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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Do or Don't: A house registry

Hatch My House lets you create a wedding registry to save up for your dream home. Your guests give you parts of the house--two bedroom windows or a front door, for example. Thoughts? Kind of brilliant, but would you do it? Now we've seen everything!

(Thanks, Karaugh. Boots photo by Stephanie)

110 comments:

Stefania said...

tacky, in my opinion.

Susan said...

I am so tired of all the registries. It's out of hand. I am with Miss Manners & her daughter on getting rid of them for everything. Tacky & money grubbing. Enough.

Anonymous said...

Yes, i would definitely have a house fund. That being said, a house is such an expensive item that maybe just a gift registry makes sense. However, if you have what you need, just cash can go to save for a house. I say, suggest whatever makes sense for you. People can opt in or out.

Anonymous said...

Super tacky.

All these registries just say, "write me a check" so the answer is no. N to the Oh No.

Amanda said...

No. So tacky. Way worse than the honeymoon registry.

anu said...

Hi Joanna,

Sorry, this is unrelated, but thought you might find this article interesting.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-can-8217-t-have-it-all/9020/

~anu

Anonymous said...

Some cultures do just give money. At least i had a friend who went to a Russian wedding and everyone gave cash as a gift. I think there are tacky and not tacky ways to present everything.

Jesse said...

amazing idea. although i like the idea of an interior decorating registry instead -- something like furnish my home registry. hee hee. for larger items -- a timeless leather couch, a pretty print framed all lovely, that antique clock you always wanted, etc. my registry felt so generic and money conscious: sheets, towels, bowls, etc.

paige said...

I wouldn't personally. But would not judge someone who did and would happily give a window!

Tania said...

that's nuts and hilarious! but i have to say, i think it's a better investment than fancy silverware and i would be kind of excited to help a friend buy a front door :)

also, i'd like to ban the word "tacky" from the comments here!

Anonymous said...

It feels weird. Yesterday we received a wedding invitation with a "the bride and groom prefer cash gifts as they are living in a furnished home" note. That felt weird too.

LB said...

I love the idea of asking your family and friends to contribute to a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon experience.

But the house registry, and even today's traditional registries, all the showers (in different cities to clean out different friends' wallets no less) are getting out of hand. If you want that West Elm duvet, buy it yourself. Makes me want to get married at city hall without the big wedding and showers for no other reason than to not be THAT bride.

Kerikins said...

I think it's a fun idea. When my brother and his wife got married they already had all the household items they needed. They were in the middle of renovating and fixing up their home, and insisted that they did not want gifts. When certain family members and friends insisted on bringing something, my sister-in-law told them gift cards to Lowe's or Home Depot. I think this registry is a cute idea to present the same idea. There will always be people who want to buy you a gift, and better it be something useful (like a door for your bathroom...ha!) rather than another gravy boat.

Joanna Goddard said...

on the one hand, it's super practical. the couple will definitely use and love your gift. but on the other hand, it does seem kind of extreme....like the love is taken out of the gift giving?

Joanna Goddard said...

anu!! so crazy that you just linked to that article -- i read it last night before going to bed. i found it totally fascinating and compelling. thank you so much for linking!

Joanna Goddard said...

ps. we just subscribed to the Atlantic. it's really great so far. i hadn't really read it much before, but kept seeing their articles linked online.

Emily said...

I don't like it - I really don't like the honeymoon registry either. Personally, I only buy off the registry if it is for a baby. If you are my age (32) and have a wedding shower, I will politely decline. They are generally boring, and I know you've been eating and cooking for the 10 years since you graduated college! I don't want to buy you a new set of pots and pans. And as for a wedding gift, I will just give you cash. Feel free to use it how you would like.

Emily said...

Plus, it is a gift I'm choosing to give you - can you really dictate my gift giving?

Becca said...

So when my roommate and I moved in together, we decided it would be fun to go to Target and register a la husbands and wives despite being two female friends living together (we joked we'd send it out to friends for our housewarming). Best part though - three weeks later we received a coupon in the mail addressed to someone by the name of "Becca Elysse" (my name is Becca, hers is Elysse) for a discount on a standing KitchenAid mixer. It's still framed on our refrigerator!

Becca

Olga said...

Do, do, do!

Natalie said...

I sort of think that anything but the traditional registry is tacky. I know my older relatives preferred going to an actual store and purchasing something to give; people aren't owed anything as a gift, so it's really up to the giver.

