Do You Really Have To Register For Wedding Gifts?

WeddingRegistry_slideIllustrated by Sydney Hass.
Alimay Events an NYC-based event production company founded by two former glossy vets, Ali Schajer and and Maya Katz — specializes in organizing pure chaos. So, who better to call upon with our most challenging wedding etiquette queries? This week, the ladies help us decide whether or not you really need a wedding website.
Dear Alimay,
I am in my mid-30s and I'm getting married this summer. Must my husband-to-be and I register? My mom says yes because it points her friends in the right direction. I say no because we already live together and have just about everything we need.
—Gratefully Picky
Dearest Picky,
In general, yes — a registry is a must. But, it's important to receive gifts that you will actually use. Is there a worse feeling than writing a disingenuous thank you note for an apple peeler or hideous piece of blown glass art? Probably, yes, but that's still awkward!
When choosing a registry, consider accessibility, as well as price variation. Opt for a store that will allow you to return or repurchase items easily. ABC Carpet & Home is one of our favorites, but not so easy for the cousins in Georgia to access in its entirety. Balance your Barneys with a little Bed Bath & Beyond. Your friends who are knee-deep in college loans will thank you.
Now, let’s get to your sticky situation, Ms. Picky. You and your fiancé may already share a blender, but now is your chance to spring for a Vitamix! Think to the future, but don’t limit yourself within the confines of tradition. If the thought of cramming a five-piece china set into your one bedroom city apartment gives you hives, perhaps consider upgrading your everyday plates. Still not convinced that you don't need more stuff taking up room in your life? Then okay, fine, let’s talk honeymoon and charity registries.
A honeymoon registry may ruffle some feathers — especially because it pressures guests to go the money route — so it's typically best offered alongside of a gift registry. Plus, some traditionalists truly want to look and talk about the item that they’ve contributed to your holy matrimony. There are ways, however, to make a honeymoon contribution feel more tangible. Websites like Honeyfund allow people to contribute to honeymoon “events,” such as poolside lunches or surf lessons. For couples that have paid for their own wedding and feel financially tapped out, this could be a good route.
For financially fortunate brides and grooms, asking for honeymoon contributions may feel a bit uncomfortable. We suggest a charitable contribution in lieu of a traditional registry in this kind of situation. If possible, find a cause that feels relevant, but not too political or controversial. Truly research your charity of choice and be able to speak to what it is that they do. Another nice bonus — some printers will letterpress donation cards free of charge.
Long answer short — take a look at your financial situation, geographic location, and home goods inventory. Then, make the choice that is right for you and yours.
Yours Always,
Ali & Maya
We’d love to hear your questions! Drop us a line at

More from Living