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Is this poor wedding gift etiquette?


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#1 Jelly Bee

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:26 PM

We are getting married later this year, around 60 people.

We live outside our major city where most friends live, so we will have a website for accomodation and transport details for the weekend. It’s been suggested that we should put gift arrangements on there.

Neither of us like registries, and we would prefer people didn’t give us cash also. We both agree that we don’t expect gifts but if people do want to give them, we’d like them to choose something they think we’d love.

This is where we get unstuck.
One relative says actually that’s harder for the guests than if you just have a registry.

So I thought perhaps we could say, we don’t expect gifts but if you’d like to give one, please choose something you think we’ll enjoy, and if you’re stuck for ideas, here are some stores we like and things we enjoy doing

But then that sounds too much like what we don’t like about registries....  We don’t like the idea of specifying gifts, to us they should be given freely if at all and what the giver wishes to give.

Is it poor form to give no registry details or ideas at all?

Is it poor form to suggest a few general places people might look for gifts?

This whole thing feels so awkward!

#2 amaza

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:33 PM

Why not just "no gifts please"?

If people are already travelling, paying for accommodation and giving you at least 2 days of their time I actually think any suggestion of a gift is a bit much.

Take my advice with a grain of salt though, I personally think it's poor form to ask for a gift in any circumstance but am aware that in the case of a wedding I am in the minority.

#3 ~J_F~

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:35 PM

I agree with Amaza...

If people have to travel and pay for accommodation just go with no gifts.

#4 gettin my fance on

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:36 PM

I think it's lovely to receive gifts that others believe we would like.  I know that lots of people don't feel that way now though.

We've been married 27 years now and I love using/looking at/enjoying all the lovely gifts we received - some were exactly us, and some were exactly the person who bought it - haha!

I wouldn't write anything, but tee up a few people - parents, best friends etc with the stores/styles you like so when people ask them for ideas they can direct them appropriately.

Have fun planning your wedding and congratulations.

#5 BeachesBaby

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:37 PM

Before we got married I also was very anti-registry. I felt it was very gift grabby, and I'm from the US, arguably the home of registries and showers and all that gifty stuff. Then I spoke with some relatives, specifically the older ones, and they said exactly what it seems you've been told too. It makes people happy to get someone a gift they want, need, and will gladly use, so people do appreciate that guidance, and a registry with a number of items ranging from very cheap (think measuring spoons and the like) to a bit more fancy (one set of China was a popular gift for someone who wanted to get something more expensive, it was maybe $150 a set). When I wrote thank you cards, I wrote to each person saying how we would use their gift, or why it was important to us, and people who gifted us cash I wrote what we used the cash to purchase, which was mainly items from our registry. Multiple friends and relatives - again mainly the older set - told me later how they appreciated hearing from me how much we liked and used their gift, as it made them feel like they picked something great, and they were so happy we were enjoying it. And honestly to this day whenever I use something that I was gifted for my shower or wedding, I think fondly about the person who gifted it, and sometimes still remind them how much I like their gift, if I see them shortly after using it.
So all that to say I was converted from anti to pro-registry, and would recommend it but will say that guests will do what they want, regarding cash and gifts. Most people expect to give you a gift, so if you really don't want them, you can also give the option for your guests to donate to a charity that is close to your heart, in lieu of gifts.

#6 IamtheMumma

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:37 PM

Your presence on our special day is the best present you can give us.

#7 More cheese Gromit

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:37 PM

I wouldn’t have any problems with you have described sounds fine, I wouldn’t have any issue reciev8ng an invitation with your wording

We didn’t have a registry and if people asked we said we happy just for people to share our day with us

Some people gave cash, some people a gift card some people chose really thoughtful gifts that are things we hadn’t thought but loved of and some people gave a card with lovely personalised thoughts and wishes
Congratulations and don’t worry too much about the gift side of your celebrations.
Everything will work out




#8 Caribou

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:40 PM

We did a very clear ‘no gifts please’ on our wedding invite.

No one listened. I mean literally no one in the party of 30 listened.

You can say no gifts but it’s ingrained in a lot of people gifts are to be given at weddings.

Maybe we weren’t clear enough. Maybe we should have said no gifts please. If you feel you need to give something, give to our preferred charity in our name.

#9 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:46 PM

DH and I really wanted a tandem bike as a wedding gift. We asked for money to put towards purchasing one. We were extremely lucky to find a near new one online and purchased it and we sent pictures to everyone showing our purchase. It is a much loved bike we still have and we have had some awesome adventures on.
I don't see the problem with asking for a contribution towards a named item that is lasting and tangible  (I totally get that the ones asking for money for a honeymoon are tacky). We also go some gifts like towels but they haven't lasted. I think if you don't specify you can end up with stuff uou are not sure you really needed and not everyone has the time or the knowledge to do a thoughtful gift.

#10 rubyskye

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:47 PM

I'm another that would say no gifts please on the invite. I don't like registries and didnt have one for my wedding though.

