Two weeks ago Pai and I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to start our wedding registry. I was armed with Pinterest boards of “What to Register For” and the prospects of eating Mexican food after the shopping was done. We sat down at the desk with a cheery employee who was passionate about all things cookware and she asked, “So have you looked online at anything yet?”
Uh. Nope. Was I supposed to?
1 – Look online before you go into the store. That way you know what you want, what you don’t want, and how to say no.
She walked us through the store, encouraging us to register for a waffle iron and a $200 vaccuum cleaner. At first I was timid to say No, we don’t need that because what if we really DID need that? And why was everything so expensive?! As the night wore on, we got more courage to say No to things that we know we probably wouldn’t use. i.e. a waffle iron. We never make waffles. Leslie Knope would be so disappointed in me.
2 – Don’t feel bad. People want to buy you stuff! (or so I’m told. Please buy us stuff. We need a bed frame.)
I walked out only doing half the store that night feeling like a spoiled brat because I registered for 16 sets of flatware that were $40 per set. (Let me justify why 16 plate sets first: I have a family of 8. He has a family of 6. We have a large friend group. If we have both our families over for dinner, we have enough plates and 2 to
break spare.) But the more I talked with friends who were already married and who had registered for plates elsewhere, I felt more comfortable in asking for expensive flatware because we want quality flatware that isn’t going to crack within two years.
3 – Prepare to be overwhelmed.
I had been looking forward to registry shopping since I ever thought about getting married, but I was not prepared for how overwhelming it would be. The second time we went to Bed, Bath, Beyond we were set loose on our own and that was even MORE overwhelming. There’s just so much stuff in that store. How do I know which ice cream scoop I need? How often will I use this vegetti? And why is it such an awkward name?
4 – Bribe your fiance.
I’m proud of us, we went to Target this week and did the WHOLE store in 2 1/2 hours. It was hard, but (he) we pushed through. When I do things like this, I get in the zone. I am focused; a woman on the mission. That mission? Throw pillows. (Buy ALL the throw pillows!) Pai said we had to be “strategic” when we went to Target. His strategery involved walking up and down every aisle of Target to make sure we didn’t need anything from each aisle. By the time we reached the throw pillows, he was tired and ready to go home, so he ostriched into the throw pillows.
Ladies, men have a short attention span. They will start off gung-ho, excited about registering for coolers, and by the time you’re at linens or decor, their minds have wandered elsewhere and they become unusually silly or flirty because they are bored. And then they ask if we can just go home. But you know that you won’t have another opportunity to do this for 3 more weeks and wedding showers are on the horizon, so it is time to get ish done. The best way to handle this? Bribe him. Bribe him with food, bribe him with ice cream. Or say “Let’s go to the electronics section and then we’ll go home.” Once you’ve perused the electronics, say, “Hey, you know we are actually almost done with the store. If we finish that last row we were on, we could be done tonight and never have to come back here again.” It works like a charm.
5 – Scan the fancy sheets.
Pai was all like, “Do we need 500 thread count? Can we just go with the 300 Walmart thread count?” Sure we could, if we wanted to wash them 17 times with a whole bottle of fabric softener. Higher thread count means it will last longer, you will sleep better, and you will have a happier marriage.
6 – Don’t forget the decor!
They say you’re supposed to register for twice as many gifts as people. People, we are sending out FIVE. HUNDRED. INVITATIONS. Not all 500 are going to come. So does that mean we scan for 1000 things? I don’t even know of 1000 things we need. But once we got the necessities out of the way, I thought, Throw Pillows! I’m all for neutral furniture, neutral walls, and then spicing things up with a pop of color – whether it’s a bright side table or a fun throw pillow.
7 – Amazon can be your best friend.
When it is all said and done, online shopping can be your guide. There are things I think are ridiculously overpriced at Bed, Bath and Beyond that I found on Amazon. So while I kept it on the Bed, Bath and Beyond registry, I put the cheaper ones on the Amazon registry. Also, online shopping is more fun/less nerve wracking than in-store shopping.
8 – It’s OK to register for entertainment type things
Pai and I both grew up in families who loved to host. When I was a kid, I remember being sad after Christmas was all said and done because it was just the 8 of us in the house again. There was one point in my childhood we had at least 10-12 extra people staying in our house outside of the 8 of us. Pai has a very similar story. Some of my favorite memories are roasting smores out by the fire pit, or family game night (Clue. is. my. jam.) We added board games to our registry because we both know we will want to entertain a lot of people. What better way to entertain than with board games?
9- Don’t forget the $5 knick knacks!
I am admittedly the person who buys the cheaper items on a registry then combines it into one little gift basket. It happens when you’re a college student and all your friends are getting married. Pai and I are just starting out ourselves. Lower middle class citizens to the rescue! We made sure to put some more fun, little things on the registry. Case and point: $5 dvds. This goes back to entertaining. My mom bought me a whirly pop when I was 14 so I could take it with me when I moved out (because I loved it so much.) This girl loves to have popcorn and movie nights. Expanding our DVD collection (my DVD tower is primarily pink. I am the queen of chick flicks) is a great way to have people over for a movie night.
10 – Have fun!
Pai and I laughed a lot while making our registry, mainly because he was bored and being extremely silly. We both had to practice patience – him while I meandered cookware, me while he scanned boring stuff (evidently we need tools.) We let each other take turns with the scanner (that thing is fascinating!) and we were able to practice our communication skills about why I thought we needed __ and why he thought we needed __. It was fun to envision and dream what our home will look like and where we will put everything, all the things we will cook with our new cookware, and all the people we get to serve with our new dishes.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some online registry shopping to do. 😉