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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette: Registering to NOT Receive Something

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The registry, I always say, is an answer to the question, "What can I get you to celebrate your wedding? Do you have any guidance for me?"

Sometimes, the guidance you'd most like to give comes in the form of a negative ("We don't need pots and pans"; "Crystal isn't really my thing"; "We have no room for picture frames and vases"). How do you say what you don't want? Normally, you can't. You simply neglect to register for pots and pans and list Danish Modern stuff instead of crystal, and hope that people get the hint.

Here's another tactic I ran across: Register for these "don'ts" anyway -- but mark them as "fulfilled." Isn't that genius?

Of course, it's not foolproof, but it's worth a shot!

What are you hoping nobody buys you?

Comments (6)

  • I would worry about people seeing these items fulfilled on my list, and keeping it in mind for the future that I love and have a house full of crystal (for example) and might purchase unique, non-returnable items that fit my "beloved" theme... i.e. a crystal item from an antique store.

  • I'm an avid baker and most of my guests know that. I am fortunate to already have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I knew this would be something that if someone didn't see it, they would assume that I just forgot to register for it and would get it for me anyway... thinking they picked out the perfect gift. So we registered for one (as well as knives, a coffee maker and pots and pans we already owned) and got a customer service rep to mark fulfilled on our registry. It really worked out well and nudged people towards items we really wanted and needed.

    As a side note...we didn't register at Amazon, but they have a cool feature where you can state your need level for various items. This is a great way to register for WHATEVER you want and then give guests fulfillment guidance.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Danielle Pasternak, Bellagala and MarthaStewartWedding, One Stylish Bride . One Stylish Bride said: Be inspired Etiquette: Registering to NOT Receive Something: The registry, I always say, is... http://bit.ly/egANBQ #onestylishbride.com [...]

  • This is a problem that my fiance and I are definitely running into... not only do we have one of most things, but in some cases we have two (because we each lived on our own before living together). Additionally, the few (reasonably sized and priced) items that I legitimately want or need make building a registry seem almost ridiculous.

    A 'fake out' registry might solve some of these issues!

  • Author Comment:

    @Sacha--that's an interesting way to use this! I've heard of wedding guests who were insulted bcs the registry was so small, and they think it's a veiled hint for cash. (insert eye-roll here) But if you register for (and then "fulfill") some of the basics, your registry won't look as noticeably empty. I've also heard guests complain about the selection available to them (insert another eye-roll), saying, "I like to buy pots and pans, and they didn't even register for them." It'll sort of drive home the point that you have this stuff.

    It's also a way to let people know some of your colors or your style, in case they go looking for that info in order to spring off of it. I know that I often do that--check to see, "is she Danish modern, or floral European?" So if you have enough everyday dishes, you could register for the pattern you already have, and check it off. Then people could buy napkins or a serving platter to coordinate.

    (and so Sasha's point is valid--don't register for a ton of crystal if you hate crystal; just register/fulfill with *other* types of picture frames and vases, and people will hopefully think you have enough of them, and theirs wouldn't be unique)

  • I remember when my niece had a wedding and she decided not to give any hints a rely solely on the good judgement of her and her husband's family and friends which surprisingly failed. Now she has to live with just a half of her garden shed available, because of all the unnecessary stuff in it. Now her brother's going to have wedding and I've already sent him this link. Thanks.

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