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Fiance Does Not Want to Register

Ask a Savvy Bride: My Fiancé Doesn't Want Me to Register!

Starting a life as husband and wife is an exhilarating time — the celebrating, the planning, and of course the gifts! But what if you and your fiancé are on different pages? Check out the answer in this special wedding season Ask Savvy question, which will be answered by SavvySugar and a very savvy bride. Submit your questions in our Ask Savvy group.

Dear Savvy,

I am newly engaged and thrilled to start the planning process. My Maid of Honor has generously offered to throw us an engagement party to kick off the celebration and I'm beyond excited to register for gifts. Unfortunately, my fiancé quickly threw a wrench in the equation — he doesn't think we need to register! In his mind, we have everything that we need and thinks it's ridiculous to ask people to spend money on us. As someone who has "always been a bridesmaid, never the bride," I've been looking forward to having my time in the spotlight and picking out each and every wedding gift with care — there are still certain things we are missing in order to start our life together as husband and wife. How can I convince him that we're not being greedy by registering for wedding gifts?

I Want My Registry Regina

To see what a savvy bride has to say about this, keep reading after the jump.

Savvy bride says:

I get both sides of the argument, but this is a decision you're going to have to agree on, so hopefully I can help you find a middle ground. One thing you might want to explain to your fiancé is that registering for gifts actually helps those attending your wedding (as well as an engagement party or shower if applicable). If you don't guide your guests with what you want and need, you could end up with 50 tacky picture frames from some obscure store or kitchen knives that don't match.


Coming up with a list of things you'd like to get is a great way to start your petition. It sounds like your fiancé is trying not to put people out (a very sweet gesture), so be mindful when choosing your kitchen supplies and china — think about what you really need, be mindful of price points, and be sure you give your guests options (some will feel comfortable buying you a cookbook while others will want to splurge on a KitchenAid mixer). Pay attention to the things your fiancé would like, too. If he's really into wine, add some great wine glasses or an interesting decanter to the list. I found in my experience that if he feels more included, it's easier for him to get excited and wrap his head around the point of registering.

As a woman who has been to many weddings, I completely understand that you're excited for it to be your turn, but remember, this is about you and your fiancé — you have to start thinking as one. I hope that after some calm discussion, you guys can agree on a tasteful yet useful registry; and remember, gifts are exchangeable, so there are ways to get what you want at the end of the day!

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 6 years
Lissy is absolutely right.
OliviaNewton OliviaNewton 7 years
Registries are tricky and I think the fiance is being awesome. A good compromise might be to stick to the etiquette which is fast being trumped by honeymoon registries, etc.: You register (and it sounds like, in your fiance's case, you'll definitely not be going for the bone ivory gravey boat), but don't advertise where. Don't say "registered at" on your invitations (tacky), bridal shower/engagement party invites, etc. If people want to know they ask your parents or other relatives or you directly. I was told this by my friend's now-husband, who was also concerned about etiquette, and I like this tactic.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
I think your fiance is being super thoughtful. I don't plan on doing a registry for mine either because I hope at that point I can afford dish towels, etc. But then again, it also helps being asian, because most of them ignore the registry and slip an envelope of cash to the parents anyway. I hope you two can come to a good compromise.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I didn't have a registry, and no one bought me anything for my wedding (I certainly wouldn't have minded if they had). But then we didn't have any parties like showers or a reception, so there were never any events to which people felt obligated to bring gifts. Six years later, I'm still trying to get my husband to agree to new bath towels. He thinks there's no good reason to stop using the ones he had in college. Register!
Deidre Deidre 7 years
Sounds like he wants to avoid being gift-grabby (granted, I don't think a registry is gift-grabby at all!). If it makes him feel better, you can always throw in a charity registry on top of any typical registered items. Have him pick his favorite organization and it'll show on your website as well. Use to organize all your registries on a single website, and you can tack on some major charities (Red Cross, Sierra Club, etc) as well!
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
Agreed, agreed, agreed with all of you! Just point out that whether you register or not, people are still going to buy you gifts - even if you tell people that they shouldn't, or that you don't need anything. They just will. The benefit of a registry is that not only do you get what you want, but it makes it easier for them AND easier on you if you *do* need to return something. Or, if he really doesn't want people bringing gifts... maybe tell people that you're asking that people bring something else instead of gifts. For example, if you're doing a midday wedding, ask that people bring their favorite dish instead of a gift so that they can take a personal role in the celebration of your wedding. Or, ask every person to bring a flower or handful of flowers to decorate the room instead of a gift. If you tell people that you'd prefer a small bit of involvement over just buying a gift, you might have better results....... though people will probably still give you gifts regardless. ;) In my case, my fiance sees it as though we're doing the wedding more for our friends and families than for ourselves (we almost went courtroom wedding). So, since we're essentially spending all this money more for them than anyone, while we don't *expect* gifts, we're not going to feel guilty about receiving them, either lol.
Stoones Stoones 7 years
You can also register for your honeymoon at or other similar websites.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
100% agree with Lissy.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Exactly, Lissy ! If someone is a really great friend, I like to try to find a unique gift I know they'll love ... otherwise, I stick 100% to the registry. If you don't register you will end up with several of the same appliances/ random glasses/ plates you don't like. Register for what you want and will use, and register for gifts in several price ranges.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
To tell your fiance: Gift giving is the social norm. People WANT to buy you gifts. Most people love buying other people gifts. It makes them happy that they can give you something that you'll use in your life together. So whether you register or not, people will still buy you gifts. If you don't register, you're going to wind up with 20 gravy boats that you HATE. And this will make the people that bought them sad. Have you ever tried shopping for someone without a registry? It's like, wtf do I buy these people??? You can't give cash at a bridal shower, you just can't.
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