">>I think your parents are a more accurate reflection of the people that will be >>attending your wedding buying you the gifts and I think they are saying it's not a good >>>idea for a reason.
Really? How so?
If I listened to my parents, I'd still be be back East living five minutes away from them. ;) At least in my case, most the guests are fellow Coloradoans who are transplants and roughly our age (30s and 40s). Not sure what input the parents would have on our guests..."
Relating your choice of where to live/move and how to live your life has little to do with what you register for as gifts. My advice is geared towards Logan, and I got the impression the parents are throwing them a wedding versus he is paying for his own wedding. The parents probably know 90% of the people attending the wedding. There is a reason why wedding gifts are geared towards the home, it's because two people are coming together to make a new family and a new home.
I also don't subscribe to the idea of 'it's your day, do whatever you want and your guests should just suck it up and deal with it, if they don't like it forget them'. Weddings are about the bride and groom yes but if you expect people to travel from all over, take time off work, spend money coming to your wedding and bring you a thoughtful (and expensive) gift to share and add to the excitement and specialness of the day then the wedding is no longer just about you. If you are footing the bill and want to do your own thing, if people come or not you don't care then fine, it is your choice but I have also seen where people do that then complain that nobody came.
When I got married we had not lived together but between the two of us we had all the sheets, towels, plates, whatever to outfit our home but those things were our stuff, mis-matches, college stuff. We registered for nice, new things that were ours together. Sheets that only we will have slept on together, dishes only we will have eaten on together. Our old stuff we donated and or gave away to friends. We got new towels, new pots and pans, cooking utensils we needed to cook nice meals together. We didn't get 5 butter dishes, no fine china that gathers dust. Almost 5 years later we are still eating off our nice matching dishes, still cooking together with our wonderful pots and pans, still drying off and enjoying our matching towels, and enjoying our wonderful new mattress, with wonderful new high thread count sheets, under our awesome down blanket with beautiful duvet cover on our awesome pillows. These things are our things, in our home, that we built when we joined together in marriage. This, to me, is what marriage and wedding gifts are about...the new home that is created when two people join in marriage.
Backpacking and climbing may be an activity the married couple enjoy together every week for the rest of their lives but, it is a hobby and in my opinion, has nothing to do with a wedding.
All that said, I give cash in an envelope with a card for wedding gifts. Folks can buy whatever they want with it but that is not typically how Aunt Suzie and Uncle Jim feel. Aunt Suzie and Uncle Jim want to feel good about giving a gift for the new home of the bride and groom, not feel bad that the $350 pot and pan set they gave you is boring compared with the snowboard set Aunt Sally gave you.
BTW I don't think it is rude, just not appropriate for the occasion.