OT - Wedding/House question

cursivesailorJanuary 18, 2009

Some of you who have read my post before will know this, but for those of you who dont.....

My fiance and I decided to use the money that my parents would have spent on a big wedding, and put it towards building our house. We plan on getting married right as the house is finishing up being built. We are going to do a small immediate family only ceremony. But we were planning on having a huge "We Got Married / New House Warming" party at our new house with catered food, open bar w/ bartender and possibly even a live band. Very laid-back, casual party with everyone we know being invited.

So here's the question- should we do a wedding registery? I dont know if we should register for gifts since its going to be so casual. I am torn on whether or not to do it.

The only person I have talked to about it is my mom. She doesnt think I should because she thinks it might be "tacky" to register for such a low-key event. But then she threw in a comment about how she has sent presents to weddings she didnt even attend. So now she's giving me mixed signals.

We are getting married. There will be a reception. Its just going to be a super laid back party that's tied in with our house warming at the same time. What's a girl to do?!

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I would do a registry.A wedding is a celebration! Just because it is a laid back party does not mean you can not register.

Also, you do need items for your new house and you could make the registry a wedding/housewarming registry.

I am in the wedding business and I see your situation all the time and all do a registry. I am in the south so it may be different were you are.

Hope this helps...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 12:52AM
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How smart to use your money so wisely - congratulations! The etiquette articles I have seen about this agree that it is tacky to put where you are registered on your invitations, because that implies that you expect a gift. However, it is a good idea to register because many people will surely ask you (or, more likely, your family) what gifts you'd like, and then they can be directed to the registry.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:09AM
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A registry is for an event, a celebration. You are getting married, that is an event & a reason to celebrate. By all means register. There will be many people who want to honor your marriage and bring gifts. Just because you are having a low key affair doesn't mean you shouldn't get gifts.
I would definitely want to buy gifts for friends whether they had a lavish affair or a close family affair.

Congratulations have a wonderful wedding.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:56AM
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of COURSE you should register! people will still want to bring a gift. it should be something you can really use and want. if it were tacky, believe me i'd tell you. good luck!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:58AM
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We were married in the home I grew up in the day after Christmas. It was a small wedding with only close family and friends. We sent out announcements to long time family (aka friends of my parents) friends. Yes, by all means register! People who want to give you something will want some guidance.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 8:20AM
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I completely agree that it's OK to register. It doesn't obligate anyone to anything, and no one will know unless they ask. It'll help those who wish to get you gifts know what you'd like.

I also congratulate you on a wise use of the money, and wish you happiness and blessings in your marriage.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 7:55PM
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YES! Register! People want to know what you want! Otherwise, they will be left to their own devices, and you'll end up with many returns and possibly hurt feelings. I think it's more polite to set up your guests to give a gift you'll have forever.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 8:59PM
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Well it seems that almost everyone agrees.

Thanks to all for the congrats. I am sure as I post more pics of the house, I'll end up posting some from the "big day" or in my case the "little big day"

I am just kinda a tomboy, so all the frou-frou parts of a wedding dont really matter to me. I'd rather spend the money on property than a dress that makes me look like a cupcake!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:45PM
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You sound like DH and myself. We used money we saved for the wedding to put down on our first house 21 years ago. It's a much more practical thing to do.

As far as a registry, I personally like when someone is registered. It makes my life so much easier when it comes time to buy the gift.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 6:59PM
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I'll be the descenting vote and tell you that IMHO it seems tacky. I'm not necessarily for big, overblown, expensive weddings but it seems like you're trying to cut expenses and still squeeze your guests. Let them give something if they want to. Registering implies that you expect something.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:50PM
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First off, let me say that I'm not sure how having a family-only ceremony followed by a huge catered (albeit "casual") party is likely to save you very much money since the reception is usually the costliest part of a wedding anyway. However, there are LOADS of reasons for choosing an intimate ceremony over a massive one and you have every right to the kind of wedding you want!

As to the whole "wedding gift-giving and receiving etiquette"... I have never in my life based my decision on whether to give a wedding gift (or how large a gift to give) on the size/fanciness of the wedding or even on whether or not I was invited to the wedding. Over the years I have sent wedding gifts to many many friends (and even more "children and grandchildren of friends") who chose to have family-only ceremonies or who eloped. I have never felt slighted about not being invited to such weddings nor skipped the gift just because I wasn't invited to the wedding.

Conversely, there have also been many occasions when I have received an invitation to what was obviously one of those "invite-everybody-we-or-our-parents-have-ever-known" weddings. In such cases, if I didn't feel close enough to the bride/groom or to their parents to want to actually attend the wedding, I responded with "regrets" and NO GIFT. If I felt close enough to want to attend the wedding, even if I could not go, I sent a gift.

In my opinion, a wedding gift is a GIFT to a couple I care about, either directly or thru their parents, which expresses my happiness for the couple. It is not "payback" for a chance to go hear them say their vows and/or attend a lavish party afterwards!

And, even if some people do consider the wedding gift as payback for the party invitation... well it sounds to me like you're planning to throw a pretty, even if it be a "casual" bash. So, anyone who crassly thinks of a wedding gift as payback for the party will be expecting to give you a gift.

Additionally, at least in my part of the country, it is fairly traditional to bring small congratulatory gifts (eg., tea towels, a potted plant, a nice bottle of wine, small gardening tools, etc.) to a housewarming party. Fewer people "register" for these events but enough do that I've started asking whether folks having a housewarming party are registered.

So I say go ahead and register but don't mention that you are registered anywhere UNLESS someone asks you. Of course, this is the same advice I would give any bride regardless of what size wedding or what style/size reception she was planning to have!

And BTW, when you do register be sure to choose LOTS of inexpensive items that you'll want and need as well as some of the pricier stuff so that everyone who wants to give a gift can find something they can afford without breaking the bank.

Since you'll be moving into a brand new home, I'm sure you can find dozens of things you'll need for under $20 and hundreds for under $40. And again, this is the same advice I would offer to any bride... unless maybe she was from a family of zillionaires. But then, I would never get an invitation to that wedding anyway. LOL!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:40PM
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I agree with the registry, just don't put the info on the invitation .
Mention it only if people ask.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 7:12AM
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To piggyback off of what bevangel said, when my friend got married, she only registered for big ticket items b/c she thought she could afford the little stuff herself. She only received two gifts from her three registries. OTOH, when I registered, I focused on smaller priced items. When someone wanted to spend more, they ended up buying more items. However, I did throw on two expensive items, thinking no one would get them (a knife set and a duvet), and we received both. I guess the moral of the story is to not make too many assumptions about what your guests may think on the topic.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 12:55PM
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