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Traditional Gift Registries vs Monetary Gift Registries

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Re: Traditional Gift Registries vs Monetary Gift Registries

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    I may be different, but when i go to someone's wedding, i know that i am stepping into their culture and their celebration. I have to be respectful of their traditions. So if i went to a wedding, and there was a dollar dance, i would give to it and embrace it even if it's something i would personally not like at my own wedding. I just don't see how anyone can get offended because someone celebrates different than themselves.Its not hurting anyone, or demanding that they participate. So if a monetary registry is what they choose to do for their registry, that's their prerogative. I may not give to it because i like to give a more personal gift if i can, but i won't be upset that they had one.And my FI and I are from a very mixed bag of cultures. He is half mexican with a catholic upbringing... i'm african american with an islamic upbringing. Niether of us are religious now. So no matter what we do, there will always be someone with thier nose turned up. So we are going to think majority wise, and how the most important people there at the wedding will feel about things...that would be our close family and us. I'm not announcng our registries on the formal invites, but there will be a link to our website that has a page to our registries. We will have a couple of small traditional registries, and a honeymoon registry. We know that the majority of our families and friends would love the idea of a honeymoon registry, and anyone else who has a problem with it...probably doesn't matter much to us anyway. They don't have to give any gift if they choose not to.
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    I may be different, but when i go to someone's wedding, i know that i am stepping into their culture and their celebration. I have to be respectful of their traditions. So if i went to a wedding, and there was a dollar dance, i would give to it and embrace it even if it's something i would personally not like at my own wedding. I just don't see how anyone can get offended because someone celebrates different than themselves.This thinking is unfortunately backwards.  As the wedding reception is for the guests, what you do and how you hold that event involves THEM and their beliefs.  To a certain degree, your beliefs will come into play with your reception however the methodology of planning that event needs to be with the guests as a priority and with THEIR desires in mind as #1.That thinking continues as you do something like register.   Because the registry is really a guide about you FOR your guests, you need to keep them in mind first and foremost when you do things that involve them.  The gift buying process is not something that YOU do.  It's what THEY do.  So how you handle it needs to be about your guests and not about you.
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    Well this is the point where we have to agree to disagree. Like i said, me and mt FI are a mixed bag and so are our guests.Yes, you want to make your guests feel happy and welcomed, but i feel it comes to a point on a certain things where you simply CANNOT make EVERY GUEST happy. And that's the point where i would ask myself "is this something where i would compromise our own happiness or my immediate families happiness to make a few of our guests happy?" I'm not marrying my guests or their gifts, nor am i living with these guests for the rest of my lives. The wedding itself is about the couple, bottom line. If a guest is so unhappy with the way  we celebrate that they have to make a big fuss over it , that's their personal problem. Don't give us a gift...hell...don't come! But i'm not going to let a few unhappy guests ruin the good time for the rest of the guests and especially my fiance and me. If he wants to do a dollar dance because of his mexican culture...dammit, we are going to do one. And hopefully our wedding won't be filled with knitpicky and complaining guests.
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    Babygurl, I think you're missing the point.That wedding reception is FOR the guests.  It's important to be respectful of other cultures but at the same time, if you know that some guests may find that practice offensive, it's best to stay on the side of omitting that practice.No, you can't please everyone however you do need to aim to do that.   A shrug of "but this is what we want" isn't being respectful of the main people you need to try to please - your guests.
