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Jasmine S.
Rockstar May 2022

Guests complaining our registry is too small (they refuse to give cash)

Jasmine S., on April 1, 2022 at 7:47 AM Posted in Registry 0 18
We are now 1.5 months from our big day. The registry has by far been the most stressful stressful part of planning because I'm not a gifts person. Fiancé and I have lived together for almost four years and have everything we need. I told my own friends to forget the gifts, just show up and enjoy themselves.


We made a registry with several dozen items, mostly small things (under $30) that would be nice to have but not essential. Whenever we think of something to add, we add it. However, my FMIL us telling us that people have been complaining behind our back -- saying we need to add more gifts, or that someone already bought the nice ones.


I told her that once the physical gifts run out, people still have the option of contributing to our honeymoon fund or charity in our honor. She replied that people will refuse to do that (including her, if she were a guest). It's possible some of our friends or younger relatives would, but it seems if we don't have a hundred pricey options on the registry, the boomers might just go off and buy some random thing rather than simply give a check. I guess that's the way things are done in his family. She won't drop the subject ever since we got engaged (when people pressured us to make an "engagement registry" and kept buying us stuff more than a year after the engagement).


I gave my fiancé access to the registry accounts and he agreed to handle all communication with relatives on this matter. However, I still have a feeling it will still fall on my shoulders because his mom will discuss it when I'm around. Also my shower is coming up, which I didn't want, but they guilted me into it. Now the shower host has bought a dozen items off the registry, leaving even less for the wedding guests.


Any advice for what to say to FMIL, or anyone else when this subject comes up again? A polite way to convey "Sorry you were too slow and missed the gifts. We will not be adding many more, but cash is still an option"?

18 Comments

Latest activity by Whitney, on April 23, 2022 at 7:48 PM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
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    I think if his family traditionally buys gifts instead of giving cash, you are probably just going to end up with things you didn't put on the registry. I know in my circle cash/checks is pretty much the only thing given at the wedding, but I know other people on these forums have said no one in their social circle gives money. Can you add some things that would be under the category of "in an ideal world, we'd own these things"? Think outside the box- board games, camping equipment if that's your thing, lawn games, yard tools, etc. If not, I would just expect that some people will buy things not on your registry.

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  • Ashlee
    Rockstar September 2022
    Ashlee ·
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    We struggled with this too. We've only lived together for two years so most of our things are still new. We had to think outside the box, we added things for home improvement projects we wanted to do along the line - home depot/lowes gift cards, shelving, decor that we would want for those spaces, organizers. We also put things to "upgrade" even though we didn't necessarily need it, like sheets and towels. We're currently in the process of finishing our basement and redoing one bathroom, so we put bar items for the basement, including neon signs, my FH has tons of jerseys so we put shadow boxes on the registry so we can frame the jerseys, stuff like that, and for the bathroom new towel racks, glass jars, shower curtain, etc.

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  • Jasmine S.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine S. ·
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    That's great! Unfortunately we rent an apartment (and will for the next few years) so we would not be allowed to do remodeling, installing shelves, etc.
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  • Candace
    Super March 2022
    Candace ·
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    I had a small registry but I purposely chose items with different price points. A few items costed $100-200 some were $50-100, and others $20-50. I was surprised that the higher priced items were purchased first! People are eager to give the best gifts. If you're truly maxed out on what you want on your registry, then leave it alone. Granted, I don't know your family but gifts should be about what the reciever wants, not about the giver.
    After my bridal shower, I closed the registry. Guests then had the option to contribute to the honeymoon fund or give whatever they wanted and we ended up having over half of the honeymoon covered. Eventhough your mom's friends don't like to give money, I bet that there are other guests who don't feel that way.
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  • A
    Expert September 2022
    Allie ·
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    Hmm this is a tough one! I guess if all other options are exhausted (upgrading sheets / towels / etc), you could try to put restaurant gift cards on there and label it "date night" or something like that? Or you could take a look at your favorite charity's wish list and register for those items (with the plan to donate them once you receive them)? If that fails, I guess you *could* register for items that likely have a high resale value...because if the issue is truly that many guests simply won't give cash, and you guys truly don't need or want any physical gifts, perhaps you could re-sell certain items after the wedding (and put that money in the honeymoon fund). A little bit out there, but it could work!

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  • Jmz
    Expert July 2022
    Jmz ·
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    Gosh, that's a tough one. And it's not really nice to clutter up an apartment with "things" when you really do not need them. Maybe you could add a note that you have a small apartment (even if that's slightly exaggerated)?
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  • Samantha
    Expert October 2021
    Samantha ·
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    You could put items you already own or the upgraded version on your list, then sell or donate the older model, (coffee maker, linens, tv, etc.) There are also 'Experience' packages or monthly subscriptions you might be interested in.
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  • Grace
    Super February 2022
    Grace ·
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    They may complain behind your back but do you really care what they are saying? We also had a registry with many smaller items rather than many big-ticket items. Some of the things we registered for were upgrades for appliances we had that could be better (air frier to replace the old toaster oven, for example). We did not explicitly ask for cash gifts but, because of our limited registry options, we ended up getting a lot of them.


