Thursday, August 14, 2008

My love/hate relationship with wedding registries

I really love wedding registries but right now I find them stress-inducing.

Saturday I have a shower for my cousin's fiancee and I'm freaking out about getting them a gift. I don't have a car in Chicago so getting to Target isn't the most convenient trip around town and I totally spaced (until Tuesday) that her her shower is Saturday and I don't have a gift yet, and likely won't be able to get one until Friday when I'm back in Wisconsin.

Basically, I hate feeling rushed to get a gift and then still have to wrap it. I'm not a big "frills" person when it comes to wrapping, although I always appreciate the effort when it comes from friends. My friend Liz is the best gift wrapper I know. At Christmas, I want to make a gift wrapping sweat shop and lock her in the basement to wrap all of my gifts for me, while only giving her a thimble of water and 25 cents for her work. And if I know Liz, I think she'll be okay with that.

So tonight I checked out their registry at Target and it's pretty picked over. Sh*t. In the interest of time, is it tacky to just give them a Target gift card (nicely wrapped - in a card) so they can go get whatever they want? I hope so because that's the way I'm leaning right now.

Ironically, despite the recent stress, I do love wedding registries. Several women I work with are getting married this fall/spring and I love hearing about the details and what they're working on now. I told RebeccaC on Friday that several people I know who are or recently got married complain about registering for gifts, which I just don't understand. I think it's fun. I helped my parents when they got married and it was like Christmas, but not.

I'm thinking of starting a registry consulting side-job, where I meet with the couple, identify color patterns and items they would like to replace and register for and then I go off and do it for them (with a monetary fee of course). I think it's a great idea. And I like to think that I have very good taste :) Heck I'm furniture consulting for Ryan for free! What's up with that?

Thoughts? Is a gift card tacky??

20 comments:

Ashley D said...

Ehh... I don't think it's tacky. Especially if all the nice items from the registry have been bought already. I'm sure they would appreciate the gift card more than some other gift they didn't want.

Megan said...

I think you should just get them whatever is left over on their registry. Even if it is picked over, they put it on their list because they want it, and would be glad to receive it. I know my mom told me once that she was really sad that she didn't get some of the gifts on her registry because even though she knew no one would want to get her forks or things like that, those were the things she really needed. Maybe if you want to spend more or something and all that's left is cheaper items, get a few. If nothing is left on their registry, then a gift card would be the best option. They definitely don't need two of something either haha!

Rachel said...

It depends on the person, if you are close and want to wow them then I say give them a nice amount on the gift card. If you aren't close then give them the scraps off the list.

I know how the last of a wedding registry looks and no matter how you try it, you can't make a salad fork FEEL special.

Maxie said...

I'm torn-- I don't think it's really "tacky" but it's not that exciting. Since it's a shower part of the fun is opening all the presents, but if there's nothing good left...what can ya do! Are they registered anywhere else?

Stephanie said...

I don't think its really tacky. Besides, who doesn't like the actually act of going to Target? :)

Tipp said...

I think it is actually helpful to do that. It is so much more easily packed up and they can get it when they want it.

Mandy said...

I am a fan of the gift card. Especially if most of the things on their registry have already been bought. And really, while a gift card may not be all that exciting to open, actually going to Target spending money that didnt come directly from your wallet is very exciting.

Chicago Girl said...

gift card plus 1 small item with a nice note. its the thought that counts. good luck!!!

Wickedly Scarlett said...

For what it's worth, I ADORE gift cards--although the stuff that is on their registry is definitely stuff they would want and they might appreciate you getting them the stuff that no one else wants to get. Either way I think you'll come off just fine and certainly not tacky!

Ben said...

I think newlyweds would be VERY appreciative of cash and gift cards. But then again, I haven't done the whole wedding thing.

laurwilk said...

I'm late on this. Especially considering the shower is tomorrow (I think). A lot of people are hesitant to give gift cards b/c it puts a dollar amount on what you give. However, if it's on their registry, they already know exactly how much you spent. So do either. You know they already want the things on their registry, so you could pick one of those. Or, buy them a gift certificate and they will probably purchase something they registered for.

Except if it were me, I'd be begging for the gift card. How many pots, pans, sheets, blah, blah, blah can you get? I'd sneak in under fiance's nose and buy a swim suit or those super soft camis they have.

redstaplernation said...

Gift cards are GREAT! For every thing they've registered for, there are a ton of things they didn't ever think they'd need. Or they can use it toward a bigger purchase ($500 dyson vacuum?) that their poor friends couldn't buy them. As long as the card is for the store where they registered, you're cool.

Well, YOU are cool anyway. But the card. Yeah.

Liz said...

You're right, you do know me. I'm already looking forward to the holiday season so I can start wrapping gifts. A thimble of water and a quarter will do! I'll even wrap gift cards, just sayin'.

carrie lea said...

No! They are not tacky. Not as tacky as a gift registry, God I hate those. I prefer getting people gifts that are not on the registry, just to be unique. And if it is someone close to me, I usually do something unique to the couple, usually personalized with their name or something.

Ashley said...

As a married lady, the registry was the best thing EVER!!

Free stuff. That you get. Wonderful.

Gift cards are awesome, not tacky at all. Especially for poor married people like us. :)

thatShortChick said...

as someone who works at bed bath&beyond, i've seen a large number of bridal registry returns because the couple simply "didn't want the items that they registered for" any longer (not saying all couples are like this) so a gift card is PERFECT!

RebeccaC said...

Okay...gift card is fine since you're getting it from a place they are registered. Then they can either get something on their registry they haven't recieved or something else entirely. If you're worried about the presentation being tacky or lackluster, I suggest tying the card around something else that isn't terribly expensive but would be appreciated (like a bottle of nice but not too expensive sparkling wine). That way it looks like you put some thought into it.

Love your registry consultant idea since, yes, it can be a little overwhelming for people. But a couple words of caution -- if someone uses your service they will need to be able to put their FULL trust that you're going to get stuff that THEY want...not just stuff that you like.
Also, you may have a limited market. In my case, you'd have to pry that scanner thing from my cold, lifeless hand. Registering is FUN!

lifeintheleftlane said...

Coming from someone who is about to get hitched, I don't think a gift card is tacky. The other option is to just get them cash. This can help them pay for their honeymoon or a larger item they really want but didn't register for because it was expensive. Trust me, my fiance would much rather get cash so he can add it to the flatscreen TV fund. =)

Lauren said...

A gift card is totally fine! They're still getting a gift, right?

I like registries because you can now buy the gifts online and have them shipped to the recipient. No more bringing bulky gifts to a wedding!

Erin said...

A gift card is not tacky! It will allow them to go back to Target and pick up all the little things they didn't get as gifts.

I will say that my favorite wedding gifts were things that didn't come off my registry. I always try to do that for weddings that I go to, provided I know the couple well enough. We got some lovely art which was awesome. I also really loved the board games we got.

I do like registries, for the most part. However, I've also looked through registries of people who register for Kate Spade wine glasses (at $30 a glass) and $400 grills with nothing affordable on the list. I think that's rude. Especially when those people didn't get you anything when you got married.