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    Just to clarify myself Stage Manager and Retreat Bride ....I only quoted a statement from Retreat Bride...the military statement...and how it is no excuse.The rest of my post was not meant for Retreat Bride...it was a general statement to all. That maybe before we start talking about etiquette on gifts, some of us go back and read our post and see that we are not using proper etiquette in addressing people. So sorry Retreat Bride if you felt the whole post was towards you. This is supposed to be a great friendly debate started by our knottie Joy (sorry Joy if you feel this has got out of hand!!!)...why do we feel that it is right or wrong. I remember in my masters program when we debate, go back and show references to support the facts / your opinion. I know...before anyone says anything...I am not showing references either!!! :-)We talked about this being based on US centric belief. Well, the US is a melting pot!!! It's great to be an American. I am a U.S. citizen...who happens to have family from many countries (whose fiance is from another country)...so this is where my belief that a honeyfund type registry is not a bad thing. So does that mean I have no etiquette and that I am a rude person, maybe to some of you...but to me, it says that I was raised differently...not badly. I still say yes and no ma'am to my elders and would never call them by their first name. If my mother ever heard me say "YEAH' to an elder and not Yes or No...she would differently give me a talking to about my manners!!!Like you said, people are going to give you money. I think it is nice to know what the guests are gifting for. They know I am not going to go buy a bag of chips with their money, but they know when they have donated to my honeyfund that they are helping us buy that washer and dryer that we really need or that European standard toaster that they cannot purchase in the states for us. Or also to allow me and my fiance to share memories by going to a wonderful museumMy American friends have donated to the fund, my German friends, my Korean friends, my African friends...all these people, from different backgrounds who are attending the wedding have donated there...not one person has purchased from the BBB registry. So, I feel, as I have stated before...we have to know the background of our guest to know if they find this offensive or not. Like something stated above, 'they are my ultimate peers' and I would not do anything, purposely, to offend them!Also, before I even registered for the fund, I did post a question on the Knot...since I was not sure...about monetary gifts.I got some advice...not criticism. I learn that it is poor etiquette to put the registry on the invitations (so I did not); my MOH, friends, family spread the word and if anybody asked where I was registered I just let them know that all the information about the wedding is on my website.  So, like I keep saying, thanks again for your opinions.  If definitely nice to see how people feel whether you agree with them or not.  If we agreed all the time, life could get boring. 
    A happy newlywed...now time to start a family!
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    I think you are missing my point too...YOU may feel like your wedding reception is only for the guests, but there other people and cultures who might feel differently about that. Its a celebration of the couple, not the guests. If someone wants to do reception based on their culture and tradition, the guest has to respect that. That's like someone walking into a church wedding and wearing something inappropriate or someone walking into a wedding at a mosque and not taking their shoes off. You do these things to be respectful as a guest, even if it's not what you believe or do normally. You think the guests personal beliefs and cultures should be held highest on the priority list and i feel it should be the bride and groom's. You are attending THEIR wedding and celebrating them. If a money dance goes against your personal beliefs of what is right and wrong, no one forced you to attend. And if that is how they celebrate in that culture, as a guest of their celebration, i feel you have to respect that. If it offends you that much, you shouldn't go.And like i said, this is where we have to agree to disagree. Your views on the role of the guest is obviously different from mine and some others... and that's something that is not going to change.
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    YOU may feel like your wedding reception is only for the guests, but there other people and cultures who might feel differently about that. Its a celebration of the couple, not the guests. If someone wants to do reception based on their culture and tradition, the guest has to respect that. That's like someone walking into a church wedding and wearing something inappropriate or someone walking into a wedding at a mosque and not taking their shoes off. You do these things to be respectful as a guest, even if it's not what you believe or do normally. You're comparing two different things.  First, I really do think you're mistaken when it comes to what the reception is.  It's when the guests are received by the bride and groom and thanked for their attendance in the form of hospitality and refreshment.  That party is a celebration but it's for the guests.  That isn't to say that you offer what you know in your culture - but you also pay attention that what you may be doing is not considered appropriate to your guests as well.  How one behaves in a house of worship (like taking off one's shoes) is different.  It's a house of worship where you're doing this out of respect for that faith/culture because you're participating or witnessing an event.The wedding ceremony involves the guests being respectful of the couple's culture and faith.  But the reception involves the couple being respectful of their guests.  The two often mesh but it's really key to pay attention to that.  I understand that you don't feel that way but that's the crux of the entire thing - it's not just about you.  It's truly about the guests.After all, if it was only about what you were wanting, the guests wouldn't be there in the first place would they?You think the guests personal beliefs and cultures should be held highest on the priority list and i feel it should be the bride and groom's. You are attending THEIR wedding and celebrating them. Totally agree  - when it comes to the CEREMONY.  They are thanking YOU at the reception.If a money dance goes against your personal beliefs of what is right and wrong, no one forced you to attend. And if that is how they celebrate in that culture, as a guest of their celebration, i feel you have to respect that. If it offends you that much, you shouldn't go.However if you were cognizant that what you were about to do at your reception was offensive to some of your guests, why would you do that?   It's something I don't understand honestly.  Why would I invite people to do something that I know they truly dislike when it's just as easy for me to NOT do that thing?   I agree that to a certain degree you can't please everyone but you really should try.After all, if you really don't care to please your guests, why are they there?The you by the way is directed at a general you and not at anyone in particular.  By the way, to quote an etiquette source on cash registries, here's a link to a conversation that Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, had on the topic:[url]http://www.wowowow.com/conversation/Judith-Martin-Miss-Manners-says-its-all-about-greed-124439?page=0%2C1[/url]
