Wedding Etiquette Forum

Help with declining a gift registry

My fiancé and I need a little but of help with the etiquette of having an out of town wedding and a big impending move. The basics... We are getting married in May. The majority of the family guests are 6 or more hours drive away from where we live and are getting married. It's already a big commitment for the majority of people to attend the day. I appreciate the effort they are undertaking to be with us that day. In July of this year, my fiancé and I are moving across the country (from Toronto to the Yukon). With the moving coming, we are looking for a tactful way to tell our families and guests, we really don't want wedding gifts, as we will not have extra space in the new location. I am the first of my generation from both sides to get married and the majority of the family is excited about the wedding. How do I not dampen thier excitement about this???? I do not want to come off sounding ungrateful for everything they have done and offered. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Re: Help with declining a gift registry

  • HeatherKatHeatherKat the Frozen Tundra member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper

    Do not register, if anyone asks where you are registered tell them, "we are not registered anywhere, we're saving up for our upcoming move to the Yukon." people will get the hint that you would prefer cash. Do not ask for cash, add that would not be tactful.
    My fiancé and I need a little but of help with the etiquette of having an out of town wedding and a big impending move. The basics... We are getting married in May. The majority of the family guests are 6 or more hours drive away from where we live and are getting married. It's already a big commitment for the majority of people to attend the day. I appreciate the effort they are undertaking to be with us that day. In July of this year, my fiancé and I are moving across the country (from Toronto to the Yukon). With the moving coming, we are looking for a tactful way to tell our families and guests, we really don't want wedding gifts, as we will not have extra space in the new location. I am the first of my generation from both sides to get married and the majority of the family is excited about the wedding. How do I not dampen thier excitement about this???? I do not want to come off sounding ungrateful for everything they have done and offered. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    What @photokitty said. Also keep in mind that if you don't register, you shouldn't have a shower, as the shower is for giving of physical gifts.

    Congrats on the wedding and the big move!
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  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    Yep, just don't register, as PPs said. You may still end up getting a few physical gifts, because some people will only give physical gifts, but there's really no way to avoid that. There's no polite way to say "please no gifts," because any way you phrase that admits that you expected them in the first place. 

    Without a registry, though, most people will get the hint and give you cash. 
    SP29
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agree with PPs. Do not register and do not have a shower. DH and I had everything we need before we were married (lived together for 11 years already), and didn't feel comfortable registering for the things we eventually wanted in the future (appliances, expensive cookware, etc). We didn't register and every single gift we got was monetary. People are smart, they know money is a good gift.
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Do not register, if anyone asks where you are registered tell them, "we are not registered anywhere, we're saving up for our upcoming move to the Yukon." people will get the hint that you would prefer cash. Do not ask for cash, add that would not be tactful.
    My fiancé and I need a little but of help with the etiquette of having an out of town wedding and a big impending move. The basics... We are getting married in May. The majority of the family guests are 6 or more hours drive away from where we live and are getting married. It's already a big commitment for the majority of people to attend the day. I appreciate the effort they are undertaking to be with us that day. In July of this year, my fiancé and I are moving across the country (from Toronto to the Yukon). With the moving coming, we are looking for a tactful way to tell our families and guests, we really don't want wedding gifts, as we will not have extra space in the new location. I am the first of my generation from both sides to get married and the majority of the family is excited about the wedding. How do I not dampen thier excitement about this???? I do not want to come off sounding ungrateful for everything they have done and offered. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    What @photokitty said. Also keep in mind that if you don't register, you shouldn't have a shower, as the shower is for giving of physical gifts.

    Congrats on the wedding and the big move!
    I just want to clarify this. In the OP's situation, yes, she should not have a shower because she doesn't want physical gifts. 

    However, just because you don't register doesn't mean you can't have a shower. My mom didn't register, and her MOH gave her a shower (though that was in the days where registries were not common). Most people who have bridal showers will register, so they can get things they want, but there is no etiquette rule that you must register in order to have a shower.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 2015
    Ooops...this posted in the wrong place.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    I could be wrong, but it would seem that @Knottie94500324 doesn't want to find ways to get cash, but rather ways to tell guests that they don't want anything, that their presence at the wedding is sufficient gift.