Natalie said...

I sort of think that anything but the traditional registry is tacky. I know my older relatives preferred going to an actual store and purchasing something to give; people aren't owed anything as a gift, so it's really up to the giver.

jackiek said...

i don't think it's tacky at all! i'd much rather give someone what they want for a gift (like a window for their home) then something they'll never use, regift, or return.

Christy said...

Super tacky.

Julia said...

If you're attending someone's wedding, don't you care about them enough to help them start their lives?

All you people who say cash/money is tacky, money grubbing or the like, why are you going to the wedding of someone you don't trust to do something right with their money?

In my culture (Italian) anything other than money is considered tacky. Why have pots, pans and linens if what the couple really needs is a downpayment on a home? Or a large contribution to their mortgage. Wedding gifts are meant to get a newly married couple up on their feet - think of it as a community barn-raising, where the "barn" is the new life this couple will share.

AND, wouldn't you want your hard-earned money spent on something like a home rather than a crystal serving bowl which will likely collect dust? If you don't like the couple's gift wishes, don't go to their wedding. Easy.

Ana Magdalena said...

Hmm yes, and no. I have mixed feelings about this idea. I would totally support it if one of my friends registers, but I think some people might see it as a desperate way to get money.

allie said...

I don't think I have ever bought anything from a registry. My friend had a baby- I made a baby blanket and found **the most adorable** handmade snuggly monster toy. Several friends have gotten married- I collect small related things inside of one big thing (like a cookie jar or a picnic hamper) to create my own themed gift. I feel like these events should really be reasons to celebrate, not hand over cash, you know? And I find that I'm able to feel the spirit of celebration more when I think of things that have a more personal touch and highlight a special connection that I have with the people involved.

And I would feel **so** uncomfortable asking guests to essentially come together and buy me a house. How do you even say that in a way that doesn't seem like you've got your hand out for $$?

her.infinite.variety said...

I don't understand why anyone thinks helping contribute to a couple's future by helping them afford a honeymoon or house or anything really is any more "tacky" than a traditional gift registry. I for one hate having to purchase a super formal place setting that the couple will never use and would love to be able to contribute to their ability to purchase a home for their future family.

Bobby said...

Personally, I think that all registries are tacky and impersonal, and unless they include something I would have chosen myself for the recipient, I never buy anything off of them.

That said, the ones that are flat out asking for money--whether it's "fund my honeymoon" or a "house registry"--are the tackiest. Why not just send an invitation that says "Oh, and by the way, in lieu of gifts, please just send cash"? Tacky tacky tacky, and if I got an invitation with something like this included in it, I likely wouldn't give any gift at all, and on the off chance I did decide to send a gift, I'd make sure it was something that couldn't be returned or exchanged--perhaps something from Etsy.

Anonymous said...

I dont see how the "love is taken out of the gift." This is no different than a honeymoon registry except instead of buying a snorkeling excursion they are buying a window. The same issue arises, guests are going to give money and the couple can choose to use it for their house, their honeymoon, or bottles of wine on a Saturday night.

Christina Marie said...

Here's my deal... I'm nowhere close to getting married but I'm trying to be independent and buy my first place at age 27. Why is it fair for those who get married to be able to register (tangent to this subject) but not for someone who is graduating to adulthood? Just saying... ;)

Christina
www.becauseofmadalene.com

Naurnie said...

Personally, I find this incredibly tacky.

Anonymous said...

@ Christina Marie--I love it! Many say marriage is becoming irrelevant anyway! :)

Amy Seager said...

I don't know really. We had a charity gift registry where our guests could buy items to help the third world - like goats, seeds, farming equipment, roof tiles etc. We had everything we needed so thought that would be a nice way to share our love!

Love
Amy

Wedding Stationery Designer - www.dottypink.co.uk

Pamela said...

So tacky. You don't have money to buy a house? Don't buy one! Don't have money to go on a honeymoon? You don't get one! Ugh, I'm disgusted just by the mention of this.

Anonymous said...

I think it is inconsiderate. All of us are living in homes, our own or rented, and are all trying (struggling, even) to make our place our own. I am single and in my thirties, no children i have happily purchased gifts for friends on the occasion on their engagemenst, weddings, honeymoons, babies (birth and showers), and now for the children's birthdays. I rarely get birthday gifts from them, yet I do not expect them. I am appreciative that they have registries, because we all have unique tastes and wants and needs. But a house registry?!? That feela like I am supporting the living and lifestyle of someone else. When do I get some help here?!? Am I being incredibly selfish?? Can I register for 3 days of paid rent, a week, a month? ;)

Amanda said...