#11 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:54 PM

I know a friend of mine had a little message in her wedding invitation that some words of wisdom was all they needed.

It was a 'destination wedding' for most of the guests, although it was their new home town.

#12 Daffy2016

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:56 PM

We asked people to make donations to one of two charities with special meaning to us. We also had a registry for the family/older guests who preferred it. We didn’t publicise it, just told people who asked.

#13 Crazyone26989

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:01 PM

View PostCaribou, on 20 April 2019 - 07:40 PM, said:

We did a very clear ‘no gifts please’ on our wedding invite.

No one listened. I mean literally no one in the party of 30 listened.

You can say no gifts but it’s ingrained in a lot of people gifts are to be given at weddings.

Maybe we weren’t clear enough. Maybe we should have said no gifts please. If you feel you need to give something, give to our preferred charity in our name.

We also said no gifts as at least 50% of the guests had to travel from overseas. I think the only people who didn’t buy a gift were my brother and my BIL!

#14 Jelly Bee

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:09 PM

View PostCaribou, on 20 April 2019 - 07:40 PM, said:

We did a very clear ‘no gifts please’ on our wedding invite.

No one listened. I mean literally no one in the party of 30 listened.

You can say no gifts but it’s ingrained in a lot of people gifts are to be given at weddings.

Maybe we weren’t clear enough. Maybe we should have said no gifts please. If you feel you need to give something, give to our preferred charity in our name.

See, I know this is what will happen. Even if we said a charitable donation, our guests would do that AND give us a gift.

About two thirds of the guests are family, the others friends of 10-20 years. No work colleagues or newer friends (we seem to have stopped making new friends after 30 😳)

I know our people will all want to give us a gift, even though they’ve travelled. As we would for them. Hence being told we need a registry!  We are grateful to be able to look forward to having such special and meaningful things in our home that our most loved people have chosen.

Saying “no gift please” as suggested by PPs isn’t right for us either. To be honest it feels as rude to us as a registry does, since I know that for lots of people they’ll want to give one and some of the older guests would find it odd.

I like pps idea of asking for words of wisdom, and saying “if you do wish to give us a gift, anything you think we will love will be treasured”

#15 Nobodyelse

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:11 PM

Don't people usually buy gifts they think the recipient would like? Isn't that a reduntant request anyway?

#16 Jelly Bee

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:15 PM

I think for a wedding many people expect to find a registry rather than just choose something

#17 Pooks Combusted

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:21 PM

Why not do a registry and then comment that the registry is there for those who’d like suggestions, but please don’t feel obligated?

#18 Nobodyelse

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:25 PM

View PostJelly Bee, on 20 April 2019 - 08:15 PM, said:

I think for a wedding many people expect to find a registry rather than just choose something

Sure but in the absence of one as you are suggesting, then they'll just default to either not getting you a gift or ignoring your 'no gift' request and get you something anyway.

So write 'no gifts', don't list a registry and if people want to get you something, they will and it will be something they think you'll enjoy.

#19 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:25 PM

People will ignore you if you say ‘no gifts’.  Go the registry with a lot of low cost items.

#20 *Spikey*

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:45 PM

My dear friend asked for no gifts, with the qualifier that if a person felt the need to give something, a small Bunnings voucher that would go to helping them renovate their little farmhouse would be welcome.

Which is what they got from us.

#21 Jelly Bee

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:47 PM

View PostNobodyelse, on 20 April 2019 - 08:25 PM, said:



Sure but in the absence of one as you are suggesting, then they'll just default to either not getting you a gift or ignoring your 'no gift' request and get you something anyway.

So write 'no gifts', don't list a registry and if people want to get you something, they will and it will be something they think you'll enjoy.

Oh, I see what you mean. Yes that’s  the sort of outcome we hope for, no obligation on anyone and freedom of choice.

Thanks - it was the original plan but I got thrown by the comment that guests want suggestions.

#22 coco83

Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:48 PM

I had no gift registry and didn’t have a destination wedding so didn’t mention presents on the invitation at all. Nearly everyone bought a gift. For those who were stuck or wanted to check what they were buying, they just called my parents.

We didn’t have any double ups (maybe we were lucky) but we got some very special, thoughtful gifts that we probably wouldn’t have thought of had we organized a registry. Leave it to the guests to work out.

#23 Tokra

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:02 PM

I don't see the need to mention gifts at all.

#24 Gudrun

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:04 PM

Say nothing.  Give a list of things you might like to a trusted friend or relative and if anyone asks direct them to that person.

#25 Orangecake

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:17 PM

You will get lots of different views on this, and I think it's because there really is no one right or wrong approach.

The last wedding we went to, had no mention of gifts at all, it was the first wedding in a long time that didnt. It was a 2nd marriage for both, and they already had a lot of double ups. We chose to include a cash amount for them to spend as they wanted. I know others had higher travel costs and chose to not include a gift.




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