I love tradition and etiquette. I also like giving gifts that really mean something.
I have to start this off by admitting, I’ve not been to but a handful of weddings. My family is very small, and my friends are really just now starting to settle down.
But I will re-qualify myself by saying I grew up in the heart of the South, with an 18-year curriculum of etiquette lessons from my mother and manners classes alike. Thank you notes were non-negotiable, and adults were (and still are) always addressed with respect. And it always gratifies me to see my generation and even the next taking a keen interest in manners, because I do believe that at the heart of most etiquette traditions is the core principle of respecting our fellow humans—making others feel comfortable, supported, and/or appreciated.
So with the advent of technology, and new customs, and changing lifestyles, it’s only natural we evaluate some protocol. If etiquette is all about the conveying a message with our actions, (showing your gratitude with a note, showing your respect by offering your seat), shouldn’t we constantly evaluate if our actions are signaling our intent? Like our love for a significant other, or our excitement for a new couple?
So after seeing a biting piece circulating around the web recently, I got to thinking, is it really THAT tacky to ask for contributions to your honeymoon instead of a traditional registry?
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If it’s the thought that counts, what’s wrong with this? I’m going to take a likely unpopular stance, and say I think it’s actually a completely reasonable option. Sure, as expert Myka Meier suggests, it’s probably ideal to create a honeymoon registry and not a fund. But, there are so many reasons this is a good alternative to going online, quickly scrolling through a list of plates and towels, picking whatever dollar amount looks good and clicking order.
For those just starting out, a typical registry is great. Lord knows I have some plastic plates and to-go cups floating around my cabinets that could use a slightly more polished replacement. But by the time many people get married these days, they’ve collected items they love. Their home is already a curated mix of items they choose and sentimental family hand-me-downs and heirlooms.
Next, let’s break down the idea that when you give someone a wedding gift, they think of you every time they use it. They don't! That’s simply unrealistic. Sure I think of my uncles when I use the silver they gave me, or a dear friend when I use a teapot she gave me.
Yet, on the flipside, I attended a wedding of a very close friend last October, and I’m not afraid to admit it: I already forgot what I got them. I hopped on their registry, said “oh that’s cute and the right price,” added to my cart, and pressed “check out.” It shipped directly to their house, and I presume, made it eventually to their kitchen cabinets.
I think traditional registries, while in line with ‘protocol,’ are actually fairly impersonal and are really just a thinly veiled version of crowdfunding.
Finally, I’ll make the emotional case for a honeymoon fund or registry. Eventually dishes break, and towels wear, and air fryers lose their novelty. But a honeymoon is a brief break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to celebrate one of the biggest events of their lives, and they’ll leave with memories sure to last forever. So why not sponsor a memorable trip for the couple instead?
That way, at least you’re sending something, afterall.