Offbeat Weddings

Why is No Gifts so Controversial?!

Hey everyone. So my fiance and I have elected to not register anywhere - we dont want gifts.  My "shower" is saturday which is actually a wine tasting party - bring bottles of wine, and bring a recipe for me to compile in a book. My aunt "insisted" on gifts but when i suggested ill just take home the unopened bottles of wine that seemed to appease her :) We're gettin married in Napa and love food/wine everything so i figured that would be fitting.  My fiance's side of the family lives out of town and I think they will do a shower for me with gifts, like a pampered chef or something?! no idea. Its not my family so i will just keep my mouth shut for that one and show up and let them do whatever....

Anyway, ive had a lot of people complaining i didnt register, and that i dont want gifts.  I am not getting married in town - me and my fiance are doing so privately, then having e reception in town. We're in our early 30s. We have everything we want. We have a one bedroom condo and probably wont buy a house for another year or.  We have no space and enough junk and i tried to go to crate and barrel, target, bed bath and beyond, macys, etc to entertain the idea of registering, but my fiance and i just were looking at all this stuff like, ugh, nice, but we dont need it/have nowhere to put it/dont feel like ding a weeks long cleanout of ou old crap to make room for new....

so yeah thats all ive got. Just a rant. I just want people's company at things - the "shower", reception etc, if they can make it, but othrwise i dont care. this is about me and my fiance and so im not really worried about what everyone else is doing or buying or whatever. I just want it to be fun and relaxed and part of that for me was no gifts.  U dint care if othr people have gifts! I like buying people stuff for their weddings....if it was a couple years from now and i had just moved into a larger, fairly empty house maybe i would see it as more practical for myself...but like why does it have to be such a big deal? 


offbeattothemax

Re: Why is No Gifts so Controversial?!

  • I think people assume when a couple asks for no gifts they are asking for money. It doesn't sound like you guys are doing that, but that might be why everyone would be annoyed/upset if they feel they are being asked for money and not thoughtful gifts. Do you have anything in your house that could use replacing? Vacuums, blenders, coffeepots or even a microwave? Those things tend to wear out after awhile, or maybe you could just upgrade to a nicer set. Do you have a set of china? I realize you don't want gifts but people want to give them to you, so maybe you should suck it up and register? Just my opinion, lol. 

    I would feel awkward going to a wedding or shower without a gift, personally.
  • My aunt or me or mom or whoever has been telling people no gifts are necessary when they ask, and just the wine/recipe at the shower, so it's not a question of thinking I want money, although I could definitely see that happening. 

    So, itt isn't that they think I want money, it's people telling me i am crazy for not wanting presents. I have been trying to tell people that when we get a new house maybe we will have a housewarming party then, but gifts are not really something we're interested in right now.  It shouldn't be a big deal! 
  • Well if it makes you feel any better I don't think it's crazy that a person with a home and everything they need doesn't want extra crap. WE are offbeat brides and therefore a little controversial. 
    Kieralynnkannf1982
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    kannf1982 said:
    My aunt or me or mom or whoever has been telling people no gifts are necessary when they ask, and just the wine/recipe at the shower, so it's not a question of thinking I want money, although I could definitely see that happening. 

    So, itt isn't that they think I want money, it's people telling me i am crazy for not wanting presents. I have been trying to tell people that when we get a new house maybe we will have a housewarming party then, but gifts are not really something we're interested in right now.  It shouldn't be a big deal! 
    YES! I am with you dude. My MOH immediately offered me a shower and I declined. I have a house and it's not even about not having space. I have space for plenty of new goodies and could use new goodies since most of my pots and pans are hand me downs. But I honestly just feel like it's greedy as hell. Like just because we are in love and want to spend our lives together, why should I take advantage of my friends and siphon gifts out of them? I just don't get that logic. I might possibly register for a few things just because I know my grandparents will want to get us a traditional gift but that's it. My brother's wife was so excited for her shower and so excited to get all her gifts and then she left them in a pile in her living room for 4 months and it just put such a bad taste in my mouth. Like why did you ask for all this crap if you're not even going to use it? Just because you "can" is gross. 

