Cinderella's Fairy Godmother probably just waved her wand and the whole wedding appeared.
The truth is, I don't think you fully realize how much goes into planning a big wedding (dear people who eloped: good for you) until you're really in the thick of things. We have created a billion-dollar industry centered on people getting married. Mom looked at my first checklist from The Knot (which has been a great resource, by the way) and went through it, saying "I didn't have to do that, we didn't have that, I didn't have to worry about that," etc. And she and my dad have been married for 28 years this August! I'm not saying that's a short amount of time, but I feel like it's not long enough of a time for the wedding industry to have been blown into the whirlwind as it currently stands.
I want to trace some of this inflation back to the start of wedding registries in the early 1990s. I think wedding registries are a good idea, in theory. (We have two.) The bride and groom can register for things they actually need, or really want, and they don't wind up with six toasters and twelve mismatched towels. It makes shopping a lot easier from the guest's point of view - I have printed out many a registry and gone hunting in the store for showers and weddings. It takes the guesswork out of things, which is nice.
I love the scene in "Made of Honor" when Patrick Dempsey & Michelle Monaghan are doing a gift registry and he starts juggling china plates in the middle of the store.
But I couldn't find a picture of that, so instead you get a picture of the equally funny scene where he recruits his poker buddies to make bridal shower favors.
However, when I remove myself from the situation, it's really a "gimme" list - This is a list of the things we want. We know there are two hundred items on here and many of them are crazy expensive, but we know what we want. When we went to register at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I was taking a long time looking at things, our consultant actually said, "Don't worry about prices, you're not the one buying things." Yeah, but how rude is that frame of mind?! We're in a recession, and both A. and I have been unemployed at one point or another since we started dating. If I was invited to a wedding and all I saw were $40 towels and $100 bowls and a $500 vacuum cleaner, I would probably just shove a $25 gift card into a card and wash my hands of the whole thing. I can't expect our guests to shell out a fortune for things so expensive I would probably be afraid to use them.
Another thing guests don't realize about registries is that most places offer you a "completion discount," so that if you want to purchase anything left on your registry after the wedding, you can do so for a certain percent off the merchandise. So A. and I figured we would register for things we wanted on top of what we needed, because even if we didn't get them as a gift, we could buy them cheaper for ourselves. This is an excellent tactic until Mom starts asking "Why did you register for these board games? for the style station for your hair products?" etc. etc. (We already got all of the board games as gifts, by the way. Some people just wanna buy fun stuff!) When you look at a registry and wonder why someone has registered for a tent and a badminton set as wedding gifts, remember that if no one buys them, the bride and groom can get them for a discount. And if you're like me and my friends, you might just all go together and get the tent anyway because it's random and funny and why the heck not?
Things you probably don't need. You might want them but you probably don't NEED them.
WITH all of that said, here are some things we registered for and got from either the bridal showers or early wedding-gift givers that we LOVE.
1. Waffle maker
Hamilton Beach Mess-Free Waffle Maker, Target
I hemmed and hawed about registering for the waffle maker for SO LONG. Do we really need it? Do we have room for it? How often will we even use it? It's going to be a pain to clean anyway.
I'm so glad I stuck this on the registry.
This waffle maker is teeny - it's not a big clonky thing that I have to worry about storing. It comes with its own measuring cup to put the perfect amount of batter in. And best of all, it is SO EASY TO CLEAN. We have used it three times already and we're looking forward to making a tradition out of waffle breakfasts very, very soon.
2. Noritake Color Wave dishes
Colorwave Blue Dinnerware by Noritake, Bed Bath & Beyond
When I moved out on my own, my grandma gave me a ton of dishes - very functional dishes, but dishes clearly from the 1970s, as they are decorated with brown and yellow flowers. They have done a good job and held up and we have used the heck out of them. But we really wanted a dish upgrade, especially for when we have company over.
We love these dishes. They are simple, but clean-looking and pretty, and both microwave and dishwasher safe. Hooray!!!
3. Brita pitcher & filters
Brita White Everyday Pitcher, 10 Cups - Target
We are now saving the environment by really cutting back our plastic water bottle usage! Love our new Brita pitcher.
Okay... I promise I will be blogging more in the future, but I am making no promises for the next two weeks... the wedding is coming up so quickly! I will do my best. : )
Take it easy,