Ah, the wedding gift registry, that great divider of engaged couples everywhere. Sure, the gift registry is becoming pretty common – in fact, it’s rare to open a wedding invitation these days without a gift registry card falling out as well – but that doesn’t mean it’s any more acceptable to some people. Far from it, in fact: if the many wedding forums I’ve been reading lately are anything to go by, people are still divided about the idea of a registry. Some think it’s a great, practical idea, while others throw around words like "grasping", "selfish" and "vulgar" to describe those who’ve whizzed around John Lewis, electronic "zapper" in hand.
I’m going to stick my head above the parapet here and admit that I fall firmly into the former camp, and no, it’s nothing to do with the fact that I’ve often had dreams in which I’m let loose inside a department store and allowed to pick whatever I like. For me, it’s purely a practical thing.
As a guest, I love gift registries. This is largely because I’m lazy, but it’s also because I’m terrible at buying gifts for people. I’m not a big fan of the "token gift", and would obvioulsy much prefer to buy people something they’ll actually use (as opposed to something that’ll go straight onto eBay, or into the attic), but that can be difficult, especially when the couple are friends or relatives of my fiance and I don’t know them too well.
In these situations, the gift list comes as an absolute blessing. The newly married couple get a present they appreciate, I don’t waste my time and money trawling around shops purely to buy something that will be re-sold on eBay the week after the wedding for a fraction of its price. Everyone’s a winner, baby!
Just as I don’t want to waste my money on unappreciated wedding gifts, though, I don’t want other people to do so for me, either. Terry and I have been living together for three years now. We have all the towels and toasters we could possibly need, and I don’t like to think of people spending their hard-earned cash on something we already have. And this is why we’ve decided to have a gift registry. Of course, we’d be happy for people to not buy us anything, and will be putting words to that effect on our invitations, but for those who really want to buy us something anyway, I think it makes sense to have a list.
What do you think?