If I’ve learned anything about gifting and registries for any occasion, it’s that it’s flat out E-M-O-T-I-O-N-A-L. The excitement, the expectations, the judgment, the anxiety, the fear, the anticipation, the joy, the disappointment. It’s all there. On both ends.
It’s often hard to imagine how it feels, especially for the gift-recipient, unless you’ve already been there before. I know that until I was engaged, I totally did not ‘get’ the whole registry thing. In fact, I feel like such a do-do brain (to put it in the most sophisticated terms) about some of the gifts that I gave to friends who got married when we were younger and I hadn’t a clue. That’s not to say that most often intentions aren’t good, because they are, but they are rarely pure.
Not pure? Really? But it’s a gift. Shouldn’t it be easy and love-filled and exactly what the gift-recipient wants? YES. But that’s just not reality.
For a big chunk of the population, one of the most common emotional ties to giving a gift is that it is a reflection of themselves. They want to get you something you’ll love (often translated: something they’ll love), that shows thought and that they’ll be remembered for. This is the biggest sticking point of all and can create some tricky situations, especially if what you want is money. Americans in general have a hard time with this concept, the same hard time we have with sex: Puritanical on the outside, deep desire on the inside. Major agita trying to manage both sides of the equation, especially if you don’t come from a cash gifting culture. The concept of ‘asking for money’ is what seems to be the ugly problem. So what to do?
Think like a Gift-Giver and give ’em a hand! What would make you feel good giving a gift? How would you respond if someone just asked you to drop cash in a bank account? You might be in the minority who’d be cool with it, but I’d venture to say that you’d do better if you could show them what you’re saving for and let them choose for themselves what to contribute to. No one wants to waste their money and they do want you to be happy, but you need to understand all of the aspects that motivate someone to give, and a biggie is being responsible for something special that you’ll remember them for.
At Deposit a Gift we find that the registries that act as more than just a bank account are the ones that elicit the most engaged and participatory response; here are some examples. It’s easy for your anxiety to get the best of you and just beg for money, but realize that this approach may not be in anyone’s best interest. So take a breath, have some fun and get creative sharing your hopes and dreams with your guests.
At the end of the day, a registry, of any kind, is just a suggestion, not a demand. But make it a fun, appealing suggestion, with lots of options, and you just may find yourself enjoying the experience of your dreams before you know it. Cheers!