International wedding registry headaches
February 26, 2014 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Difficulty level: Dutch/Canadian/Australian. Mr Fish and I are getting married in July. A lot of Mr Fish's Canadian family are coming, and this is my first time meeting a lot of them. We absolutely do not expect gifts but we're already getting questions about registries. Do international registries exist?

We're adults with jobs and a home so we don't really *need* stuff, but our extended family seem bent on giving us stuff and we profoundly do not need any more dishes or table cloths.

For reference: we are Australian and Canadian. We live in the Netherlands. We speak/read passable Dutch. Our families (large amount from Canada, breathtakingly tiny amount from Australia, a pleasingly large amount of not-very-wealthy academic type friends from Australia, plenty of Amsterdam expat ad industry types) do not. We're starting to get questions about wedding gifts that we're presently ill equipped to handle.

Best case scenario is one of those honeymoon registries so we can upgrade our Croatia honeymoon from AirBnBs and beer to the odd hotel and cocktail, and goodness knows cash would always be welcome. But our overall goal here is to set up a registry so that well-meaning relatives can buy a gift that we actually need at a variety of price points when asked. To reiterate, we do not expect or want gifts, but we're starting to field questions.

Does a mystical international gift registry exist?
posted by nerdfish to Human Relations (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Are there specific items that you're interested in? Amazon's registry feature lets you add pretty much everything you want from any website-- so you could include the various Amazons from different countries as well as items from any other site. I think you can also list non-items items, like museum subscriptions or concert memberships. You can also add notes under each item, so you could maybe say "decent knives!" or "any kind of napkins!" underneath. Are there any local-to-you stores that offer registries?

If the bigger issue is the shipping part, I can't help you there. Amazon does offer international shipping to the Netherlands (and I assume or the other subsites make this even easier, not sure about shipping from Canada.) Would your friends not be able to pay for a transaction that would deliver to you from a Dutch site?

There are also sites like SimpleRegistry which are similar to Amazon's model and which also allow you to break up bigger gifts into smaller chunks. It looks like they can send to PayPal accounts and do international wires. You could maybe also use something like Giftster, where you can (I think) just put down a suggestion or type of item, and then your guests can pick it out and get it to you however they want.

Or, frankly, you can delicately suggest to your parents that given everything, if people did ask about gifts, that you're young academics with a lot of stuff who could use a decent honeymoon. If you don't really register or have a small registry, probably people will get the idea.*

*I admit, I'm American, so I have no idea what Netherlandish or Australian customs regarding cash at weddings are-- if wishing wells are more of a common thing for your Canadian etc. friends, then you could probably put in a note to that respect on your wedding website or whatever, and I'm really sorry if something I've said goes against cultural traditions in some way!
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:28 PM on February 26, 2014

It sounds like we're talking about 3 countries. I know it sounds complicated, but I suggest you look into doing three separate registries if you think your friends and relatives will benefit from your doing that. Three different retailers could make it easier to suggest a greater variety of gifts, a good thing if you're not registering for the usual kitchen stuff.

I agree with jetlagaddict that if you want to let people know your gift preferences, it's a good idea to inform a few key people on your guest list.
posted by wryly at 7:00 PM on February 26, 2014

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