Ah the wedding registry, one of the most mystifying parts of the planning process. What do you want? What don't you want? And more importantly, how do you get your husband-to-be involved in helping you decide?
We've basically finished our registries. My motivations for starting so early were simple:
1.) I wanted to finish before we head back to work and work on them while we actually had time to really think about what we want.
2.) One of the stores is not located in Midland, so I wanted to go while we were in Austin.
3.) By picking out things early, I am hoping some of it may go on sale by the time anyone is actually purchasing (I also realize some things may no longer be carried, but we'll deal with that on a case-by-case basis).
This isn't the story about what we chose for our registry or why, but rather, how to involve your fiance in the decision making process. It was really important to me that Brendan likes everything on the registry. After all, it's our registry. I don't want our future home to reflect just my style, but ours. He has okay-ed everything...and here is the story of some of our compromises, or, rules for registry, if you will.
1.) Decide---how much do we really want to put on here?
One of Brendan's concerns was that we would end up with tons of stuff, and that a lot of it would be stuff we couldn't use for a long time into the future (or things that would take up too much space). We have multiple sets of friends well into their marriages that have yet to open their china or crystal (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that). However, as Brendan was quick to point out, we live in 964 sq ft. apartment. We definitely compromised about how much we would register for and how big the actual items were...every time we added something, I would think a.) do we have the space? and if not, what are we going to give up to make space?
2.) Ask Family First--What do they wish to pass down?
My dreams of registering for 12 place settings of fine china quickly vanished, and then my mom and Brendan's mom both offered up full sets for when we're ready. Plus, Brendan's mom has a set of silver to give us. These offerings immediately eased my registry worries. We could still choose place settings for everyday, upgrade our flatware...but Brendan was right, we didn't need a new china gravy boat, and I'm glad we investigated before registering for a lot we won't use for several years.
3.) Scan Gifts That Will Matter
Brendan's mom gave me good advice...she said, a lot of the stuff people put on registries just isn't that special. As a result, we came up with a new question to ask ourselves: "Will this really matter to us?" We tried to make our registries personal. Above all, we tried to fill them with things we could imagine ourselves using and caring about. We tried to pick gifts that we would remember as wedding presents and gifts that would last a long time. Hopefully, we'll even remember who gave us what. I tried not to go too overboard with the monograms, but I can't promise I didn't monogram a bunch...personalizing, right?
4.) Make Room for Each Other's Hobbies
Brendan really wants to do more camping, and the one thing holding us back has been a lack of gear. We put camping stuff on the registry. I love to entertain, so we asked for some fancy updates like napkins, napkin rings, and place mats (I know some of the stuff I'll have to put aside for a while...until we get a bigger table. Good thing that stuff takes up very little space!)
5.) Find the Things You Know He'll Care About & Let Him Take Over
At first, I was bummed that I couldn't find a ready made spice rack, but then, I realized it was an opportunity for us to pick out our own spices together. I really gave Brendan full control (since he's the one that is adventurous with spices). We picked the rack together, and I read him all the spice names, and he picked the best 12 for what we cook. Any opportunity to let Brendan make choices, I welcome.
6.) Have a Discussion About What Should Be Upgraded
Deciding together what you wish to replace is essential to making both people feel involved. If one of us felt what we had was good enough, we didn't ask for upgrades. We also agreed on a plan for what we would do with the stuff we currently have that we'll be replacing. Trips to Goodwill are in our future, and those will hopefully help out some other area families.
7.) Choose Colors Together
Remember: it's his kitchen, bathroom, and bedding too. Brendan actually had the best idea for everyday place settings. His eye for color is genius.
8.) Go Shopping Together
It sounds obvious, but going to the stores together is essential. We made a fun outing out of examining flatware and choosing a tent. We spaced trips about a month apart so it didn't become a "chore." Registering is more fun and stress free when both people are hands on.
9.) Know Something You Want? Have Him Research To Find the Best One
Brendan spent 30 minutes finding us the ultimate Crock Pot. I wouldn't trust my research (or our kitchen) to anyone else.
10.) Find Out What He's Excited About
If I hadn't of asked, I would have never known that Brendan was super excited about a cold brew coffee system. Now, it's on the registry. Ask your guy to think about the things he really would like. I bet pretty much everyone could think of at least several gifts they'd love to receive. And I'm looking forward to finding out what makes cold brewed coffee so special.
Well, now you have my 10 tips :)
<3 S, B, L&Z