How to Respond to Judgmental Comments About Your Wedding Registry

Because you don't have to feel bad about registering for what you want.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Feb 19, 2020

If you're dealing with judgmental comments about your registry, don't sweat it. Since you can't uninvite them from the wedding (kidding), there are a few ways to respond respectfully without discrediting your wishlist. Wedding registries simply aren't what they used to be. Gone are the days of running through a store with a scanner in hand. The reality is wedding registry etiquette has changed drastically.

Today, you can register for just about anything you want from the comfort of your home. (The Knot Registry makes it easy for you to add selections from your favorite stores in one easy, accessible spot.) Couples are opting to make their registries more personalized and meaningful, which means you might encounter a few less-than-positive comments from people who might not totally understand how a cash fund works. Here, we break down how to respond when people judge your wedding registry along with exactly what to say.

Acknowledge That Wedding Trends Have Changed

Wedding registries don't look like what they used to. According to The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study, 80 percent of couples set up a registry and add gifts as early as seven months before their wedding day. Nearly 30 percent of couples create a honeymoon registry, and charity and cash fund registries continue to rise in popularity. Additionally, the average couple creates three different registries to fit their lifestyle. (Celeb couples like Tim Tebow and Demi Leigh-Nel Peters are a prime example of how registries can be curated to fit niche interests and causes.)

So what does this mean for your wedding registry? You don't have to endure judgmental comments about registering for a massage on your honeymoon. Or, you can absolutely ask your guests to donate to a meaningful charity instead of buying you a physical present.

What to say:

"We're both animal lovers, so we're asking guests to donate to The Humane Society of America instead of buying us another bedding set—we already have enough! A charity donation is more important to us."

"Zip-lining in Costa Rica has been on our bucket list for years, so that's why we've added a honeymoon fund to our registry. Experiences are more valuable to us than household things."

Use Your Wedding Website as a Resource

Your wedding website should answer your guests' FAQs about your wedding. In addition to adding wedding party bios and local accommodations, also consider including a few tidbits about your registry choices (to tell your "regi-story," as we like to call it). Then, when your friend from high school asks why you've registered for money for cooking lessons instead of a monogrammed set of tea towels, you can direct them to your wedding website to explain why.

What to say:

"You should read our love story on our wedding website. We bonded over our love of Italian food on our first date, so we want to learn how to make a mean penne alla vodka from scratch."

"We're also registering for some brand new kitchen appliances, and we want to make sure they don't collect dust in our cabinets. Hopefully some cooking lessons will upgrade our skills!"

Share Your Plans For Registry Gifts

If someone still doesn't understand why you've registered for a particular item (and they won't stop asking questions even after you've directed them to your wedding website), it might be helpful to share what you plan on doing with the gift.

For example: If you've registered for cash to start a future house fund, explain why being a homeowner is important to you. Even if the guest doesn't completely understand a registry cash fund, they can acknowledge that the money will go to a worthwhile cause. Or, perhaps you and your fiancé are registering for camping gear to use on your yearly hiking excursion. No matter the case, give some background information on why you've registered for certain items to help people understand their importance.

What to say:

"We plan on moving out of our apartment into a house within a year of getting married, so these cash funds will help us get started on making our dream home a reality."

"We love taking weekend trips to new cities, so an Airbnb gift card will help us check off more places on our bucket list."

Be Confident In Your Choices

Ultimately, this is your registry—you'll be the one using your gifts for years to come. Why wouldn't you register for the exact products you need (and want) for your newlywed nest? With so many fun products on the market (like Star Wars InstantPots and Friends home décor), it only makes sense to have your wedding registry be the perfect representation of you and your fiancé.

If your future mother-in-law doesn't understand why you need a set of rose gold cheese knives, that's okay. They aren't for her! You know what your home needs more than anyone else, so be confident in your registry selections.

What to say:

"This is our registry, so we've chosen what we want most."

"Yes, I really do want a charcuterie set with brass serving tools. Since we usually host dinner parties, I want to upgrade my cheese board arranging skills."

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