To Register Or Not To Register, That Is The Question

Ellen McCarthy of the Washington Post takes on a very first-world problem this weekend in describing the difficulties some couples are having with avoiding traditional wedding registries. And though I hate to admit it, I can relate:

My boyfriend and I are getting married next year, after being together for over a decade and living together for nearly half that long. We'll both be in our early 30s when we actually do the whole wedding thing (there will be cake. Oh, yes) and because we feel we have everything we need, even if it's not the fanciest stuff, we've decided not to register. It's not that I don't see the usefulness of a registry, or think I am "above it" in some way, it's just that my boyfriend and I are being realistic about what we would and wouldn't use and what we do and don't need. I don't hold it against anyone who wants to register for 12 place settings and one of those awesome Kitchen-Aid stand mixer (both of my sisters registered for and use these things all the time); I just know that that stuff would sit in my cabinets, unused, as I ate Thai straight from the carton.

But as McCarthy notes in her piece for the Times, it's harder to avoid the process of registering than it seems. Laura LoGerfo tells McCarthy that she and her partner decided not to register, but were pressured into doing so by friends and family members who felt that guests were going to buy presents anyway, and the couple would probably end up with duplicates, as a result of not registering: "everyone kept telling us, 'You're going to get 40 green tea pots,'" she says.

I've had several similar responses when noting that I wasn't planning to register: though my boyfriend and I thought we were doing everyone a favor, I've been informed that not registering is "tacky," "kind of rude" and that it will make another tradition—the wedding shower—a little weird, as the whole point of the shower is to open gifts from the registry and such. I actually started to panic a little bit— I wasn't trying to ruin tradition or look like I stepped off the Tacky Train from TackyTown—I just wanted people to come to the wedding and have a good time and not feel obligated to buy me a set of flatware that I really didn't need.

At this point, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. My original plan was to jokingly register for things like "Juggling Unicorn" and "Life-size cutout of Val Kilmer in The Doors" and then tack on an "Or you can donate to the charity of your choice" kind of thing, but even that feels weird to me, as I don't want anyone thinking they need to spend any money to come hang out with us and eat cake and dance to "Raspberry Beret."

So what say you, commenters? Did you register or no? And if not, how did you get around it without offending or annoying family members and wedding guests?

Many Are Finding It Hard To Say 'I Don't' To Wedding Gift Registries [WashingtonPost]

[Image via SomeECards.]