Opal Siren

My life in dreams

Random Thoughts And The Gift Registry

on February 8, 2012

I often get asked questions regarding gift giving, registries and weddings. Since I planned my own wedding a few years ago and I have a few other random thoughts, here are a few answers to the most asked questions.

1. Should I have a gift registry?

Depends. If you are going on a vacation, retiring, or getting married to your live-in partner of eight years, you probably don’t need one. If you are having your first baby or if this is your first marriage, then I would say yes. It really depends on you and how you feel about having one. Either way, guests will call you, your parents, or your planner to ask what they should bring to the event.

I lived with my husband for six months prior to getting married. We had a civil ceremony with just the two of us and the Justice of the Peace. A year later, we had a religious wedding for the family, with a DJ and all. Neither one of us was married before, and we both started with basically a futon and plastic utensils. So, we opted for a registry. However, If you already have your home set-up and you are basically just signing that piece of paper, I would say no to the registry and point guests toward gift cards instead. They also have honeymoon registries where guests can opt to buy the bride and groom activities for their honeymoon, like horseback riding. I know Sandals Resorts has something like this. You can also set up your own honeymoon website instead. If you still do not feel comfortable asking people what to buy, then don’t have a registry. There is no “Golden Rule” that says that you absolutely must have one.

I will say that if you have a large family, like me, a registry is helpful and will save you money and time. People may bring the same gifts, and then you are stuck with fifty tupperware sets and ten aprons, which you then have to waste time at the store trying to return. Even worse, people will buy you stuff that you don’t need and then you are forced to donate or re-gift. So, my advice is to think about what your needs are and see if the registry could work for you. Don’t forget most people ask what they should bring and there is nothing wrong with saying: “Whatever you want to bring is fine, we only require and would be delighted to have you come to our event. If you really insist, then a gift card will suffice”.

2. Should I be angry or offended at some of the items on a gift registry?

Ok people, I am gonna let go on this one and this answer is for both the guest and the recipient. NO!

A gift/wedding/baby registry is a wish list. A WISH LIST. It is not for you to rip into it and get all but hurt about it. If there is nothing on it that you wish to buy for the recipient, then get them a gift card or something you had in mind. Trust me, they will not be disappointed by receiving your gift. If they do, you need to change the people you surround yourself with.

Recipients: In all honesty, just the fact that the guest thought of you and your day should make you happy, not what they purchased.

Guests/Purchasers: Most new brides/new moms don’t even know what to put on a registry, and some may get a little crazy with the gun at the store. Don’t criticize or humiliate them on their choice of items. I know I have done this, and I had to do some soul-searching on this one ,and I was wrong. You are not obligated to buy the most expensive gift on the registry or any item on the registry for that matter. It is just a list to give guests ideas on what to purchase. THAT IS IT! Let’s not read into this so much. If you find the same item on a registry on sale somewhere else, then go for it. Just let the planner know so they remove it from the registry. Also, some items are put there at the request of family members and other guests, this was our case. So, please don’t take it so seriously. I received many gifts that were not on my registry and I actually needed these items. So, I am glad that some people went off the list. If you cannot afford some of the items on the registry or you don’t like what is on it, then opt for something else. I don’t think anyone would refuse cash.

Recipients: If there is something on your list that you really wanted and did not get, you can always go back and buy it ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Should Children be allowed to attend weddings?

Yikes! I hate this question. My husband and I went through a lot over this issue. Please keep in mind that I am not an event planner or expert, this is just my opinion and everyone has one ๐Ÿ™‚

It really depends on the type of wedding and on the bride and groom.

Nowadays, there are many second time weddings where families are integrating and not just the bride and groom. Also, there are weddings where the bride and groom already have children with each other or other former spouses. In these cases then YES! Children should be allowed, especially if they are yours.

Also, if it is a brunch/daytime wedding I don’t see why children would not be allowed. Evening or formal weddings, absolutely not.

First of all, parents should not want their toddlers up past midnight, running around with a bunch of dancing, barely sober adults. Besides, this should be time away from your kid. Don’t you want a little time away to have fun??!! Get a sitter and have a date night.

For our wedding, we specifically said no children younger than 9, because my twin brothers were nine at the time and obviously I could not leave them home. Besides, most children that are 9 and up, should know how to behave at an event. Unfortunately, my 1,3 and 5 year-old cousins and niece were not invited. It broke my heart, but it is a decision I am happy with. It was not an event for children, and with the loud music and the drinking that was going on, it was not suitable for smaller kids. I know I am gonna get hate mail for this one, but I am a firm believer that children do not belong at funerals and weddings.

If you are a very close relative and really would like to attend the event and bring your child, then place a courtesy call to the bride and groom and see if they can make an exception. There is no need to cause drama or hostility between the family because of this issue. Also, remember that planning a wedding is a very stressful time for most brides and grooms, so be nice and be understanding. Remember that it is about the bride and groom and their wishes. It is their event. We had plenty of friends and family members that did not attend our wedding because of the no children stipulation. We understood and were not upset that they did not come, and they understood and were content with our decision. At the end of it all, it is one day and it should be about the bride and groom.

4. Bridal Party?

Ugh! If I were to do my wedding all over I would say no to the bridal party. It was too big, too many complications, too much stress to get everyone together, and too much drama with fittings and dresses. Most people will think it is an honor to be a part of your bridal party, but there will be a few that will make your life hell, intentionally or unintentionally. Simple is better in my book. If you must have one, keep it at two bridesmaids and two groomsmen, including the maid and man of honor. It is really your or the bride’s choice, but really give it thought. If you really have to, make sure to include people who really love you and want to be a part of it.

5. Big or small event?

Again, this one is up to you, your budget, and your tastes. Simple is always better in my book, but if you want to go all out…then go for it.

The big issue that I encounter with this question, is that people are not sure if they should invite or exclude people from their event. First, there has to be a cut off somewhere. Whether it is second cousins, or immediate families only, or friends and families only, you have to have a limit. I had to cut my grandmother’s family and some of my husband’s cousins, because we simply saw them every ten years or so. I think that is a good mindset to have. If you barely see or speak to someone, or only see them once every five years, you are not obligated to invite them. At the end of the day, you need to be surrounded with those that really love you and are there for you. Some people you will have to invite out of principle, and that is understandable, but you are not obligated to invite a friend you see every three-to-four years or so.

I hope this clears some issues up, but no matter what, be patient and understanding with the bride/groom/new mom, most of them are under a lot of stress and being lectured by almost everyone. I had to plan a wedding while my husband was on deployment, and my wedding was in another state. You can only imagine the stress I was in. So be kind and understanding. And, if you are the bride/groom/mom-to-be , be patient with yourself and do what you feel is right. There is no right or wrong answer, and someone is going to have their feelings hurt no matter how you handle the situation.

Please leave comments and/or other suggestions you may think will help in these situations.

Happy Reading!!!!

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