Remember how, as a kid, the Toys R Us holiday catalog would come in the mail and you’d go nuts circling everything you wanted? And, of course, you wanted everything? Well, I imagined that registering would pretty much be a grownup version of the Toys R Us holiday catalog—we’d scan ALL THE THINGS, and then people would buy them for us, and we’d all live happily ever after.
Here’s our current situation: Stallion and I have been cohabitating/living in sin for about three years now. Somewhere along the way, we stopped being heathens and acquired the trappings of adulthood such as dishes and forks. Shabby though it may be, we’ve more or less set up a household. We’ve got our basic needs covered.
So why register, you may ask?
Last time, I revealed our amazing honeymoon destination, and I can’t wait to share those recaps with you all, but before I do, I want to take a moment to discuss our honeymoon registry.
It’s no secret that honeymoon registries are a controversial topic. While some consider honeymoon registries to be extremely le tacky, others swear by them. You can easily guess what camp I’m in since I’m writing about it. Like so many modern couples, Mr. Waterfall and I moved in together before getting married. Over the last two years, we have furnished our home with most of the household items we need. And while there are some items that we would love to add (KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I’m looking at you), we just don’t have the room in our tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Since we won’t be able to purchase our home right away, we didn’t love the idea of accumulating a bunch of extra stuff that we would then be forced to pack up and move in a year. Enter: the honeymoon registry.
Our first encounter with honeymoon registries was a few years ago at our friends’ wedding. The couple was honeymooning in Bali and had registered for yoga classes, room upgrades, even breakfast in bed! We instantly loved that we could help our friends have the honeymoon of their dreams instead of just buying them a blender or handing them a cheque. I guess it all comes down to personal preference, but seeing pictures of our friends’ honeymoon gave us a sense of satisfaction that we hadn’t felt with traditional registries or cash gifts.
Or: “Why We Don’t Have a Wedding Registry”
As a general rule, I’m a fan of wedding registries. I think they can be invaluable for guests who truly want to gift the bride and groom items the couple want or need. I’m happy to shop from them. I have nothing against the concept of wedding registries.
But I did not want to make one for our upcoming wedding.
Part of this is that, as an older couple, we have many years of accumulated stuff. We have a 2,000-plus square foot home’s worth of stuff, to be exact, already creatively crammed into not quite enough space such that our two-car garage will never hold even one of our cars. Stuff that, when we first moved in together, took more than a single 24-foot moving truck to consolidate more than three years ago, and we’ve only added more stuff since then! I have a KitchenAid, and more knives and kitchen appliances than we’ve got space for, and we’re inheriting my grandmother’s china and silver in a year or two from Dr. Aunt. (She’s passing down things to the next generation early, not planning on passing away, and let us have our pick several years back.)
Image via Meme Generator
And I don’t know what on earth is going on with 3G signal in the southeast, but unless I’m on WiFi, my internet is buggered.
Just thought I’d let you know why my posts went down from once every other day to pretty much nonexistent.
Fear not (not that any of you are really that bothered)—I’ve been doing a bit of DIY, but otherwise I don’t really have much left to do, despite being only nine and a half weeks away from the big day now. I’ve pretty much mostly been buying things for my honeymoon from Amazon. Thirty-six disposable ponchos arrived for me the other day…rock ‘n’ roll.
Anyway, to kick off being “back” I thought I’d do a little tutorial post for you!
My friends got married and had a small intimate wedding on an island off the south coast of England. We couldn’t go, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to give them a little somethin-somethin.
Ah, the honeymoon fund. A source of great debate in the wedding blogosphere. If you’re new to the wedding game, haven’t read these posts from Miss Jackrabbit or Mrs. Perfume, or just flat out ignored the idea of them altogether, allow me to introduce you:
Image via Traveler’s Joy
There are lots and lots of options out there to accomplish this type of registry: Honeyfund, HoneymoonWishes, Wanderable, and TravelersJoy seem to be the most popular. The idea is simple—like a traditional, in-store registry, you set up a registry list of items you want, but instead of china, towels, kitchen gadgets, and sheets, you register for airfare, room upgrades, excursions, and private dinners on the beach. You can designate an amount for each item, and break it up into smaller increments for your guests to buy. For instance, if zip-lining through the jungle costs $200 for both of you, you could divide it into four gifts of $50 for people to purchase.
The idea behind these registries is somewhat controversial—some people feel it is a unique way to gift an experience rather than a blender, some people think it’s rude to ask guests to essentially pay for a vacation, and others feel it’s a sneaky way to ask for cash, which is a definite no-no in some circles in the world of wedding etiquette.
I CANNOT believe that I’ve already been married for a month as of today—crazy how quickly time flies!!! As I still anxiously patiently await our wedding photos, I wanted to share the fact that I finished all of my post-wedding tasks (other than my recaps, of course) as of last week. That included choosing clips for our WeddingMix video (more on that once the video is actually done!) and, most importantly, sending out the last few thank you notes for all the gifts we received.
