Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Creating a (non-traditional) wedding registry

^ image via Domaine Home

When my mom told me to start thinking about a wedding registry in advance of our engagement party in December, my first thought was "but we don't need anything!" Like many modern-day couples, josh and I are already living together and have a lot of the items a typical wedding registry includes. We are settled in an apartment that we've loved completely decorating and furnishing together, and also has absolutely zero room for more "stuff." It gives me anxiety just thinking about where I would keep a standing mixer or a turkey pan. All of those typical registry items would be amazing for when we move out of the city one day, but for now I feel like I am already always looking for creative ways to hide clutter and maximize the (already full) storage space we do have.

Which brings my to my next point! When josh and I began talking about what would be the most helpful and special gift to us at this time in our lives, we both jointly landed on a home. And when we started looking into registry options, we came across an awesome site called Hatch My House, which allows wedding guests to contribute towards a down payment on your first house. And even though the site is set up in a way that feels more like a registry (you can buy a window, the staircase, or even the roof!), it is still definitely alternative and we worried about meeting some opposition by those with more traditional registry views. We thought about it a lot - is it inappropriate or tacky to ask for money? Would we be horrified if we were invited to a wedding and the couple asked us to help with a down payment? Do people just really love giving physical gifts? Obviously the site gets these questions a lot, because they have a whole FAQ page about them. :) But I think they pose a great question: What comes first, the dining room or the china for the dining room? In the end we decided that most would understand that after living together for two years, josh and I have a lot of things but the next step and most important shared goal for us is saving for a house to put them all in!
So what we ultimately decided on is a happy medium, a main Hatch My House registry and then a small gift registry using (I love how it allows you to register for items all across the web in one place!) with household items that we may not have room for now, but we really will need or would love to have in the future. Most things will be shipped to my parent's house (thanks for clearing out the garage, mom & dad!) and stored there until that time comes. As someone who loves home products & decor, my worry was that if we didn't register for some gifts, we'd end up with a load of things that didn't fit our style, we didn't need, or maybe even that we already had! So we think that this combination is perfect for us - it allows us to register for some products we really love while not making us feel "forced" to register for a bunch of items we don't need.
^ Photo via the EveryGirl

Obviously every couple is different and has different needs at the time of their wedding, but josh and I just started this process and wanted to share what we've learned so far in case it's even a teensy bit helpful to other couples who are in a similar situation to us down the road. I'll report back in a seperate post about what types of gifts we're registering for, what we've found are the best sites to find unique items, and how our "house registry" is resonating with people. It seems like no wedding topic brings out peoples' "real" opinions like the registry!

Oh and P.S. - here are some other "alternative" registries that we came across while researching and I thought were really cool.

  1. Honeyfund: allow guests to help contribute towards an epic honeymoon.
  2. CSA box: Register to get monthly fresh veggies! 
  3. Card Avenue: If you aren't quite sure what you will need, register for gift cards to buy items down the line!
  4. Bottlenotes: A great gift idea for the wine-loving couple. Yes, you can register for wine.
  5. I Do Foundation: Allow guests to donate to the charity of your choice! 

And for more wedding posts, click here.

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