Gifted

After three months, five in-store visits, and several hours comparing products online, Mr. MC and I finally finished our gift registries yesterday. Our feelings on registering were pretty conflicted: asking people for gifts makes us really uncomfortable (especially expensive ones), but it was fun to imagine us and our future family eating off certain dishes or showering in our newly decorated bathroom.

Right after we sent our save the dates out in November, family and friends started asking about our registries. I appreciated their generosity and wanted to give them enough time to purchase something on sale, but I didn’t want to try to register over the Christmas shopping season, so Mr. MC and I headed to Macy’s on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to get started. We were actually starting to get kind of excited”¦and then reality hit.

In our hurry to start the registry, we made two major mistakes. First, we put absolutely no planning or forethought into what we wanted and needed—we weren’t sure where to start and were on two very different pages about what was most important. Second, we chose to go to Macy’s on the Sunday after the Black Friday madness. The store was a little chaotic, employees were exhausted after marathon shifts earlier in the weekend, and there was a lot of unmarked “Black Friday Only” merchandise that we kept picking out and then realizing we couldn’t put on our registry. Also, I may have had the world’s worst headache due to too much drinking the night before. We lasted maybe a half hour before we went home, totally overwhelmed and exhausted.

Six weeks later, we were ready to try again after doing some research, having some long conversations about we wanted, and making sure we were both well-fed, hydrated, and wearing comfortable shoes.  Here are my top recommendations, based on what worked and didn’t work for us:

1.) For stores that have both an online and an in-store option, use both! Many stores offer things online that they don’t offer in-store and vice versa. Going to look at items in the store allows you to see what the merchandise actually looks and feels like, but looking online allows you to read reviews and learn more about the product. Combining both gives you the best of both worlds.

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This is the bedding we picked out—it looks off-white online, but it is actually a dark green and teal/blue combo in real life. / Image via Target

2.) Before picking out what stores you want to register at, do a little research on store policies and know what you’re getting into! Stores have different completion discount options, return policies, and lengths of time to keep your registry open. Some of them also offer nice extras: Macy’s lets you use an app to scan items instead of using a scanner; Bed Bath & Beyond will give you an appointment with a registry consultant so you’re not blindly exploring the store; and Sears allows guests to collaborate online with “Group Gifting.” I found this site incredibly helpful while doing my research.

Sit down with your fiance and have a conversation about what is important to both of you, then focus on those items when registering. We totally disregarded the standard checklists. Instead, I kept a mental list of anything we mentioned wanting or needing while we were cooking or doing something in our apartment—toaster, coffee pot, pineapple corer, etc. Even with this strategy, we weren’t sure what to do about some of the bigger items. My mom pushed for fine china (because it’s just a thing you do), but my boss told me to think about our lifestyle now and what we wanted our lives to be like in a few years—did we see ourselves hosting formal dinners or having friends over more casually? With that in mind, we picked out some casual serving dishes for parties and found a fun, casual second set of dishes we can use for special occasions without feeling too formal.

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We picked out the Mikasa Cheers White Dinnerware—the neutral color is a perfect contrast to our everyday Fiestaware, but the design keeps it fun and casual.

If you dislike shopping as much as we did, find a way to make it as painless and interesting as possible. We waited to go back to Macy’s until they had a Sip and Scan event—registering with plenty of professionals on hand to answer questions while we ate snacks and listened to a DJ made everything a lot more fun. At Target, we got a “buy one, get one free” coupon for a free drink from the Starbucks in the store, which we used to reward ourselves after finishing the registry.

We were actually having a good enough time that Mr. MC allowed me to take five million (really awful) pictures of him while he actually did work!

We were actually relaxed (bored?) enough at the Sip and Scan event that Mr. MC allowed me to take pictures of him pretending to look at bedding.

Overall, creating our gift registries wasn’t quite as awful as we expected, but we are so happy to be done with them. I had my biggest crazy bride moments while registering, so hopefully we’re done with that, too! (I may have said things like “This is us in dinner plates.” and “No blue towels. I don’t want it to look like the shower curtain threw up all over the bathroom.” So, so crazy.)

