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Registry Etiquette

My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?
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Re: Registry Etiquette

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    geebee908geebee908 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 2016
    justsuzie said:
    My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?
    Sounds like you should have turned down the shower. If it's too far into the planning to say you'd prefer not to have a shower, turn it into going out to lunch with everyone or something else that isn't a gift-giving party.
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    geebee908 said:
    justsuzie said:
    My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?
    Sounds like you should have turned down the shower. If it's too far into the planning to say you'd prefer not to have a shower, turn it into going out to lunch with everyone or something else that isn't a gift-giving party.
    It's too late to change the plans.  It's a "surprise" shower that I am not supposed to know  about. It is customary at my work to have showers for weddings and baby showers.  They are thrown by our "cheer" committee.

    But back to my initial question in this post, are all of these against etiquette?

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    To answer your question, yes it is against etiquette to ask for donations to something. As far as experience based gifts, don't put it on the invites. When people call the host asking where you are registered, she can say you aren't registered but that you enjoy going to "this place or that". I personally think that is weird. Be prepared for people to bring you boxed gifts that you don't want though. A shower is a gift giving event. I think it will be fairly boring to be opening gift cards for places unless people wrap them in an interesting manner.
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    Showers are for boxed gifts. If you won't decline the shower, you should make a small registry of physical items or be prepared to write a lot of thank-you notes for things you didn't really want.
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    edited April 2016
    I was like you and didn't really want to make a registry but ended up making a small one on amazon. I put things like hand tools for our garden, new measuring cups, heat resistant spatulas and soft baking spatulas (I will give you 3 guesses to who melted my old baking spatulas), a soup ladle, etc. These are all things that we have been living without for years, but damn it, everytime I make soup do I curse myself for not remembering to buy a ladle, lol.

    Edited to finish word.
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    Yes, all of your suggestions are against etiquette, particularly for a shower. However, I also don't think you need to give any direction, and people will then get what they think you need or would want. You can donate it after the fact. If that seems wasteful, then you really should decline the shower and say "I'd really just like to go out to lunch with everyone."
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    justsuzie said:
    My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?

    Just trying to understand - I don't really see why this is against ettiquette since it's not the same thing as asking for cash (honeyfund) disguised as asking for experiences - it's actual experiences / memberships / subscriptions. Is it only polite to register for household items? 
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    The recipe idea is great. 

    I think this shower is more about congratulating me and wishing me luck.  It is definitely not a traditional shower.  It is a tradition at my school to do this, so I cannot decline.  I guess I am the first "alternative" bride that has worked here.

    I get that people would want us to open something.  I also think opening up a gift that includes tickets to a show would actually be way more interesting than watching us open a present with a blender in it.

    Can I ask for things for my classroom?  Is that against etiquette? That way people can "watch" me open a present and I won't be left with gifts that I do not need.

    I am less interested about the gift giving and receiving process.  I am looking forward to spending time with my friends from work within a non-work related setting.

    Thanks for the suggestions.  I just want everyone to be content and feel appreciated, and know that we care about them!


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    justsuzie said:
    The recipe idea is great. 

    I think this shower is more about congratulating me and wishing me luck.  It is definitely not a traditional shower.  It is a tradition at my school to do this, so I cannot decline.  I guess I am the first "alternative" bride that has worked here.

    I get that people would want us to open something.  I also think opening up a gift that includes tickets to a show would actually be way more interesting than watching us open a present with a blender in it.

    Can I ask for things for my classroom?  Is that against etiquette? That way people can "watch" me open a present and I won't be left with gifts that I do not need.

    I am less interested about the gift giving and receiving process.  I am looking forward to spending time with my friends from work within a non-work related setting.

    Thanks for the suggestions.  I just want everyone to be content and feel appreciated, and know that we care about them!


    The issue you your having is that the whole genesis of a shower is to "shower" the bride with gifts. The main activity is meant to be giving the bride gifts and watching her open them. Perhaps you can change the title to a "ladies luncheon" or something like that, if you really don't want to receive gifts?

    But if you call it a shower, and then don't want boxed gifts, it's going to be confusing to guests. That just isn't what a shower is.


    As far as the experience gifts...the issue to me is the expense. Theater tickets, musicals, and museum memberships are going to cost a lot more than what I would personally be able to give for a shower gift. And I would really feel uncomfortable if I went to a shower with my movie tickets or something and found that everyone else got theater tickets for the bride and groom. Perhaps that's just me, but experience gifts sound great if you have the budget to spend $75-200 on the bride, but uncomfortable for those whose budgets may be closer to $25, but who could have gotten you a really beautiful, creative boxed gift.


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    justsuzie said:
    My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?

    Just trying to understand - I don't really see why this is against ettiquette since it's not the same thing as asking for cash (honeyfund) disguised as asking for experiences - it's actual experiences / memberships / subscriptions. Is it only polite to register for household items? 
    It's equivalent to asking for giftcards--opening envelopes is even more boring than opening actual gifts. As I said, shower=boxed gifts.
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    justsuzie said:
    My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?