Crazy idea! I don't mean it in a bad way, but I'm not sure I could register parts for my dream home lol! I'm already designing it myself, though I have no idea where it will be located.

Aubrey said...

Yeah, this is too much. I just received an invite to a house warming party but included was a list of places they are registered! This is not a newly wed couple and it's their second house together. Aye!
Where can I register to have people pay portions of my student loans? ;]

andrea said...

I think it's a great idea. My brother and now sister-in-law had been living together for years and already had a fully stocked home. Family members pushed them to get a gift registry full of things that they did not want or need.

I also agree that asking for cash in the invitation is tacky.

There is always the option of not giving anything!

siddathornton said...

i think it's a neat idea, but i tend to prefer the traditional registries. this is really unique though!

- lauren

Marina said...

Hello Jo and everyone! I just wanted to suggest you go and see this, if you are in NYC and zou have the opportunity, you will not regret it!!!! I used to do it when I was younger and it's amazing to see: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/a-human-tower-needs-a-foundation-as-well-as-a-pinnacle/
Hope that you enjoy it if you get to see it live!

Anonymous said...

I think if I was in the position to set up a registry, I would do it with the type of people at the other end in mind. Personally I come from a very open minded community of friends and relatives who would likely see the value in the practicality of something like this. If I felt like my request was going to be offensive to some I would probably be less inclined to set one up, but also less inclined to want the judgmental ones at my wedding! So I guess at the end of the day, I would prefer to feel like I can freely request the things I actually need, and leave the sourpusses to attend the boring cookie cutter weddings of others.

Tragic Sandwich said...

I'm not entirely comfortable with "nontraditional" registries, but I think that's just my perception. When I think about it, I don't really see the difference.

And while memories last a lifetime, somehow I prefer the idea of investing in someone's future via their home--but again, that's my perception. So I don't think I'm going to worry too much about how someone goes about this, as long as they have some items listed that I can afford.

Bryna Faye Shields said...

I go back and forth on this, and totally see both sides. I think it's kinda cool for the fact that all of your close friends and family become a permanent part of your home, your home becomes (in a way) bits and pieces of the people you love from what they contributed to your home... but on the other hand, I sometimes feel like the general nature of registries is strange. It seems that it's only socially acceptable to have a registry if you're getting married. What if you never want to get married (or legally can't)? When my boyfriend and I moved in together, we had pretty much nothing we needed, and I always joked about registering for all the essentials, but the reality is, I would feel really silly telling people about it because the registry isn't a result of us getting married. It seems like it's only ok to ask for specific gifts if you're engaged/married. Why can't people have registries for birthdays/holidays, etc?

Natalie said...

My main problem with this idea is that when the couple moves (and most people do eventually move out of their first home), they’ll be leaving all those gifts behind. Honeymoon memories you’ll have forever, and housewares you can bring from place to place, but if your gifts are skylights and bannisters, you’ll have to part with them all.

Tinyo said...

I think it is really lacking in class to invite people to a celebration YOU want to have and then dictate what they are expected to gift you. If you want a house, save for it as we all save for the things we want. Those who want to give you cash will do so anyway and those who do not have the right to gift what they wish - don't invite people if your main concern is getting what you want, instead forgo the celebration and use your own money as you wish

J.Mill said...

DO!

Weddings are so impractical. People should have the option of having a wedding or using the money for something more reasonable.

I had a wedding and basically did it just for my groom's family. If it were up to me, I would have registered for an awesome honeymoon (like your former post suggested) or, had I thought of it first, a house!

virginia said...

It seems to come down to knowing your guest list. I wouldn't feel right about asking my friends to contribute to my "buy a house fund" (because really, they're not buying your windows or faucets or drywall, the gift just goes into a big bank account) when most of them can't currently afford to buy their own homes.

My fiance and I aren't doing any kind of registry. We live on the other side of the country from most of our friends and relatives, which means plane tickets and hotel rooms for the wedding guests, and making a wish list of presents just doesn't sit well with either of us in this situation - especially when we already have two of every kitchen implement ;)

Mary said...

Tacky. It's basically just asking for money. I'm fine with giving money if that's what the situation calls for, and I don't need to hide behind a "registry" that designates where the money is going.

sumslay said...