                                                                     

    image

    kannf1982
  • I think that people get antsy at the whole concept of not giving gifts because it's the traditional way to "give back" and show love and support to the bride and groom. You are throwing a big party because you are getting married, and they want to buy a gift
    a) to show they are celebrating that step in your life
    b) because they consider it a big host/hostess gift
    c) to reciprocate the expense of their presence at your wedding...or the gifts you gave for their wedding...or even the gifts they expect you to buy for their wedding
    d) have been told that's what you do
    Of course people should honor what you want--or don't want. But this issue isn't necessarily just about what you want because there will be those people who really want to give gifts and feel uncomfortable, guilty or even resentful if they aren't welcome. I have a lot of friends that really lose it if I invite them to a dinner party and tell them not to bring anything--and then show up with 2 bottles of wine and a dessert in addition to the excess of desserts I already made and will be stuck with at the end of the night.

    My fiance and I are developing a very weird registry because we are two domesticated adults that have lived together for 6 years and have everything we really need (I really should just give the guests glassware for favors because we have SO MUCH crap like that). I don't need a blender, a toaster, or more towels, and I probably won't for many many years. I wish it wasn't so bewildering to put things like a new windshield wipers or a filter for my aquarium on our registry.
    biojess
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    My grandmother's birthday party last year had "No Gifts" on the invitation (which is a whole 'nother story), and lots of people brought gifts anyways. I felt really stupid because I hadn't brought one (as requested!).

    I'm not suggesting that you're super wrong or crazy for not wanting gifts, but people are gonna give you gifts anyways. At least a check would be appropriate (could you imagine if I'd given my grandmother a check as a gift?!),
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Could you take a different approach: no gifts but, if you feel the need, donate to a cause we love?

    If they're insisting, you could support a cause that you care about.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    biojess
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Could you take a different approach: no gifts but, if you feel the need, donate to a cause we love?

    If they're insisting, you could support a cause that you care about.
    Nope.  Weddings are not fundraisers or awareness-raisers, and the fact that you care about a cause doesn't mean that the person asking does.  Charity is a personal thing-and nobody should be pressured to donate to a cause they don't support as a "gift" for someone else.  You don't want a gift you're given?  Donate it yourself-more power to you-but don't ask the giver to do it for you.

    As to why "no gifts" is controversial, the couple is not entitled to control what they receive. 

    Registries are often used to indicate what the couple would like and appreciate, but they are wish lists-they cannot be used to "control" what is actually given.  And sometimes they do have the potential for abuse-especially if they are for honeymoons, cash only, or no-gifts requests.

    The gifts thing with weddings is kinda tricky.  People don't realize it, but it's actually very rude for potential recipients to ever "expect" gifts, because gift-giving-even for weddings-is supposed to be optional for the guests.  That is, the lack of a gift-or the lack of a gift the recipient likes-cannot be used as an attendance barrier.  But at the same time, yes, guests are supposed to give gifts as a gesture of affection and congratulations to the couple.  But the gifts are supposed to be strictly of the giver's choice, and if the recipients don't want to keep them, they still have the responsibility of graciously acknowledging receipt of the gifts and thanking the givers before disposing of them as they see fit while being discreet (not letting the giver know that they disposed of the gift). 
    manulaunichibiyui
  • If people ask why just tell them what you told use. You have everything you need & don't have much on storage space and that for you the reception/showers are more about being with people then anything else. You'll probably end up with cash then or gift cards (maybe have a few resturants in mind that you love to go to that do gift cards in case you have someone that won't drop the gift issue or even a favorite place to go get wine).
  • I'm in a similar boat, Fi and I have lived together 3 years and have just about everything we need. BUT our vacuum is starting to go so we are going to register for one. I also registered for a couple of things we could use like coasters for our living room. Unfortunately Walmart won't let you register for personalized items so I put a note on the registry hat we love personalized things and suggested a doormat w/ our last name on it. I decided to create a small registry to avoid getting another crock pot b/c we already have several of varying sizes. I registered w/ walmart b/c i figure if we get something we don't wan/need we can exchange it for store credit to use towards groceries. ;)
  • kannf1982 said:
    Hey everyone. So my fiance and I have elected to not register anywhere - we dont want gifts.  My "shower" is saturday which is actually a wine tasting party - bring bottles of wine, and bring a recipe for me to compile in a book. My aunt "insisted" on gifts but when i suggested ill just take home the unopened bottles of wine that seemed to appease her :) We're gettin married in Napa and love food/wine everything so i figured that would be fitting.  My fiance's side of the family lives out of town and I think they will do a shower for me with gifts, like a pampered chef or something?! no idea. Its not my family so i will just keep my mouth shut for that one and show up and let them do whatever....

