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Annie’s Mailbox: Guests can give what they choose

Dear Annie: I am getting married to a wonderful man. We both lived independently long enough to accumulate two of everything. I have requested that, instead of gifts, guests make a donation in our name to a charity of their choice.

Here’s the problem: No one is complying. They keep insisting there must be something I need. I hate the whole concept of registries or the thought of useless stemware being given when donations to local charities would go much further and make me happier.

My future mother-in-law isn’t supportive of the idea, so she won’t help spread the word. How do I respond when people keep asking, “No, really, what do you need?” – Frustrated Bride-to-Be

Dear Frustrated: Brides can make suggestions about gifts (through registries and informing friends), but they don’t make the final decision. Guests can give whatever they choose, like it or not. Tell your friends to help pass the word. Consider registering at a store where the return policy allows you to receive cash back. When people ask what you really want, say calmly, “I really want donations made to charity. Those would be the most thoughtful gifts we could imagine.” But whatever they give, please be gracious enough to send an appreciative thank-you note.

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