For those of you who know me, you know that I am extremely picky about things I like. This is a blessing mostly because I generally don’t get the urge to buy everything surrounding me, and a curse, as I am also from a Southern family and thus am extremely gracious about gifts I have been given, even if I’m not particularly fond of them.
This made the registry daunting to me as the husband and I worked through it. Months before, I had embraced minimalism after reading (cough, cough listening to) Cait Flander’s A Year of Less. The idea of having a ton of stuff we might not need freaked me out a little bit. Pair this with the fact that my husband and I agree on very little stylistically (he’s more rustic, walls of pine, cabin in the middle of nowhere, and I’m more chic, black white and grey city field), and you have an impending nightmare.
So here’s what we did to minimize relational damage:
- We went on a date to our local Bed Bath and Beyond and picked out different things we knew we needed: knives, pots and pans, that sort of thing. Fighting through the kitchen appliances together helped us sort out our value system. We also kept in mind that we’re planning on moving in a few years and didn’t want to haul around a lot of stuff.
- Individually, we went online and added everything we wanted to our gift list. This included the fun stuff, like board games, camping and running gadgets, and that sort of thing. We didn’t look at each other’s list quite yet. Or individually. We just sat and added stuff. That way we wouldn’t have preconceived arguments about why one didn’t need a nifty, electric can opener. Through this and the Bed Bath and Beyond date, we had around 350 items on the registry.
- We opened a honeymoon fund through theknot.com where we asked for money instead of gifts. I also put on the registry page that we would prefer cash to gifts because we recently bought a car. That way if our guests were debating which, they knew our preference.
- We went through our registries together and questioned every single item on the list. Did we need this? Did it fit into our value system? Would we pack this or goodwill it if we moved? After pairing down the list, we finished with around 100 items, just a third of what we originally thought we needed.
It ended up working out really well, except for a few minor hiccups. We ended up with two different Settlers of Catan sets. Whoops. And we didn’t get some of the things we needed: pots and pans or knife sets. But other than that, I’m really happy with the way things worked out. Most people ended up giving us cash, and it has been stored away in our emergency fund. This puts me more at ease than any of the 250 things we decided not to ask for. Or the few things we didn’t get. Plus, now everything we own fits into our value system we didn’t fight about the registry and I don’t feel bogged down with a million extra things.
I’d love to hear what you think. How did you handle your registries when getting married?