36 answers

House Warming Party

OK- this is really a strange question-- and I know there are at least 3 people who read posts here who I know personally... But I don't know who to ask and I'm curious to hear all of the points of view I'll get here...
I'm moving to a new home this summer, and it'll be our first house that we own ourselves. I want to have a house warming party after we get settled because I want everyone to see our house... but I feel funny because I don't want it to seem like I'm just having a party so that people will buy us presents... So I thought of actually putting on the invitation not to bring a gift... But classy people more than likely will not show up empty handed... And the thing is, I really don't want plants (I have a black thumb and they'll all be dead within a week) or a bunch of other things that I don't want (like candles or ugly nick nacks)that will end up at Goodwill... So... If people are going to bring gifts anyway, shouldn't I register and have them bring something I want?? I feel so awful and materialistic... but if you follow my line of thinking above, I really will be not having a house warming party for the gifts... but I DO want my friends and family to see the house... What is the "right" thing to do???

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for the responses... I think no matter what you call the party (house warming, BBQ, wine and cheese...), when people come over for a gathering to see your brand new home for the first time, I think they will not come empty handed... so I think registering is a good idea... I still haven't decided yet how to word the invitations... But you know what? The more I think about this, a house full of people (mostly everyone I know has kids!!!) scares me a bit, so maybe I'll just invite a couple of friends over here and there for coffee instead of one big party!

Featured Answers


My suggestion would be to put something on the invitation:

"Gifts are not necessary, however, gifts certificates to (insert 2-3 favorite home stores) are appreciated if you so desire."

1 mom found this helpful

Anytime I get plants that I can't find a spot for or just don't like, I donate them to a community garden or a school.

I just went thru the same thing. I had a housewarming party/bbq. I also did register. Many people came without gifts :-(. And a slight few brought gifts. Registering is great because I found when certain friends/family would ask what do I need, it was easier for me to say that I was registered then saying an exact item since you never know how much they are willing to spend. Good Luck :-)


More Answers

if i were you, i would just put it straight in the invitation. "I'm inviting you to a house warming party to celebrate us buying our new home. No gifts are necessary. Just bring yourself! If you feel you must bring a gift, I did register at ***** for your convenience. But again, gifts are not expected."

maybe that would be good. :) good luck! and congrats!

1 mom found this helpful

Don't label your party. Invite friends over for a BBQ. They are going to ask if there is anything you need (People don't like to show up at others houses empty handed). Tell them to bring wine or beer or a dessert or anything that will be consumed at the BBQ.

1 mom found this helpful

If you truly don't want the gifts, ask your guests to donate any amount of money they would normally spend on gifts to your favorite charity in your name. It will make it less awkward, and go to a good cause.

C. M.

1 mom found this helpful


My suggestion would be to put something on the invitation:

"Gifts are not necessary, however, gifts certificates to (insert 2-3 favorite home stores) are appreciated if you so desire."

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Tammy!
I think everyone had great responses... so I'm probably going to sound redundant - but...

My hubby and I threw a housewarming party for our first house (ummm...8 years ago..wow!), and put "Gifts not neccessary" on the invite. Some people still brought things, but mostly just cards and wine which we ALWAYS appreciate.

I think registering and "announcing it" on the invite would be tacky. I do think however, that if you set up a wishlist, that you can just keep ongoing that is okay. That way if someone ASKS you what you want, just direct them to your wishlist. You can create a wishlist on amazon.com, or my family uses www.wishrepublic.com. Every member of my family has a list on there, and so I always know what they need/want. My playgroup does this as well. It's SO nice! Especially at birthdays and holidays.

Hope that helps!


i would just put "your gift is your presence" and then maybe let them know that they can bring some type of food.

Anytime I get plants that I can't find a spot for or just don't like, I donate them to a community garden or a school.

I wouldn't worry about it. If someone brings you a gift, accept it graciously - if anyone asks if there is anything they can bring, ask them to bring a refreshment of some sort, but please nothing else.

Dear Tammi,

Instead of having a house warming party. You can always have a wine and cheese party this way everyone who comes will still see your new home. Then they are not obligated to buy you a house warming gift and you will not have to make it sound like you are asking for any gifts. If you and your husband don't drink then you can still have the party with non-alcoholic beverages.

I hope this helps you.


G. H.


I would suggest that on the invitation that you state that the party is just a gathering to celebrate your new home and that gifts are not necessary. State in some way that if they feel obligated or that if they feel that it is something that they would like to do, to bring prepared dishes of food that can be frozen. This way with what ever work that you are going to be doing on your house and I am sure you will plenty you will want to do, you won't have to work on making dinner as well.

