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AIBU about wedding pressie registry lists?

(43 Posts)
lucygettingmarried Tue 02-Jun-09 20:12:28

I understand the function of gift lists and I don't mind purchasing presents from one of them for a friend/relatives wedding however, my DH-to-be and myself have decided that for our small informal wedding to let guests know that wedding gifts are not necessary.

This is because we are having a private ceremony then a very small informal party afterwards with friends and family. Some guests will be travelling quite far to get our party and many will probably have to find a hotel to stay in overnight. We feel awkward enought that we can't afford to put people up or foot the bill for a hotel, so to expect presents on top of these expenses and others misc costs for a knees up in our back garden, we feel, is pretty unfair and cheeky. We feel that them being able to come to the party to share our day is a gift in itself! We really do. We also have enough toasters and pots and pans as we have lived together for many years!

We didn't think this would be a problem but it seems to have caused some anxiety and, frankly, horror for some family members. We are quite shocked at their responses. We've been made to feel quite unreasonable, awkward and 'weird'. We've tried explaining that because it's such a small informal affair, we don't want guests to worry about expensive pressies, however we also said if guests would really LIKE to get us something then of course that would be lovely, but it really isn't necessary.

Apparently we are 'being silly' 'causing problems for the guests' 'We should register with somewhere as soon as possible' 'Making it difficult for people to buy presents' and the best one was 'being really weird, how can we not want wedding presents?'

This is just from a few people so far, most people seem ok with just coming along and having a good time, just a few awkward customers in my family, but I don't want to fall out wih them but they won't drop it!

To be perfectly honest, I think wedding gift lists are a bit naff myself, despite understanding why it can make present purchasing easier for people and so the happy couple don't get multiple toasters...

What do people think? Are we really making it difficult for our guests by not having a gift list somewhere? Are we being awkward?

Neither of us know quite what to do now!

Overmydeadbody Tue 02-Jun-09 20:15:46

Don't have a wedding present list, but accept any gifts offered graciously.

FlappytheBat Tue 02-Jun-09 20:18:39

Do you have a favourite charity?

Ask for donations to the charity instead of wedding presents?

rubyslippers Tue 02-Jun-09 20:20:52

most people like to buy a gift

so, you can always register and then return everything or use the credit to buy something else

or, ask for donations to charity

either way, people like to mark the occasion and frankly do you want to be given 84 toasters and a hideous towel bale?

LightShinesInTheDarkness Tue 02-Jun-09 20:21:30

No,of course you are not being awkward - you sound lovely.

Can you not say something like 'if you insist, we would really welcome...' and then say something general like 'something for the garden, a voucher for a treat like hot air balloon ride or restaurant meal, a subscription to a magazine/health club etc.

I hate, hate, hate wedding lists. Gifts are in the behest of the giver, not the recipient.

Be quietly grateful - not just for the gifts, but for your friends & family wanting to spoil you.

Hassled Tue 02-Jun-09 20:22:48

Have an Oxfam wedding list. Here. People buy goats/mosquito nets/toilets etc. We did it and it was well received. We had the same issues as you - small wedding after being together a long time, but some people seem to be compelled to buy presents.

nigglewiggle Tue 02-Jun-09 20:24:36

Wouldn't like the charity thing TBH, but would probably like to buy a gift, just a small one in view of the other costs perhaps.

I don't like present lists (just a personal thing) so I wouldn't give in on that. Just stick to your guns, they'll only be a couple of folk who don't get it.

Have a great day, it sounds fab!

slowreadingprogress Tue 02-Jun-09 20:26:01

I totally agree, hate wedding lists and find them naff.

We did exactly the same for our wedding; we really didn't want presents. When some people said they really wanted to buy something we suggested vouchers. Nice and easy for them and we got the fun of doing a bit of shopping!

I wonder why some of your guests are getting so antsy about it. I wonder if they are almost threatened by your decision - maybe there's an implied "WE are not so greedy as to ask for presents" in what you've said?! and of course most people have themselves made a list and asked for lotsa stuff!

5Foot5 Tue 02-Jun-09 20:26:16

Further to the charity idea - couldn't you direct people towards one of the charities that send goats, chickens, medical packs, orchards etc. to the Third World as a gift for someone.

You get a card saying what has been sent and by whom.

That way the guests would have the satisfaction of buying something in your name if not actually for you.

LovelyBertha Tue 02-Jun-09 20:26:43

EXACTLY the same thing happened with our wedding. Apart from anything else, we'd lived together for years already, and didn't need any more gravy boats/toasters/flannels.

We ended up speaking directly to those who had had a problem with it and politely suggested some things that they could get us if they really thought it neccessary, tailoring what we asked for according to what we expected their budget might be - ie. some new white pillow cases, a new lasagne dish that kind of thing. We requested that they didn't bring the gifts on the day. They felt better about the situation, and the subject was dropped. Bit of a pita though- and not a problem I would have anticipated at all.

smellen Tue 02-Jun-09 20:28:26

Yep, we did the Oxfam list, and it worked really well. Guests get the feel-good factor of presenting you with a card and something to keep in the years to come, as well as giving to a reputable charity. Their gifts range from the very cheap to quite hefty price tags, but if people choose to "go large" then the charity benefits.

screamingabdab Tue 02-Jun-09 20:28:51

Great ideas Hassled and Lightshines.

I also hate lists, but agree people feel very uncomfortable buying nothing.