    Anyway, ive had a lot of people complaining i didnt register, and that i dont want gifts.  I am not getting married in town - me and my fiance are doing so privately, then having e reception in town. We're in our early 30s. We have everything we want. We have a one bedroom condo and probably wont buy a house for another year or.  We have no space and enough junk and i tried to go to crate and barrel, target, bed bath and beyond, macys, etc to entertain the idea of registering, but my fiance and i just were looking at all this stuff like, ugh, nice, but we dont need it/have nowhere to put it/dont feel like ding a weeks long cleanout of ou old crap to make room for new....

    so yeah thats all ive got. Just a rant. I just want people's company at things - the "shower", reception etc, if they can make it, but othrwise i dont care. this is about me and my fiance and so im not really worried about what everyone else is doing or buying or whatever. I just want it to be fun and relaxed and part of that for me was no gifts.  U dint care if othr people have gifts! I like buying people stuff for their weddings....if it was a couple years from now and i had just moved into a larger, fairly empty house maybe i would see it as more practical for myself...but like why does it have to be such a big deal? 


    Registering is a convenience for your guests, that's why it's annoying them, although it's your choice whether or not to register.

    If you don't want gifts, you should decline the shower and just have a get-together not billed as a shower.

    And saying "no gifts" is considered rude because it makes clear the assumption that had it not been said, gifts would be expected, which they should never be.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • kannf1982 said:
    Hey everyone. So my fiance and I have elected to not register anywhere - we dont want gifts.  My "shower" is saturday which is actually a wine tasting party - bring bottles of wine, and bring a recipe for me to compile in a book. My aunt "insisted" on gifts but when i suggested ill just take home the unopened bottles of wine that seemed to appease her :) We're gettin married in Napa and love food/wine everything so i figured that would be fitting.  My fiance's side of the family lives out of town and I think they will do a shower for me with gifts, like a pampered chef or something?! no idea. Its not my family so i will just keep my mouth shut for that one and show up and let them do whatever....

    Anyway, ive had a lot of people complaining i didnt register, and that i dont want gifts.  I am not getting married in town - me and my fiance are doing so privately, then having e reception in town. We're in our early 30s. We have everything we want. We have a one bedroom condo and probably wont buy a house for another year or.  We have no space and enough junk and i tried to go to crate and barrel, target, bed bath and beyond, macys, etc to entertain the idea of registering, but my fiance and i just were looking at all this stuff like, ugh, nice, but we dont need it/have nowhere to put it/dont feel like ding a weeks long cleanout of ou old crap to make room for new....

    so yeah thats all ive got. Just a rant. I just want people's company at things - the "shower", reception etc, if they can make it, but othrwise i dont care. this is about me and my fiance and so im not really worried about what everyone else is doing or buying or whatever. I just want it to be fun and relaxed and part of that for me was no gifts.  U dint care if othr people have gifts! I like buying people stuff for their weddings....if it was a couple years from now and i had just moved into a larger, fairly empty house maybe i would see it as more practical for myself...but like why does it have to be such a big deal? 


    Registering is a convenience for your guests, that's why it's annoying them, although it's your choice whether or not to register.

    If you don't want gifts, you should decline the shower and just have a get-together not billed as a shower.

