February 16, 2015 § 3 Comments
I’m stuck somewhere between being a conventional bride and being a way out-of-left-field, Dr. Seuss-style bride. Sure, I’ve thought about my wedding since I was a wee little gal, but not at great length. I never had wild dreams about it where I planned it all out. I’m also not very good at being an adult, so a lot of etiquette is lost on me because while it’s rooted in tradition, it negates common sense.
Take the wedding registry, a tradition that began in common sense. It’s sentiment is that of the father giving away the bride. He’s giving her away because he doesn’t want her anymore. So he’s going to throw in a bunch of household appliances and kitchenwear purchased as gifts by his friends and family to sweeten the deal. A starter kit for a good wife. See now, it’s all set up and the groom has little to no room for argument. Next stop: Buy a house, followed by have a baby. So simple.
It’s not so simple anymore. When I moved into my first big girl apartment all by myself, I didn’t have a dish to eat off. Over time, salary promotions, and a household merger with my future husband, I’ve acquired many fine dishes to hold food. When we need something, we buy it. My pops doesn’t need to give my fiancé a spoonful of sugar with his medicine. We bought the bag of sugar ourselves. Classic wedding logic works no longer.
This tradition now puts us in a pickle. They say register as soon as you get engaged. People want to give you gifts. SAY WHAT?! I think this is silly, and a lie. It’s not like these people asked us to get married, and the gift part isn’t the reason why we are getting married either. It’s to shut our parents up once and for all (until they want to have grandchildren). Most people’s subconscious when they are invited to weddings are like, “I’ll bring a gift that relates to my fun-time expectation barometer. Probably cash, but if I’m at the old person table I’m knocking off $50.”
If people are invited to a shower they be like, “Damn, now I got to get her a gift she’s picked out herself, but will probably return.” It’s hard to get jazzed to give a gift that has already been chosen for you. Sure, it makes it easy for someone who doesn’t know you that well, or your uncle who’s constantly getting it wrong, but it doesn’t make it more fun.
How could I make this fun for my guests? It was a mind bender. Which is why I did the total wrong thing and procrastinated registering for gifts until three months before the wedding. What we really need are upgrades of products we already own, replacements for worn hand-me-downs, and cold hard cash. What we really wanted was decor that reflected our style and humor, adventure gear (camping is expensive for a sleeping on the ground activity), and cold hard cash.
Fortunately for us, jazzing up the run-of-the-mill registry was pretty easy. After all, there is a whole industry dedicated to this stuff. We registered on Zola.com because we were too far past the point of department store laser tag. We had to do something quick that didn’t want to make us gouge our eyes out. The best part was being able to write a note on each item, explaining why we wanted it. It’s like lobbing for your list of top gifts. But half way through we started not to take it seriously, so there are a lot of jokes too.
Maybe offensive to die-hard fans of wedding etiquette, but totally entertaining as you scroll through yet another registry of items people in third world countries have never seen. Another note on this off script registry, the giving is done on the digital plane. You buy online and send to my house. Super easy for you, and it cuts down on my present opening anxiety (which is a real big issue for me). Also, eliminates the transportation of goods. I’m really pleased I won’t have to drive a Uhaul to my wedding.
It’s difficult to ask for cash at a shower. I got pots and pans, but I really need a fridge, okay? But we set up the refrigerator fund anyway. So far ZERO contributions. We were able to register for things we actually wanted like a tent and weird movie posters as well as things we actually needed like a new can opener. You don’t know how desperately we need this $9 can opener. Someone please buy it for us (it’s been years).
I hope the guests who know us well understand that we have a Shark Bathroom and we really want to deck it out like a boss. I hope the guests who don’t know us realize that we aren’t kidding about the Star Wars pillow cases. We designed it for people to get creative and celebrate what we all mutually enjoy. Mostly booze, movies, and funny tv shows.
And when should we enjoy these items? Etiquette says we have to wait until after we are married. I did not find this out until I snap chatted a fun thank you with a full glass of wine to a dear friend who bought me the wine glasses. What?! Wait to use my wine glasses? We’ve been together for 5 years, lived together for 4 years, would have eloped 3 years ago, put our money together 2 years ago, saved for the ring for 1 year. It’s not like we aren’t invested. There are things that would be harder to do than send back gently used wine glasses, should this thing not go off with out a hitch.
But you know what might make us call off the wedding? Wading through unopened boxes for the next 6 weeks as they stack up around our house. This isn’t a museum, this is my home. My little tiny, apartment home. Although, I have considered the box fort possibilities, I’ve got an actual life outside of this wedding. I ain’t got time to ponder the epic hide and go seek battle that could go down if I wait to use my wedding gifts.
In the end, I still find it a bit ridiculous to be getting more possessions. When we go to buy something we ask, “Do we need this, or is it just another thing to have?” In the case of the Death Star Cookie Jar, we needed that, and it’s cool. We are just trying to be responsible citizens. It’s nice to have nice things, but it’s nicer to have people you love.
Share your thoughts on wedding registries. Is it a dying wedding tradition in the wake of modern relationships? Should you still have to buy china for people who have been living together for 3 years? Do you frown upon alternative registries? Would you be offended/think its bad juju to open and use a gift before the wedding?
It’s really an anomaly to me, hope you can clear it up.