License and Registration, Please

You get pulled over, and the first thing a cop asks for is your license and registration.

You get engaged, and these are not some of the first things you think about. In fact, they’re not things you really want to think about at all if you’re me. I mean, fine… sure being legally married is kind of important. Maybe. If I go to the hospital for some reason, it would be nice if Fernando is considered family and able to come visit me at the time I want to see him so I’m not screaming at a nurse about the unfairness of it all.

Granted, that’s hopefully not a likely scenario.

But registries? I mean, it’s exciting, and yes, by all means, come to my wedding and drop off a gift (or three!) at that shiny gift table we’ll lay out for your viewing pleasure right next to the entrance. In fact, come to a bridal shower and bring a gift, and then bring a gift card to the wedding if you don’t mind.

For the uninitiated, let me let you in on a little secret: registries aren’t like 27 Dresses AT ALL.

Seriously.

It’s depressing. My views of registries have been completely unhinged by this experience.

Okay, melodrama aside, it wasn’t that bad. But I’d like to give a couple of tips for anyone planning a wedding registry here in the next, oh, you know, six months to six years.

Welcome to…

RaeNez’s Tips for Registries (Family Welcome, Friends By Invitation Only) 

Plan Ahead; Register Online – Of the stores I’ve visited so far, the only ones that haven’t expected me to already have registered online before coming in were, oh wait…none of them. Yes, this should have been obvious, but hey, I was living in the haze of thinking things were like the good old days where you could still just walk in and do fun things like registering in a store. Do yourself a favor and start the process online before walking into a store. The store will thank you if they don’t already have a kiosk set up for this specific purpose. And it will shorten your trip a little.

Only Take People Who Won’t Put Fish-Themed Decor On Your Registry – I’m only half joking here. If you plan to take friends, even close ones, on your registry hunt, take a moment to reconsider. They may be the ones who have suggested the trip or invited themselves, but this will take time. Do you really want your friends subjected to you walking around for hours on end asking them what you should get for your future home? Not to sound catty here, but it’s just asking for fish-themed (or worse) decor added to the registry should they learn how to access your online registry or get hold of the scanner when your back is turned. The point is that if you’re going to take friends, make sure you take them after the bulk of your registration is done, not when you’re just starting. Perhaps have them come to help you iron out some ideas you weren’t sure of between bathroom themes and kitchen themes. And never make them stay too long.

Wear Walking Friendly Footwear – Have you ever been inside a Bed, Bath & Beyond before? No? How about a Target? Perhaps your regular shopping trips take a short amount of time because you already know what you want. Planning ahead in registering will only get you so far when you have that shiny beacon of power, namely the scanner, in your greedy little hands. When your future home is only a laser beam away from being filled with pots, pans, turkey basters, toasters, shower curtains, plungers, vacuum cleaners, and that never-gonna-get-it-but-can’t-help-hoping expensive duvet cover, it’s easy to suck away hours of time in the store you only intended to spend a little time in. Four hours later, you step outside the doors squinting into the rays of the sun as it reminds you how hungry you are when you thought of all the delicious meals you’d cook on the George Foreman and the cookies you’d mix in your brand new peacock colored KitchenAid Mixer. And then it hits you. Your feet are killing you! Why on earth did you wear heels out there?!

Take An Advisor With You – Yes, this advice might clash with what I said about fishy friends earlier. But this is different. I took my mom and my “aunt” with me. Between the three of us, we tackled a lot of things I would never have thought to add to my list for my registry, especially in my kitchen area. Just make sure your advisor is someone who’s close enough to you to love you enough not to get bored or tired of dealing with your registry. This is why I advise close family because they’re not allowed to get so frustrated they run away… at least, not in my family.

Know What You Need – Do you already have a house with most of your furnishings? Great. You may not need the mega registry I do. I happen to have very few things already covered. I’m coming into my wedding with little to nothing as far as a bedroom and bathroom set go. I have one chair to contribute to our future living room, and I’ll be furnishing our kitchen table and the majority of our kitchen tools that we’ve collected to date (with the exception of the knife set Fernando has from a job he had selling them years ago). As you can imagine, I’m putting a lot on our registry because it’s my hope we’ll be able to get quite a bit without having to purchase all of these things right off the bat. It’s definitely helpful to know what you need and go into it with an itinerary planned of the things you’ll need for your registry.

When In Doubt, Scan It Out – Okay, so it rhymes and makes little sense. The point is that if you don’t know whether someone will buy you something but it’s an item you’d like to have, scan it. You see a turkey baster and don’t have one? Scan that sucker. Grandma may need something to cap off her gift for you and that might be it. Don’t know if someone would actually buy you the gilded fruit bowl? Scan it. Think that overpriced appetizer tray looks pretty neat for a party? Scan it. Your registry is your wish list, and people are not required to buy off your registry; nor should you expect them to. Your job is to give them ideas and thank your lucky stars that you got gifts (and-please and thank you-a gift receipt) from the people who are coming to your wedding. If you’re that concerned that your registry be perfect and representative of what you want and need, you’re going to be disappointed anyway, and I say skip it and ask for gift cards because you’ll be doing a lot of returns otherwise.

If you’ve read all of this, you’ll notice it’s a bit tongue in cheek. I know, I tend to do that.

It’s also good advice.

Registries are worth doing, but they’re also ideas more than anything else. It’s important to keep that in mind. I had to remind myself of that a time or two. There are some beautiful things out there, and I’m hopeful Fernando and I will get some gifts so we can make whatever apartment we get a cozy home before we even move into it. But if not, I’ll be thankful for the people who come to my wedding because it’s ultimately the celebration that matters to me.

Though…a little gift card wouldn’t be out of place. 😉

Just saying.

– RaeNez

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