    And saying "no gifts" is considered rude because it makes clear the assumption that had it not been said, gifts would be expected, which they should never be.
    If someone is insisting on throwing you a shower suggest instead a bridal tea, luncheon or brunch. This way maybe the no gift request won't be such an issue. Talk to whoever wants to throw this event and brainstorm. :)
  • @lebeers HAHA!! that is true. I was going through things in my head that I could use and appreciate and it was like....furniture that is thousands of dollars....or.....dog food.....cable bill....frames for my diploma and law license....bras....need new insoles for my running shoes....my fiancé mentioned how we can never have enough printer cartridges....not exactly things you can register for. :)





    lebeers
  • And I will have you all know, the wine "shower" went very well.  Most people just brought wine, some brought it in some cute reusable wine carriers and stuff, and one cousin gave me an electric wine opener and a handful got me gift cards.  It was nice. We opened several bottles there and my aunt bought some cheese and we tried them.  The funny thing is the best wine that everyone LOVED was this $5 wine my 21 year old cousin stopped and bought at the gas station on the way there.  Everyone took pics of the label to be sure to get some for themselves.

    Case in point...I don't need a Keurig but I do need good/funny memories like my irreverent goofball cousin and her awesome $5 gas station wine.  It was fun....and no sitting around watching someone unwrap presents. Deleting that from the party/un-shower/what have you was a plus.

    Now that it's been awhile and people seem to have gotten comfortable with my not-that-crazy break from tradition I am feeling much better.  I still have our "shower" on my fiancé's side and that will just be a brunch.  Now that I have gotten some experience managing/dealing with people's expectations and whatever I feel like I wouldn't have changed a thing.  

    Thanks everyone for the insight! 
    lebeersseestarsbythesea
  • kannf1982 said:
    @lebeers HAHA!! that is true. I was going through things in my head that I could use and appreciate and it was like....furniture that is thousands of dollars....or.....dog food.....cable bill....frames for my diploma and law license....bras....need new insoles for my running shoes....my fiancé mentioned how we can never have enough printer cartridges....not exactly things you can register for. :)

     




    Why can't you register for these things?? I had a friend who got married a few years ago and had peanut butter on the registery! Totally loved that!

    My FI and I are in our mid thiries and each had our own houses before getting together - so between us we actually have two of a lot of things. We registered on Amazon for things like music CDs and Movies and other things that are not considered to be typical wedding registry items. My FI added a pocket knife he's wanted!!

    The main reason we did this - was not because we expect people to purchase us gifts - but because they are things we would buy ourselves - and after the wedding if we don't receive them as gifts - we'll get a discount on them!

    lebeers
  • Another Option....My Fiance and I were worried about the reaction we got from people when we said no gifts...so we decided to tell people that if they MUST give, that they should give to people who are less fortunate (and don't already have a crowded apartment full of gadgets and things that the average American consumer thinks they need but really don't!). We chose 4 specific charities that we felt were good organizations that made significant impacts in healthcare, hunger alleviation, education, and environmental protection. People aren't perfectly happy with this approach (especially my parents), but it is an alternative to getting random ass gifts that you really don't need/want and that you don't have time to return!! My two cents....
    seestarsbythesea
  • Jen4948 said:
    Could you take a different approach: no gifts but, if you feel the need, donate to a cause we love?

    If they're insisting, you could support a cause that you care about.
    Nope.  Weddings are not fundraisers or awareness-raisers, and the fact that you care about a cause doesn't mean that the person asking does.  Charity is a personal thing-and nobody should be pressured to donate to a cause they don't support as a "gift" for someone else.  You don't want a gift you're given?  Donate it yourself-more power to you-but don't ask the giver to do it for you.
    What if we revise this statement to say "a cause that they care about"? Do you still consider that inappropriate?
    As a wedding gift I recently gave a friend something off her registry (you know, cookware...stuff). but also donated to an Alzheimer's research charity. My family has not been personally affected by Alzheimer's--thank God--but her grandmother recently passed from this shitacular disease. She was very moved and seemed to care about this gesture far more than whatever copper skillet she asked for.
    I don't know that I would have only made the contribution if she was not "accepting gifts", but this begs the question: If someone has a meaningful connection to a cause, is it okay to make a donation in their honor instead of buying a traditional gift?*
    *Genuine question, no agenda, seriously.
  • I feel differently! I think that "we have no need for/room to store anymore earthly possessions and therefore request no gift items, but if you still feel that you want to give something then we are really passionate about this charity" is classier than letting people buy you expensive junk that you don't need and then discreetly dumping it. But I really abhor waste and a lot of my spare time/money goes to charity, so I rather risk sounding a little tacky if it helps feed starving orphans instead of adding to the trash problem. Luckily our families understand this!

    biggrouchlaurieblp
  • edited May 2014
    Same mwooley :)
  • Weddings are not fundraisers or awareness-raisers, and the fact that you care about a cause doesn't mean that the person asking does. 

