This is a totally selfish and shallow post and I will love every moment of writing it. Demi and Michael got nuthin on my Disclosure! (90s movie anyone?)
Registries are literally the best things to happen to a future couple, oh you know, besides the whole engagement, marriage and eternal love thing. They literally are better than Santa. They might be better than Disney. Whoa I just said that. Never again in your adult life will you be able to make a list telling people what you would like and have them get it for you. This is a once in a lifetime experience and opportunity. Savor the flavor and go big or go home.
The rules of gifts and when to register. It’s different all over the US. I’ve gone to a lot of Pennsylvania weddings and they gave actual gifts for the wedding. Near me, it’s an unspoken rule that you give gifts for the bridal shower and money for the wedding. I wouldn’t sniff at either, but that is the word around here. That being said, many people also have engagement parties. So my advice? Register as soon as a week or two after you get that ring! It sounds silly but people want to be a part of your big day. They might be far away and want to congratulate you. Give them guidance by registering and showing them your taste, your house colors and your needs. I ALWAYS appreciate a registry. I have been to 5,239,867,201 baby/bridal/engagement/housewarming parties in my life. My friends and family are overflowing with veils, baby bellies, and new houses. LOL! This is a great problem to have and I love sharing in these special moments with them. It;s easy to find a registry and get someone a gift that you know they want. There is nothing better.
One registry/two hearts/many events. You only make one registry for all of your wedding events. Multiple stores are something different. You don’t need to make a bridal shower registry, wedding registry, and engagement party registry— this is all the same. People purchase things from your registry for whatever event they choose. One and done. (This might seem like a strange way to start but you would be amazed how many times I get asked this.)
Now to stores….
Stores Galore. Picking which stores to register with is such a hard decision. Rule of thumb is to have a registry at 2-3 stores. I personally registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy’s and Crate and Barrel. Crate and Barrel is amazing and makes for some gorgeous gifts. Bed, Bath and Beyond gives you major swag, has coupons, and is so user-friendly and helpful (see below). Macy’s was only fine but it was an easy go to for people everywhere. Department stores are epic because you can register for a DVD player, a grill, golf clubs, and a bedspread all in one place. Other popular stores are Target, Walmart, Williams-Sonoma, Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany’s, Kohl’s, or Pottery Barn. When you are choosing, think of where you would like to go for your friends within your budget and what store has the most items that you need.
How much should you register for? I love when people pretend like they don’t need things and oh they are so grateful so they don’t need much. I’ll tell you what I prefer. Tons of things on a registry. That’s right, gobs and gobs of new, shiny items that I can buy you. I want to scroll through hundreds of choices. I once went to a shower where there were 40 things on the registry and they were all purchased except one, the $300 item. Go crazy with the registry “gun,” folks. You ask for it and you might just get it, kids! You should register for more than the total number of guests you invite. Does that sound like a lot to some? Yes but what if the item is $5 and your aunt in law buy 4 other things? Then what? Give your loved ones options when they are being thoughtful and filling your home with love and appliances.
What should you register for? The question should be what shouldn’t you register for? This is time to look through all of your collective belongings and say hey, what do we need? Do you have a cheapie, no name mixer and want to register for the big, bad KitchenAide? Now is the time. You can register for anything and everything. You also have to think down the line to how many people you could be hosting at Thanksgiving or the wine tasting party you know you will have once a month. Your lifestyle will dictate your taste and choices. That sounded so fancy but it’s so true. Like I said, now is the time and this is a one time deal for you to get what you want/like/need. Depending on where you register, you can register for crazy fun stuff like board games, DVD players, juicers, the Roomba vacuum/mop thingy, or even furniture. Don’t forget to get what you need! I love plates and got a ton but I also host a lot of people for holidays and dinner parties so I needed lots of serveware. I loved opening these things and envisioning what I would make to put on them. Less is not more in this situation. Rule of thumb: register for a lot of different priced items. You have one work friend and she can’t afford the $400 KitchenAide and that’s all that’s left on your registry or all you registered for? No. Branch out. Don’t go for things that won’t be available by the big day. Think seasons. Out with the old. Get rid of your rusty old things because it’s time to upgrade. And always go for classic, even if you think it’s too extravagant. If there is a sterling silver platter that looks just like grandma’s, throw that on there too! If someone buys it for you, you’ll be even more grateful and touched.
You know what is amazing? I look at everything I use that was from our registry and I still say hey, so-and-so got us that. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that they are a part of our lives everyday. They were a part of the making of us. I don’t care if people spent a dollar or 500; every gift from every person meant the world to me.
