Ry It Seemed lDo You Have to Have a Wedding...

Updated on January 06, 2012
J.K. asks from Audubon, IA
22 answers

to have a wedding registry?

My fiance and I are planning to get married in the future but don't want to have a wedding. I'm not sure what we'll be doing - court house maybe but he always jokes elvis chaple. Even though we're not having a wedding I'd love to do a wedding registery because who doesn't love gifts? I've never planned a wedding with anyone and the only one I've been to was my mom's when I was 15! Does anyone know more about the process of a wedding registery?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you guys so much! sorry it seemed like a stupid question. Like I said I have had NO experience with weddings so I have no idea how this stuff is done.

We are planning on having a party/reception like thing because I do want to invite my friends from out of town for the occasion. Wedding or not, it's a big deal to me!

Featured Answers


answers from Austin on

You can register, but if you do not have a wedding, you really will only tell people you are registered, IF THEY ask, are you registered,.

It would be considered poor taste to include this information with any Wedding announcement.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My brother and his wife were married on New Years Day in Vegas. No one except her daughter was at the actual wedding. When they got home they had a party inviting everyone to celebrate their marriage. Maybe you could do the same because just getting married and registering for gifts seems like a greedy gift grab to me.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

(sigh) I'm cringing....you make me feel old & dated, & yet...

yes, it would bother me. When would you expect people to give you gifts? Are you going to have a party? How would you phrase the invitation? You gotta give & do the deed before you can expect gifts!

The more I think about it, the more I'm saying WTH! Yep, you've completely bamboozled me with this question. & I'm fully aware that I'm not answering your actual question at all! I truly hope my angst is over a lack of a full story, plans on timing, etc....& not that you expect gifts before you're married! Peace to you.....

The only way I give wedding gifts is when I am:
1. invited to the wedding &/or wedding reception. I give the gift at the reception.
2. invited to the wedding shower. & if I'm not invited to the actual wedding, then the gift amount is reduced.
3. for all other weddings, I wait until well after the wedding & then I "think" about giving a gift....& I don't always do it, unless it's someone I truly hold dear to my heart. All others....if I'm not part of the day....I don't gift. I "empty" card it!

& I don't think that makes me the Wedding Grinch!

12 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


Not sure of your age group, but you and your fiance might consider having a long engagement and explore all the wonderful things that you could have in your future. Get involved in your church or community center and there will be lots of married couples who can make your special wedding and/or reception a day and event planning you will cherish for you whole life. Please don't rush into anything.


TACKY is a good one
WTH says it all

If you want presents, you don't have to have a formal or informal wedding, but you do need to put together a few sandwiches, drinks and perhaps a cake and invite family and friends to share your joy.

If you only want the GIFTS, people will probably perceive you and your future husband as just a couple of ???(Oh gosh there are so many words to describe what people would think)...I'll let other mamas fill in the words.

Personally, I wonder how you and your future husband plan to let everyone know you are registered?


11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Sorry, a wedding registry (IMO) is for when there will be an actual wedding. Not just getting married. You could send out cute notices that you were married on such & such date with a picture of you two and I'm sure some people will send gifts but, please don't register for them as that would be very tacky.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My personal opinion is don't have the registry if you are not going for the brouhaha wedding.

We eloped, I never thought if registering and "asking" for gifts. I never had a shower. That was all perfectly ok with me since I did not want the brouhaha of a big wedding.

We bought a condo instead and some people (family) sent a gift when the found out we married.

I hate registries... It's like a wish list for the couple and invoice for anyone receiving announcements

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You don't need a wedding, but if you are doing a registry and expecting gifts, the 'thank you' back to the gift givers is either a bridal (or couples shower like a bbq) or a small reception where they can attend. That is typical etiquette of course. It can be fun and casual. If you aren't planning on either, then a registry or asking for gifts is kind of a no-no.

To plan fun, simple diy receptions, (you can have it like a week or more after your private wedding), I recommend you go here for lots of fun and modern ideas:


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

My husband and I had a destination wedding and so we never sent out invitations, well except for a couple of wedding announcements to his distant family members. The only reason I registered was because of the people who wanted to throw me a wedding shower. If the wedding showers had not been thrown then I NEVER would have registered. I would have felt like the couple who was too cheap to invite ppl to their wedding and it's reception but still expected family and friends to buy a gift. I agree with the ladies who have posted thus far. You have to have some sort of party, bbq or whatever, so that the ppl may attend and then give you a gift if they so desire.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I had the wedding without the registry. Seems like you can hit someone over the head with no gifts and they still buy gifts, o well. Kind of glad I didn't register, god we got perfect gifts. Things no one would think to buy for a wedding but were perfect.