    Eh, I don't care about copper pots, and yet I buy them for couples who register for them. And not for nothing, when people register through, say, Amazon, they are encouraging their guests to support exploitative labor practices and other icky things that Amazon does. In other words, they're encouraging their guests to support capitalism at its lowest. It's still political, and much ickier than most charities; we can just pretend it's not political because it's cloaked under shiny pretty home goods.
    seestarsbytheseapositivek
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    lebeers said:


    Jen4948 said:



    Could you take a different approach: no gifts but, if you feel the need, donate to a cause we love?

    If they're insisting, you could support a cause that you care about.

    Nope.  Weddings are not fundraisers or awareness-raisers, and the fact that you care about a cause doesn't mean that the person asking does.  Charity is a personal thing-and nobody should be pressured to donate to a cause they don't support as a "gift" for someone else.  You don't want a gift you're given?  Donate it yourself-more power to you-but don't ask the giver to do it for you.

    What if we revise this statement to say "a cause that they care about"? Do you still consider that inappropriate?
    As a wedding gift I recently gave a friend something off her registry (you know, cookware...stuff). but also donated to an Alzheimer's research charity. My family has not been personally affected by Alzheimer's--thank God--but her grandmother recently passed from this shitacular disease. She was very moved and seemed to care about this gesture far more than whatever copper skillet she asked for.
    I don't know that I would have only made the contribution if she was not "accepting gifts", but this begs the question: If someone has a meaningful connection to a cause, is it okay to make a donation in their honor instead of buying a traditional gift?*
    *Genuine question, no agenda, seriously.


    There is nothing wrong with donating a gift to a charity in honor of someone. The issue is asking some one to donate, especially to a specific charity.
    image



    Anniversary
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    lebeers said:
    Jen4948 said:
    Could you take a different approach: no gifts but, if you feel the need, donate to a cause we love?

    If they're insisting, you could support a cause that you care about.
    Nope.  Weddings are not fundraisers or awareness-raisers, and the fact that you care about a cause doesn't mean that the person asking does.  Charity is a personal thing-and nobody should be pressured to donate to a cause they don't support as a "gift" for someone else.  You don't want a gift you're given?  Donate it yourself-more power to you-but don't ask the giver to do it for you.
    What if we revise this statement to say "a cause that they care about"? Do you still consider that inappropriate?
    As a wedding gift I recently gave a friend something off her registry (you know, cookware...stuff). but also donated to an Alzheimer's research charity. My family has not been personally affected by Alzheimer's--thank God--but her grandmother recently passed from this shitacular disease. She was very moved and seemed to care about this gesture far more than whatever copper skillet she asked for.
    I don't know that I would have only made the contribution if she was not "accepting gifts", but this begs the question: If someone has a meaningful connection to a cause, is it okay to make a donation in their honor instead of buying a traditional gift?*
    *Genuine question, no agenda, seriously.
    Again, it's kind of tricky.  For example, I had an aunt whom I was very close to who died 10 1/2 years ago from lung cancer, as did her mother, my grandmother.  So someone might think that I "have a meaningful connection" to a cause like the American Cancer Society.  But (hypothetically now), supposing that I don't agree with the ACS's spending policies?  Or supposing that I oppose the contribution for other reasons?

    The idea that someone has a "meaningful connection" to a cause is subjective-you might think so, but they might not think so.  I'd play it safe and just not try to connect your wedding to charitable causes.  If you want to donate your own funds or gifts you receive, great-but I wouldn't suggest to anyone that they donate as a gift to you.  (BTW, they as the payer, not you, get the tax deduction of any donation to charity, assuming the cause is one that the IRS allows a deduction for.  If it's a political group, for instance, they don't.)
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards