Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Take my advice: put it on the list

Last night, at book club, the discussion inevitably turned to weddings, as it almost always does. Between girls who are engaged, girls who are newlyweds, and girls (like me) who are new-ish-weds, we run the gamut of "experience" when it comes to wedding planning.

The question last night was about wedding registries (dun, dun, dun) and what to do if you don't really need anything because you have an established household and have been living together already and whatever else. There was talk about honeymoon registries and out-of-the-box registries, like using Amazon to register for all kinds of things, but there was also some emphasis on the value of a "traditional" registry. Trust me - there is value. Let me tell you why...

It can be hard, when you're in your early 20s or whatever, to think way ahead. Like, ahead past your wedding, and certainly further than that down the road. However, your wedding registry is an opportunity where you should try to think way ahead. Try to think about the future, and register for things that you may not need right this very second, but could need in a few years. Sure, right now, you've got all your Craigs-list and Thrift store finds from college. You've got a $10 toaster from Wal-mart. You've got 2/3s of a set of plates and (mostly) matching bowls. That's great. A few years from now, though, you may start feeling like an actual adult, and you might find that the mismatched conglomeration of crap you have isn't really working for you. Guess what! Your wedding registry is a great time to remedy that.

As a favor to you (because I am clearly a wedding expert, having had one and been married for 2.5 years [ha]), I came up with the four things I think everyone should register for, at the bare minimum, even if they are things you "already have." Take a look!

1 // Sheets


Sleeping on nice (I mean really nice) sheets is one of the best feelings in the world. However, those suckers are expensive! Weddings are a great time to get a few nice sets of sheets that won't look ratty after 10 washes and might actually have matching pillow cases (what a novel concept!). Do it - your dreams will thank you.

2 // Towels

This is basically for the same reason as above. Towels (good ones) are not cheap. Register for a set, and for more than you think you need. FYI: if there are two of you (now), you need more than two towels, two hand towels, and two wash clothes - unless you A) never wash your towels (ew) or B) wash your towels constantly.  Additional thought: someday, down the road, you might have children who need towels. Or guests who stay who need towels. A second set of towels is another novel concept! There is no such thing as too many towels, and, if you have the storage space, I highly recommend putting them on the list.

3 // Serving trays, platters, bowls, and utensils

This is one of those times when that foresight business is hard. Sure, you have no use for a giant platter right now or a set of matching serving bowls. Bear with me! Someday, just someday, you might be hosting Thanksgiving. Or Christmas dinner. Or a birthday party for adults. Guess what you'll need? Adult dishes! Do yourself a favor, and get some now - before you realize you have nothing to put the turkey on after you pull it out of the oven.

4 // A Dyson
This one is a little different. The recommendation here is to register for that expensive thing that you think no one will buy you. For C & I, it was a Dyson. We actually argued about this one - C really didn't want to register for it, because it was so expensive. I insisted to him that it didn't hurt to have it on there; you never know what people will buy. If we didn't get it, we didn't get it, and that was fine. Guess what?? We got it (clearly). His aunt and grandmother went in on it together and used a store discount they had to surprise us with it after the wedding. It was awesome, and it is going to last us forever (knock on wood). If we hadn't asked for it, we wouldn't have gotten it. Put the "stretch" gift on the registry, because you definitely won't get it if no one knows you want it.

So tell me...
  • Did you / do you / will you have a wedding registry? Why or why not?
  • What do you wish you had registered for that you didn't?
  • Feelings on people who stray from the registry? (We got both good and bad gifts that were "off registry"... touchy subject!)


Alison said...

I've been married for over 17 years, but we didn't have a wedding, which means no registry. We started out with nothing and had to build it up all ourselves. I don't have formal dishes or a Dyson and I learned the hard way that soft sheets are the only way to go. Amazon and Overstock often have good deals on them. I regret nothing about our non wedding and no registry, but when I had to buy my own Kitchen Aid mixer several years ago, I did say to my husband, 'see, we should have had a wedding.' Lol. I agree that you may as well put the big items on the list (interspersed with more affordable options, of course) because you never know what people are in the mood to buy. And like in your situation, guests may want to team up and go in together on a big gift.

Lisa C said...

We joke that we should've eloped when we moved in together and sent out an announcement that said, "Got married, send gifts." We bought the nice sheets and the expensive vacuum right away. It was nice getting all the entertaining stuff and fancy china fo free.

Lindsay @ Typically Late said...

The sheets and stuff are the kinds of things that if you don't specifically dedicate wedding money (or something similar) to, you will probably never buy, IMO. Also, I feel like weddings are the kind of thing where people want to buy something that is good quality that will last, rather than some junk from Target (and I love Target!! but you know).

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I wish I could register for some towels, sheets and platters now! I have a vacuum but would love upgrades on the other things!

Lindsay @ Typically Late said...

Now that registries are pretty typical, I think it makes sense to help your guests out and actually choose some items that will alleviate the gift-picking stress - but I know that they never used to even exist, and we're very fortunate these days. My parents didn't have much of a wedding either, and I'm pretty sure the only "gifts" they received were some hand-me-down furniture from my grandma... that has lasted to this day! Ha. I fully agree with the mix of affordable and more expensive options - we had everyone from college-age friends to grandparents at our wedding, and received some very nice gifts from all ends of the spectrum.

Ianni said...

By far the best thing we registered for were top of the line knives. Even if you have a knife set, which we did, your will be glad to have them. The registry is a great time too ask for things you normally couldn't justify. My bread knife was $100 and it was worth every penny. A good set of knives will make you want to cook more often.

Anna said...

Great post Lindsay! And too funny because I'm talking about some of my fave registry picks tomorrow. We were kind of in this boat because when we moved in together we needed to get a set of plates and were fortunate to get a full hand me down set of silverware. This is some of the same advice I've heard from others, and I have gone heavy on the serving ware.

I do really like the untraditional items though. We have both a honeymoon registry and an Etsy registry. We know there are some people of ours that love to give experiences and thought it would be a great opportunity to see if someone would want to gift us a gondola ride in Venice while we're on our honeymoon. Etsy has been fun because you can find personalized things with your new name or monogram, my favorite item (sneak peak to tomorrow's post) is a scrapbook for our honeymoon. I'm interested to see what we'll get and I know there will be some things that I missed!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

First of all, yay for book club! I totally agree with everything on this list! My only addition would be upgrade a lot of your small kitchen appliances. Yes, you may have a toaster or a blender, but are they the $19.99 ones you got at Walmart while in college? Those suckers aren't going to last you forever. So now is definitely the time to add nicer appliances that are going to last you through your adult years... or are at least less likely to set your house on fire!

Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife said...

I put almost all that on my registry. I'm about 50/50 of this list.