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    I have actually read a couple of debates about the etiquette of cash registries arguing both sides. My point was not whether it was right or wrong, but whether it was right or wrong to EVERYONE. Like i said multiple times, my family and my fiance's family is a mixed bag. I wouldn't want to hurt any of my guests feelings intentionally, but there is no way we could make everyone happy. There comes a point where you have to choose what you can compromise on. And my point was to say that receptions are celebrated by different people, for different reasons, in different ways. If the reception was all about thanking the guests for coming to the ceremony, the bride and groom wouldn't be the guests of honor...they would only be the hosts. That's why the beginning of the reception is dedicated to the bride and groom. No one eats till the bride and groom eats first. At any other event i hosted, i would make sure my guests ate first and I ate last...but that is why a wedding reception is different. The bride and groom have the first dance. They sit at the best table. And all the champagne toasts at the beginning are made only to the bride and groom.The bride and groom may be the hosts of the party, but they are also the guests of honor. That is why i feel thier wishes and wants should be held higher than all ther other guests. That is why the LAST toast is dedicated to thanking all the guests for attending. This may not be the case for you or other brides. But this is how we celebrate it. This is how most of the weddings in my family and my fiance's family are celebrated. And if our guests can't respect that, they need not to attend.
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    It's really rather impossible to be both the honored guests and to be the hosts at the event.   The guests really do need to come first.  They may not be served first but that's also often because etiquette holds that one doesn't eat until the host is seated and eating.The bride and groom aren't first because they're the most honored at the event - it's because others won't eat until the couple shows that it's acceptable to do so.
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    Well there we have to agree to disagree again. I was taught growing up to always make your guests feel comfortable FIRST. When we had a party, we would never eat or even serve ourselves before the guests received their plate. The bride and the groom are FIRST SERVED.I believe that traditionally, the bride and groom weren't the hosts of the wedding. The parents of the bride were. They sent out invitations and they paid for the wedding.Now that more couples are paying for their own wedding, the line of guests and hosts are also blurred. But it's possible to do both, you just have to compromise and decided what things are most important
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    @Stage managerThis is why i said we must agree to disagree because our views on the roles of the guests and hosts at the wedding are different.also, i have seen many weddings and attended a few weddings where the bride and groom ether wait till the end of their toasts, the end of dinner, or the end of the night to do a final champagne toast to everyone that came and everyone who helped make their wedding possible. I have heard a short thank-you at the beginning like "Thanks everyone for coming" but they were usually made by the maid of honor or the best man. The last formal toast is usually dedicated to the guests from what i have seen and experienced.
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    Hello All!  Oh my.. I am really surprised to say the least about the spirited discussion.  At times I must say it got ugly when "rude" and other not so nice words were being thrown around.  I can see how some might have felt a little disrespected because I actually was saddened by some of the discussion.  After reading all the posts I realized that these opinions are based upon the various sub-cultures of America's society.  What is accepted in some areas of society are not accepted in others.  Many times we find ourselves enjoying the company of those who relate more to our own beliefs.  I am comfortable in my skin and I have no problems learning from others without insulting them for their differing points of view.  As far as Judith Martin (AKA Miss Manners) is concerned she writes to one specific sub-culture.  I can tell you right now... you won't find her in Essence Magazine or speaking to the youth of Jack & Jill.  The funny part was some I now understand that it is a faux pas to put registry cards in with the invatations.  Do to the fact that this is going to be my first marriage I must say I just found out you were not supposed to.  I've attended very nice weddings and the registry card was smack dead in the center and not one person complained and said "how dare she" LOLTo be honest I'm walking away with this... all things are not for every body... however if you have a registry to begin with your requesting people purchase specific gifts for you.  Well what's the difference if some one decided to give you a monetary gift either in a card or as a check.  If someone goes to a store, they pay tax 6% in Pennsylvania so if they give you a monetary gift and there's a surcharge it really does come down to logistics.  If they don't like the idea and decide not to give a gift I'll still love them and if they do I'll still love them so I guess it really doesn't make a difference unless your trying to impress others.  I won't be a follower during my celebration... I will enjoy myself and make that day as enjoyable as possible for my man and beloved guests with a Monetary Registry.Thanks for all the feedback & support... it was very enlightening!
