Tuesday, August 25, 2009

bridal registry fail

I know I've mentioned my dislike for bridal registries before. Now, I see their point and realize their usefulness, but on the other hand, I just don't like the idea behind them. I don't feel as though I should tell you what you should buy me for my wedding. To me, it seems a bit pompous and presumptous. I shouldn't dictate how much you spend. Of course, I know that people register for a wide range of things of all price points, but regardless, I'm just not a fan. I also feel like they lack any sort of creativity and there is no thought put into the gift. Life shouldn't be that easy and convenient.

When my parents were married 33 years ago, they received a gorgeous clock that is above the fireplace mantle in the living room. Whenever they look at it, they think of the couple who bought it for them (I don't remember who bought it, I wasn't at their wedding!). They also had this beautiful salad bowl that I LOVED. It was white glass with a flower design painted on. It was simple, but so, so pretty. I always loved it and told my mother that when she died, I wanted it (ha!). She called one day about a year ago with bad news. It slipped out of her hands coming out of the dishwasher and crashed to the floor, breaking into zillions of pieces. I nearly cried. Likewise though, she remembered who bought it. If you buy me two place settings, will I really remember in 35 years that you and your beloved bought them for me?

When people register, I always look at their registries to see what they like. I am not cruel enough to buy a hideous vase or the like. I think I buy fun gifts for people, gifts with thought and meaning behind them. I don't want to buy you bath towels. I know they are needed, but frankly, I think they are a boring gift! Sorry. Oh, and also, I don't give money. Again, I know that most couples probably like that the most, but it's just not my style.

The other weekend, when I went to MA for my friend's bridal shower, I bought her several things, including one thing from her registry. She got two of them. My first time ever buying from someone's registry and she got two. I was so annoyed. I checked the registry before leaving work, metroed over to Chinatown to hit Bed, Bath and Beyond. When I got inside, I checked the registry again and it was still available. I bought it and they removed it from the registry. When I got home, I checked it again and it said it was fulfilled. She still got two. Apparently the person who bought the other didn't remove it from the registry. Fail!

At the same time, I have a wedding coming up next weekend in upstate NY and the couple didn't register. I have NO idea what to get them. Yes, I know how hypocritical this makes me sound and I don't mean it to! I use registries for ideas, but then go off on my own! I know that when I am planning my own wedding, I will likely register, because Steve thinks they are great and most people will be annoyed if I don't. Ugh.

I'm sure I am pretty much on my own with this opinion, but how do you feel about registries? Did you/will you register? Where did/will you register and why did you choose those stores? Have you come across many couples that didn't? What did you do about that and what did you get them as a gift?


Heidi said...

i make it no secret that i love registries :)

Though i agree, i like getting interesting gifts but if i don't see anything on the registry i wont' buy off it, i might get a gift card, or something else i know they'll like :)

Jess said...

We did register. We had two registries--one at Amazon.com and one at Macy's. We picked Amazon because it had almost everything we wanted at reasonable prices, and Macy's because they had a few things we wanted to see in person (like the dreaded bath towels).

However, even though most of our gifts came off the registry, I still actually do think of the people who gave them to us when we use them. I don't think it has to be an either/or.

But at the same time, it's important for the couple who registers to remember that the registry is just a helpful guideline for those who seek it, and not a mandate. If I came across a couple who didn't register, I would most likely give them money or a gift card, unless I somehow had some idea of what they wanted. I don't like spending money on things that aren't necessarily going to be used.

Megan said...

I, too, am a registry fan. The only "problem" that we're coming up against at this point is that we're running out of things on the registry for wedding guests to get... (there were a ton of pre-wedding festivities).

I'm with Jess-- I feel like the registry is, at the very least, a guideline for what people might get us, with items at different price points. The registry makes it easy for people that may not have been around either of us in years (distant relatives and whatnot) to see what our tastes are and what we want/need in our apartment. I don't mind people getting off-registry gifts, for the most part (except for this truly awful red toaster that, wouldn't you know it, didn't come with a receipt or any indication of where it was purchased)-- the problem is, we've been living together for over two years, and we HAVE almost everything that we need. Now that we're at the point where we want to buy a house, what we really need is...money. But you can't really ask for that.

(I'm worried that this sounds bratty or whiny-- we really ARE grateful for all the gifts that people are getting us!)