Hope this helps.

SAHM of 3 boys, 12, 4 and 2

I recommend having an OPEN HOUSE instead of a house warming party - you can still do invitations for it - on the invitation you can also put " NO GIFTS". For most people it lets them off the hook and for those classy people who won't show up empty handed - they may just bring a bottle of wine and that would be an appropriate jesture.

i think you should put a note at the bottom of the invation and say that a gift is not needed, but if they want they can pick something up at your favorite store.

Hi , T. ...

If it were me , I would either put a brief note on the invitations saying " please do not bring gifts" , or maybe suggest that guests can bring covered dishes in place of gifts , which would make food prep easy for you while making those who wish to bring something feel like they are contributing. Good luck.

~ A.


Have the party, if you really don't want gifts have guests contribute to a charity!


hi tami-
i think you may be giving this a bit too much thought. just gratefully accept whatever gifts you receive and if you don't like them, donate! it would be quite tacky to register for a house warming party. besides i'm sure some of your guests will inquire before hand about what you may need or want. congratulations on your new home!
god bless,

Everyone at some point gets a new home, and they know how expensive it is to purchase one. So, you should not feel bad for them getting you gifts if they choose. I used to feel that way too, but it is like having a baby shower, you know people are there for you, but they know it is expensive to have a baby and bring you gifts. :) You could register somewhere, but if I was invited to a housewarming, I would bring some wine and a gift card perhaps so you can get what you need. I would wager that most people feel the same way about getting unneeded/unwanted gifts and won't buy you junk, and if they really are concerned about getting something, they will ask.


I definately think you should register for the things you want/need. I truly love to give someone a gift I know they will enjoy. Beside its your first home of your own! I think your friends and family will want to bring gifts to stock your new home. Congratulations on your new home!


Hi Tammi,

Have faced similar dilemma, how about stating on the invites that you truly don't need anything for the house, but that anyone who wishes to is welcome to bring their favorite appetizer, dessert, or beverage to share. Dish-to-pass gatherings are nothing to be ashamed of, and no one has to worry about coming empty-handed.
Congratulations on your new home, and hope your party is the best ever,
C. N.

I understand your line of thinking. The idea behind a hosuewarming party is to fill a new home with love from your friends & family, which pushes out any negative energy left over from the previous tenants.you can say no gifts are needed on the invitations - I always read this as the hostess doesn't need anything, but I would bring a bottle of wine or somethng else party related that we could all share during the party. However, it's kind of like any gift giving occasion - it's the thought that counts.

Congratulations on the new house! I liked what one person said with having a wish list if you don't mind contradicting yourself by putting "no gifts" on your invitations. Either way people may still bring you stuff you don't want/like. You could do a themed thing like a "stock the bar" party or something like that. I don't know about actually registering at a store though... I have to say it does seem a little odd. Just have a party, invite some friends, have some fun and if you get stuff you don't want or like just figure out what to do with it (ie; take it to goodwill or regift).

I just went thru the same thing. I had a housewarming party/bbq. I also did register. Many people came without gifts :-(. And a slight few brought gifts. Registering is great because I found when certain friends/family would ask what do I need, it was easier for me to say that I was registered then saying an exact item since you never know how much they are willing to spend. Good Luck :-)


In my opinion, if you strongly feel that when you put no gifts on invitation, we already know that there will be at least someone who will bring gifts especially when its your new home! I have been there before! The best thing to do, just post a note on your invitations that if want to bring gifts, just put a registry on your invitation. I know it sounds awkward and selfish. But at least you will get what u register and not have to hurt anyone feelings. Just be blunt with them. It will save a lot of hurt feelings in the end. Hope this helps.

Sincerly, D.

It is perfectly ok to register on a wish list. Also you should not underestimate your invites! Most people are really excited for you and want to be a part of your big move! We have bought two homes and both times we had a huosewarming party! Some people bought us wine, but everyone else went off the registry! Just make sure to register at places like Wal Mart and Target too because lets face it most people do gift shopping last minute and dont go out of their way to do it! These places are on the way to the party and they can stop and pick something you need rather than what is in their field of vision! I registered at Macy's, Williams and Sonoma, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and Wal Mart. The most important thing is dont get all worked up over the gifts, you cant control everything people get you, but you can hint abou tthe things you really need!

Set up a gift registry, so that at least if people would like to purchase you a gift then it will be something you want.

The first time I ever had a gift registry was for my baby shower. I thought it to be weird at first as well, asking people what to buy you? What?

