Weddings are great…but sometimes the stuff you get for your wedding just ends up being in storage for the next 40 years. A lot of people (myself included, I am not letting myself off the hook here!) register for everything under the sun when they get married, whether due to pressure from their families to do so or because they just want to get more stuff…and many times it only leads to more clutter in their home. Multiple dish sets, 12 serving platters, 82 glasses, 3 sets of silverware – there is only so much a single family has use for. Yet the tradition continues among so many of us! For example, we had a perfectly fine set of dishes but somehow came to the conclusion that we needed yet another set – leading to us packing, unpacking, storing, and moving these 2 sets for years until we finally just ditched one of them. I don’t normally serve Queen Elizabeth dinner at my house, and if my family would have a problem with eating off nice & simple all-white plates, well…maybe next time they can go to Panera Bread instead. 🙂 We have 1 full set of dishes, 24 glasses, 8 coffee cups, and a single set of utensils – if we had more, we would have to find a place to store them for that once in a lifetime opportunity to have more than 13 people over for dinner!
photo credit: hamner.jonathan
If a couple does their gift registry the way that most couples do, they will end up with too much stuff they will probably never use. Ever. Registering for the things you feel you really need can pay off, as it saves you money from buying them later and still gives the gift-givers something to buy for you. But using the registry to pick up items you don’t need is just a waste of money for the giver and of space for the recipient. If I had to do it again, I think I would opt for/request a few small appliances if I needed them and then gift cards to favorite stores or travel destinations. That’s it! A few years after their wedding, almost everyone I know has said that they have too much stuff and too many duplicates in their house, mostly due to their wedding registry.
My advice? Don’t register for things just because that’s what you are supposed to do. Register for what you need and not what you think others will want to buy for you. Register at off-the-wall places even if you think family members might think you are strange for doing so. After all, this is your day, not theirs…and if you don’t want a full set of dishes to use once every 5 years when Queen Elizabeth comes for dinner, then you aren’t required to register for them. Do you really want to have store boxes (or worse yet, pack and move them every time you move) of “extra” stuff you don’t need or use? Don’t let anyone dictate what you register for for your wedding!
My husand and I got married in August. We did register. I have to say that I use almost everything that we got from our registry. The only thing that we haven’t used is the good china. But I’m not sorry we got it. Besides that, the only stuffed packed up and cluttering our closets are gifts people bought us that weren’t on the registry.
I think it helped that we’re a bit older and had lived on our own for awhile, so we had a pretty good idea of what was a waste and what we really would use or what needed replaced. There were some kitchen gadgets that I got that some people asked if I would ever really use them, and I do!
We’re in the process of working on our baby registry, and I can see how these registries can get just as out of hand as wedding registries! I’m registering for lots and lots of the things I know I’ll use–earth friendly/organic products like soap, shampoo, and lotion, cloth diapers, etc…, and stressing the point that we’re practical to a fault and that we’re trying to keep this baby GREEN! Some people get it, but sadly, most don’t.
I know it kind of annoys people when their wedding guests shop off-registry, but I always get the couple a big Rubbermaid tote and fill it with Method cleaning products, organic kitchen towels, recycled paper towels, biodegradable sponges, etc… The last wedding gift I gave was in January, and I found one of those pretty bows that goes on top of a Christmas tree with ribbons that hang down…I tied that around the Rubbermaid tote and it looked so pretty (or at least I thought it did)! I loved it because it’s all stuff that the happy couple will use, and there’s practically no waste!
That is an awesome idea for a gift, and probably well-appreciated!