In 1924 Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago introduced the idea of a wedding gift registry,
where brides could indicate their preferred china and silver patterns.
The idea took off and couples began thinking of their ability to choose their own wedding gifts as a time-honored right. In 1993, Target introduced the idea of self-service gift registry, and people suddenly began registering for items well outside the traditional plates and towels.
Today, you’ll often hear brides and grooms discuss (complain?) that they don’t really need any household items, and what they’d really like to do is ask people to help fund their honeymoon,
or the down payment on a house, or the wedding itself.
Thanks primarily to the Internet, the ability to register for non-traditional items, including cash, honeymoon help, and charity donations has blossomed.
Here are a few examples:
and Lux Wines
let you register for unique wines.
lets you register for camping equipment and sporting goods.
• Rainfall of Envelopes
lets you register for money. Rainfall of Envelopes even lets you include information for your guests about how the money will be used.
• Bliss Honeymoon
s lets you register so that your guests can help pay for your honeymoon.
• The I Do Foundation
lets you register for donations to your favorite charity.
• Our Wishing Well
lets you list items such as a new car, or dinner at a favorite restaurant.
• Our friends over at the Man Registry
let the grooms register for more male oriented gift items.
• If your church, synagogue, or mosque has a gift shop, they probably have a gift registry as well. This allows you to register for items needed for religious observances, and give a little money back to your house of worship.
• Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie "registered" for a pair of shoes? If you have a favorite boutique, salon, or other local business, don't be afraid to ask if you can set up a registry.
One thing to keep in mind, if a registry is not selling actual products, you have to ask yourself how it is making money. The answer is obvious, they’re taking money from your gift. This is not all bad, after all the site is still a benefit to you as it keeps track of your gifts for you, and gives you a less cringe-inducing way of letting people know your preferences, but you definitely need to do your research and find out what percentage of your gift the site keeps for itself.
Since we’re talking about wedding gifts, don’t forget, it is never appropriate to put registry information on your wedding invitation.
The invitation is just that, an invitation, putting registry information on it makes it seem like a bill! All wedding gifts, even cash, donations, and even those you hate, deserve a heartfelt thank-you note. After all, when it comes to starting your life together the good wishes of your friends and family are much more important than any gift.
What do you think? Are you registering for traditional items, cash, or some of each?