Monday, March 16, 2009

Bride guilt and stuff

About registering...I'm not sure how grooms-to-be tend to approach this. The scant few of my married male friends who I've heard even mention it just said they loved the registry gun, but that's about all they had to say on the subject.

My fiance and I are in our mid-30s. We've have lots of stuff. In fact when we moved in together last year, we both got rid of lots of stuff. Nevertheless our Chicago condo, originally purchased to house just me and my stuff, is rapidly reaching maximum capacity. So there's a space issue.

On the other hand, it would be nice to have some new stuff. Or supplemental stuff. Or the kind of stuff I will see in a store (eg a KitchenAid Stand Mixer) , but am too practical to buy for myself.

The fiance is bothered by the very idea of registering and the suggestion that You Must Buy Us These Gifts on This List. I agree to a certain extent, and we even talked about going down the "Your presence is our present" route (but were talked out of it by people who told us that despite that our wishes, we were going to get gifts anyway-- and not ones we would ever even think of putting on a registry).

It's petty, I know, but for more than 14 years now I've been to, hosted and bought presents for more showers (baby and bridal), engagement parties and weddings than I can remember, and so a stubborn part of me thinks it's my turn now.

And that's when my bride guilt kicks in. I am grateful every day that I'm gainfully employed in these tough economic times, and that I have so many blessings to count-- including my health, family and friends. And I would not be the least offended if someone attending our wedding didn't get us a gift, especially the out-of-towners, because they are spending money to travel. Blech. Who knew the gifty part of things could be this hard?


  1. I think most (especially those of us co-habitating pre-wedding) go through this to some degree so you are not alone! I would say that I wouldn't recommend putting anything hinting 'no gifts' on the invite- just spread this message word of mouth from your immediate family. And a registry is truly helpful for those who want to give you something that you really want.

    Just register for those things you won't buy everyday (kitchenaid mixer is perfect example) or for "nice versions" of china or whatever... a few special things that will make you think "oh this was for our wedding from so and so" are kind of nice!

  2. Register for things you would never purchase on your aid mixer. My husband and I were in the same boat as you and your fiance. I requested that in lieu of gifts for my bridal shower that guests make donations to causes I held close to my heart, The Susan G Koman - breast cancer awareness and a local food bank in my town were my two choices. Guests were thrilled at the opportunity to make a donation in my name...and what a touching way to share your joy and happiness with others in need.

    Another thought is to register for your honeymoon, let guests buy dinner one night, or a couples massage etc....there is no reason you can't get creative with gifts!

  3. Re: Bride Guilt. I actually told people that I didn't want showers, but my friends insisted. And it was my single friends that convinced me to relax and enjoy it.

    These are the things that I DON'T miss about wedding planning. Managing everyone else's feelings was the hardest, most stressful part of wedding planning to me.

    p.s. That's SO NICE of you to ask for charitable donations. Classy lady!

  4. We had a hard time with it. Most of the people who will be attending out wedding will be traveling from out of town. After having a few people ask about our registries and having them tell us they would never dream of showing up to a wedding without a gift, we gave in. It was hard for us to pick out more stuff when we already have two peoples stuff crammed into a space for one persons (not to mention we have two dogs). We just decided what things it would be nice to upgrade and went from there.