Wedding Registries Part Deux: Off Registry Gifts

Gifting off registry. This can get tricky.

As a guest I typically don’t recommend it. If you know the couple very well and genuinely believe that they’ll love what you’re gifting them, I’d cautiously say go for it. However, they made these registries to help guests who don’t know what to get them and to help stock their new home together with essentials (and some non-essentials). And if you do decided to gift off registry, try not to be hurt or insulted if they choose to return or exchange your gift for something else (assuming you give them a gift receipt).

If you choose to make a gift for them, I’d do some research and ask the couple if they’d want, enjoy, or have use for what you’re making for them.

As a couple, remember these gifts and gift registries are just guidelines. They aren’t hard-fast rules for guests, that they must buy off of, and you shouldn’t expect to get everything off of them. If someone chooses to gift you something off registry, regardless of how much you do or do not like it, graciously accept it. They put the time and effort in to deliberately choose (or make!!) something that they thought you would like, want, or need, and you should thank them kindly for it. If the gifter chooses to give you gift receipt for the item and you genuinely don’t want or need it, then you can certainly return or exchange it. But be prepared for any potential follow up questions, like why, from the gifter. If there’s no gift receipt, hold onto it and use the item as often or infrequent as you desire, or choose to donate it appropriately.

Couples, please do not be upset or offended if someone gives you something off registry. Not everyone is tech savvy and can navigate your online registry. Sometimes that older relative believes you need these crystal wine glasses or paisley serving dish for holidays rather than that Amazon Echo you’ve been eyeing. Depending on what you put on the registry, your friend or family member might not be able to comfortably afford anything on there.

One friend of ours was always so offended and upset when someone would send them something off registry because “she had no use for it” or “it was ugly” or “what was the point of making these registries if you’re not going to get something off of it” and “at least we’ll be able to get the money back, or at least store credit, and can get something we actually want.” Every time she ranted on this, I would cringe. Be thankful you’re getting these gifts at all! Be grateful that they thought of you when buying these items, that they thought you could use them well. Even if you don’t like them, send a thank you note and gush over how wonderful, thoughtful, and kind they are. This is doubly true if you created only a money fund or honey fund (whichever platform you choose) and didn’t register for physical gifts at all.

If money is extraordinarily tight for your guest, remind them that their attendance is gift enough. I know I’d rather celebrate with you in person than you send your regrets and struggle to get something for us. Weddings are about celebrating love, not getting everything off the gift registries.

I know I’m repeating myself but I needed to get this off my chest.

Shabbat Shalom



Today I received a set of boxes from my parents, containing my birthday gift(s). The main part of the gift is a computer. The computer belonged to my grandmother, who passed away this past February. As happy as I am to receive this gift all I can think about it my grandmother. I miss her so much. I didn’t get to see her a lot growing up, because she lived a good 6-8 hour drive from us.

She was my last living grandparent and I wish I had called her more, that I had spent more time with her. This is true of all my grandparents but she was my last living one.

I remember her kindness. I remember sitting on her back porch learning to weave from her, while my grandfather read the paper. I remember her smile, and how happy she was to hear and see us, whenever we were there.

I’m sorry. I am so sorry I didn’t call or visit more. I wish we could have had more time.

I will treasure this gift, just like all my others from her because it’s one of the last physical connections I have with her. I cherish my car for the same reason, but with my other grandmother.

So please learn from my regrets. If you still have any of your grandparents, call them or visit them. I wish I could have done it more.

Thank you to my aunt, for deciding that she would rather have a laptop than a desktop, which allowed me to inherit this gift. And thank you to my parents, for shlepping it from C-west to C-east and then shipping it to me (along with several books, spices, and other stuff).

Origami Day 1

For part of my birthday gift, my boyfriend had got a bunch of origami papers and John Montroll’s Easy Origami book. So I finally decided to do some origami today!

This isn’t my first delve into origami. I think my first time was in fourth grade when my classmate’s mom read us Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s the story about a young girl who (SPOILER!) develops leukemia a decade after the bombing of Hiroshima. She hears the legend, that if you fold 1000 paper cranes when you’re sick, you will become well again. Together she, and her classmates embark on this journey of folding 1000 paper cranes together. If I remember correctly, we first learned how to fold them as an art project to accompany the story.

Since then I’ve had other origami books and papers at my childhood home, and have had to fold them in other classes as well. In seventh grade, I think we learned how to do paper cranes (again) and turtles (or was it a tortoise?).

Either way…

From the book my boyfriend got me, I did a paper cup and tulip with stem. Although I’m not 100% sure exactly if/how the flower is supposed to connect to the stem, but oh well. I decided to try to make a paper crane from memory and, even though it’s not the prettiest one I’ve ever made, I’d still call it a success!