House warming party registry

mandy1989September 12, 2013

Hello everyone!

just want to say thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to reply!

my boyfriend and I just bought a new house moving in 2 months. we both live at home with our parents and have never lived on our own. we also are not engaged or married, plan to one day but weddings are expensive! we chose to buy a house first.

i will be having a house warming party shortly after we move in, and I would like to do a registry. it is normal for people to bring gifts like wine etc, but we both don't drink wine and need all the basic things that start to add up! I've looked up online and everyone says its rude and tacky, however most of these posts online are referring to people that have lived on their own before and then throwing a house warming party and expecting gifts.

so what are your opinions of my situation and if you think it is ok to have the registry. All of our family and friends are aware of our situation (never living on our own, and no bridal shower). Some family tells me I should do it, but I don't want to offend anyone by basically asking for a gift if you want to come. Also thought about just having the appropriate wording on the invite about the gifts being optional but still including the registry.

thank you!

This post was edited by mandy1989 on Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 11:38

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Amanda, I can tell from your nice post that you are sincere about not wanting to look tacky or grabby.

So I'm sorry to tell you what I know you don't want to hear: your situation is no different. It may not seem fair that people getting married even if they've lived on their own have registries and single people setting up housekeeping for the first time, who may need things much more, don't. But that's the way it is. Maybe it shouldn't be, but because it is, there you are.

Don't put up a registry. It will look awful to many, perhaps most, people. If you need more than most people at a housewarming, then people will know that and be more likely to get you practical items than wine and chocolate and such. You don't have to select the exact items. It's no catastrophe if the dishtowels don't match your curtains.

It's true that you know that people will likely buy you gifts. But you don't want to appear too focused on that or try to direct others' generosity. And you write that you hope to marry each other someday -- it will look even worse if you register now and then register again then.

If people give you gifts you don't like or can't use, you do the same as when that happens at your birthday. You either use it instead of the item you would have preferred, or you exchange it, or you regift it to someone who would like it, or you donate it to charity, or you throw it away. Some gifts hit the mark, others don't. Too bad. The answer is to accept all gifts graciously, not to try to find a way to preselect them yourself.

Congratulations on your new home!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:07PM
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I agree 100% with Gellchom.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:21PM
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And another in total agreement with Gellchom.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:08PM
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Gellchom said it so well.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Why, thank you all.

Mandy, I hope you didn't feel bad at my answer. I know you really don't want to look greedy or tacky.

I'm posting again because I just noticed this sentence in your post:

"Also thought about just having the appropriate wording on the invite about the gifts being optional but still including the registry."

I'm not sure what you mean about "the appropriate wording .. about gifts being optional."

There is no such wording. Gifts are always optional; you don't need to, and shouldn't, tell your guests that. Don't put anything at all about gifts on your invitation, even without a registry. Making any reference at all to gifts on your invitation is a no-no.

Some people make an exception for "No gifts, please" even though it is not sanctioned by etiquette -- it's still displaying the expectation that people will want to buy you gifts -- on the ground that at least it isn't greedy. It seems to be the only way people feel comfortable giving parties for their own birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and housewarmings. I think it has gained popularity -- it's nearly universal here -- for that reason.

But other than that, any reference at all to the idea of gifts is not okay. I'm sorry!

Some people will buy you gifts, some won't. Most of the gifts will probably be smallish or more like a hostess gift than a new home gift. Some will be things you don't like or can't use. But that's just the way it is. Trying to influence it is just going to take you exactly where you are trying to avoid.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:18PM
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[this was a duplicate that appeared for some reason]

This post was edited by gellchom on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 15:05

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:20PM
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It depends on your guests I suppose... I mean if you are going to invite close friends, familiarizing them with your wish list is totally okay.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 8:25AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I also totally agree with gellchom. Housewarmings are not usually thought of as a way of furnishing a new home! That's what the wedding gifts are for. Expecting more than small hostess type gifts is pretty.....unusual.

We know a young couple who included information about a registry in their very nice housewarming invitations and just about everyone was appalled! Some of their family members were all for it, too. Hardly anyone else attended. It's sort of an abuse of friendship.

I've had or have been to many HW parties over the years and never, ever were gifts anything but optional. The idea of a housewarming is to bless your home with friendships and love.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Totally agree with all the above responses--a registry will imply gifts are necessary and sounds greedy, when the purpose of a housewarming is to only show off your new home.
Say nothing of a registry or the phrase gift optional on your invitation.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 4:11PM
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