I'm a really practical person, so I'm normally all about these. However, I'm not a fan of this. I think my biggest problem is....do you expect your friends and family to really raise that much money? It just seems so far fetched that it does scream asking for money. But hey, to each their own!

Jen@FIRR-Kids! said...

It's not any more or less tacky than the honeymoon registry. Both are essentially the same thing - asking for money to put towards a specific future purchase.

I'm baffled as to why a bunch of people thought the honeymoon registry was perfectly fine, but this is getting mostly tacky comments.

Chrissy said...

Tacky, butat least more practical than a honeymoon registry which is the worst. If y can't afford it, don't go.
I think the wedding industry in general has gotten out of hand with blogs like yours promoting these so special perfect snippets of perfect weddings, honeymoons, outfits, trips, hair. Now it's all about me meme and presents presents look at how perfect and photoshoot ready everything is.

Fey said...

it's tacky, in my opinion.

Meadow said...

Like I said w. the honeymoon registry, as long as good etiquette is applied (like you don't put the registry on your invitations, etc.) then I wonder why not? Presumably the people who are coming to your wedding want you to be happy. The registry is always an option, and for those who want to buy a gift, they could do that also... having a registry isn't stopping that. I think that asking for a house is a sweet idea. I would say though that only young couples should do this, though. Like if neither own property or it just looks a bit weird/tacky.

Andie said...

I love honeymoon registries but think this one is a little bit too much because houses are so much money that asking for one seems kind of My Super Sweet 16.

However, I hate when people have a registry and then people (like some of the comments here) decide not to buy something off the registry in favor of a different gift. People spend a long time coming up with those lists, and they're just going to return your 'thoughtful' gift.

Karaugh said...

I'm a big fan of the honeyfund registries, but this pushes the envelope for me. I just had to share with Joanna because I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

For the people who want "life registries," and not just a wedding registry, you can absolutely do that! When money was tight a few years ago, my family decided we should "register" for things we really needed and give one another practical more practical gifts for holidays/birthdays since we were all feeling the bad economy.

We registered with wishpot.com. I am sure there are other similar and/or better sites, but you could pick out anything from the internet to form your registry. It was helpful to my family to see I could really use a crockpot and not a superfluous piece of jewelry (although I did jokingly register for an obnoxious diamond ring as a joke!).

Anonymous said...

Registries like these just contribute to the overspending epidemic that our several generations in our country faces. We want these "Pottery Barn/West Elm/ABC Home" lifestyles and homes, but we can't afford them. If we can't afford a house and the items in it, then we shouldn't expect to have them. (Hasn't the recession created by overborrowing and overspending taught us anything?) If we can afford these houses, but are too cheap to pay for them ourselves, then it is rude to pass the expenses on friends/relatives.

Rachael {All Things Beautiful} said...

Hmm kinda strange! I mean i see practicality in it if you're trying to build your dream house but then it's also a little odd to ask your friends and family to do that for you. I guess to each its own!

whatnomints said...

Meh. Registries of all kinds (bridal, baby, honeymoon, etc) weird me out - It's like "Here are all the things I want, but I don't want to have to buy them, so you can buy them for me!" - I feel like half the stuff people put on registries is overpriced junk they will never use anyway. I don't know - If people really want to help me out, then offer to pay for my groceries or send me a check so I can pay off my student loans ...

Anonymous said...

Love this discussion, Joanna. I think for my toddler daughter's next birthday I might say, "No gifts." It is just fun to get friends together and play and eat treats. This has got me thinking.

Robyn said...

hmm-holidays yes, house, no

StacyShine said...

What a sweet and romantic story! Especially with the pictures.

Kissing only makes it harder not to do it all if your trying to wait.

Lauren said...

Honestly, I feel that all regristries are kind of icky. That said, I chose to create a traditional household registry because pretty much everyone told me that I needed to, and that if I didn't I'd wind up with a bunch of toasters. Most people don't find traditional registries tacky simply because they've become so ubiquitous that they're now normal, but when they first came out, lots of people hated them. But I find registering for a honeymoon or a house extra tacky because it's also disingenuous--are you really using that money toward a window? And will you really remember the person who gave it to you each time you look at it? Come on.

Bianca said...

I don't think this is any tackier than a traditional gift registry.

My friends and family would be honored to give us money for our future and our life together than to buy us some (mostly useless) crap. I mean, I can buy my own silverware and bread box -- and I can buy it today -- whereas it would take years to afford a house.

