Registry and Gift Forum

If you DID NOT register- what do guests give at your shower?

I am attending a bridal shower as a guest this weekend.  I contacted the hostess/maid of honor to inquire about where the couple is registered, and she simply replied that they are not registered anywhere (and didn't give any other information). 

I actually have no experience with this; does this mean that they are hoping to receive monetary gifts at the bridal shower?  Or maybe they just didn't register for other reasons (cultural, etc.)?

So if you did not register, what would you prefer as a gift from a guest at your bridal shower(s)?

Thanks in advance!  :) 

Re: If you DID NOT register- what do guests give at your shower?

  • I would not gift money at a shower.  The whole point is to shower the bride with gifts.  I would buy something decorative/useful/fun for their home.

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    • s'mores cooker
    • tablecloth
    • vase
    • picture frame
  • If someone doesn't register, the implication is that they want cash, but I think that's pretty rude of them.  They should have declined the shower if they're not registered, IMO.

    I'd get something standard but useful that you can never have enough of (and include the gift receipt) like a set of white or cream bath towels or sheets, neutral colored dish towels/oven mitts, or a nice picture frame.
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  • I'd get them a hideous lamp, and not give them a gift receipt, just to see the looks on their faces.

    This usually means they want cash, which is fine since htey aren't asking outright, except that you don't have a cash shower. That sounds more like a current rap song about "making it rain".. Klassy for sure.

    For real though, get them something neutral with a gift receipt so they can return it if necessary.
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  • Just get them flowers and/or champagne. If they say no gifts, don't feel obligated. I'm sure they're planning games or something else to do in lieu of opening gifts.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We did register, but we got a couple of non-registry shower gifts.  My favorite was a date night basket.  It was a basket with a bottle of wine, some chocolates, a movie, a cookbook, etc. 
  • i have no idea.

    we did not register, but also declined showers.  its confusing to not register (which implies you do not need anything/don't want gifts) then accept an offer of a shower which is a gift giving event.

    methinks this bride wanted to have her cake and eat it too, meaning, she didnt want gifts, but didnt want to give up her AW event.
  • Its rude to not register and then have a shower since showers are for giving gifts. She should've at least made a tiny registery for the shower. Either way, I would get her a cook book or something generic, not cash!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_did-not-register-guests-give-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:62b864f9-e933-4a22-a74c-3e3437ef451aPost:297470b3-5390-4272-aa83-d993365eed2a">Re: If you DID NOT register- what do guests give at your shower?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just get them flowers and/or champagne. If they say no gifts, don't feel obligated. I'm sure they're planning games or something else to do in lieu of opening gifts.
    Posted by lorikoke[/QUOTE]

    Well, the point of a shower is giving gifts, not playing games.
  • 1.  First of all, we need to know if this is a bridal shower or a wedding shower - or if that distinction doesn't matter where you live.

    Where I live, the wedding shower gifts would be for the COUPLE, like something from the registry or something the couple could enjoy together:  date night basket, gc to a fav restaurant/movie theatre, picnic basket, bottle of wine, etc.

    And the bridal shower gifts would be just for the bride, like perfume, make up, a scarf, a sweater, gc to a fav store, a trunk organizer for her car, etc.

    2.  We didn't register, so I didn't have a shower.

    3.  But here are some non-registry gifts that we got at the wedding - maybe something on this list would interest you to get your friend:

    crystal picture frame
    photo album
    crocheted throw
    set of four wooden TV trays
    set of wooden shelves that you hang on the wall
    crystal heart-shaped bowl
    crystal serving plate in the shape of a bunch of tulips
    digital camera and photo printer
    set of CDs + candle

    4.  Here are some non-registry gifts I have given at a shower:
    - a magazine subscription + Hallmark gift card
    - two umbrellas with a note about "some rain will fall", etc.
    - personalized double-heart Christmas ornament + gc to restaurant
  • My DH (then FI) had a huge fight over this, he did not want to register and I did. Needless to say we compromised and I registered for the shower and not the wedding.

    My advice would be gift certificate to a store, a spa day or something that she would enjoy. I recieved a GC for a salon that I actually used the day before my wedding, it really helped me save a few bucks during crunch time! Also, I agree with PP who mentioned champagne, it's nice, memorable and it's something she would enjoy.
  • The point of a shower is to be showered with love and gifts. Gifts are subjective. They do not always have to be monetary or meaningless tangible items like dish towels.  It is possible the bride doesn't want the above, hence her not creating a registry.  She may just want the gift of fellowshiping with dear friends. 
     
    If I were you, I'd bring a bottle of champagne/wine and the brides favorite food or dessert.

