Gift Grubbing: Don’t Do It

February 3, 2011 | By | Comments (0)

Today's etiquette question come from a reader named auntiekk01, who writes: My husband and I never had a wedding—just a civil ceremony and brunch with our families. We are now hosting a cocktail party to celebrate our one-year anniversary with all of our friends and families. Is it wrong…


…to sign up for the registry we never had and expect gifts?

Wedding dolls First things first, auntiekk01: Congratulations on your anniversary—and on wanting to mark the occasion with a celebration. I’m glad the first year of marriage went so well you feel like throwing a party over it. And I’m sure your friends and family, particularly those who didn’t attend your intimate wedding brunch, will welcome the opportunity to share your joy.

But….a gift registry sign-up? Please. Do. Not. Do. This. It will look tacky, and as if the only reason you are throwing the party is for the loot.  In our culture, it’s considered appropriate to ask for gifts at certain life-changing junctures—upon getting married and setting up a new household, or when expecting a baby, for instance. The idea is that family and friends will chip in to help you acquire all the equipment (such as matched place settings or stacks of tiny t-shirts with snaps) as a vote of support, as you assume your new role in the community.

Although you wrote that you “never had a wedding," you in fact did. Or else you would not be married. You set up your married household a year ago. You own pots and pans, and it would look rude to ask for more.

But take heart. Many of your party guests will bring gifts anyway. People do that, spontaneously, out of generosity and affection. And when that happens, it will be perfectly appropriate for you to accept the merchandise. Don't forget to send a prompt thank you note.


Readers: Do you agree? Or can you think of circumstances in which it would be appropriate to register for gifts on your one-year wedding anniversary?


(image courtesy of Real Simple)