jill1273September 21, 2009

I need opinions..I am getting married next year having a destination wedding. I really don't want to register, have a shower or gifts, but my family is pressing me to have one. I know that most guests will have to pay for travel and accommodations, and for them to do that for me is gift enough, especially in these trying times..Am I wrong? Mom says I'm being selfish by taking this part away from my loved ones..And how do I gracefully explain this to my guests?

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There are several strings on related subjects; do a search.

I can't tell exactly what your question is:
The header line is "Money?" and you write,
"I really don't want to register, have a shower or gifts, but my family is pressing me to have one."

One what? Shower? Registry?

With regard to gifts, period, listen to what your mom is telling you. Let people be nice. Don't throw their generosity back in their faces. I understand that you are -- admirably -- feeling bad about them spending money on a gift in addition to travel expenses (or for a wedding they cannot comfortably afford to attend). But even though your motives are unselfish, you still have to be careful not to be directing people's generosity toward you. If someone flat out asks you, you can say something like, "What really would mean most to us would be a contribution to your favorite charity." [Note: THEIR favorite charity, not yours.]

Registries and showers are a stickier issue. Many people will tell you (and your family already is) that there's no reason you shouldn't have them just because you aren't having a big, local wedding. And they are right.

But I do understand your feeling about not wanting to seem like it's all about you, you, you -- as if you want a wedding in an exotic venue that will make it hard for people to attend, but you don't want to miss out on any possible loot. You are concerned about sending the message, "We don't care about your presence, but we do care about your presents." I know that isn't what's really going on here; people have all kinds of reasons for destination weddings. But I do understand your concern about sending the wrong impression.

So what to do? People do want to make showers and similar fuss, and they want to buy gifts that will please you.

Here is what I think what I would do:

Showers: if someone insists on giving one, agree graciously. You might gently let the host/s know that your preference would be to keep it small and low key and for something like a recipe, scrapbook, or advice shower, not a gift shower. I would try to avoid having more than one.

Registry: I would definitely avoid multiple registries and long lists. I don't even like them for big, local weddings; too much like a shopping list. In your circumstances, it might look like you are expecting lots of gifts from people who can't even come to the wedding. I would stick to patterns -- tableware, cookware, linens -- so it looks like the reason you registered is the original reason for registering. That way you are safe from anyone thinking you expect a big haul or don't trust their taste. I'm sure that many people will disagree with me on this last part; there is the school of thought that it is somehow considerate to include a lot of little, low priced items. But it never strikes me that way, just as store clerks pressuring couples to register the world so all their gifts will come from their store, or as a couple deciding that they can't risk anyone buying them a gift they didn't choose for themselves. That makes me feel like they don't look at my gift as an expression of my fondness for them, but as an opportunity to fulfill their shopping list. JMHO. Anyway, items in patterns aren't always expensive, and even if everything on the registry is outside of a giver's budget, they can just choose a gift themselves.

Whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be fine. Best wishes to you! Where will your wedding be?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:28PM
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I assume the title of your post means you are concerned about the amount of money your guests might need to spend to attend the wedding. I agree that you should allow guests to bring a gift if they want to. Let them decide what they can afford to do or not do. If you are asked, you can tell guests that you prefer their presence to gifts.

If your wedding will be out of the country, expecting guests to bring gifts could be a problem for them and for you with Customs. In that case, you might encourage guests not to bring a gift, and if they really want to do something, to mail it to your home.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 6:59PM
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Sorry, I can see why the headline is confusing ..I guess by money I ment that I don't really want my family to spend $$ on a shower when they're already paying for a wedding. I've been in enough weddings over the years to know how expensive they can get..Plus my fiance and I bought a home together 4 years ago, so we already have most things you get at a shower. Maybe I will tell everyone who asks that there's a Home Depot nearby, and we will always have some home project going on..hint hint!
Thanks for the advice...Oh, and we're thinking about having it in Florida!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:51AM
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I did not register, have a bridal shower, or a bachelorette party. I simply said I do not want one, I do not want a fuss. When people asked about a registry, I said we do not want presents, we simply want your presence.
We were throwing the party(wedding), I did not want anyone to be obligated to spend. We bought our wedding party's attire as well. Everything could be worn again and was not specific to a wedding.

In the end--there was no shower. I specified no bachelorette party, but in the end allowed 3 friends to take me out for dinner and drinks, and wore a silly hat at the bar(because they REALLY wanted to do this!).
At the wedding, most people brought cards with a monetary gift even though we were not expecting anyone to do so.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:53PM
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