I don't want a wedding list/gift registry!
November 1, 2006 11:06 AM Subscribe
How do I avoid a "wedding" list (or gift registry as they're called here) without upsetting people?
So my partner and I are going to get civil partnered when we move back to the UK in about a year's time. The ceremony itself won't be for almost 2 years, but true to my usual form, I am worrying about the organisation a long, long way in advance.
We're keeping the ceremony and reception simple: no speeches from family members or best friends, no cake, no flowers. We want our guests to have fun and for it to be beautiful, but we want to keep hassle to a minimum. The way we see it, civil partnerships are new and exciting and we don't have to stick to the traditional etiqutte associated with straight weddings. We're likely to have the ceremony and reception in East Sussex (on the South Coast of England, near where we live in Brighton), which is already a bit of a journey for most of our guests. Most of our friends live in London, but our families live further North and everyone will probably have to stay over in a hotel, making it a moderately expensive do for them.
We are very uncomfortable with the idea of people buying us gifts to celebrate our partnership. We see our decision to get partnered as our own (we'll be paying for the ceremony and reception ourselves) and we don't need help to "get started in life". By the time of the ceremony we'll have lived together for 6 years, so we don't need any new household stuff. In our eyes, people making the effort to come is present enough. An additional factor is that the contents of most wedding lists seem extraordinarily banal: and are not personal to the giver (as another poster put it "Congratulations! Here's a mixing bowl! I know you will cherish it forever and rember us always when you use it."). So we're thinking of asking people to not give us gifts.
However, pretty much everyone we've discussed this with has been horrified. Objections are either practical or material: ie
EITHER people will want to buy you something (and you won't dissuade them), so rather than end up with 40 carving sets, give them a list to choose from
OR this is the one time in your life you will get to choose expensive glassware etc and have someone else pay for it, do don't be a numbnut.
There are also lots of people who won't be coming to the ceremony (either cos they're not invited or because they won't be able to make it) but would still want to give us something.
What to do? I don't want to offend anyone and imply that we are too good for their gifts. On the other hand I am deeply opposed to the idea that we deserve or should ask for presents, simply because we are getting hitched. What do you feel about asking people to make a donation to a particular charity? I know that some people may be upset by this and see it as impersonal. Others (notably my mother) will probably buy us something and give the donation, meaning that we may still end up with 40 carving sets.
It has been suggested that we ask for things that we do want and will use. Ironically, the one thing that would really help us (and in my view the worst thing we could ask for) would be a cash donation: my partner will be opening a retail business just before we get hitched and we'll be scrimping and saving for a few years. Others have suggested that we ask for eg travel vouchers or a donation towards the honeymoon, both of which we would enjoy.
I have no idea what to do! Help!