I recently came across a post on the Glamour Save the Date blog OMG! Do NOT Put These Items on Your Wedding Registry. (What’s WRONG With People?). I clicked through expecting to see sex toys or something equally outrageous, so I was really taken aback when I saw that the first item on the list was a DSLR camera. Mainly because I had just been thinking not long ago that a fancy camera would make a fantastic wedding gift. The post was written in response to an article called 11 Tech Items to Consider for Your Wedding Registry, which suggested the following items:
1. DSLR camera, like the Nikon D800
4. Flat-screen TV
5. Record player, like this affordable Wood Turntable
6. iPod speakers
7. Blu-ray player
8. Gaming system
9. Stereo system with surround sound
10. The Nest Thermostat
11. High-tech washer-dryer
Glamour‘s blogger was absolutely outraged at the majority of the items on the list, but I have to politely disagree with her assessment. I think some of these items sound fantastic, and on the whole, I think that registering for technology is fine.
Now, I completely understand that some of the outrage has to do with price. I mean, seeing a $3000 gift on anyone’s registry would probably cause most guests to do a double-take. But a lot of these items (including the camera) have lower-end versions that are definitely affordable, especially if you’re into the idea of going in with friends on a group gift for the couple. The Nikon D800 is in the thousands, but the Nikon D3000 (which is a great camera!) is about $500; split that among four couples and we’re looking at $125 for a wedding gift. Is that a cheap gift? No, but I’d pay that much in a heartbeat to give an awesome gift to one of my closest friends.
While I understand the complaint that these items are expensive but not particularly long-lasting, I’d argue that wedding gifts don’t have to be long-lasting. I’ve given friends dish towels and kitchen utensils for wedding gifts; even if they registered for the nice ones, I’m not deluding myself into thinking that they aren’t going to replace them eventually. As long as I spent an amount I’m comfortable with and the couple got as much use out of them as they could, I’m not going to be offended if they don’t pass my gift along to their grandkids. And while some of these items aren’t cheap, you can get iPod speakers for a price that’s comparable to other wedding gifts, so I don’t see the harm. (And, in fairness, the Glamour blogger gave #5, #6, and #7 the green light, so I suppose she doesn’t either.)
I think the laptop seems a little silly because laptops are really made made for solo ventures, and we typically think of wedding gifts as something that the couple would share. But if the couple is the type to listen to music together or are total TV people, giving them a gift that contributes to their main source of entertainment makes a ton of sense. And there are enough geeky gamer weddings out there to make me feel like there are plenty of couples who would love a new gaming system more than anything they sell at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I love giving gifts, and I really love giving people what they want. If a gamer couple wants a video game console…well, why not?
As for thermostat…again, if it’s something you want and will actually use, it seems like a great wedding gift. (I’ll admit, my fiance and I have been eyeing them, though it never crossed our minds to register for one.) But it seems like a great wedding gift to me. It’s literally a housewarming present! It’s a gadget, yes, but it’s supposed to help you save money on your energy costs in the long run; that seems way smarter to me than asking for a Crock Pot that you’ll let gather dust. (Though OMG you should definitely register for a Crock Pot and actually use it because Crock Pots are awesome.) A high-tech washer and dryer isn’t cheap, but I don’t see any harm in asking for gift cards to a specific store and letting guests know you’ll be using them toward your washer and dryer. I’d rather know I was helping you get what you really want, and if a nice washer and dryer is it, well, then, I hope you’ll think of me every time you load in your filthy underwear.
But back to the DSLR camera. I love my fancy camera and though I use it primarily for blogging, I recently realized how much my non-blogger friends would probably enjoy having one for taking pictures of their homes, vacations, pets, and, eventually, their kids. There’s something incredibly sweet to me about giving a couple a nice camera to begin documenting their lives together. The couple I know who are big travelers and are planning a trip to Turkey a few months after their wedding? Of course it would make sense for them to register for this. I’m kind of annoyed they didn’t register for this because it’s such a perfect gift!
While I think it’s easy to think of technology as something that everyone has and everyone replaces often (because that’s what a lot of middle class people do), it’s also important to remember that some people prize their technology and use it forever. My mom bought her first video camera in 1990 and I’m pretty sure she was still using it as of a few years ago. And her Canon camera looks exactly like a Canon DLSR camera…except you load actual film into it. She has no desire to buy a digital version of it; after all, it still takes good photos. And with both of these items, she can tell me how she saved up to buy them and I can see that they are really special to her. I guess it’s just easy for me to imagine people saying the same thing about cameras they received as a wedding gift. But the fact that something comes with a charger and has a screen doesn’t make it any more ridiculous than those $700 pots from Williams Sonoma.
Ultimately, gift registries are always going to be marked by confusing rules that make no sense. If registering for a camera makes sense to you because you know you’re going to use that thing until your unborn child’s high school graduation, then gosh darn it I’d love to help you get it! While a wedding isn’t an excuse to register for All the Things — and you should always register for items in the $5-$25 range, unless you’re William and Kate — if your guests are cool with you putting some pricey items on there, by all means…choose the pricey items that you’d love to death.
This was a guest post by our friend Rachel Wilkerson. Rachel Wilkerson is a writer and community manager living in sin in Houston, TX. She also happens to be planning her wedding! You can see more of her writing on her brand-new blog The House Always Wins. Follow her on twitter @RachelGettingIt.
See more of Rachel’s previous posts here:
- How to choose your bridal party
- Choosing a wedding venue when everywhere is a destination
- Dealing with Wedding Snark
- Five wedding gift etiquette rules that make no sense
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