The Registry Dilemma

With the wedding less than two months away,  items from our registry have started arriving at our doorstep. Every time I come home from a long day at work to find a package waiting, reminding me of my upcoming nuptials, it puts a smile on my face and I’m touched that people are thinking of us and spent their hard-earned money on things that make us happy.

However, our Registry didn’t always bring me so much joy. In the beginning, it was a huge source of stress for me. For one thing, I love to shop. At one point I was spending so much of my income on clothes, I went on a self-imposed shopping hiatus and only wore six items of clothing for a whole month (with washing, of course). I attempted to prove that I didn’t need a continuous supply of new clothes. I soon feel back in to my old habits, so it was only natural that when I got engaged the Registry was one of the first things I started working on.

But where to register? Immediately, I made spreadsheets of the best places to register for each type of thing; was I more interested in housewares or honeymooning? Which places had the best perks? Completion rewards? Free gifts? I was quickly overwhelmed by the choices. I liked small appliances from Macy’s and linens from Bed Bath and Beyond, but I liked flatware from Crate and Barrel. Instead of paring down my interests and making a decision, I did what I usually do- I didn’t decide. Instead I went with a “universal” registry where I could add any item from any site…and went a little crazy. Soon, I’d expanded to TWO universal registries: Amazon, and MyRegistry.

My Registry

Amazon RegistryMy level headed fiance attempted to pull me down to Earth. He patiently reminded me that perhaps we really didn’t need three sets of flatware and four kinds of wine glasses. And while I was inclined to agree, I was stuck in a mental loop thinking about my life to be…and not MY LIFE NOW. I was living in a Pinterest-inflicted wedding nightmare: shouldn’t I use this registry to craft the perfectly manicured home that was to follow? Wasn’t it my only chance??

The concept of “entertaining” suddenly became all too acute, and I was aware that I had nothing specific to serve cheese on, for example. What a travesty! I had to rectify this RIGHT NOW. Immediately I went down the rabbit hole; there are so many choices: wooden boards, marble boards, slate boards… different shapes (hearts! states! animals!), ones with accessories and ones with tools. Cute ones and Classy ones. How can I ever choose? Every now and then my mind would be blown: how can I  turn down a board that features little cheesy islands floating amongst a sea of swirling crackers that ALSO cutely says Cheese and Crackers? Obviously I need it! I need them all! I will become a cheese serving MACHINE! Muhahahahahaa!! Okay no, I didn’t add that one. But still, it’s an adorable idea.

Cheeseboard

Cheese & Crackers cheeseboard from Uncommon Goods

Just as I was the compulsive Registry adder, my fiance was the compulsive Registry researcher. I would add the first thing I saw that I marginally liked, then add ten more of the same thing, and promptly experience regret and then hopelessness when I found something better and realized I should choose only one. My fiance favored researching all the possibilities for one object then thoroughly and fully vetting each one before deeming it worthy to add.

Both approaches provoked disagreement and unrest, and I started getting anxious, as if furnishing our home together was a terrifying glimpse into the fate of our subsequent marriage. I lost sleep at night, I started to dread our registry conversations. But then I took a step back and a deep breath…and calmed down. I looked at the things we most wished for but couldn’t afford or needed for our life now (not our invisible future life) and I added those. I added things we would use, and better versions of things we had but wanted to upgrade. The registry started to take shape. I was stunned when I read Bon Apetit’s “The Kitchen Tools you actually need on your Wedding Registry” and found that our newly pared down list had almost all of those, but not too much extra fat.

I’ve learned it’s a process not to be taken lightly, but shouldn’t be overly stressful. As with most wedding things, a happy medium is the best, and freaking out too much doesn’t serve much good. Now let’s hope I can bring this zen attitude to the rest of the million things I have to do, and this wedding will be a breeze.

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