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  • Writer's pictureSara Ricke

Wedding Registry Thoughts

Ohhh -- so this is a bit of a hard question for me to answer! The question is, do I have any recommendations of things to skip on your wedding registry? Well, I'll do my best -- and just remember -- I am trying to answer all the angles so keep that in mind!

Take time to plan what what and why things go on your registry. Image courtesy of Grey Garden Creative.

First -- I would say you should consider what the wedding registry means to you. Is it:

  1. To outfit a home for a young couple starting out?

  2. To ask for what you "wouldn't buy for yourself" -- "treat yourself!"

  3. For fun things to add to your life because you both already had established houses?

These are very different things -- and knowing what that means to you will help to work through the rest. And -- I have to note -- this is all my personal opinion. Just little old me. I am just sharing the way that I would tend to look at it and things that I have heard over the years personally -- and overheard from guests chatting it up at the receptions!

1. This is more traditional. The marriage home being your first "real home". Moving perhaps from your parents or college style living -- and so getting things to fill out your kitchen, bath, HOME. These are often very practical (remember practical might not be the sexy stuff -- but can be pretty and match your style and way of life!)

  • Upside? people feel good about getting you things you NEED. If they are practical gift givers then giving you things they feel you can really USE makes them happy! And remember - your dinner making self with thank you for these items!

  • Downside? it can feel funny registering for cookie sheets and spatulas instead of something with a WOW factor -- and, people who are not practical gift-givers will likely go off script and get you something they are excited to give (a little surprise is nice too though!)

2. This is more of a true "gifts of desire" than practicality. Time to pick out the things you are drawn to but maybe not in your budget or if your practical nature wouldn't let you buy. Things that this can include? The automatic wine opener because you like the "idea" of being in a book and wine club {checkmark}. The LED backlit shelves to display your bobblehead collection in your home bar {Checkmark} The his and hers spa style robes because the look of luxury just checks that box for you on what you imagine married weekends will be like sipping coffee over the morning scroll. {checkmark}

  • Upside? you are asking for fun unique things that personally make you feel special or pampered or just truly "gifted" for your wedding. You want that specialness and not the practical, and you can ask for that. If you are thoughtful about what you would love as a gift that you might not purchase for yourself you can have the fun of incorporating those new treasures into your life.

  • Downside? those giving the gifts might worry about spending money on things that they have a hard time seeing the value because it doesn't "feel" the same to them. And, if you aren't thoughtful about your list as well, you might end up with something that seemed neat as a whim but isn't really a long term thing for you...ending up in the bottom of a drawer.

3. These are fun things because you are already established. Maybe you've both already had years to put together the "must have's" -- and you are ready for the fun stuff! If you don't need more of the day to day living things -- this is a great time to upgrade things as a couple! Do you have shared hobbies or want to take some new adventures together? Or add things to your home that are special to you both? This might be the time to set yourselves up to do some great things together!

  • Upside? some gift givers honestly love the idea of being able to give money towards something special -- the honeymoon trip, camping gear, remodeling the backyard BBQ area...whatever it might be. And it takes some stress off of them to remember/buy and hope you got the right gift! They enjoy knowing that you are getting something you really want at this time!

  • Downside? it can feel weird asking people to donate to a trip/adventure. Even though people are planning to give a gift...and intend to buy the gift...straight up asking for money can rub some wrong. Giving a couple options helps to minimize this!

So -- those are my thoughts. What I have seen work well is to give a wide range of things. There are people that are going to spend a lot ( or a group of coworkers pooling money towards one thing) and there are people that have a tighter budget. If you give some options then they can all feel like they were able to do what they wanted! Lastly -- and this is something that based on some of the online things I read as a venue owner -- I would just ask both the giver and receiver to remember that this is a gift. GIFT. While there are social norms that give us guidelines on what is the "appropriate gift or amount to give"...there are a thousand factors in the actual giving! And it is a gift. It is a not an entry fee to the wedding, it is a not even a value on how much they care for you. It is a gift to wish you well. And, don't forget that making the effort of their presence is a present in itself!

- Sara

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