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    @ Obiang - Thank you for your service in our outstanding Military & have a wonderful wonderful wedding.  All the best.
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    I guess it really doesn't make a difference unless your trying to impress others. The idea is to not offend them.  If you don't care whether or not you offend them, they shouldn't be on your guest list.
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    @ joyjumper - thank you so much for the well wishes.  I just recently got out of the military, but proudly served 10 magnificent years in the Air Force!!!!  Best experience ever!I hope you enjoy all the fun of planning for your wedding...I see it is around the corner as well!!! And going off of joyjumper's well wishes:  to all of you on this discussion and board who are serving or have served:  HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY
    A happy newlywed...now time to start a family!
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    As I said Leah... this is more of a cultural issue and of course your point of view is reflective of just that, and I respect you for it.  However, if you knew my audiance you would understand that they are "REAL".  They are not into impressing others to improve their standing.  They view people on one thing... "Who they are as a person.  If your a "Good" person and a "God fearing person" then that's all that matters.   I can see a lot of people will read what some aristocrate blogs about and try to live up to their standards, however trying to be like everyone else never got me anywhere.  I'm curious... do you think it's rude to jump over a broom after you get married and before you walk back down the aisle?
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    I'm curious... do you think it's rude to jump over a broom after you get married and before you walk back down the aisle? Of course not!  If you think that, you've misunderstood everything I've said.
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    Now explain this to me.  If you don't need any physical gifts and just want money, why not just not register?  People will write checks/give cash.  They don't need a money registry to know that you will take cash.  If they are so "real" and you don't want to come off pretentious, wouldn't this be more in line anyway?
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    @ppI think the reason someone would choose a monetary registry vs. no registry at all is the same reason people create registries to begin with...to decrease the chances of getting a bunch of gifts they don't need or can't use...or getting multiple gifts of one item.Just because you don't have a registry, doesn't mean everyone will off the bat give you money. Some will, but some will give a bunch of random gifts. If you state that you have a full house, you are saying to your guests that you have all you need in household items. If your guests would like to give you a gift, you would prefer to receive something you actually need as newlyweds.
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    I wanted a monetary registry because I don't want to have to worry about checks or cash or any other gift that day.  I actually talked to a few of my closest friends about this and they loved the idea and thought that if it made that day easier for me then they were all for it.  I checked around and found eGifting as well as a few other sites that provided the service that I wanted.  My relatives out of the area who won't be attending even loved the idea because they wanted to send a gift and the website made it easy.  They didn't have to leave their home to do it.So with that said I haven't received any negative responses about this new way of gifting.  In fact some people, esp. the married ones wished they had this service when they got married.I guess what it comes down to is different strokes for different folks, as long as I get my day and everyone has a wonderful time and hopefully remembers the good times for years to come... that's all that really matters.
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    Babygurl, I think you're confusing etiquette versus what is acceptable to certain families/cultures/social circles.  Things that go against proper etiquette are sometimes common or acceptable in a family, culture or region.  My understanding of etiquette is that it's more widespread, and helps you to treat people as kindly as possible without being rude to them, regardless of where they're from.  For an event like a wedding, there are probably guests from various locations, cultures, etc.  Cultural things like jumping the broom, breaking glass, sponsors (not the monetary kind), tea ceremonies, etc. aren't rude.  If people in a certain region give gifts at showers and cash at weddings, that's also not rude.  But things that go against etiquette like asking guests directly for cash even if that is what they normally give at weddings are rude and may be offensive to some of your guests.  Instead, your family can tell guests who ask what to get you/where you're registered that you have a fully stocked home but are  saving up for X.Yes, "rude" is getting thrown around a lot.  But wouldn't you rather know that something may be offensive before risking offending friends and family?
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    I personally wouldn't have a cash registry and i wouldn't give to one. I like to give gifts that the couple would remember. I'd rather give concert tickets, or a certificate to a spa, or even a gift card to a specific store than just hand over cash.But, i wouldn't be offended if someone had a cash registry. It wouldn't make me think any less of them. The couple can tell their guests a wish list. if they wish for money, then they wish for money...but it's still up to the guest what they choose to give as a gift. I would be offended if a couple told me i could give nothing but cash. That would be rude. But i don't see anyone suggesting to do that.
