Things are progressing pretty quickly now that we have under four months until W-Day. The save-the-dates have all been sent (look for that in a future post!), the suits have been selected, my headpiece has come in (squee!!), and we met with our pastor for the first time this weekend. My faboosh bridesmaids are in the process of planning our bridal shower, which means we need to set up our registries. We had always planned to do it in January, anyhow, since we wanted to wait until the Christmas seasonal items should all be gone. However, no one told me that creating our bridal registry would be the most stressful thing about getting married (or, at least with the exception of a few stupid things, has been so far).
One sunny-yet-chilly afternoon about a week and a half ago, Brian and I headed out to our local Target full of engaged-couple bliss, ready to complete our registry at one of the stores on which we had decided. Within the first twenty minutes that wedding day bliss turned into a sad, week-old helium balloon. First, we had to log in to the kiosk to pull up our registry, which already had a few items on it. Before we started seriously planning, we had created a wedding email address to keep all of that separate from personal and work email, and used the same password for all accounts connected to it. Each time I entered the password, it gave me an error message. I had to log on to Target’s website with my phone to change it, and then log out of my work email (which is connected to my phone) and log in to the wedding email. After fifteen minutes of getting that straightened out, the customer service associate told us to print a certain page, so I pressed “print” and…. nothing happened. She had put us on a kiosk that had no printer. While we were logging in our credentials on a kiosk that did have a printer, another couple came and returned their handheld scanner. Everything was printed and ready to go, and the associate gave us the scanner the couple before us had just used, and told us to “dream big.”
Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t handle inefficiency and redundancy well, so I was already a bit edgy. So, we get to the luggage section and after doing a thorough comparison of suitcases, we decided on one, and… the battery on the scanner died. Ugh. Brian went back to the front desk to get a new scanner and we continued on.
I would estimate we probably spent ten minutes discussing the pros and cons of different vacuum cleaners. I’ve never had to consider the status of our Tupperware before. Nor had I ever put so much thought into bathroom accessories. No one had ever told me that this would be so stressful and time-consuming. No one ever told me that registering for a bridal shower will make you want to question nearly everything about your partner’s tastes (with the exception of deciding on you, of course). Everything was a discussion, and I can’t decide if it did or didn’t help that there are just so many options for things. Towel color, fabric quality, and quantity. Do we need a new _____? Do we have enough of _____ already? I would like to make it clear that none of this was Brian-induced. I think since we’ve both lived on our own before and already have certain things, we have to figure out how to tastefully combine them. No, we don’t need a new toaster oven, I have the one that was used for less than six months at my old apartment. Yes, it is time to get rid of those dishes, I really don’t like red.
So, here we are, 2/3 of our way through our first registry, and not even started on our second store. What have I learned? Here it is:
- Go on a day where neither of you have time constraints. The first day, we thought we could do it before we went to dinner at his parents’ house. Last Friday, we thought we could finish before he had to go to work. Both days, we were wrong.
- Have a game plan. Take time to discuss what kind of color schemes you want to go with for the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and beyond. Even if you’re talking about it in the car on your way to the store, talk about it. Find a list online (like this one or this very comprehensive one) that will give you a general guideline for things that people normally register for so you don’t overlook anything.
- Go through the things you each already have and see what can stay and what can go. He just received a good set of pots and pans, as well as a George Foreman grill two Christmases ago, so we don’t need to register for either of those things.
- Be prepared to stop for lunch at some point, or bring a snack and water with you. I really wish I’d had water to drink the other day. It isn’t unreasonable to think that either of you will get grumpy if you’re walking around and discussing the Huge Life Decision of which spatula to get for hours, so stay nourished and hydrated!
- Register for things at all different price points. Some people will go together and get that big ticket item, while others might want to snap up a few of the lower-priced items and combine them into a set. Register at multiple locations, and consider doing online registries, too. (We’re thinking Amazon.) We’re registering for everything we like at our first store, and then if we see the same thing but slightly different at our second store, and then we’ll go online to compare the two to see which we can eliminate.
- Ask people what has been useful for them and what hasn’t. I polled my Facebook friends to see what they’ve used, and what they wish they had included in their registries. There were some really useful suggestions, including a handheld steamer, a fireproof lock box for important documents, and a cast iron skillet.
- Double-check your registry online when you get home. Our scanner was acting funky, and some quantities that we had changed didn’t show up in our registry. I think we’ll need more than one hand towel for the bathroom…
A personal tip that I’d like to include, but I wouldn’t say is necessary: go with things that will be classic for a long time, or will be easy to coordinate with other things. We’re going with clean, classic white dishes and clear glasses because those aren’t going to look dated five years from now. It’ll be cheaper to swap out things in accent colors than to replace a whole set of sheets or dishes or whatever because they’re out of style now.
What other tips would you include? What has been the most useful thing you received from your wedding registry?