Are you relieved to be done with your registries or were you looking forward to it? Did anyone else get a little crazy over random things?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Milk Cow

Birthday:
August 10
Location:
Columbia, MD
Wedding Date:
July 2014

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  1. Member
    Mrs. Llama 21 posts, Newbee @ 9:34 am

    We started a few weeks ago and created a small Crate & Barrel registry…I think we’re going to go with just that and an Amazon universal registry. But I feel a little lost – I also don’t want to go by the standard list they give you, but we have so much stuff in storage, we can’t remember what we do and don’t have! Arg. Sounds like you got what you need, even if it wasn’t very fun!

  2. Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 207 posts, Helper bee @ 9:49 am

    @Miss Llama: I love Amazon registries – we considered one, but I have a weird need to touch everything :) The best thing that happened to us while registering was moving, because I had to pull everything out of storage boxes and see what we had, what we needed, and what we probably wanted to replace. It’s hard to remember what you’ve packed away!

  3. Member
    OKJC 98 posts, Worker bee @ 10:08 am

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who had a registry *moment*….I felt a fair bit of anxiety the first time:”Is this the gravy boat I’ll want in 20 years?, Does this go with the imaginary decor I have in mind for my future house?” I went online later and changed quite a few things after the fact. :)

  4. Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 207 posts, Helper bee @ 10:18 am

    @OKJC: You’re definitely not alone! We actually picked out teal and orange dishes in November, but by January Mr. MC had realized he maybe didn’t want to use those every single day, so we ended up changing our entire registry! :)

  5. Member
    lac125 24 posts, Newbee @ 10:21 am

    We bought a house in the middle of doing our registries so we were also able to really see everything we have and now have a lot of extra space that needs filling!

    Being able to use your phone as a scanner at Macy’s is fantastic. It really came in handy when we decided to go to the Macy’s in Herald Square. We didn’t have to worry about going all the way up to the bridal section on the 8th floor to get a scanner. We could just work our way up. But talk about overwhelming! They have EVERYTHING in that store!

  6. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 10:54 am

    I am so overwhelmed by registries that we still haven’t started yet! Oops. Better get on that! :)

  7. Member
    blueteacup 170 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:52 am

    I’m gonna go all Fiestaware fan girl on you. I just stared collecting it and am looking forward to filling my registry with more pieces.
    My mom kept telling me I needed to get fine china until I reminded her of the 8 place settings she has sitting in the china cabinet that I’ve seen her use exactly two times.

  8. Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:18 pm

    I love your white dishes–those are so cool, I wonder why I didn’t see them. (You know I was obsessed with white plates!)

  9. Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 207 posts, Helper bee @ 12:25 pm

    @lac125: Honestly, that was the biggest help! We have less storage space now, though, so some of our special occasion stuff will be living at my parents’ house for a while :) I can’t even imagine – you had to go through 8 floors to get to the bridal section? So overwhelmed just thinking about it!

    @Miss Parisian: Seriously – we probably would not have started it if people hadn’t been all over me about wanting to get us house-related gifts for Christmas, haha. But I’m so relieved it’s done.

  10. Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 207 posts, Helper bee @ 12:28 pm

    @blueteacup: I’m so in love with it – I can’t wait! We were of course super picky and didn’t like the bowls that came in the set, so we registered for everything individually. So excited!! Also, my mom is the total opposite – 3 sets of china, has specific days and times to use each, but she’s the only one I’ve met like that. Most people were more like your mom for sure.

    @Miss Clover: Haha, all of your pictures and talk about white dishes is what convinced me I needed a set of my own! We stumbled across them after our first choice in the store had awful reviews online and I’m so happy we did!

  11. Member
    Mrs. Pyramid 99 posts, Worker bee @ 8:48 am

    hahaha “this is us in dinner plates.”
    Glad you got it all worked out, it is a stressful process!

  12. Member
    Mrs. Goose 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:22 pm

    Ah, registries! Gander and I have been trying to avoid this so far! We’ve started 2, completed 0.

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