I’m getting married! Now what? Truly Engaged is a new blog series written by Rachel, our *newly engaged* staff writer. As she wades her way through the wedding planning process, she’ll be sharing some of the emotions, inspiration, and insight she uncovers along the way.
With less than four months until our wedding day (gulp!), Tim and I have been immersed in one of the more fun tasks on the to-do list: creating a wedding registry!
While browsing registry checklists for inspiration, we ran across all the classics — from colanders and cutting boards to bed skirts and blankets. (Let’s not forget all the wedding “wares”: silverware, cookware, kitchenware…) I have to admit, it’s fun to meander down the aisles and go <beep> with the scanner—it’s like “pinning” for gifts!
However, as we began shopping and scanning, we realized that while the classic essentials are nice, we don’t necessarily need (or want) everything on those lists. We also felt that these lists no longer applied to our more modern relationship, lifestyle and habits.
We realized we wanted to expand our options and create a registry that not only reflects what we need, but also who we are and what we enjoy. Just like every other aspect of our wedding, we wanted the registry to feel personal, meaningful and relevant. In other words, we wanted it to feel like “us”.
Here are some ways we’ve been working to achieve that goal:
Creating an Online Registry
While we like Target, Macy’s, Crate and Barrel, etc., these stores don’t always carry the more hobby-specific items that Tim and I might enjoy. Therefore, we decided to sign up for MyRegistry—a website that allows you to add gifts from any site on the Internet. We even downloaded a button to add to our toolbar–that way you can quickly add to your registry from any website on the Internet. We really like having the freedom and flexibility to “register outside the box”. For example, I added a women’s hiking daypack from REI since Tim and I love to go hiking.
Other non-traditional registry websites allow you to register for your honeymoon (Honeyfund) or for enriching experiences (Cloud 9 Living).
Note: We’re still registering at two department/national stores, so that guests who prefer the traditional, in-person shop-and-buy experience can do that, too.
Adding Gifts that Reflect Our Current Lifestyle and Future Aspirations
Tim and I have been trying out different idea-generating methods to help brainstorm gifts that will be meaningful, relevant, and enriching to our lives as a married couple.
For example, we browsed pictures of us together and rummaged through my “boyfriend box” (yes, I can proudly admit to still having one) to jog our memory of fun dates and activities we’ve done in the past. We asked ourselves: What sort of gifts might help us create more happy, enriching memories like those?
We’re also exploring the idea of registering for cash gifts towards enriching experiences. For example, we’d love to go on a hot air balloon ride, so MyRegistry allows us to add a “cash gift” and label it “Hot Air Balloon” so that guests know what their money will go toward.
Thanking Guests for “Experience Gifts”
Although we might not cash in our “experience gifts” immediately, we will still send a thank-you note soon after receiving it (we practice good etiquette!). However, I’ve been thinking of a neat idea: sending an additional thank-you note after we have done the actual experience. For example, we could mail a postcard or photo card of us actually doing the experience (ex. hot air balloon ride), with a thank-you note attached or on back.
I’m curious about how other couples are personalizing their wedding registries. Have you recently registered for your wedding? What tips/ideas do you have for personalizing the registry?
Have a great weekend everyone.