To Register or Not to Register

Would you be offended if you were invited to a wedding and the bride and groom asked for donations for their honeymoon? A friend of mine who is getting married is dead set against the typical registry. The bride-to-be already lives with her future husband and says there is simply no need for more glasses, plates or silverware in their home, so she doesn’t want to register at any major department stores or home good stores like Crate and Barrel.

Instead she would like to ask people to donate to her honeymoon. In essence, she wants guests to provide her with cash gifts or to contribute to a registry that will help pay for food and hotels for her honeymoon.

When my husband and I got married there seemed to be a cultural divide among our guests, because half of the family gave us cash and the other half selected gifts from our registry. The line was literally divided down the middle.

I registered for gifts prior to our wedding, but truth be told we didn’t really need any more plates or cups or bowls either. However, I knew that some members of the family would want to purchase gifts, some wouldn’t feel comfortable giving money and others would prefer that the bride and groom don’t know exactly how much they spent on a gift.

I’ve been to quite a few weddings recently where the bride doesn’t register. I brought cash to some of those weddings and gifts to others. It all depends on how well I know the bride and groom and whether or not I spot something I think they will love.

I’m not sure what advice I would offer to someone getting married these days. I wonder, if you don’t register do people bring you gifts you don’t want, do they bring cash, or do they simply skip out on a gift all together.

Is the act of not registering equal to asking your guests for cash and if so how does that work out for the bride and groom? Do they receive want they really want and more importantly are the guests happy to provide it or offended?

10 thoughts on “To Register or Not to Register”

  1. I would rather give a gift, not money. If there was something on an invitation stating that they didn't want gifts and only money, I think I would just skip the gift/money all together.

  2. I think nowadays there is so little left of "tradition" that I would think it would make sense to donate to a honeymoon fund. a blogger I read (Once Upon a Lime) actually just created a honeymoon registry and I thought it was a very cute idea!

  3. i think it is a very cute idea to register for honeymoon activities!

    it makes no sense: i don't like the idea of just giving people cash for a wedding–but i wouldn't mind if they created a registry at a place that allowed refunds (BB&B?) and just took my gift back and exchanged it for money.

  4. I'm kind of old fashioned, but I think asking for cash is tacky. She should register for her trip with a travel agent (or at least designate a friend to be a "travel liaison") and have people make donations to that person. She should also register at one other place. It wouldn't have to be a big registry, but at least her guests would feel like they have options.

  5. I prefer to give money. I want my gift used for EXACTLY what the bride and groom want it to be used for… if that's their honeymood, then who am I to question that!

    I didn't register for wedding gifts. I personally think it's presumptuous to "assume" that your guests even WANT to give you a gift. Of course, 99% of wedding guests WILL give a gift or cash, but to pre-register for gifts seems tacky to me.

    Asking for money also seems tacky. I would just not register anywhere. If guests WANT to give a gift, they will inquire about what is desired by the couple, otherwise they will give cash… or possibly a combination of the two.

  6. I agree that asking for cash to a wedding is tacky. Some people don't have means to give cash and get upset at this b/c ppl will know how much you gave them. When money's tight, there's many other options you can do (getting a gift using coupons, gift card, homemade items, items from your stockpile that you get for a wedding or shower purpose, etc.). Especially in THIS economy, asking for cash is tacky. I also agree with the fellow poster that tradition and etiquette is going out the window, which I find sad.

    If they are planning on a honeymoon, can't they still do a registry? Maybe for a new swimsuit, flip flops, or something? I don't know. Granted, I know they have pretty much everything they need in the new house, but flat out asking for cash is tacky.

    Although I wouldn't go empty handed (that too is tacky), I'd maybe give some cash, but not a lot. Or maybe even get a card and put a gift cert in there (using a code of course!) and leaving a little note that you can't afford to give cash, but spending $2 or $4 for a gift card valued at $25 or $50 is bang for your buck!

  7. We faced a similar situation, and decided to register at They have pretty much EVERYTHING so we registered for books and other non-traditional items. It allowed the people who wanted to give gifts that option. We did push for cash though, and 85% of what we got was cash.

  8. not at all. i don't see how a honeymoon registry is any different than a registry for dishes. they are all just options to make the gifting less stressful for guests. we're using for ours and we love it. we registered for our honeymoon to thailand and some new 'grown up' furniture šŸ™‚ guests thought it was so fun and much more practical!

  9. @anonymous – I mentioned this to a few other people and they said the exact same thing!

    @newlyweds – I actually looked into the various honeymoon registries for the bride, but a lot of them look like they take a cut of the money.

    @sense – a friend mentioned that Marriott hotels and other big chains will let you register for things like dinner, spa treatments, etc. I like that idea too!

    @we four less – i also recommended at least one small registry for those people that would feel most comfortable buying that way. a lot of folks in the older generation would prefer this approach.

    @makky's mom – i guess the expectation of any registry is a bit tacky. after all you invite guests to celebrate the occasion with you, not because you expect them to buy you something.

    @spaghetti – i think it boils down to knowing the dollar amount someone spent on you. if you can buy a discounted gift card for $50 that's worth $100 then the bride and groom don't need to be any the wiser. when you give them cash they know exactly what you spent on them.

    @leslie – i love the idea of registering at amazon. there is so much to chose from.

    @kelly – i tend to agree with you that a registry is a registry. whether you are asking for dishes or asking for a honeymoon you are in essence asking your guests for gifts. what difference does it really make what's on the list?

  10. Our friends loved using our honeymoon registry – as they gave us fun activities as gifts (that they knew we wouldn't normally splurge on!). We used – very classy registry and personal service. My older relatives tended to use our wedding registry to buy house stuff that we had registered. So it's a good idea to have both šŸ™‚


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