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  •  I do agree that who you called should have given you a bit more info they requested no gifts, etc.), but Patrize has it correct - the shower is to celebrate with the bride to be (and sometimes the groom too!) and is not all centered around gift giving. Yes, traditionally the shower was to 'shower' the bride with gifts to help her set up home when she moved in with FI but seriously...is that something most people in the 21st century still have to worry about? I have always heard that you give a gift for the shower or the wedding anyway, not both. So if you are planning on giving a wedding gift, and would still like to bring something to the shower take a bottle of wine or dessert as PP suggested. Simply a card with warm wishes is fine.
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  • I also would not do cash.  I would likely lean toward something the couple could use together to have a nice night together - restaurant gc, movie gc, tickets to a comedy club, etc.  I also like the champagne idea posted above.
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  • edited December 2009
    I think these comments about "if they didn't register, they should decline a shower" are totally off base and bordering on rude.  A gift registry is relatively new and weddings/parties for people getting married have been around forever!

    Be a little creative and think outside the box of the whole "registry" hoopla. Some people think registries in themselves are quite tacky because you're telling people what they have to get you as gifts, and implying that you wouldn't appreciate a heartfelt gift that they chose on their own for you.  

     Where I grew up registries were not common and the point of a shower was not to give the bride household gifts *for the bride and groom* but to have a party with her girflriends and give her girly gifts like travel items for her honeymoon (travel sets, luggage, lotions, perfumes, soaps, PJs, hair stuff, etc.) and of course lingerie!  Growing up the brides got so much lingerie at their showers that I'm sure they could never wear all of them! ;)  I'm not saying that this is ideal but I'm just saying that just because a couple doesn't take a scanning gun all over Pottery Barn registering for crap like ice cream makers that they are never going to use, DOESN'T mean she isn't entitled to a shower.  So what if they want money for a down payment for their first home as opposed to a bunch of washclothes they are never going to use?  I hate this kind of commercialism of weddings!

    What ever happened to old fashioned presents from the heart? This is what my mom got my sister-in-law (brother's wife) at her shower, and everyone thought it was a great gift, including my sister-in-law.  There were five candles (I think) in a cute, decorated basket, and a poem about burining a candle on certain anniversaries -- the first, the fifth, the tenth, etc. -- and a little meditative piece about what they will be thinking about as the candle burns -- being appreciative for five years of laughter and tear together, helping each other through their careers, maybe their first child will be with them, etc. 

    And my sister-in-law's grandma did something similar, she gave them a doily she had hand-stitched with a poem about how it took a long time to stitch it but one little ravel will make it all come apart quickly, and that's how marriage is -- you must pay attention to even small areas in order to keep it intact and happy.  I'm not good at summing up how beautiful this poem was but my sister-in-law was so touched that she started crying.  That to me is worth so much more than some wall clock I saw while on a registerting-frenzy at Bed Bath and Beyond and said, "look honey, maybe we'll want this, and if not, well, they have a great returns policy!"  (wishing there was an emoticon for "rolling my eyes")
  • edited December 2009
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_did-not-register-guests-give-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:34Discussion:62b864f9-e933-4a22-a74c-3e3437ef451aPost:eb6d70c0-6b8a-45c0-97b4-e05f181e947e">Re: If you DID NOT register- what do guests give at your shower?</a>:
    [QUOTE]
    Where I live, the wedding shower gifts would be for the COUPLE, like something from the registry or something the couple could enjoy together:  date night basket, gc to a fav restaurant/movie theatre, picnic basket, bottle of wine, etc.

    And the bridal shower gifts would be just for the bride, like perfume, make up, a scarf, a sweater, gc to a fav store, a trunk organizer for her car, etc.
    [/QUOTE]

    This is what I meant too.  Where I grew up it was like this, but where I live now, people tend to give COUPLE gifts to the bride at her bridal shower. It seems to me to vary throughout the country.

    Where I grew up people didn't have registries either.  To me it seems like a relatively new thing and also depending on location and class etc.  My best friend from high school got married when I was in college and didn't register and I didn't say, "oh she doesn't deserve gifts or -- heaven forbid -- cash because she committed the cardinal sin of not registering."  No way.  I bought her a nightie for her honeymoon and a decorative vase from New Mexico (where I live now) for her wedding. 

    The "wedding registry" hoopla is relatively new to me and it really does seem to vary by what a person is brought up with.  But one thing I know is that a heartfelt gift is always appreciated, as is cash and/or gift cards!  So if I were you  I would get the bride something for her -- maybe a travel perfume set or a gift card for a massage.  If you know her well, maybe you know her interests -- if she likes to read, maybe a book of love poetry, or the book "The Conscious Bride" (I think that one is great for brides-to-be) or if she is crafty, some craft supplies, etc.  If your budget is small then maybe a cute pair of earrings or a gift certificate to Starbucks (if you know she likes coffee), etc. 

