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- This topic has 103 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 4 months ago by Portia.
I’m battling with this now. I’m getting married in September. We’re having a 100% non-traditional wedding. Private ceremony and brunch with immediate family followed by a large party at our condo. Then another party for family in my hometown. Neither one of us want gifts. At all. I don’t want a shower either. But people want to do this for us and buy us things. I’m still trying to figure out how to handle this.
They somehow think I’m “missing out.” I don’t feel that I am.SpaceyStephGuest
Idk that etiquette will ever get there ele4phant… people want to buy you gifts to celebrate certain milestones, even if you tell them not to. You may think you’re being kind by saying no gifts, but you are making some people uncomfortable.
I think the only thing to do is to divert the gifting impulse to something you actually want– register for stuff, or ask for donations to a cause you like, or ask for contributions to your house fund, etc.
The only way out is that maybe millennials will be so perpetually poor that they won’t be as gifty as prior generations, and so gifting will die with the previous generation. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
I love the crap out of my wedding china, as old-fashioned as that is. But I always gift cash.ele4phantGuest
So what I did, which was maybe rude, was I did not register, even though my mother really pushed us hard to register for even just a few things.
And when people called me to ask, I told them to please just come and enjoy the party, we just wanted to share the day with them. (I actually did not send out paper invites as our wedding and reception was small and I thought it seemed unnecessary – in retrospect it might have been easier to have sent at least my older relatives a paper invite – but too late now).
I truly meant it, but you can’t necessarily convince people to not give you anything for your wedding. A few people did end up giving us things (which even though we didn’t want to solicit more stuff was totally appreciated), some gave us just flowers and/or a card (which was totally wonderful and fine!), and some – mostly my husband’s family that would’ve given money anyways – just gave us money (which was also totally appreciated but in no way expected). A few truly did give us nothing, which was absolutely fine with us.
We had a non-traditionalish wedding. We had a courthouse wedding, then a larger reception day of.
Was I rude? Was an an asshole and did I put my guests in an awkward position by not giving them guidance via a registry? I dunno – maybe I was. But I also think it’s ridiculous to cling to 50 year old tradition that really doesn’t make sense anymore. Anyways, my actions did not alienate any of my relationships, so I think it was fine.
If people were put off I didn’t hear about it.KateGuest
I don’t care about any of this or have an opinion on it, I was just responding to Baccalieu taking two things that I, in particular, said on this thread and making an incorrect point about what etiquette states. I corrected him, “etiquette actually says X.” But in no way do I give a rats ass about registries or wedding invitations.CopaParticipant
Tangential, BUT a cousin of mine got married about eight months ago. I flew across the country, paid for 3 nights of hotel accommodations, contributed to the cost of a rental car, and bought her and her husband a gift off of their registry. All of this was fine with me until… I never got a thank you note. (Neither did my sister or dad.) I thought this was so incredibly rude, for anyone wondering if their etiquette is in poor form, here’s one couple to compare yourself with.KateGuest
I also didn’t want anything, or register, or say anything about gifts. If people asked I said, just show up.SLSParticipant
@ktfran can you navigate the shower and/or registry to find something y’all would enjoy?
Not exactly the same, but my friend just had a baby and her and her husband already had EVERYTHING or really can afford anything – but every work/group/charitable organization they were involved in absolutely insisted on hosting a shower. So what she did was theme them – for instance she did a “book themed” shower. She kept some of the books but donated the rest to a local organization.
An example of a less “gift-like” wedding shower could be recipes and cookbooks for a shower. People can gift you their favorite cookbook and recipe. I’ve also heard of someone else doing a “Christmas ornament” shower (I realize seasonally/religiously specific) and all the guests brought an ornament for the tree.CopaParticipant
Also, I don’t think it’s rude not to ask for any gifts. I’ve been invited to a couple weddings where they did not register or want gifts and never felt slighted. One bride was a very close friend and both her family and her husband’s family are mostly blue collar workers a state with a lousy economy; she told me it felt like a jerk move to register and make people who couldn’t afford much for themselves feel obligated to gifts for her and her husband when they had everything they needed. I wound up getting them a gift card because we were very close and I couldn’t make her wedding. So, I dunno. I’ve never been married, but I don’t think it’s rude to say that guest presence is gift enough.ele4phantGuest
@SpaceySteph – I understand people want to give gifts. I got gifts, even though I asked for none. People want to do for you, I get it. But isn’t it in a perverted way a little rude to give people stuff they don’t want or need, because it makes you feel good?
(So I’m cowering down here because I’m afraid to say it too loud – but maybe it should be more acceptable to ask for cash? Stuff is cheaper now, homes are proportionally more expensive. Debt is more prevalent. Maybe if the goal of giving a gift at weddings is to get the couple off on the right foot, it’s more useful in this day and age to give them cash. How does that sound to folks? No – that’s a bridge too far still?)
Okay, nevermind. I still say it should to say socially acceptable to say “No gifts please”, and at the very least, not have that be something that makes the guest feel uncomfortable. It may be something they ignore, but the couple should at least be able to say they don’t need things please.RedRoverRedRoverGuest
Is it really considered rude to ask for no gifts? I think as long as it’s clear that it’s not a roundabout way of asking for cash, it’s fine. @ele4phant the reason it’s considered rude to ask for cash is that it’s rude to ask for a gift at all. Specifying cash kind of sets an expectation for a gift, you know? That’s actually the same reason gift registries can be seen as rude. Miss Manners is not a fan, although she acknowledges that they’re now pretty much a necessity. Her preferred way would be to use the grapevine, like they used to. Essentially everyone calls your mom or sister or whatever and asks what you want. So, yeah. That’s not gonna happen these days. Hence the registry. Easy way to do it is to make a wedding website and put your registry details there, then in the envelope you give the url to your website. The website has other stuff on it, ours had directions, maps showing where to find parking, hotel details, etc, so it’s not like you’re directing them there *just* for the registry. That’s how all the more recent invites I’ve gotten have done it too.
And maybe this is rude, I don’t know… but like most of you, I really didn’t want more “stuff”. But I know that some people, especially the older generation, want a registry. So I tried to make one with items at different price points, like you’re supposed to, but I couldn’t fill it because I didn’t have enough items at the lower price points. So I just stuck items I didn’t really want in there, then I returned them and used the credit towards the stuff I actually wanted. Is that bad? I mean, I didn’t need towel sets and kitchen gadgets and the kind of stuff that fills in the lower end of the price points. I thought it would look just as rude to have a registry that only had gifts above a certain price, you know? I think the whole tradition has to change, because it’s not really working that well. Maybe the Millenials and the generation after will change it. We’ll see I guess.AnonymousseGuest
I just want to say, I don’t find a registry or asking only for cash to be tacky, just that one registry was so above and beyond. I don’t even mind asking for cash for a honeymoon or deposit for a house, etc. I wouldn’t feel weird about getting a gift for anyone, but the registry I mentioned was literally all things they already had in droves. It was just odd. I felt weird looking at it. I wish I remembered what we did…probably bought them their tenth set of matching napkin rings or something.AnonymousseGuest
Ooh, good point RR!