are bought not off the registry the couple can be a bit shocked. When you get married everyone tells you the best places to register, things to register for etc. registry, registry, registry! It is a bit annoying to get onething that is totally not you, you have  no use for, or both. For me it was important to get things that were necessary of our kitchen. Douplicates of gifts or things I already owned went back to the store to get something no one gave us.

I think the point is it is frustrating!

Post # 60
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2010

One of my favorite wedding gifts was off of the registry.  We got some towels with our names embroidered on them in our favorite colors.

 

With that being said, if we had gotten anything that was crystal, we would have given it away no matter how much it was worth.  We are not crystal people and I break almost everything I touch.  Some people will never ever use certain items, even if they are heirloom quality. 

It’s important to not force fancy gifts on people who did not register for them.  Some of us are just too casual for china and always will be. 

As for not remembering who gave you gifts you registered for, we got a BBQ we registered for and I know we will think of my aunt every time we use it. 

Post # 61
Member
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I have to agree with demodreamer and jjilyeah – there are a lot of people (generally older people) who think having a registry is in poor taste. I don’t necessarily agree, but I know that both sets of my grandparents would be horribly offended if I gave them registry info (even for a bridal shower). 

A registry is a guide and I have often gone “off registry”. One of my closest friends registered for a set of sheets that included 2 sets, but were only 250 threadcount – I spent the same amount, but bought her 1000 threadcount sheets in the same color.

Another friend had registered for several collage style black picture frames – most of those were already purchased or not available in store (I had waited til the last minute to shop, so no time for shipping). The couple was planning to buy a house soon after the wedding, but had not found one yet, so I bought a complementary frame since I knew they didnt have specific plans for locations to hang the frame and you can always use picture frames-

There have also been a lot of times that I bought the item at another store (if I can save 10-20 bucks, its worth the risk you may have to return one). I always try to include the gift receipt though, especially in cases like this.

Like a lot of other posters have said…what gift to give is up to the giver. Many guests appreciate the registry as a guide, but others would like to think they know you enough to pick out something you like or simply don’t like to deal with the registries in store (everytime I’ve gone to use the target registry kiosks, at least 2 of the 4 arent working properly). I think you just have to appreciate whatever you receive (even if it’s off registry) and realize your guests are not being disrespectful in any way. If you feel like the registry was that miserable of a job to do, maybe you should have just skipped it or simplified it in some way.

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