It is much more common now for couples who are getting married to have lived together before the wedding. In other parts of the world living together before marriage hasn't had the social stigma that is had in the United States. Up until the 1970's, American couples living together were considered to be "living in sin". Times sure have changed and the number of unmarried U.S. couples who live together before marriage has jumped from approximately 500,000 in 1970 to several million today (source:Wartik). It is estimated that up to 70% of couples will cohabitate before marriage.
This means that most of the couples who are getting married now will not have much to register for in preparation for their wedding. Gift registries are designed for couples to start their lives together and get all the things for their home that they need. Most couples will find this difficult if they have lived together for some time already. So here are a few tips to help with what to do:
*Upgrade!- So you have lived together for quite some time and have everything you already need. Well now might be the time to upgrade! How are your pans? Time to get new ones? Register for the ones you may not be able to afford on your own! If someone gifts them to you, great! If not, you already have pans and everything else you need. No harm, no foul.
*Honey Moon Money!!!- Sites like HoneyFund.com and HoneymoonWishes.com have popped up in the last few years for just this reason- couples do not feel right registering for gifts for their homes so asking guests for contributions for the honeymoon is a no-brainer to some!
*Spread the word- no gifts!- If you really feel strongly about not wanting gifts think about skipping the whole registry all together. You really can not ask people not to give you gifts on the invitation, it is just not proper etiquette but you can ask your family, friends and wedding party to do so on your behalf. Tell you parents to spread the word. Ask your bridesmaids to skip the shower in lieu of a nice engagement party instead. Have them explain to guests that their presence at the party is present enough to you and your fiancé.
*Cash? Is that an option?- Well, you should never ask ask for specific gifts, monetary or otherwise. What you can do is let them know (if they ask) that you would prefer cash gifts. Let your parents, siblings, wedding party, and close friends know too-- and if your guests ask them, have them relay your preference. But do NOT announce it in a formal way to your guest and whatever you do do not mention it on the invitation! If guests are curious, they'll ask someone close to you what types for gifts you would like to receive. Still, some guests will want to buy you material gifts- so it is a good idea to register somewhere for a few items. And of course, be sure to accept and acknowledge every gift gracefully. That means send out thank-you notes!! As for monetary gifts, let the giver know how you intend to spend their gift in a thank-you card!
OK so I I finished this blog and saved it as a draft about a month ago, then this morning I came across this crazy cool website. So there is another option added to this write-up! Check it out and let me know what you think!
*ZOLA!!!- And now the cream of the crop… www.ZOLA.com where you can register for really anything you want! One stop registering for all of you gift needs! Want to register at HomeGoods? Done! Want to register for Honeymoon Funds? Done!! Want to register for cash gifts? Done! All at the same site! Give your guests one link to follow and all your gift needs are taken care of. Thank. You. ZOLA!!
Hope all of this helps and makes this part of the process just a little bit easier :-)
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