    You can tell those who complain that you are fortunate that you do not want for a lot and have limited space in your apartment for extra things.
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  • Ashlee
    Rockstar September 2022
    Ashlee ·
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    If there isn't anything you'd "upgrade" I agree with PP, put gift cards for restaurants, or movie theaters or wineries or something for date nights, massage places for a couples massage, etc. Experiences versus things.

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  • Jasmine S.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine S. ·
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    I expect that since they take issue with the honeymoon fund, they will take issue with experience type gifts also. 😔


    I don't even care if they buy off the registry at this point, I just want them to stop asking when we will add more stuff. To me it feels super rude to comment on a couple's registry, especially to our faces or our parents'.
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  • Paige
    Rockstar October 2022
    Paige ·
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    We're also in an apartment (and probably will be for at least a year after the wedding). A lot of our things were from our college/ first apartment phases of life, but are still totally functional. We'll probably donate anything that's still in good shape that we get an upgrade for. We have a handful of items on the registry that we probably won't use until we get a bigger place, so they'll be packaged away until then. If upgrades or future items aren't your thing, you could register for things off of Etsy like personalized towels, monogramed robes, etc. If they keep complaining you could stick a sports car on your registry and say it's a group gift lol

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  • JA
    Expert March 2022
    JA ·
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    Ugh people are so stupid. I agree with what others have said, if you don't do something then you'll end up with a bunch of nice but completely unneeded items.

    Not the best option, BUT we used zola and there is a way to make cash funds that have whatever picture/title you want. So if you wanted, in theory you could get a picture of nice gifts from the internet (china, glassware, etc) and set the cashfund for the price of that item. When people buy it they'll think they are getting you the item, but really you'll just get to cash out after the wedding. Kinda shady, but throwing it out there for if you feel desperate.

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  • Jasmine S.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine S. ·
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    Oh man, that would be great, but unfortunately we're using The Knot.
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  • R
    Rosebud ·
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    As others as mentioned some people will just go and get you any random thing and often it becomes random personalized things if there s nothing left on the registry. Is there anything you could use upgrades of like silverware, nice glassware, a really nice cookware set, luggage, a vacuum, towels,etc. In my circle most people give an engagement gift or shower gift off the registry and a monetary gift at the wedding. If you do an amazon registry in addition to your knot I believe you can register for amazon gift cards. People mean well though I hope it doesn't get too stressful for you. Good luck!!!

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Our families and social circles do not gift cash gifts period. In that case if you don’t have a registry, you get random stuff you don’t want and can’t return. Because we are used to the “no cash gifts” then we feel awkward accepting money from guests outside of that custom.


    I read awhile back an IG post by a wedding vendor that made alot sense: “don’t think of a registry as an inconvenience. Treat it as a wish list of things you need and want that you wouldn’t spend your own money on.”
    Taking that into consideration, is there anything you have eyed at the store or online that catches your attention? Nearly everyone can use upgrades to higher quality matching items. Do you entertain guests, do you have shared hobbies, etc? Don’t feel obligated to limit the registry to towels and dishes only. Some couples register for pet items, a fireproof safe, electronics, furniture, artwork, and the list goes on.
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  • Bird
    Super June 2021
    Bird ·
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    Can you return the items you receive? Most registries have a good return policy and the person who bought the items is never notified that you returned it!
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  • Xy
    Beginner April 2022
    Xy ·
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    We decided early on not to have a registry at all & it’s been great not to have the hassle. We haven’t set up a honeyfund either (though we both love the idea, we wanted to avoid the complaints of those who “don’t give cash” 🙄). We’ve only had a couple of ppl inquire & they’ve been fine not having to buy gifts. With regards to your MIL, it sounds like this is a great opportunity to set some boundaries. Tell her to take it up with your FH because you have enough on your plate right now & then be done with it. If gifts aren’t a priority for you, then you shouldn’t waste your time on the subject. If you get gifts you don’t want or need, sell them (without regret because you certainly didn’t ask for them). The last 60 days things really start to ramp up & there are A LOT of other things you should probably be dealing with this close to your wedding.
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  • W
    Dedicated June 2022
    Whitney ·
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    "I understand where you're coming from, but it's just not what we need right now."

    Or you can say what I said to my parents when they had similar complaints. "I'm 34 years old. Do you think I don't have towels?"

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