I wouldn't expect this registry to pay for the ENTIRE house -- and I think it's crazy if you do -- but it would help get the ball rolling.

And yes I guess you could use the money for something else -- but why would you do that to your friends and family?! You could always return gifts and pocket the cash.

To each their own, I say. And I think this is a wonderfully practical idea.

Anonymous said...

I think some people who are leaving opinions of this being "tacky" are not looking at it from the right angle.

The facts are this:
1- Most people would be using this registry with another more traditional registry- it is not a demand for cash. Everyone at any wedding has the option to give a gift, and can choose what type of gift to give, if any!
2- It is only in American culture mostly that weddings bare the type of "requirements" that people feel the pressure to subscribe to- traditional wedding gifts, bridesmaids and break the bank affairs. As someone already mentioned, in many other cultures couples are given cold cash to start their lives as they see fit for what they need.
1- If you are the type of person that feels you want to personally select a gift for someone that you feel like giving, also understand that gift may end up at the Salvation Army and contribute to the overabundance of material things people have in this world that they don't need or want and the waste it creates, for starters. Blenders break, China chips. And even if the couple sells their first home, the sale of that house contributes to the down payment of the next house. Giving a gift like this is the most needed gift I think you can give anyone- an investment far beyond a honeymoon, a cake plate or a toaster oven
4- Most people genuinely love thier friends and want them to be happy and have the things they need or want- if you don't feel that way, don't even spend the money to attend the wedding let alone a gift

Tiffany said...

I don't have a problem with it at all, the purpose of wedding gifts is to help the couple start the lives together why not provide them with gifts that they actually want and would really help them out?

Lisa H. said...

As someone who has purchased a house (actually two, now - we're on our second home) I can say that my PRACTICAL side says, "Yes! Awesome idea!"...but then my Miss Manners-reading side says, "Ick."

I guess I believe that some things are meant to be somewhat private (like the cost of my front door or toilet???) and the responsibility of the purchaser or something???

pri said...

I think this is super weird. Why not just give a check and that can go towards a house? I kind of understand the honeymoon registry and it seems likely that someone really can pay for a fancy dinner in Paris, but how does someone pay for a front door? Is everyone custom building their houses? If not, wouldn't the money just add up to the down payment? Traditional registries are just that, traditional, which is why I think its okay. Personally, if I had a wedding (def not soon as I'm 20 and have no current prospects, haha), I think I would go for cash, donation to a cause, or ask for nothing. I am Indian-American, and although I'm not totally sure, I think the traditional thing is just a check. Sometimes people give gold to the bride. Of course, in America, people tend to mix Western (registry) and Indian customs in their wedding.

Maria Matiopoulou said...

This is amazing, I've never seen anything similar :)

Have a lovely day!

Maria
http://www.unidentifiedlifestyle.com

Laura said...

I don't know. The traditionalist in me thinks this is a little tacky, because honestly...it's just another way of saying "cash, please". On the other hand, it's sort of cute knowing that your wedding gift went towards something as lasting and important as a house.

Shannon said...

These registries are seriously out of control. I would say it's a don't.

Luli said...

Don't.

Jossie loves said...

How about this one .... a friend of mine got married - her first, his second wedding - and on the invite it said we've got everything we want so here's our bank a/c - no presents just help pay for the wedding. I kid you not! How tacky and sad was that? No no no!

Anonymous said...

I'm Polish, and in my culture we give money at the wedding. Believe it or not, there is a "customary" amount that you're supposed to give. Typically, we just write checks instead of giving cash, so it seems less tacky.

Luli said...

PS. I agree with Christina Marie's comment above about why it's ok for us to buy presents for marrieds, but not for the single gals. What if I never marry? Does that mean I'm not allowed a registry for just living my life and working hard and getting by on my own? I guess I feel bitter because all of the weddings I've attended ended in divorce. And I bought all of them expensive stuff from their registries. I'd like a present for not making bad decisions.

Sarah said...

Definitely don't- if you can't afford to buy a house on your own (as a responsible and financially sound adult), you have no business asking others to help out. Wedding gifts are one thing....a house just seems TACKY.

soyphet said...

Honestly, when I get married, I would of course prefer money over any registry. (Though, in my culture, it was customary to give money instead of gifts). But, because it is not proper etiquette here to bluntly ask for money, I think these registries (honeymoon and home) are great ideas for things that you will really need and use.

