Gift Registries - Completely out of control

lowsparkApril 2, 2008

I just got an invitation for a wedding for a young couple, the groom is the son of a very close friend. This couple has NO money, they are doing a small shoestring wedding mostly with the help of money from groom's parents, (bride's parents gave little or no money, not sure what they can afford). Both B & G have low paying hourly type jobs (neither have more than one year of college and do not plan to go back to school).

Included in the invitation was a small sealed envelope which held an elegantly printed card (the same as the invitation) listing the places they were registered, and a little notation about how blessed they were to have us join them in this celebration.

So... setting aside my thoughts about the registry info being specially include in the invitation, I went online to see their registry. At BB&B, they registerd for no less than 150 different items including:

-- China with place settings priced at $114 each (and a sugar bowl which costs $120, creamer $90) (They did NOT register for every day type dishes, I don't know if they own some already)

-- moisturizing socks

-- relaxation CDs

-- $$$ All Clad cookware

-- a mortar and pestle (!?)

-- a $40 shower curtain & $15 liner

-- a $60 pillow

-- Magic Bullet (as seen on TV) $60

the list goes on.

Now they can register for whatever they want to register for. None of my business! But this young couple clearly has little or nothing to start out this marriage with. Why oh why are they registering for such useless and expensive items? Why not register for things they really NEED and can use? I do plan to send them a nice gift, MOG is a very close friend. But I just can't bring myself to buy anything on that list. Most of it is too extravagant for their needs or just too silly. I cannot imagine that they will get enough of their china to make a set, and I wonder how much of the stuff they get will end up getting returned.

Now, I want to clarify. I'm NOT criticizing the couple. They are young and I'm sure they just don't really have a good understanding of what they need and what is appropriate. The trouble is, they have clearly had NO guidance on this. I'm sure they walked around the store and were intoxicated with the thought of owning all this cool stuff and didn't really think about whether they needed it or whether the guests would be jumping up to spend that kind of money on some of these things.

Someone -- maybe the bride's mother, should have talked to her about what kind of things to register for, what kind of things a young couple needs to set up household, and what kind of things they don't need, and how to set limits on the price & kinds of items so that the gifts they receive are actually useful instead of frivolous. If the only gifts they receive are the ones on this list, they will either have to return a lot of it in order to get things they really need, or they will have to spend a lot of their own money (of which there is precious little) in order to fill in the gaps.

Back when I got married the first time, the only thing you registered for was china, crystal and silver (or stainless). I got a lot of lovely gifts of things I really needed but didn't know I needed from friends of my & his parents.

Letting young couples loose in a store to register for every gadget and geegaw they lay eyes on can only serve one purpose: it makes money for the store. It's a great DISservice to the couples who must end up with a ton of junk they'll never use. It's a sad thing that these registries have evolved into.

That's my rant for the day. I'm going to send them a check and hope they'll use it to buy things they really need.

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I totally agree with your rant. If the couple didn't take the time to figure out what they really need, they may realize their mistake in hindsight when it is too late.

I recently had a couple tell me that on their registries they specifically indicated that they would not accept gift cards, only gifts. The bride's rationale is that it is lazy to give a gift card instead of putting some effort into selecting a gift. However, when a registry contains numerous expensive items that guests choose not to purchase, two or three gift cards could be combined to obtain the item if the couple really wants it. She couldn't see my point; just what she considers is convenient for her. Sad!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Lowspark, you said it really well.

I think you make a very good point, too, when you say "I got a lot of lovely gifts of things I really needed but didn't know I needed from friends of my & his parents." I would say exactly the same thing. When I got married, I did not have enough experience to know what would REALLY come in handy as my family and entertaining needs grew. Even then, I could see the difference between the gifts our peers gave us -- "unique," fun, or short-term stuff (e.g., a bed tray and a subscription to a book review) -- and the things the "grown-ups" got us: serving pieces, carving board, tablecloths, dishes, flatware, etc. We liked and appreciated all of it, but I could see the older generation had the better idea, and theirs are the gifts I am still gratefully using almost 26 years later. (I thought of that years later when I had babies, and only the childless people gave us those adorable but practically useless newborn sized items; the people with 3 or more kidz all sent at least size 24 months!)

