Registering and Gifts

Gift registry for international celebration

We are getting married in the US and having a celebration in SO's home country to follow for the family members that he is close to and cannot afford to come to the states. It will be a simple dinner party with a dj celebrating the marriage. However we have had many family members ask about gifts for us, and for our registry information. We are appreciative and do not need gifts from his side but they insist. Obviously money is much easier to bring back over with us rather than struggling to send over the gifts we get or to put it into our luggage and hope it makes it in one piece from the UK, is there an easy and polite way to address this with his family? 

Thanks in advance.

Re: Gift registry for international celebration

  • If you don't want to have a registry because you don't want physical items, then do not create one. When FI's family asks, you can tell them you aren't registered anywhere.

    You can't outright ask for cash instead of gifts. You can say something like, "Oh we don't have a registry because we don't need anything. We are saving up for our honeymoon". That and the fact you don't have a registry should give the hint, however there are some people who will only give physical gifts- ever.

    In which case, you should graciously accept any gifts given, and it's on you to figure out how to get them home. Can you bring an empty suitcase to transport any gifts you may get? Your other options are to mail them to yourselves, or return the gift and re-buy the item once you're in the UK.

    I think if his family is outright asking you why you don't have a registry, I think it would be fine to say, "because we are traveling back to the UK on a plane and would have trouble bring gifts with us". Or, this could be something you mention to your FMIL causually that maybe she would pass along. "FMIL, lots of family has insisted on buying us gifts, but we just aren't sure how we would get these items back home!".

    If you created an online registry with a store that is local to you and would ship, do you think his family would go that route? Then they still get to give you a physical gift that you would like to have without you having to transport it.

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2017
    There is no polite way to outright ask for money. I would create a small gift list at John Lewis. Some people will only buy physical gifts.  It's a massive shop- see if there are any light things you could carry (linens, frames etc)  in an extra suitcase. I'm sure they have nice things you couldn't get in the states. If it's small, you could easily take it with you. Plus, they'll hold all the gifts and deliver them to your in laws on one day. So, for example, your party is Saturday, you can get the delivery on Tuesday, load up your cases and fly back to the states. Also, this means you can hopefully control the size/weight of the gifts by registering for small and light things. 

    I would avoid shipping internationally. There is a good chance you'll get slapped with heavy import duties! 

    I would say when asked 'We have a small gift list at John Lewis, but we are mainly saving for a house deposit'. 
  • These are good suggestions above.  Is Amazon an option?  I'm in the opposite situation: I'm in the US, my brother is getting married in the UK to his British FI.  Her birthday is tomorrow, and I spent longer than I should have trying to figure out how to ship something to the UK before I realized I should just order from Amazon UK.  Easy-peasy. 

    But more importantly, if you don't really want a lot of gifts, use the suggestions above to indicate that cash is welcome.
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