Registry and Gift Forum

To Register or Not? That is the question.

So let me start off by saying this is our first marriage. We are 23, both college students, and we have lived together for awhile but a few of those years were at my parents house after he lost his job and I was going to school full time. We have some stuff now, but we live with our best man and maid of honor, so some of our furniture, lights, other home accessories, belong to them. Ours is the brunt of it though but if we registered for newer stuff then we'd give the older stuff to our two roommates when we move out so they aren't left with nothing.

Anyway, my mom wants to have an engagement party soon and she said that we should register before the party because my aunt definitely wants to get me something for it. I just feel kind of uncomfortable being showered with gifts although I know that the whole reason is to help a new couple start their life together. (And I always love picking out and buying things for cousins and friends when they get married.) 

Anyway, we were planning on registering at 3 places. Walmart for people who can't really afford a lot, Meijer's (which is a mid-range store in Michigan similar to Walmart but slightly more expensive), and Bed, Bath, and Beyond for people who would like to splurge more. 

My question is, how much should we register for? I don't want to go overboard and make people feel like I'm trying to get a lot out of them. We already picked new themes and color schemes for our rooms but for some reason it seems weird for me to register. I know all the rules about not putting on your invitation and spreading the word through word of mouth if people ask, but I don't want people to think my wedding is a money grab. I know a lot of people don't have the cash to spend on a wedding and I just hope that registering won't make them feel obligated to get a gift. 

What do you think? One note... I tend to over think things. 

Re: To Register or Not? That is the question.

  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    So let me start off by saying this is our first marriage. We are 23, both college students, and we have lived together for awhile but a few of those years were at my parents house after he lost his job and I was going to school full time. We have some stuff now, but we live with our best man and maid of honor, so some of our furniture, lights, other home accessories, belong to them. Ours is the brunt of it though but if we registered for newer stuff then we'd give the older stuff to our two roommates when we move out so they aren't left with nothing.

    Anyway, my mom wants to have an engagement party soon and she said that we should register before the party because my aunt definitely wants to get me something for it. I just feel kind of uncomfortable being showered with gifts although I know that the whole reason is to help a new couple start their life together. (And I always love picking out and buying things for cousins and friends when they get married.) 

    Anyway, we were planning on registering at 3 places. Walmart for people who can't really afford a lot, Meijer's (which is a mid-range store in Michigan similar to Walmart but slightly more expensive), and Bed, Bath, and Beyond for people who would like to splurge more. 

    My question is, how much should we register for? I don't want to go overboard and make people feel like I'm trying to get a lot out of them. We already picked new themes and color schemes for our rooms but for some reason it seems weird for me to register. I know all the rules about not putting on your invitation and spreading the word through word of mouth if people ask, but I don't want people to think my wedding is a money grab. I know a lot of people don't have the cash to spend on a wedding and I just hope that registering won't make them feel obligated to get a gift. 

    What do you think? One note... I tend to over think things. 
    I wouldn't register for an engagement party. Unless they are super super super common in your circle, most people will not bring a gift, and if they do bring a gift, it will be a bottle of wine or something similar. 

    Do you have a wedding date? I also wouldn't register more than a year out, there will be a lot of product turnover, esp. with Christmas coming up. I'd recommend registering 9-6 months before your wedding. Basically, if you can hold off till February-March, by that time stores will be finishing up their inventory and new stock will start coming in.

    If you absolutely have to have some kind of registry for this engagement party so your Aunt has an idea of what to get you, I'd stick with crystal, china, and big kitchen items, i.e cookware, stand mixer/food processor, nice knives. These items tend to have less turnover (esp. china and crystal). 
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    Anniversary
  • My wedding is in the beginning of May so I don't really want to register until the beginning of the year but about when would a Bridal shower be? My mother wants to have one of those too.
  • Can your mom find out about how much your aunt would like to spend so you can pick one or a few things just for her to choose from?
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  • In my circle, bridal showers are no earlier than 2-3 months out. We got a few things from the registries earlier than that though. I might do six months, 8 months at the earliest. Go through your place with FI and see if there's anything you'd like to upgrade. If you like to cook or have friends over, pay attention to moments where you think, "Man, something we could do such and such with would make (insert task here) so much easier/better/more fun." That's how our bar/wine-related items ended up on there! As far as amount, I'd just make sure you have a good variety of price ranges. I probably over-registered by doing the 2x gifts as guests recommendation from Macy's. Still, it gives people options, there's always the completion discount, and honestly every item on there is something we'd get a lot of use from.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    Although people sometimes give gifts at engagement parties, they aren't showers and don't have the gift-giving expectations that weddings themselves and showers have. I don't think there's any need to register for an engagement party if you don't want to or don't feel that you can do it in time for this party. In any case, you don't have to treat the party as a shower and open gifts there if you'd rather not. If your aunt wants to give you a gift at the party, you don't have to open it as part of the party agenda but can do so at a private moment before or after the party. Or you can decline the party if you think there will be too much pressure on you to open gifts or you feel guests won't be comfortable watching you open gifts. Edited to add: Registering isn't supposed to make people feel pressured to give you gifts, it's just creating wish lists in case people do, of their own volition, feel like giving you gifts. It's not rude not to register if you don't want to.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    Engagement parties are not gift giving occasions.  If your aunt wants to give you a gift at any time, that is up to her.
    Nothing wrong with registering, but it is your WEDDING registry, not your engagement party registry.  Do not put registry information in any invitation except for true showers.