Low maintenance. When you go and register with your fiancée, it will either be so much fun or it will be one of the worse experiences ever. Hubs and I had the time of our lives registering. They gave us the “gun” to scan everything we wanted and then we got home and went over it together, adding and removing the things we officially needed and wanted. We bonded over place settings and our couple style. It was a day I’ll never forget because we bounced around stores like we were high on life or maybe love. The brilliance of online registries is that you could literally do everything from your couch. I don’t recommend that because you want to touch and feel everything before you bring it home but it does make things easier when you are editing what you want/need. Get to that store and go crazy shooting all of the items you love; then go home and narrow it down a bit.
Honeymooners. Honeymoon registries are a big thing now. My friend tells me that honeyfund.com is thebomb.com. You can contribute to someone’s honeymoon and all those sexy memories. You can contribute money towards their airfare, massages, ziplining, hiking, dining out, etc. It seems like a great idea and perfect alternative if you already have what you need for your home. (I like stuff but that’s me.) Other sites to try are honeyluna.com, honeymoonwishes.com, wanderable.com/honeymoon-registry, or travelersjoy.com.
How to ask for Cash. My thoughts? My opinion? Just don’t. It’s tacky. There, I said it. I get it. That’s what you want and need after paying for a wedding. Weddings are wonderful because people want to celebrate you. This post might seem shallow but for real it’s about giving. Your friends are returning the beautiful favor you paid them or will pay them one day; they are celebrating your love and you are putting your hand out and asking for money. Your friends and family give you what they want to give and what they can afford to give. What if they have to stay in a hotel? What if they took a plane to get to you? What if they paid a babysitter for you wedding night? If they want to give you cash, they will. If they CAN give you cash, they will. Leave it up to them.
Put it where? You probably thought I was going dirty here but no. It is much easier to spread the word about where you are registered nowadays. Never, ever put it on an invitation! TACKY McTackerson. Gross McClassless. If someone else is throwing your bridal shower for you, they can include an insert with the invitation. That’s cool but the best thing that ever happened to wedding planning was a wedding website. I mean seriously you cannot get easier than making a website. I LOVED and lived for theknot.com. They made it so easy and I created our website within an hour or so. They allow you to link your site DIRECTLY to your registry. Giving a website address is so much easier to then read about the couple, see how they met, see where they are getting married and oh, wow buy them a beautiful, shiny present. You can include the wedding website address on your save the dates but not on your invite; the save the date points to the website for the wedding information and not just your registries. You can do an insert with your website for the wedding but again not on the actual invite. This again places all of the action into your guest’s hands as it should be.
How long should you keep your registry online for? KEEP IT AS LONG AS YOU CAN. I got married in September 2013. My registry wasn’t complete. Guess what everyone got us newlyweds for Christmas that year? Bam, that’s right! We just celebrated our one year and Bed, Bath and Beyond lets you keep your registry up for awhile. We will finish our registry this Christmas because frankly, we don’t need anything else and the family needed to know what to get! Thanks, fam!
Perks for perks. Getting loot just for registering is another lovely perk. Many brands and stores give incentive gifts for registering for certain things. Do it! Bed, Bath and Beyond by far had the best program for it and I got a ton of extra stuff just for registering! Matching serving spoons, a free serving platter, etc.- people want you to get their brands. Look into each store’s completion packages- some of them ROCK! 🙂 I always go back to Bed, Bath and Beyond because they really offer a great program.
Thank yous. Necessary. Mandatory. Write these cards and try not to cry as you think about how people gave you something special. Write them until your hand falls off. Write them until you cannot think of other words for generous, kind and thoughtful. Write them until you realize how lucky you are to have these people in your lives.
I don’t think this blog is ending how many people thought it would. This isn’t about saying gimme, gimme, gimme. This is about being confident about what you want, yes, but it’s about the sentiment each gift brings into your life. Every single gift should mean something to you in your life. These major events in your life will be something you never forget. I remember that we wanted to have an engagement party so that everyone could mix and mingle, mostly bridal party and family who hadn’t met. I didn’t expect gifts. I had registered because I knew that’s what you did. It was smallish for us but I was shocked and overwhelmed by the amount of gifts people gave us. It felt like I won the lottery, the mega jackpot, with not only love but with my friends and family and their amazing generosity. These people love us so much that they have showered and spoiled us with things to build us a beautiful home.
My advice? Go big or go home when it comes to registering. Enjoy it and dream of Martha Stewart loveliness. No matter how big or small the gift you get, it will mean big things in your heart. Weddings aren’t about gifts but it is an amazing reality of life that people love you enough to celebrate this remarkable event in your life. Savor that flavor.