    Think outside the Registry Box and treat it like it's her birthday, but if you want try to make it something aimed for her wedding or honeymoon.  Good luck and let us know what you got her, I'm interested!
  • I agree with Danita. It is not rude to NOT register for gifts. Some people actually think it is presumptuos to register. Although, I prefer to purchase gifts from a registry, I woud still buy the b2b something nice if she didn't register. You could buy a practical gift such as linens, small appliance, cookbooks, utensils etc....or maybe some holiday related items, such as ornaments, candle holders or serving pieces.  It would have been nice if the hostess offered some suggestions, but don't assume the bride is hinting for cash. She may not even know about the shower.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_did-not-register-guests-give-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:62b864f9-e933-4a22-a74c-3e3437ef451aPost:013c9c93-31a0-4b98-895d-9b9de2b92a42">Re: If you DID NOT register- what do guests give at your shower?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think these comments about "if they didn't register, they should decline a shower" are totally off base and bordering on rude.  A gift registry is relatively new and weddings/parties for people getting married have been around forever! Be a little creative and think outside the box of the whole "registry" hoopla. [/QUOTE]

    Registries have been around for almost a century. 90 years = relatively new?

    [QUOTE]
    Some people think registries in themselves are quite tacky because you're telling people what they have to get you as gifts, and implying that you wouldn't appreciate a heartfelt gift that they chose on their own for you.    Where I grew up registries were not common and the point of a shower was not to give the bride household gifts *for the bride and groom* but to have a party with her girflriends and give her girly gifts like travel items for her honeymoon (travel sets, luggage, lotions, perfumes, soaps, PJs, hair stuff, etc.) and of course lingerie!  Growing up the brides got so much lingerie at their showers that I'm sure they could never wear all of them! ;)  I'm not saying that this is ideal but I'm just saying that just because a couple doesn't take a scanning gun all over Pottery Barn registering for crap like ice cream makers that they are never going to use, DOESN'T mean she isn't entitled to a shower. 
    Posted by kennyandanita[/QUOTE]

    No one - NO ONE - is "entitled" to a shower. Your experience is not common. Most people give off the registry for showers. In fact, where I'm from, people buy off registry for showers and give cash for weddings.

    Theme showers are all well and good, if the hostess wants to do one, but that should be a decision she makes.

    I agrer in a way. I'm not all about registries. I don't really want to register. But if you don't want to register for "needless crap" WHY would you also WANT a party where the entire point is to give you said needless crap to help establish your house?

    If you don't register, but you have a shower (not a theme shower - a regular shower) you look like a total AW who just wants another party focused on her.
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  • i know for us, if i had accepted a shower, i would have been flooded with questions of "where are you registered" (we actually got thsi anyway, even without the shower). it appears in this day and age (at least in my area) that folks dont know how to give gifts anymore if a registry doesnt exist.  some people actually panic at the thought of no registry.  had i accepted a shower, it would have created a huge headache for me taht i didnt want to deal with, or i would have been forced to do a registry which i personally didnt want to do, in large part, becuase i dont believe in them.  i do think they are somewhat rude in that it sends a message that "im getting married, i expect you'll want to give me a gift, and if you do, it really needs to be X, Y or Z".  that said, i have bought off registries, dont mind buying off of them, but i didnt want one for me.   i would have loved a luncheon with my closest female relatives and friends, but no one offered that.  it was gifts or nothing, so for simpliciy and stress's sake, i opted for nothing.

  • I can see both sides of this argument. Personally, I don't see a registry so much as a "If you give a present you must give me this", but more of a guide to the couples tastes and needs. The more spread out people are, the less we visit in person. This means that although I love my old college roommate very much, I have no idea what colors her house is decorated in, or whether she already has a bread machine. Also, its important to note that sometimes people invited to bridal showers are friends or family of the groom that may not know the bride so well. If they aren't registered, then I think the hostess should provide some sort of guidance on the brides preferences, when asked.

    I am a very practical person. I don't like knicknacks or sentimental items very much, so while I will graciously accept any gift that the giver feels inclined to give, I'd rather a gift I can use for a practical purpose. Very few of my guests have been to my house or know what I have or don't have in the way of appliances, dishes, etc. I think a registry is a good way to guide your guests towards getting you a gift you actually want and can use.

    FWIW, I probably won't have a shower, and that's fine with me. We will probably register for towels and the pots to complete the collection I started, but little else, because we don't need much. Because of this, I expect I will receive lots of wine (we don't drink often) and candle sets (im allergic to most scents) and other neutral gifts that I will end up regifting later because we can't use, or because I have to dust them. FI's uncle said he would get him a new motherboard. Yay for useful stuff!

    PS.. I would NEVER want my wedding guests to know my lingerie sizes. I try to camouflage as much as possible and that would just blow my cover (no pun intended).
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  • sarah, you may be surprised at what you get.  folks on here told me i'd get all kinds of picture frames and vases if i didnt register.  i actually might have liked one or two frames, and didnt receive a single one!  we got mostly cash, but also gift cards to home depot, the location where we planned to honeymoon, a golf store, and a a couple BBB and crate and barrell cards.  the few gifts we did get were wonderful items that we probably never would have gotten had we registered.
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