July 08, 2014Given my forthcoming nuptials, I'm learning a lot about human nature. For instance, who knew it's harder to joke about breaking up once you've put a ring on it? I am a smarter man now, to be sure.
One thing that surprised me (and my bride-to-be) was how touchy people can be when it comes to the registry.
I need to explain some things first. My extended family – all my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and so on - live in England. For them all to come to a wedding in Georgia is asking a lot. It's simply too expensive.
So instead, we are planning on spending the honeymoon touring England in part to see that wonderful country again, but also to give the rest of my family a chance to celebrate with us.
Our thinking was, because such a honeymoon will be expensive, why don't we forgo the traditional registry of things we don't really need in favor of asking for money? It would go toward the trip and anything left over we can use on whatever we need.
So we signed up for an online site, similar to PayPal, that allows user to donate to a couple. It's called a "Honeyfund."
Almost as soon as we started telling people about this, we began getting yelled at.
Some people were offended we would ask for money. They would rather give a $50 item than give cash. Some people said they would simply ignore our request and get something we would use.
This boggled me. I thought our request was simple – to see my family, we need money. We don't need much in the way of household supplies, so it seemed a simple request.
One relative explained that if they were to give something, they want it to be meaningful. Cash can be spent on many things, true, but it can also be whittled away on bills. A gift will last and, ideally, we will think of the giver every time we use it.
I get this concept. It makes sense.
Our friends and cousins who are of our generation generally see the practicality in our request, which I think is a defining characteristic of the age. Traditions hold less sway these days than in the past.
They are not all on board with the idea, but many are.
More troublesome are the older crowd, the aunts and uncles who want to help kit out our new home-sweet-home.
In the end we bowed to the pressure and made a registry (Crate and Barrel). But I'm still interested in what people think about gift-less weddings. If you have a thought on it, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the Honeyfund, we made a wedding website – www.jonkelliewedding.com. Take a look.
Editor, Milton Herald