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How do I tactfully tell people I don't need / want gifts?

This is going to sound bitchy, but I don't know how else to say it.
My Aunt is throwing me a bridal shower, and some of my wonderful family members have very limited disposable incomes. I know they can't afford your typical bridal shower gifts. 
How do I tell people I don't want or need gifts, if it's a shower?? I'm asking because I don't want people to RSVP no, just because they can't afford a gift. I want to see them and have them come anyway. 
Also, I don't want to cancel the shower because I really just want to see all of my friends and family and drink / eat with them :) ,but how do I say not to worry about a gift without offending them? Do I get my Aunt to say I don't need gifts? Do I just not register? 

Forgot to add! My shower is August, and I know it's SUPER EARLY, but I'm going on an exchange to France September - May and there is no other time.
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Re: How do I tactfully tell people I don't need / want gifts?

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_tactfully-tell-people-dont-need-want-gifts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:646be6f0-3f81-402e-a624-7bef46f5a1c4Post:ef1758cc-1d21-4666-b0ff-0b71bb70622c">How do I tactfully tell people I don't need / want gifts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is going to sound bitchy, but I don't know how else to say it. My Aunt is throwing me a bridal shower, and some of my wonderful family members have very limited disposable incomes. I know they can't afford your typical bridal shower gifts.  How do I tell people I don't want or need gifts, if it's a shower?? I'm asking because I don't want people to RSVP no, just because they can't afford a gift. I want to see them and have them come anyway.  Also, I don't want to cancel the shower because I really just want to see all of my friends and family and drink / eat with them :) ,but how do I say not to worry about a gift without offending them? Do I get my Aunt to say I don't need gifts? Do I just not register? 
    Posted by shoegal715[/QUOTE]
    You can't. The idea of a shower is to shower the bride with gifts.
    You have 2 options:
    Have a shower and set up a small registry.
    Turn down having a shower and instead catch up with these people at another time.
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    You can pass it by word of mouth or not register anywhere but likely people will want to get you some type of gift so you may want to get a small registry just so you end up with things you want instead of things you dont.
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    Another thing you could possibly do is when you register do like alot of things that are not really expensive. i mean if you really aren't concerned with what you get and you dont need stuff just pick out like basic stuff like dish cloths and like small accessories for a kitchen. i did some of that when i went to register i did do a few big things but alot of little stuff. 
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    edited April 2010
    Thanks! I'll just register for mostly small items. 
    Also, I want your opinions -is having a shower a YEAR OUT gift grabby? That's the last thing I want to be, it's just that my Aunt is in the planning process, and I'm gone studying abroad up until 8 weeks before my wedding - will people understand, or will people be talking shiit behind my back, "why the hell is she having a shower so far from her wedding date?"
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_tactfully-tell-people-dont-need-want-gifts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:646be6f0-3f81-402e-a624-7bef46f5a1c4Post:0c869a90-5985-46b1-a2ec-9ce4bc45ea71">Re: How do I tactfully tell people I don't need / want gifts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks! I'll just register for mostly small items.  Also, I want your opinions -is having a shower a YEAR OUT gift grabby? That's the last thing I want to be, it's just that my Aunt is in the planning process, and I'm gone studying abroad up until 8 weeks before my wedding - will people understand, or will people be talking shiit behind my back, "why the hell is she having a shower so far from her wedding date?"
    Posted by shoegal715[/QUOTE]
    Personally, I'd raise some eyebrows at it. I understand her reasoning but....
    What about throwing you and E party instead? Or have your shower in those 8 weeks before the wedding...??
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_tactfully-tell-people-dont-need-want-gifts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:646be6f0-3f81-402e-a624-7bef46f5a1c4Post:b5ab9e27-92ed-41d9-8b7e-8825e18f16b4">Re: How do I tactfully tell people I don't need / want gifts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How do I tactfully tell people I don't need / want gifts? : Personally, I'd raise some eyebrows at it. I understand her reasoning but.... What about throwing you and E party instead? Or have your shower in those 8 weeks before the wedding...??
    Posted by nda_roxybabe[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I'll be finishing up law school / writing the bar, so my Aunt thought this summer was best. I'm doubting it though. It seems a little out there. </div><div>An informal eparty was done in December. 

    </div>
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    IMO I would say just don't register and call it a luncheon or something similar. You will be gone until right before the wedding so those closest to you will probably welcome an invitation to visit and celebrate your engagement. I know my family would want to have some sort of an event before I left. Word of mouth I think would be the most effective for people to know you are not registering. Some people will bring a gift or money anyway. I don't think you sound like a biitch at all.

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    Just have a get together or a cook out or something.  If you're getting ready to leave town, it can be an informal going away party.  Then people can show up and not feel like they need to bring anything.  

    Having a shower this early would seem really bizarre, especially if you're trying to stay away from the gift aspect.  
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    I'm not sure how to handle the shower but if you don't want gifts for the wedding you should note on your invite - no gifts please. I had a friend who are married in a very informal ceremony last summer and that is exactly what she did. She wanted people to come and have a nice time with her and the FI but not to feel the need to spend money on them. It was a wonderful time!
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    Try this on for size:
    If you don't want gifts, don't register and don't call it a shower, call it a cocktail party or something else.  In my mind at least, the purpose of the bridal shower is to help the bride and groom set up their home by buying them stuff.   You can't stop people from buying you a candy dish or some kitchen towels but it's better than registering for things you really don't want or need just to appease a crowd that thinks they should buy you something.  OR perhaps you could suggest a donation to a charity in lieu of gifts? 
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