The next time I’m invited to a wedding and find myself puzzled about a gift for the bride and groom, I may think about pizza. That’s right, pizza, as in Domino’s, the American multinational pizza restaurant chain that now has a wedding registry.
With a simple computer click, you can choose the gift pizza package the bride or groom has designated on their wish list, which may include, for example, one entitled, “Thank You Card-A-Thon” (apparently to make the tedious process of writing notes less, well, tedious). There’s also a “Low-Key Date Night” package and an “Excuse Not to Cook” one, all cheesy creations for the couple who apparently doesn’t have everything.
Forget towels, sheets or pots and pans as potential gifts; a number of couples living together before marriage have already stocked up on these items.
What’s a gift-giver to do if the couple doesn’t like pizza? Well, there’s always a check to help pay for the honeymoon, wedding or maybe even a mortgage down payment. I read a recent article about nontraditional wish lists that include Airbnb gift cards and contributions for student loans and fertility treatments.
The ‘50s era Hope Chest is now hopeless. Though I never had one (times were a changin’ even then), I remember my aunt stacking up things in her Hope Chest that she herself had purchased, such as embroidered sheets, towels and quilts. Also, she was excited about choosing patterns for the coveted sterling silverware, bone china and crystal glasses that she listed on her wedding registry at a department store. (I don’t think she ever accumulated a full set of any of those things.)
I’ve heard people who married in that era say they have rarely used the then standard items and are disappointed that their children have no interest in them.
My wedding registry was at Hutzler’s, a now defunct Baltimore department store. Though I never considered myself a practical person, I excluded silver, china and crystal from the registry and concentrated more on the necessary everyday items. Maybe, at that point in time, I had no grand visions of formal entertaining. (That’s never changed.) My daughter didn’t include those things on her gift registry either.
Also, our honeymoon was financed by the money gifts we had received on our wedding day which enabled us to take a spin through Pennsylvania Amish country for three days.
Coming back, I was faced with the challenge of hand writing some 125 thank-you notes — with no pizza to cheer me on. Incidentally, most of our wedding plans were guided by a list of do’s and don’ts provided by books about etiquette and manners. Requests for financial contributions weren’t included, nor even thought about.
So, here we are at another time and place, but with a far better choice of what to give newlyweds. Just check any one of several wedding registries which may include Home Depot, Walmart and a wedding registry site called Zola that permits couples to register for cash for whatever their wants may be. If their “wants” happen to be in the experience category, they can ask for something like a diving adventure for two.
I read that one couple googled the question, ”Is it in poor taste to ask for a TSA Precheck (A Transportation Security Administration program that allows low-risk airplane passengers to speed through security)?” The response from the “Miss Manners” of the internet was “No.”
In the past, I usually avoided gifts from registries because, frankly, I enjoy looking for that special something to give to a special person. It can take time and mind-bending to come up with a gift that I hope will be perfect, but when my choice succeeds, I know it’s been worth it. (That’s why I’m not in the habit of giving money gifts at Christmas; I like the thrill of the hunt and have spent Black Fridays shopping from almost dawn until dusk.) Call me crazy.
The exception can include teens and young people whose gifts may be hard to select, and yes, of course I’ve given money on the occasions when I knew a check would be more appreciated.
I also like the element of surprise and can’t figure what’s so special about giving a present that someone is expecting. (Again, more exceptions, such as a pair of pants or a suit that my husband would rather choose himself.)
But what to do about choosing wedding gifts for modern couples? I just googled, “Is it poor taste to choose a present that’s not included on a wish list?”
The answer(s) said that though the gift-giver could use creativity to select a gift, especially for someone they know very well, selecting a present from a registry was “recommended.” It was also stated, “Don’t assume your gift has to be a surprise — instead, let the recipients help guide you.”
Another answer: “Using the registry to purchase a gift is smart. … What you’re doing is buying the couple something that they need and want, so you know they’ll love it.”
You can’t go wrong with pizza.
Dolly Merritt writes from Westminster. Her Prime column appears on the third Sunday of the month.