Because we had a destination wedding, Mr. M and I were seriously shocked by how many gifts, both physical and monetary, that we got. We honestly didn’t expect to get much since 112 of our 116 guests had to travel from the US to get to Montreal, but every week we’d have package after package delivered to Mr. M’s office or my parents’ house. Just a few weeks before the wedding, we had to add quite a few more items to our various registries because we were running out of options for our guests.
With that in mind, we added all types of items, even ones that we didn’t think anyone would actually get for us. And like that very same assumption we made with the Wusthof knive set and KitchenAid mixer, we couldn’t have been more wrong! For those of you still working on your registries or still struggling with things to add, here are some more of the kick-ass registry gifts we received that I HIGHLY recommend adding to yours (if you think you’ll actually use them, of course).
Nest Learning Thermostat / Amazon
This thermostat was hands down the coolest item we added to our registry. Courtesy of Mr. M’s boss, this thermostat is digital and can be controlled remotely (e.g., outside of the home, from bed, ANYWHERE) through an app downloaded on your smart phone. It also knows when you are away, so will conserve energy by turning off. You can program it to kick in/turn off at any time of the day, any day of the week. This is perfect for anyone, even if you and your SO aren’t particularly techie.
If you’re just morally opposed to honeymoon registries, then you might as well stop reading right now. Because I used one and loved it, and now that it’s all said and done, I’ve got a few tips for future couples hoping to make the most of a honeymoon registry.
Like a lot of other couples, Mr. Whale and I moved in together more than a year before the wedding. This means that we already have a lot of stuff that you would normally put on a registry. And even though there actually is some stuff we don’t have, our apartment is ridiculously tiny, and we
barely have don’t have room for all of the stuff we currently own. (Our oven is some weird miniature size that’s so small we can’t even fit a cookie sheet inside of it…)
Because of our lack of need for stuff and lack of space to put anything extra, a honeymoon registry was perfect for us. Now, there are two (or at least two) ways to do a honeymoon registry. You can have people actually buy you specific things, meaning when they buy you a massage, you are actually signed up right then and there to get a massage. I have no idea how this kind of registry works. I think you would need to do it through a travel agent or something. What we did was basically a cash registry, where we tell people what we’re planning to spend the money on. (I’m pretty sure this is the more common way to do things.)
After doing some research, I decided that Wanderable would be the best site for us. It’s absolutely free to set up a site, and the designs are all super attractive and professional looking.
Screenshot of one of their sample registries
You write a title and a brief description for each gift and then set the price and quantity desired. Here’s a clip from our registry:
I love my family and friends and am always grateful when any of them are gracious enough to give me a gift, but when it comes to registering for shower and wedding gifts—I find myself at a dead end.
Mr. Jet and I have been living together for almost five years, and since both of us can cook we have almost every gadget, gizmo, and whatchamacallit there is. We are paying for our own honeymoon, so at first we thought we could do a honeymoon registry, but since we’re going all-inclusive there really isn’t much to register for. A nice dinner on the beach? Included. A massage? Included. A bottle of tequila? TOTALLY. INCLUDED.
We scratched that off our list, but what if people do want to give us a physical gift? Do we chance it and end up with a hideous wall clock? Or should we upgrade some of the stuff we already have with a small registry at C&B?
It’s weird…before the ‘Bee I never even realised that people had such strong opinions about registries.
Apparently a registry should be spread via word of mouth, and it should be for only household gifts. You should never expect a gift, and you should be thankful for that plastic flower that your great aunt gave you that says “do not display in direct sunlight” on the label, even though you’d never display it anywhere where light could get to it because it’s so hideous. (That didn’t happen to me…OK, it did.)
We’re not doing a household registry. We’re doing a honeymoon registry. We will be putting the registry details on our website and app, and we can pretty much guarantee that everyone will be thankful that we did.
You see, registries just aren’t a big deal. Not with my circle, anyway. We’ve had household registries, honeymoon registries, and even little poems about how it’d be nice to get cash. And it never offended me. Not one bit.
Let me get this out of the way—I hate receiving gifts. It makes me feel really awkward and I don’t usually react well, even when it is something I genuinely love. I am getting married, though, and getting gifts is just something about the experience I need to get over. Hey, at least we probably won’t have to open our gifts in front of our guests, aside from maybe at my bridal shower. I do not expect anyone to give us a gift—especially since everyone has to travel for our wedding—but if our friends and family decide to be extra generous, I wanted to make sure they have some direction of what we can use.
I knew I wanted one nice-ish store and one everyday store, in addition to a honeymoon registry. The everyday store was a no-brainer—Target! There is one in almost every town and they have great values. The higher end store wasn’t quite as easy but we eventually narrowed it down to Williams-Sonoma or Crate & Barrel. We ended up picking C&B because we liked their options the best and they just introduced a great flat-rate shipping policy.
We’ve had a list going for a while of what we wanted to register for in order to avoid picking things because they caught our eye (although that did happen!) or missing things we didn’t think of. At C&B we are registered for a lot of our basics.
Aspen Salad Plate / Image via Crate & Barrel
With our wedding less than 40 days away (holy crap), it’s felt like Christmas over at the Mongoose house for the past two months! We’ve gotten boxes full of awesome registry gifts that have been sitting in the kitchen for a while. So this past weekend, we decided to do some spring cleaning around the apartment—which meant getting rid of house stuff we no longer want/use (for example, tons of old glassware that we’ll be donating to the Salvation Army) and making room for all of our new fun presents.
The biggest surprises in terms of registry gifts (so far) have been the big ticket items that we were convinced no one would get us. Turns out we were wrong! In no particular order, here they are.
Wusthof makes the most amazing knives, and this is a set we’ve wanted for years! Courtesy of Groomsmen K and his fiancee / Image via Amazon
“Looking for cute and affordable favors? Put the treat of your choice in adorable boxes from Weddingbee Favors!”
Today, I set out to accomplish a task—find. my. wedding. shoes. If you’ve been keeping up, you know that wedges are not easy to come by. I expanded my search to every corner of the internet, and found a few that I actually may like. But not before I went to Macy’s, Dillard’s, Belk, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, TJ Maxx, DSW, Off Broadway Shoes, Nordstrom Rack and Target. In one afternoon. Piperlime has a few promising options and I’ll be taking full advantage of their free shipping and free returns. Put a pin in that.
Anyway, I wanted to accomplish something wedding-related, so Cam and I went to Crate & Barrel to
move in update our registry! We registered at C&B on January 1. Something about the new year made us want to get a move on!
Problem was—all the winter stuff was out on display and all the spring/summer items were still months from showing up. We registered for a bunch of basic items and decided to visit back again later, which was today!
We have the ultimate hodge-podge of stuff from when we moved in together—plastic cups with college logos and mismatched chipped plates galore! We decided the registry was a spot we should try to be more grown-up. We had that conversation in the barware section of Crate & Barrel in January.
Here are some of my personal highlights from the registry:
Our second outing to register was to Crate & Barrel at Sommerset Mall in Troy, the only C&B in Michigan. We chose C&B mostly due to the fact that they have our “everyday” dishes and because a large part of my family is from the Birmingham/Troy area, so it is easily accessible to a fair number of guests.
A few select days a month, C&Bs nationwide host registry events for engaged couples. They allow guests to come in before the store opens to the public, hand out scanners, and let us go wild!
(Side bar: Apparently no one told the security officer that this was going on. When we walked up to the door at 8:50, this guy yelled, “Doors don’t open until 11:00!” As I was opening my mouth to reply, Mr. Plane yelled back, “OK, thanks!”…and then proceeded to pull the door open and walk in. This guy must have been pretty stunned to see 30-plus couples walk in before 11:00 because he sat in front of the store the en-tie-er time. Paranoid much, new guy?)
Anyway, it was a great time and so cool to just get let loose on the store. While there were some instances at B3 that it was nice to have a consultant, the hands-off approach at C&B was more our speed. There was always someone standing by to answer any questions, and Mr. Plane finally got to hold the scanner he was deprived of at B3!
I think the second thing we did after we got through celebrating/announcing our engagement was start our registry. We got engaged in late December and registered in early January.
I told you, folks: I don’t mess around with this stuff. Besides, we knew we were moving in April and thought that maybe it’d be better to let people know the stuff we need ahead of time, just in case they wanted to play the housewarming gift game (and play they did—I’ll explain below).
We decided to register only at Bed Bath & and Beyond because of our guests. While there are multiple and easily accessible BB&Bs in Pittsburgh, the closet one to our hometown (where a significant chunk of our guest list will be traveling from) is about 30–45 minutes away…in fact, every major store except for Walmart and Sears is about a 30–45 minute drive. We wanted to make it easy for our guests, especially the ones that would be going in on a gift. Plus, we’re realistic: We live in Giant Eagle land, meaning that our guests have the option of purchasing gift cards and getting fuel perks (discount on gas, per gallon) in return.
Last month we went to begin the bridal registry process. In considering where we would register, we took into consideration the store’s inventory (do they have things we would buy for ourselves?), accessibility for our guests (are there store locations near where the majority of our guests live?), and registry perks (do we get a discount if we decide to buy any unpurchased items on our registry post-wedding?). I had heard some horror stories about certain stores that will remain nameless (baby items popping up randomly on a wedding registry?!—no thanks!), so I knew I wanted to avoid those places. Thinking about all of this led us to our first stop at Bed Bath & Beyond!
The local B3 / Photo via Panoramio
B3 is a great store because there are always coupons available and they have locations absolutely everywhere.
Before we went to our registry appointment, we sat down and made a list of all of the things we wanted to register for. Because we have lived in our condo together for five-plus years, we had a lot of the big-ticket items that couples normally register. (For example, I bought myself a KitchenAid mixer as a gift for completing my first semester of graduate school!) And, because we are hoping to move into a new place shortly after the wedding, we also couldn’t register for any décor, knowing that our interior design might be completely different once we get a new place.