This post is brought to you by the Wedding Reflections series: offering the benefit of hindsight to current brides and grooms.
One thing my mom told me that is entirely different about wedding planning from her day, is the commonality of wedding registries. Apparently in the 80s wedding registries were something that only the really well-off girls did, now, it’s weird NOT to have one.
The whole purpose of a registry is provide guests with gift options that the bride and groom truly desire. Here are some quick etiquette guidelines when it comes to wedding registries:
- Never, under any circumstances, should you print where you are registered in the wedding invitations. It is up to the guests to find out via word of mouth (asking mothers, asking bridal party)
- On shower invitations it is fine to print where the bride is registered
- It is perfectly acceptable for guests to purchase a gift outside of the registry
But besides providing guests with gift options, I truly believe that the wedding registry process serves another important function, it allows the bride and groom to start visualizing the everyday items that will soon make up their married lives. Unfortunately in mine and Howie’s case, it also opened the doors to the epic, Oversized-Novelty-Popcorn-Machine battle. Before reading further on, there are two additional things you need to know about Howie:
- He hates shopping
- He especially hates shopping if hockey sticks, Xbox games, or track pants aren’t involved.
And so the incident began, as we enter Home Outfitters to select our items:
Howie: Hey wait a minute Cheryl, you said I could hold the laser gun. That was my one condition when I agreed to be helpful…
Cheryl: It’s not that big of a deal Howie. Who cares who gets to hold it?
Howie: Ok well if you don’t care let me hold it.
Cheryl: Ok fine. But please don’t register for anything stupid.
Howie: I am insulted! Why would you think I would register for something stupid?
Cheryl: Anyways, let’s start in the kitchen area. Do you like these plates?
Cheryl: “Sure” isn’t a real opinion, do you actually like them?
Howie: Yah they’re fine, I think they’re…WHAT THE? $100 for four plates?! That is ridiculous! We could buy plates at the dollar store!
Cheryl: Howe! We are not the ones buying these plates, people will be buying them for us. And it’s not just four plates, it’s four place settings with bowls, mugs and little plates. And please don’t suggest we should buy our marital plates from a dollar store!
Howie: Well you asked for my opinion and I think they’re too expensive.
Cheryl: Just laser them.
(BEEP! Plates are registered)
(Several minutes pass as we register various kitchen supplies, until…)
Howie: OOOOO! Cheryl! Check this out!
Cheryl: What is that?
Howie: It’s a popcorn machine! It’s so cool!
Cheryl: Howie we don’t need a popcorn machine.
Howie: Come ON Cheryl this thing is sweet! It’s like one of those old-fashioned carts! It would look great in my man-cave!
Cheryl: Man-cave? Where are you planning on having a man-cave? We are moving into a two bedroom apartment. Man-caves are for older married men who who want to escape their wives! Why would you want that?
Howie: (Pause) I still have to have my man-cave! We need to register for this!
Cheryl: No Howie! It’s two hundred dollars! If people are going to buy us a big gift I’d rather they buy us things we need! Like plates! Plus, I know exactly what would happen with this. You would use it once, all the kernels and butter will be a huge pain to clean up, then you would keep it in a corner and never use it again.
Howie: Cheryl this is so unfair. This whole day we’ve been registering for things YOU want, and I just want this one awesome popcorn machine for my man-cave and you refuse!
Cheryl: I don’t understand where you think we have room for a man-cave let alone this ridiculous oversized popcorn machine. Plus, all these things we are registering for are not for me, it’s for us! How would we be able to eat and make food without plates, utensils, pots and pans? You think that stuff is for me?!
Howie: I see how this works Cheryl.
Cheryl: Howie, seriously. Look at this thing. It’s massive. If you really want a popcorn machine can’t you just register for this little one?
Howie: That’s not man-cave material Cheryl. Let’s move on. I can tell when my ideas don’t matter.
Since that time, Howie has admitted to me that he never really wanted the oversized novelty popcorn machine, it was just a matter of principle. Also, I have since gone to the grocery store, bought a whole bunch of kernels intending to microwave them in a brown bag (the Dutch version of microwave popcorn) only to realize that our condo didn’t come with a microwave and I now could really use a popcorn machine.
Modern Wife Guide to Wedding Registries:
1. Ensure future hubby understands registries benefit BOTH of you.
2. Decide who gets to hold the laser gun before you get to the store.
3. Pick one stupid item to make him happy but make sure no one actually buys it.
4. Lose the guy. I went with my sister-in-law for round two and had much more fun.
5. Consider registering for an oversized-novelty-popcorn-machine. You never know when it may come in handy.
6. Double check your apartment has a microwave before buying microwave popcorn.
Any other registry-related “lessons learned” we can add to that list?