It’s that time in our lives that many of our friends are either having babies or getting married. Since I’ve not gone down the baby route yet, I figured I’d start a conversation for the ones who are walking down the aisle soon. You’ve got the bridal showers and wedding reception figured out, but one of the overwhelming aspects that many people don’t prepare for is the REGISTRY! Five years ago, my husband and I went into Bed, Bath and Beyond, scan-guns blazing, and registered for everything that was white, and super cute. BAD IDEA. We were planning on moving to California after the wedding. Literally like 3 days after our honeymoon. We didn’t have a house lined up, or jobs! But boy, we had a lot of STUFF.
So, with the input of some married friends, here are a few do’s and don’ts of wedding registry that may help put this event into perspective. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments!
DO think about life after your wedding
Are you planning on traveling? Buying a house, having babies and settling down? Continuing to rent until you figure it out?
Some people have it all figured out, and are ready to stock their house, which is TOTALLY fine. But for others (like us), we didn’t think twice about what would make sense for us AFTER the wedding. We thought “Oh, we will definitely live in a house-like situation, so we will definitely need all this stuff.” But like I said, we ended up taking all that stuff, and moving across the country with it. We had no idea what our life would be like, let alone where we would be living.
Good friends of ours had an idea we wish we would have known about. They actually did think about life after the wedding and realized that they didn’t want to be bogged down with a lot of stuff. Since they were planning on traveling and moving a bit, they registered for a honeymoon (honeyfund.com) where guests could put their money toward a fun experience for the newlyweds. That might have been a new-fangled idea to some of their older family members, since people ended up mostly giving money, but hey - money helps you travel. Toaster ovens do not.
DON’T get scan-happy for “cute”
DO think quality
Some quality items I wish I’d registered for are luxury towels (plenty of them. For guests, and in case someone uses them on the dog - ahem - you need backup), bedding, memory foam pillows (those things are not fun to buy on your own, but a good night’s sleep is IMPERATIVE to a happy marriage), food processor/Vitamix (because I like to cook, and those little appliances make life easy).
DON’T register for home decor
Unless you are legit adults who have been living together for years already, don’t register for home decor items. You most likely don’t know what you will want to decorate your house with after you’re married. I do have a lot of friends who have lived together for years and had bought a house prior to marriage, so this obviously doesn’t apply to everyone. But if you ain’t got a mortgage, you have NO idea what you want your house to look like. Plus, your tastes are guaranteed to change after the wedding bells. Post-wedding, you start to look at your house as “our” house - how do we want to present our house? That painting from Bed Bath and Beyond gets old real quick.
DO feel ok asking for money if that’s what you really need or want
If you mention what you will be putting the money towards, it will encourage the giving of cash, and help your guests feel at ease, knowing their money will be going toward making your lives happier, or towards a marriage goal you both have.
The jury is still out on this one. China is one of those things that you do NOT want to purchase yourself, but you also aren’t sure if you’ll ever use it. It’s a very traditional gift, so don’t feel bad if you don’t want it. You may have high hopes - dinner parties every Sunday with your favorite married couples, and you’ll entertain on every holiday for your family.
But then there’s reality, where your friends really ARE like the cast of Friends and you end up eating pizza out of the box on the couch every weekend. Or, since you live in the South, eating dinner straight from the grill and using a paper towel as a plate (since someone forgot to bring the paper plates).
As my good friend Shannon stated, “We should have registered for Pyrex, because anyone who needs to dine on China is not my friend.” Bottom line is, if you don’t register for it, you’ll end up wanting it; and if you do register for it, you probably will use it once a year. So good luck with that.
What do you wish you had registered for to start your married life? I’d love to see your comments!