    Just trying to understand - I don't really see why this is against ettiquette since it's not the same thing as asking for cash (honeyfund) disguised as asking for experiences - it's actual experiences / memberships / subscriptions. Is it only polite to register for household items? 
    It's equivalent to asking for giftcards--opening envelopes is even more boring than opening actual gifts. As I said, shower=boxed gifts.
    The only thing I would say in favor of experiences is they can be combined with something else to make a "box" - like a the date night basket someone mentioned. But as also previously mentioned, they are expensive. Just don't register, OP, and let people get something. Donate it later.(or you might find that you like some of them).
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    justsuzie said:
    My work friends are throwing me a shower at my job.  I am 36 years old and have been living with my fiance for four years.  We do not need anything, not even money.    I  guess you could call me and the fiance kind of hippies.  We don't really care about material possessions or having a lot of "stuff".  Because of this we do not have a registry.  My friend who is putting together the shower asked me what I wanted.  I told her that gifts aren't necessary.  She is insisting that we ask for something even if it is gift cards. Is it against etiquette to tell my friend we would love "experiences"  like tickets to plays, musicals, or museum memberships? Or can we ask friends to donate to an animal sanctuary in our name? What do you do when you don't need physical items and are having a shower?

    Just trying to understand - I don't really see why this is against ettiquette since it's not the same thing as asking for cash (honeyfund) disguised as asking for experiences - it's actual experiences / memberships / subscriptions. Is it only polite to register for household items? 
    It's equivalent to asking for giftcards--opening envelopes is even more boring than opening actual gifts. As I said, shower=boxed gifts.

    Eh - I have to disagree. I'd rather watch the bride open something she wants if I have to watch the gift process at all. Neither is interesting so I'd at least want to get the bride something she would enjoy than something she would prefer to donate for the sake of entertaining shower guests. I'm not really sure why the "you must open your gifts at the shower" tradition persists when no one really seems to enjoy it, but I suppose to each their own. 
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    I'm on the "social committee" at work, and we like to throw kitchen showers for our brides.  We ask everyone to bring a little kitchen gadget or utensil (the point is to keep the gifts on the low price end... you could even bring a spoon or something), and you fill in a recipe card that we provide.

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    SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 2016
    The recipe idea is a good one. Or, you could ask the hosts to turn it into a tea or luncheon. Co-workers may ask the host if you have a registry, in which case (s)he can tell them no.

    In my circle, while boxed gifts reign, people do give cash. So that is not "weird" to me- however, not something I would do for a co-worker. Realize your co-workers probably don't know you well enough to know what kind of experience you would like or would want to spend that much money. If any coworkers are good friends, they probably know you enough to know you don't have a registry and don't like "things".

    I'm not against experiences per se, but it is essentially asking for money to go do something. And usually experiences are on the expensive side (unless you count movie tickets).

    If you have a shower, be prepared to receive gifts. If you do not want them, you are free to donate or return them promptly afterward.

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    adk19 said:
    justsuzie said:
    The recipe idea is great. 

    I think this shower is more about congratulating me and wishing me luck.  It is definitely not a traditional shower.  It is a tradition at my school to do this, so I cannot decline.  I guess I am the first "alternative" bride that has worked here.

    I get that people would want us to open something.  I also think opening up a gift that includes tickets to a show would actually be way more interesting than watching us open a present with a blender in it.

    Can I ask for things for my classroom?  Is that against etiquette? That way people can "watch" me open a present and I won't be left with gifts that I do not need.

    I am less interested about the gift giving and receiving process.  I am looking forward to spending time with my friends from work within a non-work related setting.

    Thanks for the suggestions.  I just want everyone to be content and feel appreciated, and know that we care about them!


    If they're going to give you a shower and get you gifts regardless, don't worry about a registry if you don't really want one.  They'll give you wine glasses or a picture frame you can keep or donate.  They'll give you a "date night" basket with DVD, popcorn, candies, and bottle of wine.  If this isn't something you can decline, just roll with it.  Do not "request" any type of gift at all, let people give you what they will.

    No, you cannot request things for your classroom.  This is an event celebrating your upcoming wedding.  The gifts should be for you and your new spouse, not for you at work.

    I would try again to request an "alternative" event for an "alternative" bride.  Tell the host (or whoever told you about this 'secret' event) that you're more interested in the social aspect of the event than the gifts.  And it would really make you much happier to decline the gifts and just have a lunch or happy hour or karaoke night, or other social event rather than a shower.  You, setting a precedence like this, might really help future brides in your workplace.
    Perfect. Thank you for recognizing this is a workplace event and these are not my closest friends, therefore it has been tricky to navigate the situation.  
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    kvrunskvruns member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    My work one had a "date night" theme since we had a super tiny registry. Most of these showers people contribute to a group gift card but I did get some individual gifts which where mostly geared to date ideas. The only game was everyone writing down a date idea on a card 
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    SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited May 2016
    I think the above options posted by Addie and Kvruns are more than fine, if the host of the shower presents them, "Suzie doesn't have a registry, so I was thinking we should do a date night theme/ a group gift to this experience I know she'd really like". But I don't think there is a good way for the OP to create a "registry" asking for these things.

    OP- Fine to tell the host you don't have a registry. I think if she is pushing ideas, you could tell her that you and your FH enjoy experiences. I think if asked, it's fine to tell someone what one likes, as long as one isn't being too specific. "We enjoy eating out" vs. "We'd love a gift certificate to the new super posh expensive restaurant in downtown".
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    I absolutely love the "date night" theme.  You can really take that any way.  I am sure that I will get some super creative gifts.  Thank you for all the input.  I have contacted the host with this "date night" idea. Navigating the workplace and having proper etiquette, while not hurting anyone's feelings is indeed tricky. 
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