Well, it feels like ages ago since I got married, but as it’s high wedding season and we’re approaching my anniversary, I thought I’d share a topic I’ve been feeling pretty passionate about since that time. I’ve been to many weddings and invited to many more, but throughout the years I’ve never been all that comfortable with wedding registries. Similarly, when I got married, I was uncomfortable with my Maid of Honor paying for her own dress – something she likely wouldn’t have bought or even picked out for herself. And so, my husband and I decided to forgo a wedding registry altogether, I paid for my MOH’s dress and beauty needs, and in retrospect, it’s made me more firmly behind it than ever. Here are a few reasons I chose not to register:
1. It’s Outdated
I understand completely where the original idea of registries came from. Back in the 1950’s people were living with their parents until the day they were married, so all of a sudden a couple would find themselves in a new house without any of the kitchenware or home goods that were needed to run a household. It was essentially a wedding potluck where people brought you everything you’d need to run a new home. But times have changed, America is no longer that working-class haven of people who buy houses on a single income salary at the ripe age of 23. The original idea worked for the time, but I think we need to modernize to better fit the more common reality that people are living small, more economically, and with lesser means.
2. Single People Feel Forgotten
I remember having a conversation with a single friend who jokingly asked me if she was required to send a blender for my wedding. Her gripe was legitimate, she said, “I’m going broke celebrating other peoples’ happiness!” It’s funny because it’s true. It can be hard for friends or family members who haven’t had a big event to celebrate, especially if they’ve attended wedding celebrations, bridal showers, and bachelorettes in different states. Think of them when you’re considering registering.
3. It’s Presumptuous
These days a lot of young people are pinched in their pockets with all the expenditures that are necessary to just get by (hello health insurance, internet fees, taxes on everything, etc.). So when you’re advertising a list of items that you want, it’s not all that dissimilar from a Christmas list sent out to everyone you know. We all have desires, but it’s a big ask of others to simply assume they’ll buy you a gift. There’s also the problem that if you ask in the first place, people will feel guilty if they don’t buy something for you. It’s pretty much assumed, and culturally expected. I wish I was kidding, but I once received a registry that had couches, rugs, a $1000 BBQ grill, and basically the furniture of an entire house on it. It wasn’t a good look and gave me the wrong idea about the wedding.
4. There’s a Good Amount of Waste
Couples like to think they’re going to use that Waterford crystal bowl every day until they leave it at a relative’s in storage because it doesn’t fit the decor of their current place. I think we all aspire to receive great gifts and imagine ourselves using each item to the fullest, but instead, our wants rarely coincide with our needs. So, we’re left with excess items that sit around collecting dust.
5. Weddings Are Expensive to Attend
For my own wedding, people were traveling to France to see Jon and I exchange vows. That alone was a lot of ask of our guests, and I know some invitees would have loved to come had the cost not been such a burden. Most weddings are not right in your neighborhood, requiring flights, car rentals, and even hotel stays to make the journey. So consider the total financial burden on your guests when you’re planning a wedding, including gifts. Some of my friends couldn’t make the trip and opted to come for my bridal shower instead which was much more affordable and reasonable for them. I appreciated all of the efforts that were made to celebrate my wedding!
Not to be the big bad wedding Grinch over here, but I do understand that sometimes people want to give a gift, and that’s, of course, a lovely, nice gesture that is truly appreciated! In that case, perhaps you have a handful of reasonable items on a list for the family or friends who want to treat you. I’ve also seen people request donations to their favorite charities, which is also a very nice thing. Though our wedding site strictly said PLEASE NO GIFTS, we kindly received a gift card to our favorite restaurant, a few pieces of jewelry that I wore on the wedding day, and a handful of envelopes from my Middle-Eastern relatives (it’s traditional, you know). The point was, no one felt obligated to give us anything – the honor of their presence was more than gift enough, and I didn’t end up with a selection of housewares for my nonexistent home!
So, if you’re getting married or planning to get married one day, perhaps give my thoughts on wedding registries some consideration. And if you did register for your wedding in the past, please make sure you put that old, dusty bread making machine to good use!
What do you think about wedding registries? Did you have one? Share with me in the comments below! If you want to see more images from my wedding, click here. And I just wanted to add that I LOVE this episode of Sex and the City, where Carrie registers a pair of shoes in honor of marrying herself!