I heard recently that at least one store gives the couple a discount of some kind or some sort of incentive based on how much stuff they register (not just on how much is purchased) -- so maybe that is a reason your young couple put all that garbage on there. A reason, though -- not an excuse!

I agree with every word you wrote. Not only does this make the couple look greedy, it does indeed lead to them ending up with a lot of clutter instead of the things they really will need, later if not now. The stores ought to be ashamed, and so should the wedding magazines and web sites that encourage this practice (gee, who advertises with them ...?).

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 8:29PM
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I would like to carry this point even a bit further and say that the festival of commercialism and greed that now attends so many weddings is just ridiculous! TV shows don't help, either. The expectations are built up so high that they can never be realized. And doting families who go along and bankrupt themselves for these obscenely expensive affairs often find themselves still paying the debt when the marriage is dissolved.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:44PM
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Sorry to burst your bubble....but many young couples register for all sorts of stuff with the thought in mind that they WILL return most of it. I don't understand...perhaps they are looking for a fancy gift display? Maybe it gives them a sense of priviledge to register for Spode when they know they will be eating off of Corelle?

Also the attendants at the wedding registry department are very much into promoting their stuff....
My daughter walked around with the clerk who was pointing out stuff to them...They came to some very nice placemats...the attendant asked what color? My daughter said..."Oh pink? That light blue? Green? off white all would go with my china." So How many she was asked? "eight" she replied.
So they got 8 place amts, 2 blue, 2 green, 2 pink, and 2 cream...
It's not always the bride who is at fault!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 10:32AM
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My gripe is not so much the bride as the entire wedding industry, plus those over-the-top TV shows on the Style Channel. I see the bride and groom as kind of the victims of Merciless Marketing, especially when they are young.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:08PM
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I've been in the stores and have seen the couples selecting their items to register -- sheesh -- when they are handed an inventory scanner to use -- how could they not end up selecting all kinds of 'stuff' for a 'wish list' ..
I'm betting that a lot of it gets 'returned'. Someone with retail experience might know... I know I've enclosed the 'gift receipt' as I've wrapped the present.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 3:45PM
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It's not always the bride who is at fault!

I see the bride and groom as kind of the victims of Merciless Marketing, especially when they are young.

Yeah, that's my point. These registry stores prey on the young couples naeté. I don't know if this couple's intent is to return stuff, I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt and think that they just don't know any better.

If the couple didn't take the time to figure out what they really need, they may realize their mistake in hindsight when it is too late.

Yeah, and I think that's the saddest part of it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 11:16AM
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My husband to be and I were asked to register so we went to the store. They hand you a scanner and honestly I just pointed at stuff that was there, and you have to discuss,do we want green towels or beige, this pattern or that? He got bored seriously before we had been doing this very long and it took forever. It was helpful to me to know that its something that is difficult to do --
it may not necessarily be what a couple may need or want, and you don't always know the price. Don't forget you are either going to Target or Macy's, usually not Walmart. Who really shops for what they need at either place. They need an ironing board & iron--but who would list that on their registry? Are they ready to pick a vacuum cleaner--maybe not. They need laundry baskets but I wouldn't want to gift wrap those.
After that experience we generally send checks to young couples, or call up and ask whether they have already acquired stuff or are starting from scratch.
We didn't return anything we got. It was all nice.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 6:05PM
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I know what you mean. Some of these things that some of these young kids ask for just don't make sense. Our neighbor girl had a meat platter for $240.00. CRAZY. They often don't have any items that are reasonably priced. I usually set a limit and go with it. One pan for $50.00 or 1 pillow sham for $40.00 is not a gift for me.. They need to remember that not all people make big money. By the time I buy a shower gift and a wedding gift, I have spent enough. They should be grateful..

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:32AM
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i tend to look at gift registries as a set of ideas.

Maybe I won't buy their sheets, but at least I know they like floral and green.

