Gift Registries - Completely out of control
I just got an invitation for a wedding for a young couple, the groom is the son of a very close friend. This couple has NO money, they are doing a small shoestring wedding mostly with the help of money from groom's parents, (bride's parents gave little or no money, not sure what they can afford). Both B & G have low paying hourly type jobs (neither have more than one year of college and do not plan to go back to school).
Included in the invitation was a small sealed envelope which held an elegantly printed card (the same as the invitation) listing the places they were registered, and a little notation about how blessed they were to have us join them in this celebration.
So... setting aside my thoughts about the registry info being specially include in the invitation, I went online to see their registry. At BB&B, they registerd for no less than 150 different items including:
-- China with place settings priced at $114 each (and a sugar bowl which costs $120, creamer $90) (They did NOT register for every day type dishes, I don't know if they own some already)
-- moisturizing socks
-- relaxation CDs
-- $$$ All Clad cookware
-- a mortar and pestle (!?)
-- a $40 shower curtain & $15 liner
-- a $60 pillow
-- Magic Bullet (as seen on TV) $60
the list goes on.
Now they can register for whatever they want to register for. None of my business! But this young couple clearly has little or nothing to start out this marriage with. Why oh why are they registering for such useless and expensive items? Why not register for things they really NEED and can use? I do plan to send them a nice gift, MOG is a very close friend. But I just can't bring myself to buy anything on that list. Most of it is too extravagant for their needs or just too silly. I cannot imagine that they will get enough of their china to make a set, and I wonder how much of the stuff they get will end up getting returned.
Now, I want to clarify. I'm NOT criticizing the couple. They are young and I'm sure they just don't really have a good understanding of what they need and what is appropriate. The trouble is, they have clearly had NO guidance on this. I'm sure they walked around the store and were intoxicated with the thought of owning all this cool stuff and didn't really think about whether they needed it or whether the guests would be jumping up to spend that kind of money on some of these things.
Someone -- maybe the bride's mother, should have talked to her about what kind of things to register for, what kind of things a young couple needs to set up household, and what kind of things they don't need, and how to set limits on the price & kinds of items so that the gifts they receive are actually useful instead of frivolous. If the only gifts they receive are the ones on this list, they will either have to return a lot of it in order to get things they really need, or they will have to spend a lot of their own money (of which there is precious little) in order to fill in the gaps.
Back when I got married the first time, the only thing you registered for was china, crystal and silver (or stainless). I got a lot of lovely gifts of things I really needed but didn't know I needed from friends of my & his parents.
Letting young couples loose in a store to register for every gadget and geegaw they lay eyes on can only serve one purpose: it makes money for the store. It's a great DISservice to the couples who must end up with a ton of junk they'll never use. It's a sad thing that these registries have evolved into.
That's my rant for the day. I'm going to send them a check and hope they'll use it to buy things they really need.