But everyone is doing it nowadays, and most don't see a problem with them.

Just set one up to be safe, at least your guests will know that you will actually utilize their gifts being that you placed them on your gift registry.

i would say register somewhere and on the innovations just causally say if you would like to bring a gift i am registered at (where ever). it's a house warming party people will more than likely bring a gift(even if you say dont) and don't feel bad about it your in your first home and your friends/family will most likely want to bring a gift! and i know what you mean about gifts that will end up at goodwill i had a lot of those i should of been smart and registered somewhere also! congrats on your new home!

"We love our new house, and want YOU to help warm it up! So put on your party pants, but please don't bring us house warming plants." I think that says it well! It's asking for a gift in a cute way, but making it clear that plants are not needed.

...just say on the invitation: No Gifts Please or Gift Cards would be appreciated.

Have Fun!!

Do you cook? If not (or if you'd like to cook better), ask people to bring their best dish and the recipe, so you can add to your recipe file.

Or, even better...have a charity drive. Tell people to bring non-perishable foods and donate to your local food pantry.

Or, both! Ronald McDonald House sometimes asks for donations of easy recipes for the families that stay there while their children are in the hospital to use - contact them and see what they need. They are usually in need of things like toilet paper and paper towels as well. (Kind of like a house warming party for Ronald McDonald House) :)

Wilton Manors

I would like to comment just because I'm in the same boat. I just moved and I want to have a house warming party as well and I don't want people to think I just want gifts because I really have everything I need. The thought of registering came to me as well..so I guess it's not a bad idea, that way if you need something or want something specific, you got it! I don't think it's a selfish or rude or unclassy way to go...it's a smart way.

It depends on how empty your house is...if you really don't need much then call it an "open house" and enjoy the time with friends & family showing off your new place...if there isn't much in the house then there isn't much to clean up or worry about getting broken.
On the flip side if you do want some warming, go ahead and register - The term housewarming lends itself to bringing a gift just have someone else co-host like a sister or close friend that can be the gift buffer (she "made" you register)...then maybe pick a room to warm up like the kitchen, bathrooms or patio instead of the entire house.
Hope this helps - Congrats on the house by the way.

Hi, no offense but registering is TACKY. I wouldn't come to your party if I saw that you registered. But that's me. I would emphasize NO GIFTS on the invite. If you get gifts that you don't like (which is a given) re-gift them (be careful to give them to different people) or take a few minutes and donate them. Your junk is other people's treasures. If you have other things to donate you can call a charity that picks up and it won't cut into your time at all. Hope your party turns out well.

"the classy people" (ugh over the term -- are you sure you haven't read Paul Fussell's book CLASS?) wouldn't bring plants, nick nacs or candle sticks.......they would give you a gift card or a good bottle of wine and not presume to know your house decor before seeing it.......however, it is your family and close friends who will give you the presents for GoodWill. There is really nothing "classy" you could do or say without setting into motion a cascade of gifts because if you note on the card where you are registered that's where everyone will go. Most people try to follow directions especially if they like the person:)
Hope this helps! Congrats on the new house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dont all it a house-warming party because a house-warming party is a party to which guests are traditionally supposed to bring a gift.
You should change the name and call it an 'open house', or else call it a 'come see our new house cook-out', or something. I think it would be fine to print 'no gifts please' on an invitation to an 'open house'.

First, putting "No Gifts Please, but I am registered here". That to me is saying you dont want gifts but you do, if you registered somewhere. So dotn confuse people, you dont want them to feel obligated but that sentence does not convey that.

I am moving into a home in August and i have questioned the same thing. Your friends and family want to give a gift to you becuase they are happy for you. But i dont want them to for the same reason, just want them to come and see it and enjoy the time there. To make it informal, i would just NOT do an invitation. Just call or see them in person, say "why dont you come over, we have a get together". If it is just an informal thing, the issue of bringing a gift wont even be an issue i think. BUT if you insist on doing an invitation, put on there "no gifts please, we just want to share with our friend and family" do not mention you are registered. They may call or you talk to them regularly and that is when they can say to you "really? no gifts? your crazy" and you say "well if you must, you can us a gift certificate to ..., but really we dont need anything, we just want you to come" Let them say if that is silly, and they insist on bringing something for you.

Have a party, but let them know gifts are necessary, be honest that it is just so they can get together, have some fingerfood and look at the new place. They should understand, if they bring something, okay, and if they dont, that is okay too.

Just don't call it a housewarming party. Find another reason to invite everyone over. Just call it a bar b q or something.

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