I often buy the baking pans, and I *never* look at the registry, because I have never seen a set of baking pans at a department store that I approve of. I refuse to buy black ones, or dark ones, or glass; I think it's stupid to pay a lot of money. And most of the time I'm sure the bride & groom don't have a clue about what really works; they just are picking from what's available in the store.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Oh, Tally Sue, you're an inspiration! Your words brought back an image of me standing in line at Macy's to buy baking sheets off someone's registry a couple years ago. They were insulated, black sheets, and they cost $25 each. I'm a good baker, and I *knew* the young couple would be better off with six basic aluminum pans from Walmart (better at conducting heat, and you have enough pans that you can always put them in the oven cold), but I bought the expensive junk anyway. Complained about it to the person standing next to me in line, but never thought to just buy what I knew would work better.

I like your idea of using the registry as a guide, rather than a shopping list.

By the way, the same registry included two motorcyles.:)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:20PM
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I have also looked at their china choice, and then gone searching for a colored-glass serving bowl that will coordinate, rather than simply buy the perfectly matched bowl from the same design.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:15AM
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I do the same thing, talley sue. Registries tell me colors, styles, etc. I often give a silverplate water pitcher (there's an example of something you don't know you'll need but never have enough of, if you entertain). I look at the couple's registry to decide whether to choose a very simple or more ornate style.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:27AM
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Here is my two cents. My nephew is getting married 6/2008. They registered at a couple of stores including Sears. I never saw the likes of some of the desired gifts - I have no complaint about them, they are just not what I expected.

A drill, saws, ratchet sets (standard & metric), other hand tools & powers tools! Of course there are also the more traditional silverware & linen. Both the B & G are do-it-yourselfers. They fixed up the MOB's house and did a great job. They plan to buy it from her.

At least they will get a few things that they will use for years to come. BTW my wife wouldn't be caught dead buying a power tool as a wedding gift. I think it's a great idea.

In closing, here's a gift no one ever asks for but everybody needs. It's inexpensive and irreplaceable. When you need one and don't have one, nothing else in the world will do. I'm talking about......


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 12:29PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

a $40 shower curtain & $15 liner
My guess is that they most likely won't have towel one when it comes time to needing one.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 4:10PM
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i'm getting married in August, and when my fiancee and i went to target we were sooo overwhelmed we didn't register for anything that we wouldn't use, we got things like a toaster, bathroom towels, kitchen towels, and some other appliances for the kitchen, once we got back to a computer to edit the registry, we felt like morons for having so many appliances on there. we deleted a bread maker (i've never baked bread in my life...) we also deleted a few other appliances that would have sat in the cupboard. we did keep the popcorn maker and icecream maker. we registered for things we need, like measuring cups, and a shower curtain, but we would so use an icecream maker. also, the deal that we got at target was that if there is things on the registry that aren't bought, then we can buy them ourselves for 10% off for the next 3 months. it's a pretty good deal, but we only registered for about 75 things and then started feeling greedy.
at bed bath and beyond however, they had insane "deals" where you have to register for lots of things and you can get free things direct from the manufacturer, so i'm sure there's a peice of the proceedes going to BB&B. if i would have registered for 500.00 or more of Calphalon, i could have received a 5inch Santoku knife. A 10-piece set of non-stick cookware is 399.99 on the site. you can get a 10-piece set for well under 100 dollars's not worth it.

reading everyone's posts, i'm just glad i'm not one of those brides that registers for outrageous things. (other than the icecream maker!) i dont want my guests thinking poorly of me.

oh, and to the plunger, I TOTALLY REGISTERED FOR A PLUNGER AND A TOILET BOWL CLEANER!! My fiancee thought i was weird, but i love a clean bathroom, what can i say? :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 4:39PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I'm just glad I'm not one of those brides that registers for outrageous things. (other than the ice cream maker!)
Hey, I'd gladly buy a couple an ice cream maker. I didn't know I wanted one until some friends were talking about how they loved to use theirs. I think it is a dandy choice for a registry. It sounds like you gave the guests many nice ideas on your list, and I don't see having a lot of appliances as 'too' much. It takes a lot of them to set up one's kitchen for cooking so many things. I don't use them often, but like my slow cooker and elec fry pan.
A long list gives the guest a lot of choices, in a variety of price ranges, I like that...maybe buying several of the smaller items.

