Thursday, August 16, 2007

Registries - To Buy or Not To Buy?

Here's a question for all of you, when you are invited to a baby/bridal shower or wedding, do you generally stick to the registry or go out on your own?

I remember being younger and not liking the idea of registries at all. In my younger, more naive and idealistic days, it just seemed like the person was telling you what to buy them. So as much as I could, I'd try to get something NOT on the registry. I figured they would appreciate it MORE if it wasn't on the registry.

But then I got married. And then I had babies. And then I realized that registry gifts are JUST as appreciated (if not more, in some cases) than non-registry gift.

I ask this question because the C___ girls have a bridal shower this weekend and the wedding of said bride is in September to which we're also invited. My sister lamented in an email that she was going to go along with my mom and I for the shower since she couldn't think of anything "deep and meaningful" for a shower gift but that she was going to try and think of something different for the wedding gift. (Of course my sister, being the creative person that she is, usually can come up with a deep and meaningful gift that the rest of us would never think of.)

I know that I often will stick to a registry for a bridal shower but for a wedding, we'll usually give money. And while I'll buy most of my baby shower gifts from a registry, I'll usually get something else - something that I KNOW the mom-to-be needs and wasn't on her registry.

I guess after having been through my own life as a newlywed without many household items and through new-babydom, I know that those registry gifts can be the most helpful things since it's rare that the new couple or the new parents can afford all those items on their own. I remember being so thrilled to receive all of our everyday dishes and cookware as a bride and loving receiving a baby swing, baby monitor and pack and play as a mom-to-be.

That doesn't mean I didn't appreciate any unsolicited, non-registry items though. Certainly not the case - a very nice surprise and we got such nice and thoughtful items in all 3 cases. But I guess I'm just glad that a lot of people do like registries and were so generous too!


Anonymous said...

I'm like you I buy the main gift off the registry but then I add on with something I know that they "need" to have to go with it. Kinda the best of both worlds! Like for example a friend of ours had a fondue pot on the wedding registry, well I got that along with special fondue plates, sticks, a fondue recipe book, and special chocolate for melting.

Have fun at the shower!

~ V

Anonymous said...

I think it is good to get the main gift off the registry but little added thoughtful things are a great addition

Krissy said...

Really depends on the person. Like you, after going through my own wedding and baby....I REALLY appreaciated gifts that were off the registry because chances were if I didn't get something off of it, I would still have to buy it. But getting something that was not on the registry, I think there was only like a 25% chance I would ever use it. The gifts that I got from CLOSE family or friends, they never seemed to go wrong, but its the extended family that got the strangest things.... So it depends...usually I just stick with the registry.

Katie said...

Before I got married & had kids I didn't even know what registries were or how to access them. I would just go to a store or pick something out or come up with something creative.

One time, for my friends wedding gift, I got a home-decor item for each holiday in the year. It took awhile to collect them all. I thought it was so cool, but now, if someone gave me that, I would be mad they gave me a big box of clutter.
So, now I always stick to a registry-- unless the only thing left on a registry is something really, really lame-- like a can-opener.

Baby registries give you a bit more freedom. I would be more likely to stray from a baby registry...especially b/c not many people register for clothing items.

Erika said...

Clothes are definitely something to buy for a new mom, but NOT in newborn sizes. One thing I do now for new moms is buy the baby an outfit in 12 months size in the same season so they can wear it a year from now. You get so many newborn clothes the baby barely wears them. But at 1 year, you usually need clothes!

K, that's quite a wedding gift you gave!

Amy Anderson said...

I usually go for what's on the registry, but not always. Sometimes nothing on there appeals to me, or is in my budget. Then I try to get something I'd like. I'm not sure I always succeed in making them happy, but I feel good about my gifts.