OP you are not being awkward! You sound lovely

Bloody weddings with relatives and their "opinions". Don't get me started on my wedding ............ grin

DesperateHousewifeToo Tue 02-Jun-09 20:29:00

Stick to your guns. You sound very reasonable and thoughtful.

Charity donations are a good idea.

If some still push, why not ask for gift vouchers from somewhere easy like M and S or John Lewis.

Have a lovely day.

wobbegong Tue 02-Jun-09 20:29:16

Seconding what slowreadingprogress says. Ask for vouchers, if pressed. That stops them having to freak out about choosing a gift. For the same reasons as you we had a "no gifts" policy at our tiny wedding, but in the end we had enough John Lewis vouchers for a washing machine! And yes, I think of my wedding as I load it!

leonifay Tue 02-Jun-09 20:32:08

we had this problem! i hate the whole idea of a wedding list, theres tecnically nothing wrong with them, its just a personal thing.

i decided not to have a list and was told i was being difficult and unreasonable! we ended up registering, to keep every one quiet.

if you really dont want one dont have one just tell people that they can buy a gift if they wish but there isnt a list, or theres the charity option. its your wedding stick to your guns, i wish i had.

daisydotandgertie Tue 02-Jun-09 20:56:08

We ended up registering too.

We didn't have a list originally because we felt that people were already spending a great deal of money just to attend our wedding.

What we failed to realise was that people really wanted the opportunity to buy something for us, to wish us well and help us set up a life together.

It took a few weeks to see the upset we'd caused them - and to understand it.

So we did a list.

saintmaybe Tue 02-Jun-09 21:14:02

We did exactly the same, lucygetting, and one relative asked us to suggest something, so we did (a cake stand, v nice), and everyone else managed perfectly well. Lots of vouchers, some wine, some varied random things, some plants for the garden and lots of people didn't bring anything.

All lovely and completely fine. i really don't think we upset anyone. And how many people are upset/inconvenienced when they do feel they're expected to buy something off a list? But it just isn't acceptable to protest, nor should it be if you don't have a list. We didn't say people couldn't, we said 'Please don't feel you need to bring a present'.

nigglewiggle Tue 02-Jun-09 21:15:48

But you don't need to do a list. You can just leave it up to people to decide.

I don't like the charity idea because I don't like being told to give money to charity and I don't like having the charity selected for me. (I'm not mean BTW, I do raise money for charity!)

I would just like the idea of giving something that reminds you of your happy day. That's what I do when I look at the lovely individual gifts that our friends and family gave us 12 years ago.

jojosmaman Tue 02-Jun-09 21:29:34

I always feel sorry for toasters in these threads, they always get lumbered with the "you'll end up with 65 toasters" tag.

We're having very same issue, we don't need anything and in fact could do with giving stuff away but people don't get it when you say not having a gift list. I would never ask for money so am going to try and find a list with objects that are quirky and unusual so people aren't buying me a pack of coasters and three forks.

Actually I just remembered, my mum didn't have a gift list at her wedding as it was her second and she got some lovely thoughful gifts and loads of vouchers... no toasters!

SparkleandShine Tue 02-Jun-09 21:35:55

have a small list and only give it to people who ask??

We did this and 90% asked for the list and the remaining 10% bought us something they thought we would like.

I personally have a bit of a thing about gifts that last, so put things on like candlesticks, vases - stuff we wanted that would last for years.

CandleQueen Tue 02-Jun-09 21:37:43

We didn't have a shop registered list, but put together a "wish list" book which our mothers kept for guests to look at (one book for each of our mothers, list divided between them).
We told guest we didn't need them to buy anything, but if they did, to consult the Mums!

lucygettingmarried Tue 02-Jun-09 23:08:09

Thank you for all your thoughtful responses!

You have all given me some great tips and points to consider. I don't think I fully realised that some people may really want to buy us both a present, and also instead of getting irritated by the comments, the two of us should be chuffed that we have friends and family who want to buy us pressies as Lightshines pointed out.

slowreadingprogress - You make a good a point about people feeling threatened or feeling that we are implying something by not having a list, I didn't see that way but now when we think about it, the people in question have all had gift lists at their weddings and maybe they are taking a bit personally, not that they should of course.

I like the idea of having an Oxfam Unwrapped list should people be compelled to buy pressies but this didn't go down to well with my OH unfortunately. He felt that it would still be a gift list all the same. May tackle him again about this tomorrow!

The wishlist book is a good idea. I think we will stick to our guns and not have a list and let guests know that gifts are not necessary but if they really would like to buy a gift, then we would be thrilled.

Thanks again everyone. My first AIBU post!

ICantFindAFreeNickName Tue 02-Jun-09 23:16:35

One friend in a sinilar situation asked for gardening vouchers (only if people really wanted to buy something) and planted a new border in their garden. Her theory was that it would mature & get better over the years (hopefully like her marriage).

lucky1979 Tue 02-Jun-09 23:43:10

It doesn't have to be a specific "wedding list" charity either, although the Oxfam one is great. We set up a Just Giving page and said why we had picked the charity and that it meant something to us. I (hope) that we were pretty clear as well that it was totally optional, the invites said something like "While all we want as a gift is your company on the day, if you do want to buy us something then what we would really like is donations to this charity".

SolidGoldBrass Wed 03-Jun-09 02:27:49

Say 'You don't have to get us anything but if you insist, a bottle of champagne would be lovely.' (My default wedding gift has always been champagne and a photo album).

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