I'd gladly buy a couple tools, power or otherwise. They are certainly needed unless one is in an apartment and having 'maintenance' do everything.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 9:01AM
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I agree with Chemocurl. I would also be happy to purchase the ice cream maker and the tools as well as sensibly priced small applicances. As she said, it takes a lot of applicances to set up a kitchen and most of them will be used for many years to come.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:57PM
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I don't know anything about power tools, but one of my favorite gifts to give for a shower is a basic tool kit. I'm not even sure why that seems strange.

I suspected that there was some incentive for couples to register lots of items. A 10% discount isn't much, is it, though? But I bet that explains why people register really big ticket items like sofas and televisions; they don't expect people to buy them, but they are planning on buying them anyway, so why not get the discount, they figure. I still wouldn't do it.

Remember also that registering a lot of items means that you are unlikely to have your patterns fill in.

I would caution couples who are handed that "gun" to think of it this way: not, "What do you see that you like?" but "If all you got were cash gifts, so now it's your own money you are spending, what would you buy (and remember, you can shop at other stores, too)? And what would you consider not worth it to you?" Mrs.mac seems to have sort of looked at it this way: she would buy an ice cream maker, but not a bread maker. 75 seems like a LOT of items to me, especially from one store. Remember, you can always buy the stuff yourself or exchange other gifts for it.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 3:15PM
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It's more surprising to me that many of the items on the gift registries are actually purchased.

A recent list of items that where actually purchased for my nieces wedding, though not by hubby, me and our kids where


Stainless steel trash can $139.00
Ironing board $100.00


6 quart soup pot $100
12 inch fry pan $140
Shun 8 piece knife block $526
Stainless steel tea kettle $60
Shun bread knife $120
Mandoline $50

Those prices just made me sick, but the fact that people actually paid them for gifts for a newlywed couple was even sicker to us.

And by the way, 6 months have gone by and no one has received a think you note yet either.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:17AM
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Well, to continue the story of this wedding, I'm now baffled by another thing. The wedding is at the end of May but I wanted to go ahead and send a check in advance, one less thing to worry about on the day of the wedding. So I bought a card, wrote out the check, went to address the card, and lo and behold, there is no return address on the invitation. No hint of an address anywhere!

I guess I'll be toting that card to the wedding and handing it over at that point. Maybe it didn't occur to them that people might want to send gifts in advance? Or Maybe they figured everyone would buy stuff off the registry and BB&B has their address?

In case you're wondering, this is a cake & punch reception (it's listed as such on the invitiation) with no RSVP, verbal or written.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 1:33PM
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I guess that I am strange. I'd rather spend my "gift allowance" on something that will last a newly married couple a lifetime than on something that they will get rid of or will lose its usefulness in a few years. For example, I'm more likely to buy a gift such as an very good frying pan or a piece of good china that they will still be using in 20 years rather than a set of dishes they will replace in 5.

If I am invited to a shower then I buy the basic type items as a gift for the shower.

Buy what suits your finances for the events. Don't feel pressured to buy something you can't afford.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 9:37PM
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My fiance's brother and wife registered at Target and Sears. Target was the main store that had the essentials they needed since they were starting from scratch. Sears was the "fun" store for my fiance's brother where he didn't really expect to get any of the tools and electronics they registered for. He admitted that he was just "shooting away" at times. They did have a wide range in pricing. But the thing is they would have gotten more use out of the "fun" stuff than the omlet maker they got that wasn't on any registry and they'll never use. I think some people really should stick to the registry even if they don't agree with what the B and G register for.

There was also an issue with people buying what was on the registry but not from either stores so they would get the same present twice or even three times (they had a 400 guest wedding). This was right before Target changed their return policy where you have to have a receipt in order return anything. If you don't, they'll take down your driver's license info and you can only return an item with in a month and a certain amount over the year or something like that. I understand why a business would do this, since not everyone is honest. Luckily, they didn't have to deal with this, but it makes me very hesitant to register there.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 5:46PM
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See, the problem buying only the "fun" stuff that the couple want to use right away is that THIS IS IT -- this is the ONE time that a whole lot of people are going to get them fairly large gifts for their new life together. They may not need, or anticipate needing, some stuff now that they will need later, but no one is going to give it to them then.