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    Remember, there's a difference between being offended and finding that something is offensive. I may find the practice offensive but that doesn't mean that I'm personally offended.
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    @gottahaveashortiI;m not confusing the two. They are different, but they play into each other. When it comes to a wedding, especially in america where there are so many different cultures and ways to celebrate, people forget that etiquette isn't the same in all cultures. And culture doesn't have to do with just race or religion, it also has to do with regional norms and social status. Which is why this is such a heated debate. I talked about this on the gift card topicetiquette is a touchy subject and sometimes can come inbetween a culture. I am not the biggest fan of "proper etiquette" but i try to follow certain rules because i know that they keep things in order.I'm sure if we broke out the old etiquette book from the 1940's, alot of things that are widely accepted now, would be forms of bad etiquette. And i believe culture and opinions play into the reasons why etiquette changes here in america. Different cultures have different forms of etiquette. I had an ex that was haitian and in their culture (which i think was very much influenced by the french), it is proper etiquette to eat with your dominant hand and cut with the other while holding both the knife and fork. But here, you are supposed to cut and eat with both the dominant hand and you put the knife down when you eat. That is considered proper etiquette. But this is one of those rules i would scrap. Does it really matter what hand you cut with? Yes, it's proper etiquette, but there are different forms of it. Since america is supposed to be a country of different cultures from different countries, how do you choose the etiquette of your culture vs. the etiquette of your country?That is where is becomes a personal preference. ps...sorry for any mis spellings... i'm typing pretty fast
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    Well, there's actually a large reason for how one eats.  By eating with the right hand, it's preventing unwelcome elbows to the person next to you.  Nothing says, "Bad hand!" like when you accidentally elbow Grandma in the boob.Please don't confuse etiquette with "high society".  Sure the average person doesn't cloud the mind with something like how to greet The Queen but various etiquette rules just make sense.  The entire point of etiquette is that it's the set of social law designed to help others get along well in social settings.  When you throw it to the wind, you run the high risk of doing something that others find offensive.As I said, yes you can have a ton of different cultures at your wedding but always stay on the side of not offending and you can be fairly certain that you're pleasing others.  
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    "Nothing says, "Bad hand!" like when you accidentally elbow Grandma in the boob."Oh, my Banana...what's a girl to do when she is left-handed like me!!!!!  ;-)That is when I usually try to sit at the very end...farthest left...so that I don't bump grandma, or anyone, in the boob!!!!See, I think about those things!!!!
    A happy newlywed...now time to start a family!
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    But you just missed my whole point banana. My point was about cutting your food. You cut with the same hand that you eat with. The reason they gave me was that your dominant hand cuts easier and some other reasons that escape me... it was a long time ago when i learned and i thought it was a bunch a bull anyway. It is not proper etiquette in the Haitian culture to cut with your dominant hand. I can't remember the reason for it but it had to do something with respect towards the other's at the table and holding your knife like that is disrespectful. You can't debate what is proper etiquette in other cultures. That's just how it is.
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    I just found this article that reflects all our different views:  Interesting read:Present TenseExpert tips on navigating the ever-murky waters of today's bridal registries http://www.brides.com/registry/feature/article/176456/Once you finish the first, click on 'next' at the bottom to continue.Just like the expert...some say it is wrong, some say times are changing...even the experts can't agree!!!
    A happy newlywed...now time to start a family!
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    /cs/ks/user/default.aspx?UserName=Babygurl81090','_blank','toolbar=0,location=0,directories=0,status=0,menubar=0,copyhistory=0,width=990,height=700,scrollbars=1,resizable=1' )">@ Babygurl81090,Just so you know, after reading some of your comments, I went and changed some things on my honeyfund registry. To me, you made some good points about things that you believed should not be on there when it comes to the Honeymoon. Looking at my registry again, I had to agree with you.Thanks for your insight.
    A happy newlywed...now time to start a family!
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    You also helped prove my point banana. Social settings vary by country and culture, does it not?If you go to a restaurant that is based on another culture, and they serve finger food, are you offended that you can't use a fork and knife?Probably not. You choose to go to that restaurant. If it offended you that much you wouldn't go. That being said, i wouldn't walk in to restaurant that had 5 course and 4 different forks, and then start eating with my hands.
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