As for the little frilly items and fillers for the home, I would rather pick them out myself during a "great find" than being pressured to quickly find stuff to put on a registry... since typically, you are limited to selecting only a few places to register at.

Either way, if people don't want to gift you something from the registry (standard registry, honeymoon, home), that's their choice... and I would be fine with whatever was given to me... if at all.

EmilyJane said...

I consider it an honour to be invited to someone's wedding. Of all the people they've known in their lives.... they chose me and my guy to share their special day. How cool is that?

So, with that in mind... I'm going to give them something, why not give them what they want? It's their day, after all. I believe that traditional wedding registries are just that, steeped in tradition. I prefer the open minded and personalized approach, whatever that may mean for a couple. A few summers ago, my partner and I attended 9 weddings in one season. That was a good lesson for me for me to learn that this isn't about me. If they wanted a gravy boat, so be it. Straight, hard cash? Gladly! So if they ask for me to pay for their kitchen faucet, I will do it with a warm heart.

Anonymous said...

This seems very misogynistic. One must only marry a clean woman??

Erin said...

My fiancé and I just got engaged- we live together and have no desire for a real registry. We were considering a honeymoon registry but this looks even better! I can't wait to suggest it to him. Why waste money on what we already have? I Love the idea of having friends and family over and saying "Check out the door you gave us!"

Bec said...

Perhaps there's some cultural divide but I do find it strange that so many people have such strong views about how "tacky" non-traditional registries or cash gifts are. I agree wholeheartedly with Anonymous' comment about the four points that generally sum up where people who have non-traditional registries are coming from - essentially, they're not coming from a place of greed.

In response to those who have said "If you can't afford a honeymoon/house, don't buy one", I think this is a rather unfair statement. Not everyone who gets married is graduating to adulthood, but that doesn't mean they didn't struggle in the same way earlier when they did have to set up home. My partner and I certainly did it tough when we first moved in together, in terms of setting up house and also financing a child, which we did not receive help for... and that's fine! That's something we did ourselves. That doesn't mean that if we choose to get married in the future, we should be denied a gift simply because we've already established our household.

Essentially, I think that many people who have non-traditional registries are not necessarily so excessively rich that they don't need anything else. They are simply at a different stage in life to the traditional "just moving in together" phase of newlyweds.

http://auroraulysses.blogspot.com.au/

im Sarah kathryn ♥ said...

I don't think i would ever have done/do a house registry but no one ever said you had to buy from the registries... it just gives ideas of what to buy for the occasion... I think they are in some ways helpful... i mean if i was going to buy a gift for a friend for a wedding and didn't know what to get they are helpful but i don't always use them if i know of something personal to buy :) they don't offend me...

17 beats. said...

NO. absolutely not.

shawn said...

So tacky! Ask guests (who we assume you WANT at your wedding) to help you buy a house? That sets up huge expectations of guests! This is worse than asking them to help pay for your honeymoon.

I prefer asking guests to make a donation to a favorite charity in the couple's honor. We all have toasters and the money is better spent on a good cause.

shawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...

I didn't realize people had such strong opinions on this stuff! (after reading just a few comments...) I don't really care. I don't think I would do it...but I think most people would want to give a gift that's actually wanted....right??? it seems a bit egotistical for people to be so attached to what they want to give...why not give what is actually needed or wanted? of course I do agree that guests should not feel pressured, which is why i probably wouldn't do it. I didn't have a traditional wedding and actually do wish that I was given a toaster and some of that other stuff. Not everyone is wealthy...

Joanna said...

I think it's a pretty nifty idea (if slightly crazy-sounding), and so very practical, too. I really don't understand all the fuss people make about this and other registries. If it's something the couple genuinely wants and could use in their new life together, then I don't see the problem.

Anonymous said...

It's a don't for me. I would feel super grossed out by this as a guest. All about the $$$$. This is coming from someone who didn't register at all for her wedding :) I feel like if someone wants to give me a gift, let it be from their heart.

Anonymous said...

we were just at a wedding in israel where people have elaborate weddings and there is a safe there. money gifts are assumed but to pay for the wedding itself. people who aren't able to afford it are now declining so as to avoid embarrassment. that's the worst part. missing out on a fun night because of the price tag.

Expectant said...

I wonder if when Joanna buys her $1.5M apartment in Brooklyn, her readers will be asked to contribute! I hope so!