Rachel H. said...

I love registries...sometimes they are frustrating, but at least if you get two, you can take them back. And it's just so easy to pick out things you want, because otherwise, you'll get things you really don't want.

My Kind of Strange said...

Big registry fan here...but you are right. I remember very little of who got me items from my registry - what I do remember is the incredibly beautiful hand crocheted heirloom quality table cloth my great aunt bought me. Gorgeous!

So your notion is dead on.

Oh, and my husband is always personally offended by the idea of a gift registry - this conversation comes up with every baby shower, bridal shower and wedding! you are not alone! ;)

Katelin said...

i usually go off of the registry and more recently find something cute and unique also, like from etsy, since i'm obsessed with it. haha.

LiLu said...

I will... but I think I will make it clear it's "suggestion only". I would so much rather get a thoughtful gift from someone- something unexpected!

Shoshanah said...

I do think registries make sense, since you are able to ask for the things you need and will (hopefully) be able to use. But on the other hand, how exciting is it to be someone a set of silverware? I know I'm planning on registering (eventually) but I'd still would be ok getting a surprise or two

Mary said...

I love registries as well, I like to see what people are buying that I have an idea of their buying preferences. That's great.

Jill said...

I know what you mean about registries. For years, I didn't buy from registries. Then my sister got married and registered for things they REALLY needed. She was young and had nothing. I started to understand the registry in a new way.

I like to purchase fun, creative gifts too but I don't think everyone is good at thinking outside the box. The registry is very helpful for people who aren't creative.

I'll probably register someday but I'll be so happy and thankful for any gift.

Mel said...

For baby showers I buy one big item off the registry and add something small from Etsy that I know fits the persons tastes.

For weddings if its someone far off I buy stuff off the registry but if its someone I know really well then I buy them something that I picked out specifically for them.

Larissa said...

I generally like the practicality of registries, but it's too bad that creativity in gift-giving has been lost.

midnight macaroons said...

I rarely purchase anything from a registry. I try to find unusual gifts that the individual will fall in love with. It takes a lot of thought and effort but it's worth it. However, I did register for my wedding. But I had unusual things on my list as well.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I adore yours. We have so much in common. I too love to travel, collect cookbooks, collect tea towels, tea sets, and enjoy a cup of earl grey from time to time. Would love to see a post of your tea pots.

Anonymous said...

Registries are good for ideas or if you're going to a wedding where you don't know the couple really really well. The best presents we received from our wedding were off the registry (my fave being the hope chest my uncle made for us)...

And usually I go off the registry if I really really like the couple and know their tastes :)

I still remember who gave us what off our registry though. You still remember even though you technically picked it out

Sommelier0124 said...

To Buy or not to buy off a registry?

Normally I tend not to buy off a persons registry, mostly because I feel like you do; that a unique heartfelt gift to a couple you know is sometimes best> But it depends on the couple too- some couples are really specific on what they need/want; so in those rare cases yes I do follow the stated wish.

Now as a bride to be myself- yes we registered. At 3 places- Macy's, Crate & Barrel, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Macy's for our fine china, Crate & Barrel for an affordable set of everyday dishes, and all other kitchen/house supplies were chosen at bed bath. Now why 3 places you ask- simple the list is 150+ guests, with over 30 people coming from the west coast. So we had to have national chains that people could access. And in most places there is at least 2 of the 3 stores picked that is close to our relatives.

Now do I expect to get everything on the list- hell no. Actually I keep telling everyone that their presence is present enough.

When it comes down to it- we don't need a thing. We registered because it helps those people who want to give a gift yet don't know what to purchase. (Basically it is a couples wish list.)

Anonymous said...

(having just gone through this) my thoughts on this are as follows:
while i agree that buying something off a registry for someone seems less creative and generic, it's also a good way to ensure they'll get something they like, that they'll use.
we opened a few presents from people that made my face scrunch up... why didn't they just get us something off our registry instead of try to do something crazy unique that will now take up space in a box in our attic? i mean honestly, we could have used those extra place settings and now we have to out and spend cash on them while we got stuff we'll never use.
i'm grateful for the people that purchased off of our registry or just sent cash/gcs.
if we didn't have specific tastes of what we needed, could use, and would like to have, we wouldn't have created a registry.
that's all i've got... back to sleep now until i can adjust from the time zones