Registry Ideas & Answers

Registry Guilt: Why You Should Get Over It

Continued (page 2 of 3)

"My guests are already paying to travel to my wedding."
"I married at the world-famous Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, so I felt that coming to the wedding was gift enough for us," says Lisa. Sarah agrees: "I was nervous about registering because I didn't want anyone to feel obligated to spend more money—not only would they have to travel, but they'd have to buy us something expensive, too?"

But actually, according to the guests themselves, registry worries like these shouldn't keep you up at night. Here's why.

What Guests Say:

"Registering is polite and helpful."
Setting up a registry "is considered a courtesy to make gift-giving easier for guests," says Pamela Lach, author of The Bride's Etiquette Guide. One guest who agrees is Mary, 27, of New York, who's attended five weddings in the past year alone: "I wouldn't want to navigate the gift process without it," she says. "It takes the guesswork out; and since it's all done online, you can get the gift there ahead of the wedding." She also advises couples not to hold back when making out their lists. "I'd register for a lot of items," she says. "Nobody's going to go back to the list and say, 'They have so much stuff left over—they must've asked for too much.'"

"The more options, the better."
Anemic registries can be a real annoyance. "For the wedding I attended last weekend, the couple didn't register for enough," says Mary, who admits she "procrastinated a little too long" before shopping—and by the time she got to it, most items on the registry had already been bought. What was left? "The $350 KitchenAid mixer that every couple registers for, plus random bits and pieces, like a towel and a washcloth. So I had to go off the registry." Another frequent wedding guest, Rachael, 32, of Clinton, NJ, has had the same experience: "All the medium-size gifts get bought first, so you're left with either the $1,300 bedroom set or 20 different kitchen doodads," she says. Rachael also notes that she actually attended Melody's wedding, and—despite the bride's concerns—wasn't put off by the high-priced items on her registry (even if she didn't buy them).

"Your list shows your taste."
If guests aren't frequent visitors to your home (or, worse, have never met you), your registry can show them what you like—they can then choose to buy something there or elsewhere. "After looking at a registry to get a feel for a couple's taste, one always has the option to shop independently," says Karen, 57, of Dallas, a family friend of Sarah's who gave her an estate silver setting. In addition to going off-registry, guests should also feel comfortable staying within their budget. As Hillary, 23, of Cincinnati, says about the wedding of her college roommate, McCartney, "I love her, but I'm unemployed and can't spend too much money. But who knows? Someone who can afford the higher-priced items may also have been invited."

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