    I was nervous about registering many years ago.  It is actually a service to your guests for you to register.  It is much easier to pick up the telephone and order a gift to be wrapped and sent to you, than it is to shop and try to find a good gift on your own.  You will receive wedding gifts that are not on your registry.
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  • @Aray82 We love to cook together and we actually host our friend-groups Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners every year (Last year I cook Cornish Hens!) Your comment really helped because there have been so many times we have both said... wow, really wish we had a blank-ity-blank right now. I think I am just going to tell my mom I'm not going to register yet. We do usually have bridal showers a little earlier here, (I think like 4-5 months out) just because there are lots of out of town guests and we like to give them a buffer between events if they want to come to both. But my mom knows the kind of stuff I like so I will just let her know. Thanks again for the comments. Oh one last thing. Would it be wrong to upgrade some of our older stuff (we have lived together since we graduated high school) and then give the older stuff to our roommates when we move out? I don't want it to seem like I'm just giving them left overs or for the guests to be confused since we already have a toaster.
  • @Aray82 We love to cook together and we actually host our friend-groups Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners every year (Last year I cook Cornish Hens!) Your comment really helped because there have been so many times we have both said... wow, really wish we had a blank-ity-blank right now. I think I am just going to tell my mom I'm not going to register yet. We do usually have bridal showers a little earlier here, (I think like 4-5 months out) just because there are lots of out of town guests and we like to give them a buffer between events if they want to come to both. But my mom knows the kind of stuff I like so I will just let her know. Thanks again for the comments. Oh one last thing. Would it be wrong to upgrade some of our older stuff (we have lived together since we graduated high school) and then give the older stuff to our roommates when we move out? I don't want it to seem like I'm just giving them left overs or for the guests to be confused since we already have a toaster.
    I may need your Cornish hen recipe--I really have a hard time getting whole chickens cooked thoroughly without being too dry! It's definitely more than acceptable to register for upgrades. Even if i were at your house and saw a toaster there, I would likely not remember or think anything of it. So it doesn't seem like you're dumping stuff on your roommates, just casually say something like, "hey, we'll take this stuff off your hands when we leave unless you guys could use it." Then, if it happens that they'd rather not have it, you could always donate your extras.
  • Thanks so much. I feel a lot better and I'll be sure to tell my mom we are waiting until closer to the actual Bridal Shower.  

    One of my roommates is my sister and she's made comments on the past about how she's scared when we leave cause they will have nothing to eat or sit on. So if our best man doesn't want it, I'm sure she will. 

    And THIS is as close to the recipe I could find, although we added a tablespoon of orange marmalade as well to make it really orange-y. 

    Thank you again for your help everyone. 
  • lmcooper86lmcooper86 Toronto member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer

    My FMIL badgered us to register before our engagement party (within a month of our engagement), saying that her friends would want to get us gifts. I would never have expected that, and we DID get a number of very nice gifts at our engagement party...but none of them came off our registry. So I was sort of annoyed that she stressed us out about that when there was really no need.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with upgrading if some of your current household items are feeling a bit worn. I've lived on my own for the last few years, plus for 3 years during university. All of the dishes and things I have now are either from my university days (Ikea dishes hold up surprisingly well) or were things that my parents were planning on throwing away. The registry that I've put together with my fiancé is essentially updating a lot of my really old items, and adding things that I have never been able to purchase for myself.

    I plan on storing my older-but-still-functional stuff to give to my sister and her BF when they move out on their own.

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