Not many young couples need giant serving platters or dishes, flatware, and crystal for 12 or 18. But years later, when they start to take their turn hosting holiday meals and family get-togethers -- for a family that will probably be getting larger -- they are going to need all that stuff -- at least many people do. Twenty-six years ago, I never imagined serving 29 people dinner in my home. But that is what we are doing tomorrow! (For the out of town guests of a friend's son's wedding.)

So even though at the time it seemed like we would never use all the platters, bowls, and pitchers, I have used every one of them many times over the years. Things do break, too, so it's nice to have extras.

Almost all the fun gifts from our peers are long gone (e.g., subscription to a magazine, honeymoon items), or rarely used (e.g., pasta machine, non-electric espresso pot).

The nicest bonus is that every time I use the "boring" items, even all these years later, I think fondly of the person who gave it to me. That is a very lovely experience you don't get if all you get is cash or things you registered for yourself. My favorite gift was a big, fancy silver plate platter from my great aunt. She had received it as a wedding gift when she married into our family in the 1950s. I certainly didn't have occasion to use it much in the early years of our marriage, but I use it all the time now, and I think of her every time I see it.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 4:13PM
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I agree with lowspark. Registering used to be very special for the couple. The purpose was to set the couple up with flatware and crystal and china - things that would last a lifetime.

Today, it's become a repellent greed fest, especially amoung the younger couples. I lost it over my friend's 21 year old daughter registering for things like an iron for $129.00 and a Showtime rotisserie for $150.00. Give me a break!

When I was young and broke I went to garage sales and thrift shops to purchase everything but underwear and lingerie. It was thrilling to find a workable iron for a dollar, or a gently used fry pan for 50 cents. I wouldn't have the sense of entitlement to even consider asking anyone for a $129.00 iron. Remember, this was back in the day when women actually DID iron.

And shame on older couples, or second marrieds, who take advantage of the occasion to register. If you been on your own for years, married later in life, or set up housekeeping with a differnet person, you shouldn't be expecting big wedding gifts from family and friends.

Conversely, while the art of asking for wedding gifts has been honed by the commercial retailers and couples, the quality of wedding etiquette has plunged exponentially.

1) Ushers not seating people (they're too cool in thier tuxedos to bother with guests).

2) Ushers clueless about where to seat people. (Too hungover to listen to the rehearsal instructions)

3) Bridezillas. (Need I elaborate?)

4) No reception line. (hey, why do the two families have to mingle away - just leave them hanging and guessing who's who!)

I could add to the list but it's making me too ill.

We just got back from a wedding where the B&G drank champagne all night (the B told us she was on her third bottle), however, the guests got zero champagne for the toast. If fact, they did not have any beverage for the toast. This reception was less than 40 people - somebody should have clued the couple in.

Thanks for indulging me a rant. Don't expect me to drive/fly/hike to your wedding, spend money on a hotel room and gift, (especially if you're older or on your second marriage) only to watch your rude, silly, and greedy wedding.

Weddings used to be my favorite type of celebration. I am glad I have lived long enough to attend wonderful ones, but sadly, wonderful weddings are now becoming a rare occasion.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 11:17PM
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I can sympathize with a lot of what xminion wrote (except receiving lines; I'm glad not to have to stand in them!), and I am happy to reassure her that not all weddings are like that.

Yesterday we went to a WONDERFUL wedding of a very down-to-earth, smart, gracious couple. The focus was always on their love for each other and their families. Their concern was for their guests' feelings, fun, and comfort, not their own -- although they were having a wonderful time themselves (that's probably why, in fact). The food and decorations were understated but generous and lovely. They served mojitos, sangria, wine, and lemonade -- to everyone, not just themselves.

They have 6 siblings between them, and those were their attendants -- the only sister is the groom's, and she was maid of honor. They wore whatever they wanted, and they all looked great.

They did register, but the lists weren't frivolous or greedy -- mainly dishes, linens, appliances, and cookware. (And guess what -- they pretty much filled in, because there weren't any silly items like moisturizing socks, whatever they are.) I chose neither my shower nor my wedding gift from the registry, and I received warm -- and prompt -- thanks for both.

Wouldn't you be impressed with the values of a couple like that? You can tell they are off to a very good start.

I'll say it again: do what you please, but no matter what the justifications and excuses you can make about what you do, and no matter what lies shop clerks tell you about what "everyone" does and what is acceptable "nowadays," (1) you can't control how others will feel, and (2) your guests are going to have attended a wedding like this one, too. How do you want to compare?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 5:21PM
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(2) your guests are going to have attended a wedding like this one, too. How do you want to compare?

Standing up and whistling, shouting, clapping, and stomping my feet!!

What a great way to explain it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 9:22PM
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i'm a little offended that some people on the forum have lumped all brides and weddings together. SOME brides do the best they can. SOME brides dont have a lot of money to have a blowout reception. SOME brides have lived with their mother their whole life, and dont have an ironing board, and SOME brides register for 20 dollar ironing boards. so.
if you get invited to a wedding that isn't up to your standards, i certainly hope it makes you feel better to rant and rave on line on what is supposed to be a helpful forum. and i would also certainly hope that if you are so angry about the wedding, don't go. i would fell so upset if someone was at my wedding hating every minute of it, and brought me a gift just out of spite and anger.

AND to the comment about ushers and their "performace" and roll on the day of the wedding. i, for one, am not going to be keeping tabs on my ushers. i would certainly hope that they would act accordingly and be resepectful, however i dont have any control over their person and only they can make their own choices...all of my ushers are ages 15-18, so hopefully i wont have that issue. i just hope that for any other bride, guests would keep in mind, that the bride's mind is absolutely not thinking about what the heck her ushers are doing. she's thinking about making the biggest committment of her life. shame on the ushers, dont take it out on the bride.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:58PM
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Mrs.mac88, I don't understand your post.

I wonder why you felt that anyone "lumped all brides and weddings together." Indeed, the 2 posts just before yours, from Talley Sue and me, did just the opposite, as did many earlier posts: look again. Lowspark's original post on this string stressed that she was NOT blaming the bride and groom themselves; she felt sorry for them, that they had obviously gotten some bad advice.

I think that's the general theme of this string: stores have been brainwashing young couples into thinking that wedding gifts are about being treated to fun extravagances for right now, not setting up for a long life together. If they stopped to think about how they would use the money if all their gifts were cash, I bet not a single one would choose to spend it all on a long list of expensive or silly items from a single store -- let alone expensive honeymoon treats. That many of them are in debt or have no savings just makes it worse. But the point is that it isn't that the couples are greedy or foolish, it's that the bridal industry and the stores are taking advantage of their inexperience.

And I certainly don't think that xminion was blaming the bride, or anyone else except the ushers themselves, for the ushers' doing a bad job. I can't even see what made you think she was.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 9:59PM
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What, no one sees the silliness of 3, 5, or 10 thousand dollar wedding gowns? Whats a $60 shower curtain?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 6:51PM
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My mom went with me to register and she was a big help. My husband is an Air Force Officer and we move all the time. I knew I didn't want a lot of stuff, because we choose to keep our home as simple as possible. (That is what comes with moving every year!) We ended up at Target and the best advice my mom gave me was this:

There will be people invited to your shower that want to spend hundreds of dollars on you, but there are people who will not. Put a couple big items on there and a lot of the little things you need. That way, people can put together a nice gift of a few things that fit in their price range.

Well, my mom and sister ended up throwing us a gift card shower anyway, because she didn't want us to have to lug a bunch of stuff across the country in a u-haul. The gift card shower was AWESOME! Some people may find it impersonal, but all of my guests LOVED IT! They were able to get the exact dollar amount they wanted to spend and they knew we would get what we needed. My mom encouraged gift cards from Sears and Target, because they have them everywhere we might live and because she didn't want us to end up with 100 gift cards to different stores. We bought a washer and dryer from Sears with our Sears giftcards and bathroom and bedroom linens and few small kitchen needs from Target. Who doesn't need a washer and dryer??


    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:56PM
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PS: My dress was $1,200 plus, veil, alterations, slip, etc and worth every penny. I don't know about $5K dresses, but I will never regret spending over a thousand. However, a $60 shower curtain... not if my life depended on it! :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:00PM
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I don't mind how many items they have on the lists, as it gives me a broader idea of what to get, but I have to agree that some things on registers are SO expensive that I think... you have to be kidding! I agree about getting essentials before anything else if they are in that sort of financial situation.

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    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:26PM
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"And shame on older couples, or second marrieds, who take advantage of the occasion to register...:

When DH and I got married, I was 45 (first wedding) and he was 50. We did register. Why? Because when friends asked us what we wanted for gifts and we said "nothing," they said, "People will give you gifts; they want to show their good wishes. Register so they know what you want."

I also tried to discourage the woman who wanted to give me a shower. Heck, we each owned fully stocked homes. She insisted and insisted.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 7:12PM
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Too many young couples believe that a registry is a free for all. Some register for things that are way out of their guest budget. Other register for an endless amount of silly items.

I was at Crate n Barrel looking at my friends registry years ago. The lady standing next to me was looking at her friends registry(different bride and groom). Both registry had endless amounts of wine glasses in them. Every shape and size you can think of. We both laughed at how these glasses will sit and collect dust. We then wanted to pass a new tradition of the "shower" being thrown 1 year after the wedding. By then the bride and groom will know exactly what they really need. LOL!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:06PM
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Ya really don't know if those couples are or are not going to use ALL those wine glasses. I have a ton of bedding that most people would find ridiculous. However, I don't have multiple sets of dinnerware because I know I won't use them. To each his own, is really my point. You can't just assume because you wouldn't use all those wine glasses that the couple would not.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 5:08PM
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My niece was married last December and one of things on their registry was various PS3 games! Now that,I felt, was just ridiculous!!

My sister who is 45 will be getting married for the first time this fall, it is also the first time for her fiance' -I have encouraged them to register -just b/c you're older doesn't mean you can't register -plus, we thought she'd never get married so we're all over the moon about her and her fiance' who adores her! :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 1:07PM
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My fiance and I are in our 30s, have been out on our own for years, and currently live in a house together. It's my first marriage and his second. We do not need more stuff- we spend our weekends trying to get RID of things!!

There is still pressure to register. Not even from the media, but also from friends and family.

As was mentioned above, family and friends have said that they want to buy presents and would appreciate some ideas. We've been told that people are going to buy us things anyway, so we might as well register so that we get things that we want rather than things we don't want. It's even been suggested that we are going to inconvenience people by not having a registry.

On the one hand, I am so glad to have people happy for me and my guy. On the other hand- well, we still are not going to register. We are trying to encourage people to think of their presence as their gift to us.

We'll see how successful it is. If we were younger and just starting out, or currently in more difficult straits, maybe we would feel differently. As it is, we just can't bring ourselves to register. We hope that people really don't feel inconvenienced! If they do, we hope that we give them great food and nice drinks and a lovely evening, so hopefully they will forgive us. :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 12:39AM
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A couple of weeks ago I was at Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase an items off a friend's registry. While I was waiting, a couple who were in the process of registering for their gifts came up to the counter with the scanner. The clerk took a look at their list and proclaimed that they had not registered for enough items and they needed to go back and add more. Her rational to this couple was that most items on the registry would not be bought so they needed to add more items to give people more choice.

Watching the sales job these couples received was an eye opener.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 1:57PM
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That's awful! This is exactly what is causing these couples to register for a bunch of ridiculous stuff that they neither need nor want! It'a actually a self-fulfilling prophesy, right? The MORE you register, the less percentagewise will get bought. So then it's easy for the clerk to say, most items on the registry would not be bought. Of course not! Because they registered for too many things!

In reality, if the store clerk is right, that should be incentive for the couple to register for fewer items, so that they can ensure that the items they really want will get bought. That assumes, of course, that the pricing of the items they choose is reasonable, or at least within a reasonble range so that those who don't want to spend a fortune can find something to buy.

Getting back to the "olden" days, when I got married the first time and you just registered for fine china, crystal and silver (I actually just did china and flatware), I received gifts of a dinner plate, or a cup & saucer. People who didn't want to spend the $$ to buy a whole place setting just bought the piece(s) they could afford. It all contributed to my china set. Imagine if I'd given them the option of spending that same amount on something like a relaxation CD or some other useless item.

No matter how you slice it, the couple is better off registering for just the items they really want/need. I'm sure the clerk at BB&B was just doing her job, after all, that sort of thing is good for the store, right? But ugh! What a disservice to those poor couples who don't know any better!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:13PM
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Yes, it is a disservice. While I've purchased off of a registry before, this was my first experience at BB&B. I was surprised that as a paying customer, I was a lower priority than the couples who were registering and had to wait for about 15 minutes while they found someone who could help me with the purchase. I guess the potential income from the registry was far greater than from my purchases.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:31PM
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Hi all, I am 31 and about to be married. I am also fighting cancer and thus my wedding planning... hasn't really been going anywhere. I appreciated reading this thread and was curious - what DO you think people should register for? What are those essential items that us young'uns forget?

About the only things I know I want:
everyday dishes
everyday glasses (nothing we own matches - all garage sales/hand me downs)
new sheets and/or bedding
new towels
new coffee mugs

We expect to inherit silver and in our tiny house do not have room for real china (nor would we use it but once or less per year).

Our house is so small that I'd hate to receive big items that are decorative or giant bowls, etc. We are thinking about saying we are registered at X and Y, but also welcome donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation...

There are about 100 invitees to the wedding.

Thanks for any sincere advice :) I figured it would be better to get advice HERE than in the wedding mags LOL.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 4:34PM
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Many brides forget about the cooking essentials, like measuring cups and spoons, large spoons for stirring food as well as larger serving spoons, meat fork, pancake turner, tongs, dish towels, oven timer, juice glasses, pot holders - all the basics for setting up a kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 5:34PM
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But, Sweet Pea, many of them already HAVE most of that stuff -- in fact, DOUBLES of each, in the case of couples who have both been living on their own, not marrying right out of their parents' homes. I don't know why people think they need or are entitled to all new or all matching or something just because you are getting married. (Well, yes, I do -- the stores talk them into it.) Especially with only 100 people invited, I would NOT register for a bunch of little things -- otherwise the patterns she wants won't fill in.

gfoak wants matched sets of everyday glasses and dishes instead of her miscellaneous stuff, and I agree, that's a perfect thing to register. gfoak, you might have to store them elsewhere for a while, but don't be so sure that you can't use good china and larger serving pieces, too -- remember, this is for a lifetime. I didn't "need" service for big holiday dinners the first few years of marriage -- but I do now.

And why does it have to be a special occasion or involve guests to use your best things? The two of you should enjoy your nice stuff on your own. (I often have to remind myself, "What are you saving this for? Your funeral?") China actually lasts LONGER than earthenware; it is stronger. And you expect to inherit silver; it would be nice to have good dishes (and stemware?) to go along.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 7:13PM
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I got a shower invitation today that I had never seen before. Where the invitation told where the couple was registered it said "gift cards appreciated". Seems pretty impersonal to me.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 12:28PM
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gfoak, give some thought to special cooking things you want. A big turkey roaster is expensive and a traditional wedding gift out here. How about special cooking appliances, such as a blender, food processor, hand held mixer as well as a strong one on a stand, waffle iron, electric frying pan with a lid (great for stews), electric coffee pot or teapot (I love our electric tea pot), knife sharpener, crock pot?

If you are not feeling up to par, what about something to help with the house cleaning like a Roomba to do the vacuuming?

Best wishes to you. I do like how you aren't into such a material gimmie event, but as gellchom reminds you, lots of the wonderful wedding gifts are items that you will grow into wanting to use when you are more settled.

I eloped and had nothing to start out, so DH and I bought our things over the years, and I eventually received my mother's silver pieces and crystal. But we bought all our good and every day china, and I do use the good stuff and love it to this day. (DH bought it for me on a PBS auction in Chicago over 35 years ago, and it reminds me of my grandmother's Haviland Limoges, which I loved.)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 8:34PM
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