Anyway they will register you for a divorce if you ask.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


No, you don't have to have a big, lavish wedding.

You would not have to have a registry if you are not having a party or a reception - there are couples that have done that - got married by the Justice of the Peace and then had a party/reception to celebrate with friends and family.

If you are going to have a reception - then you go to a store of your choosing (Target, Macy's, Dillards, etc.) and go to the customer service department and tell them you would like to register for a wedding - they give you a device and you walk around the store for things you want and need.

If you are not going to have a reception of some sort - then I would not do a registry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Sure, you can have a wedding registry! Wedding announcements can be sent to people after the event. Then if people ask if you are registered, or what do you want/need, you can tell them where you are registered.

We had a very small and casual wedding (25 people). We sent out formal wedding announcements afterwards to all the people we would have invited if we could have afforded, and would have wanted, a big wedding. Then a couple weeks later, my parents threw a casual reception at their house for some more friends and relatives.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

In my opinion, ff you are having a reception a registry is fine.

We did not advertise our registry on our wedding invitations. My mom, MIL and matron of honour had the information to give out when/if people asked.

I personally believe that the bride and groom "give" the wedding guests a good party, food, music, and good company and in return the guests can give a gift if they choose. However, I do not think gifts are appropriate without a reception.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Chances are that if you do not hold a party for your wedding, folks may not be sending you gifts. Making a registry usually takes quite a bit of time, as far as deciding what to put onto it goes. Make sure whatever is on there is worth the time because you are likely to only receive a few items. That said, some will buy gifts. May as well get what you would make use of.

People register their kids for toys for their birthdays! People register for going to college and housewarming events! As you can see, crazier things are out there than what you are doing. You know, whatever.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When you say you don't want to have a wedding do you mean you won't be having a reception of any kind or you won't be doing the big white dress / flowers / church thing? It is totally acceptable to have a reception (cake, coffee or big meal thing) without having the church part. you can get married at a court house and still have a reception and showers etc. I myself don't feel that I need to see a couple get married to want to give them a wedding gift. However it is a little strange to have the whole registry without having any kind of thing for people to come and wish you well. By the way Congrats on getting married.

in answer to your question about the registry which I am not sure if anyone answered lol. you go to whatever store it is and they will have you fill out some paperwork and then you go through the store and scan the items that you would like to have for wedding / shower gifts. example : cookware, bedding, appliances, linens, lamps etc.....

but be prepared most people won't know that you have a registry if your not having any kind of wedding celebration for people to attend.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You don't have to have a formal wedding to have a wedding registry, but you do have to have a marriage.

Once you two have had your courthouse wedding (which, frankly, I think can be really sweet and romantic), then you should send out announcements and invitations to a party to share your new happiness with your loved ones. Once that is done, you can sign up for a registry, in case people would like to bring gifts. (To be polite, one must never expect gifts, and especially not do anything that could be construed as demanding gifts.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Definetly have a registry. I wouldn't advertise it, but if someone asks, you can tell them you have a registry.

I think you missed some letters in the title of your post though...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I kind of have to agree with the other posters. You can't really expect to get gifts if someone isn't invited to something. What I suggest is an announcement to attend a reception after the courthouse marriage. You might google this to figure out how people usually do what you are thinking about.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

What in the name!? ----oh-have had a fair amount of wine because it is my b-day-anyway.....

go to your favorite place on earth and select the gifts you would most like to have in the world-and that will be your registry! Best wishes to you-marriage is not easy-parenting is not easy-but knowing you have people praying for you-done!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

IMO, a registry is simply a list of things a couple would like if people want to give a gift. Even if you are not having a ceremony or reception, some people may want to give you a gift and a registry provides them with ideas. Simple as that. Plus, I think walking around with one of those scanners in the store or picking stuff out online is fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I don't know about etiquite on this, but whenever I hear someone is getting married or pregnant .... I will get online at Target, Bed Bath Beyond, Macys, Dillards, Babies R Us, etc and search their name. A lot of invites or announcements don't say where your registered anyway (That's an etiquite no-no according to my mom.) So if you want to register, REGISTER. But no need to go about telling everyone where you are registered if there's no event for them to bring their gift to (a reception or 'event' a week or two after the wedding to share pictures and celebrate your union). So it may be a waste of your time if indeed there is no party or celebration. If people feel compelled to get a gift after receiving an announcement that you and fiancee got hitched this past weekend, they'll likely send a check or gift card anyway.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Usually what happens is that the couple announces the have tied the knot. Then someone hosts a wedding shower for them and the invitations have a wedding registry site on them. Several are better.



answers from Milwaukee on

Even though you are not planning a wedding...you can have a wedding shower AND a reception. A park reception is not very expensive

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions