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.
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.
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 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?