If you have been following Ken and I’s story – you know that we are engaged and in the midst of planning our “sort-of” destination wedding. Long story short, we live in Maryland but we’re getting married in New Hampshire - you can read more about it here.
One part of wedding planning that I didn’t think was going to be stressful was registering. Telling people EXACTLY what to get you for a gift – what could be difficult about that? The fact that we’ve lived together for 4+ years means we’ve already invested time and money into picking out common household items. Don’t get me wrong – towels and sheets can always use an upgrade.
Registering may have been the strangest part of the whole wedding process. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night (no joke) to add things to our wedding registry – and then looking back thinking “WHEN DID I ADD THE SQUATTY POTTY TO OUR REGISTRY?” I felt like I kept adding/deleting items, making sure we had the perfect amount of appropriately priced items. It was an odd time in the wedding process. I found myself NOT buying stuff on amazon (like candle wick trimmers?) because I figured I’d “just add it to the registry”.
For us, registering for wedding gifts, especially when you’re “older,” was a strange concept because whatever we needed, we most likely had already purchased ourselves. That being said, one can always update their dishes or make room for a KitchenAid. We registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Amazon & Zola. I found that BBB was great for registering for things like towels and sheets because you could FEEL them in-store and talk face-to-face with a registry expert (which you can make an appointment with) who can recommend certain products based on your lifestyle (do you cook a lot? Are you a baker?). We registered on Amazon for quirky things like “poop-arroui” and Amazon's Alexa.
Having lived together for 4+ years, the majority of our registry included “big ticket” items or experiences. On Zola, we were able to register for household items, group gifts and create a honeymoon registry all in one place. Ken's passion is smoking meat – so we loved the idea of registering for his $700 dream smoker as a group gift where guests could contribute a certain amount towards the gift. In my mind, I was like “who’s gonna buy us a $700 smoker!?” but Zola’s group gifting made it much more likely that 10 people would contribute $70 towards it. For our honeymoon registry, guests can gift “experiences” such as massages on the beach, candlelit dinner or whatever your heart desires. At the end, Zola sends you the money (via paypal, check etc.) to spend on whatever your little heart desires.
Of course, you’ll get some “off-registry” gifts. One really unique gift that we received at our shower was from Modern Map Art. It was a framed photo of the night sky on the date Ken proposed to me (see full proposal story here – it’s hilarious). Modern Map Art makes it possible to remember the moments that changed your life forever using an incredibly detailed star database with hundreds of thousands of stars to find what the sky looked like at an exact time and place in history (or future!). Ranging from 8x10's to 24x36, Modern Map Art uses the finest quality paper to create a stunning piece for newlyweds. The one we received included the exact coordinates of the location that Ken proposed – and a printed version of the night sky. At the bottom was “Will Ya MARY Me” 7/15/2017. It was a beautiful, unexpected unique gift that was personal to Ken and & I. I loved it and was one of my favorite gifts.
When couples already live together, you may ask “what do we even register for”? Remember that upgrading the essentials is always a great idea (those $150 Pima Cotton Sheets are worth it). Zola is a great all-in-one registry where couples can register for household items, group gifting (you deserve that curved TV) and create their own honeymoon registry all in one spot. As with all things related to wedding planning - remember to HAVE FUN when registering for gifts, experiences, and that dream honeymoon!