    Of course, there is no polite way to do so pro-actively, for reasons pointed out up-thread. But that also means that wording like "We're saving up for..." could be counter-productive.

    When asked directly about gifts, it's okay to decline (or at least demur). Something like: "Oh, everyone's spending so much just to attend the wedding, we just don't feel right expecting gifts on top of it all!"

    Of course, any gifts actually received should be received gratefully, regardless.


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  • hellosweetie1015hellosweetie1015 Where the skies are so blue member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    LtPowers said:
    I could be wrong, but it would seem that @Knottie94500324 doesn't want to find ways to get cash, but rather ways to tell guests that they don't want anything, that their presence at the wedding is sufficient gift.

    Of course, there is no polite way to do so pro-actively, for reasons pointed out up-thread. But that also means that wording like "We're saving up for..." could be counter-productive.

    When asked directly about gifts, it's okay to decline (or at least demur). Something like: "Oh, everyone's spending so much just to attend the wedding, we just don't feel right expecting gifts on top of it all!"

    Of course, any gifts actually received should be received gratefully, regardless.


    Powers  &8^]

    Wouldn't a better way to phrase the bolded be, "We're not registered anywhere; we're just looking forward to spending the day celebrating with everyone!" because saying you don't expect gifts is implying that you *could* expect gifts but you've chosen not to?
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  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Wouldn't a better way to phrase the bolded be, "We're not registered anywhere; we're just looking forward to spending the day celebrating with everyone!" because saying you don't expect gifts is implying that you *could* expect gifts but you've chosen not to?
    Perhaps. It depends on what the question was, I suppose. If the enquirer has already brought up the issue of presents, there's really no obligation to continue to tiptoe around the word.  =)


    Powers  &8^]

  • I'm having this same issue ...

    I'm not having a shower, and not registering. My mom thinks I should write on the invite something to the effect of "no gifts, your presence is present enough." I was going to not write anything on the invite, and let the guest decide what to do. If they asked if I was registered anywhere, I would say "we've been in our home for two years, and didn't feel it was necessary to register."

    That way they can make the decision if they want to give a gift or not? What do you think? Help!
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    wett0052 said:
    I'm having this same issue ...

    I'm not having a shower, and not registering. My mom thinks I should write on the invite something to the effect of "no gifts, your presence is present enough." I was going to not write anything on the invite, and let the guest decide what to do. If they asked if I was registered anywhere, I would say "we've been in our home for two years, and didn't feel it was necessary to register."

    That way they can make the decision if they want to give a gift or not? What do you think? Help!
    Yup! You don't put on invites (unless it's a shower) if it's gifts or no gifts. People can opt to give gifts. That's their choice. If they ask you about a registry, you can tell them what you quoted :)

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    wett0052
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    wett0052 said:
    I'm having this same issue ...

    I'm not having a shower, and not registering. My mom thinks I should write on the invite something to the effect of "no gifts, your presence is present enough." I was going to not write anything on the invite, and let the guest decide what to do. If they asked if I was registered anywhere, I would say "we've been in our home for two years, and didn't feel it was necessary to register."

    That way they can make the decision if they want to give a gift or not? What do you think? Help!
    Your way of thinking is correct!  

    Do keep in mind that if you are in an area that is known to give physical gifts at the wedding, you may end up with 3 metal chickens.  Because let's face it, most people will give a gift, no matter what you say (but still don't say anything about gifts!) and some are just not comfortable giving cash or it's not the norm for that particular area.  Which is why it's often suggested to create a small registry.  DH and I were on our own for over a decade each and lived together for a short while, but we still had a registry...mostly upgrades like new towels, new sheets, new baking pans, etc.  Just something to keep in mind.
    wett0052
  • I was in a similar situation (not moving, but we really didn't need stuff).  I just didn't register.  A few people seemed irked by this, so we'd give them suggestions like "we could really use a nice set of sheets".

    We received a couple sheets sets, and some gifts that were extremely well thought out and lovely, but the vast majority of what we received was cash or gift cards.  I that if you don't register, most people are smart enough to assume that you don't need stuff and will give financial gifts.
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