Anonymous said...

I think gifts in general have gotten out of control. I'm from the midwest where a nice gift could be $50 and my registry reflected that -- I knew a lot of gifts would be coming from my parents' friends and had to register for what they were comfortable with.

I've been living in NYC for 15 years where the traditional gift seems to be a $200-300 check. I've never gotten used to it. Plus the engagement party, the wedding shower, then the baby shower, baby gift a year later. Ugh, enough. My midwestern heart has never been comfortable with all that STUFF.

We had a wedding with 50 people. But let;s say it was 200 people -- 100 couples, 100 gifts. 100*50=5000. That amount will buy you some nice old-fashioned gifts -- towels, dishes, pots. It won't get you to a down payment. You gotta do that on your own.

I still like what I registered for -- everyday dishes that I use all the time, pots that I use all the time, good silver that I use every day and will pass down to my kids. Lovely.

Emily said...

Put me down for the tacky vote. I think the problem with many of these registries is that they imply some kind of obligation or expectation -- that guests will be going against the wishes of the couple if they do anything *but* contribute to these registries, even if it makes them uncomfortable. That may not be how the bride & groom intend it, but rather how it's perceived.

I worked for many years in the homewares section of Macy's, so dealt with a LOT of wedding registries & guests looking to buy off them. I think the traditional registry is so common now, folks don't feel pressured to buy from them one way or another... I often encountered this (especially if the wedding couple chose really expensive items, or the list was bought up -- guests would usually just choose something else).

But believe me, the number of elderly guests who were relieved/delighted to be able to find something special (and tangible) for their precious niece/nephew/granddaughter etc. off registries has convinced me of their utility. It's easy to forget how important the physical 'gifting' of something is for many people -- in other cultures cash suffices, but in the US many people still place great store in physical objects, for better or worse.

shoegirl said...

I'm torn on this. At first, it seems tacky. But I absolutely hate the wastefulness of getting gifts (for wedding or birthday or otherwise) that I will never use. Wouldn't money spent on crystal that will never see the light of day be better spent helping a couple invest in a new home?

That said, the money spent on throwing such lavish weddings in the first place could be spent as a down payment on a house (or for some, the whole house!). So there's that.

Haley said...

Awful. A house is incredibly expensive, and expecting friends and family to (most likely) spend even more than they usually would on a normal wedding registry is just inconsiderate. Makes me cringe.

runningcuzican said...

Really? this is crazy, so is the honeymoon registry. I think people should just be happy to have their guest be able to attend and celebrate the day with them. I think the whole idea of registries implies some sort of expectation of a gift.

LiveLaughDecorate said...

Ah, the registry debate continues. It makes sense to give a cash or gift card donation to a couple and there are plenty of clever ways to say as much on an invite. Afterall, how many blenders, toasters can one couple use? What the couple chooses to do with that money should be left to their discretion. But a house registry is taking this ish to a whole new level. For starters, how are we sure you'll even use it towards a house? And since when did helping a couple own/build a house or renovate a bathroom/kitchen become the guests perogative? This, I'm afraid, is a tad out of hand.

Sarah C. said...

That little house pictured is right next to my house in CT! It keeps popping up everywhere I love it!

Rachel Elizabeth said...

I may be in the minority on this one but I say go for it. We registered for a traditional registry and a honeymoon registry. The vast majority of our friends and family opted to gift from our honeymoon registry because we moved in together when we got married and had two of every thing. Two toasters, two blenders, ect. I would much rather buy my friends a door or a window on there first home together than buy them a waffle maker that won't mean nearly as much to them.

Kristian said...

Huh.. I think it is an interesting idea, because saving for a home is definitely very practical, and I certainly wouldn't condone someone for making one of the these registries. I also find it nice for the people who were wishing they could have registries (or get gifts?) even if they aren't getting married, the fact that this place does that is nice.

However, several things bother me about this. First off, you are not really buying a window or a lamp etc. its just cast. Giving cash at a wedding if fine! But I find the high prices a little off putting, as most people will probably not be spending that much. Close family and friends- yes. Your just-out-of-college-buddy or your coworker whom you refer to by last name only...maybe not so much. More importantly, this site takes a percentage (a small one, true and they need to make it as a business), so not all your gift is even going to the couple.

Most people are able to gauge their guest list and know whether its appropriate or not. You robably would use this in conjunction with another, more tradition registry and would probably be happy to receive any gift (because, really, its the thought that counts!). So, its not horrible or tacky. And as a guest hopefully you know the couple well enough to know if dishes are good gifts or not, and if not, well, a check in a card is just plain easier and still allows for a personal touch.

Callie Glorioso-Mays said...

This is interesting... My husband and I attended a Christian college which means the large majority of friends/acquaintances only moved in together AFTER getting married. :) In this case, we all needed to do a traditional registry because we didn't have regular household items (even if you waited a year or two to get married, you usually didn't have a lot of nice things thanks to school loans). Obviously, this is different than the larger American culture, but I liked it this way.


I don't really like the idea of registering for parts of your house.... It seems too far. For one thing, what is the likelihood that they will actually get enough money to cover the house? Wouldn't it be awkward if someone "bought" you a special window, but you never built the house so you just put the money toward something else? It would seem like a gimmick to me. Additionally, I would feel badly to ever sell the house (like I was selling memories from loved ones). In my mind, the honeymoon registries are a step too close to the line of tacky/rude/demanding, but this registry is definitely over the line. Again, that's my opinion. :)

I understand the sentiment of "just tell me what you want and I'll get it for you because I want to get something you like!", but it still doesn't seem graceful. Like if I was having a dinner party and you requested grilled cheese! I want to make you happy, but there is also a time a place for everything!

One more thought... doesn't it seem kinda selfish to essentially say "We have everything we need so buy us our DREAM house"??? If you truly have everything you need, couldn't you start a charity registry??

that was long! and, of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it's really fascinating to read how so many people had strong opinions one way or another!! :) Just goes to show that everyone is different. :)

Luna said...

It depends on the culture of the Couple. I know that some cultures give money (without hints or prompts) like my own. I'm happy with this because it saves so much time + energy preparing for the Wedding itself. Registry for fine china etc I'm okay with, this is expected in other cultures (our Anglo friends especially). I think a House registry itself misses the point of 'giving'. You are asking your guests for a home, when infact, as a couple that is something you should be working together for.

Also, wedding guests do not have to give a gift AT ALL for eating + drinking at a wedding. A card with a lovely thank you note is sufficient. The reception, no matter how big or small, is the couple's way of thanking their guests for witnessing their marriage. That's what I've been taught.

Kezia said...

My sister is in the middle of registering for her wedding she said she felt strange asking for padded dish-ware storage when she hadn't in fact asked for dishes at all. She said that it wold be nice if she could write comments on her registry for people to see so that they would understand and not just think she was weird. To me this seems like a brilliant idea! add a comment section from the couple on registries so if a family decides to purchase a gift for the couple from the registry they can get to know the couple better while they peruse the list!

Unknown said...

For everyone who regards accepting gifts for a wedding, or ever having having a registry being "tacky", I truly hope you stopped receiving birthday and Christmas gifts after you're 10 years old, due to your lack of tackiness. A lot of people don't know what to get people, thus the registry! Register for what you want. Who needs 500 towels??

Constance said...

I think it's extremely practical and a good way to put some funds towards something truly necessary. I think the usual registries are often full of unnecessary things. So a big yes!

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Trish Ward said...

What if the couple has the "things" but not the home to put it in, yet, and that's what they're working toward?

I'm recently engaged, and have lived with my fiance for many years. We've acquired not just pots and pans, but a beautiful set of dishware (handmade from a favorite artist...we've collected a few new pieces every year).

The purpose of registries is to offer the gift-givers and idea of what the recipient needs and their sense of style. Guests who go to the couple's registry have an idea of what they'll spend, and then they'll find something in that budget. It's not always a deep, spiritual quest for a meaningful gift.

I do appreciate sentimental gifts. I don't want more appliances.

I'm in favor of the House Registry, especially with the injected dose of personality that Hatch My House offers.

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poopascoopa said...

It seems like everyone posting on here are a bunch of negative nancy's.

There are a bunch people whose comments show they don't understand the concept. You aren't actually buying a window. You are literally contributing money towards whatever they choose to spend it on as long it involves a house (downpayment etc).

Also, there are a lot of people who don't want to have a wedding. Why is elopement so scandalous? Because you aren't involving your family and friends. So if you do involve your family and friends, you are expected to dish out money on the wedding. These are the are the same people who would say "having a wedding without a reception is tacky."

You're supposed to care about the bride and groom. You're spending the money on a gift anyway, just give them what they want. And stop being so negative.

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