Monday, February 22, 2010

Gift registry lessons learned

Does this look like a wedding gift? Hooray for the modern age!
It's amazing how those gifts keep on coming, post wedding!

We've received several in the past couple weeks. Perhaps people got busy with the holidays, and then started the new year by crossing things off their To Do lists. I know I've always been one to stretch the idea of "a full year to give a wedding gift" to - and beyond - it's breaking point. And you know what they say about birds of a feather...

Those etiquette books that tell you to register for more things than seem reasonable are right - much to my surprise, nearly everything on our registry, except for the $600 set of fancy cooking pots, has been bought! When we were registering, I resisted Eric's efforts to continue adding things. I thought we'd look greedy. Turns out our friends and family are ridiculously generous.

In addition to lovely china, flatware, a bubbly water machine that allows us to forgo plastic bottles, and other home goodies, we ended up with a new climbing rope, bouldering crash pad, and tent!

Lesson learned: register for what you want, at a variety of "price points" as they say - you'll be surprised at what people want to give you for your wedding. And think of those cool little things that you'd love to have, but never get around to buying yourself. Like a set of upgraded tent stakes - or whatever suits your hobby.

We were also honored by several generous donations to our favorite charities. As somewhat established people with our own towels and knife sets (albeit cheapo grad student ones that could use upgrading), we didn't need that much stuff. Along with the gift registry information, we described our favorite causes on our wedding website, with links to the donation pages on the charities' websites. I was surprised, and honored, by the number of people who chose this route.

I was happy that our wedding could raise awareness of some important issues (we are passionate about land conservation and education for girls in the Himalayas), and be of benefit to the larger world. Some people gave both a gift to us, and a donation to one of our charities.


A.Mountain.Bride said...

oh wow! That is so cool that people donated to your fave charities! AND that people are still thinking of you, even after your wedding.

(I hope we get a tent!)

Julia (Color Me Green) said...

we just got one of those seltzer makers too since my boyfriend is addicted to seltzer. he's loving it so far. i really like the idea of expanding the registry to include camping stuff and donations. life is about more than just china.

Brianna said...

I was also amazed at how generous our wedding guests were! Luckily we had also made a charitable option (we put a few different charity funds on our registry) and was blown away by the donations we received. Honestly, if we hadn't had that option, I don't think there would have been enough gifts for people to choose from since we virtually got everything we registered for! When you get married you realize how many people care about you.

A Los Angeles Love said...

Thanks for the pointers, since registry questions are already making me feel weird. There's not much we really need, we're simple on the "stuff" front, and I hate asking for presents. It's good to hear that I won't appear greedy by listing more than five items.

Also, I am now toying with listing that bubbly water machine. I heart fizzy water but always feel wasteful (for the bottle and price) when I buy it. I think the utility/eco-savings will definitely be a factor in our registry choices. It's not only a question of whether the item itself is "green" but the impact it can have long-term.

elizabeth said...

That's a great point, LA Love! We registered for - and received - several items that will help us lower our 'throw away' footprint going forward.

To wit:
the bubbly water maker (my fave!);

a yogurt maker (we throw away or 'recycle' - I'm not sure that #4 plastic can be recycled) 3 or 4 big yogurt cartons a WEEK! The disposability always makes me cringe. Now we can make yogurt in reusable glass jars;

an ice cream maker attachment for the de riguer Kitchen Aid mixer (same issue as above, though we don't eat quite as much ice cream - fortunately).

In general, I think high quality items that will last a lifetime are much 'greener' than of-the-moment gadgets. That's how our grandparents did it!

elizabeth said...

Some other cool non-housewares stuff we registered for and received:

-- Oxford Unabridged (or barely abridged) Dictionary. We're both word geeks. I know we'll be using that - with a magnifying glass - for the rest of our lives.

-- board games! This category was the earliest to 'sell out' on the registry: they're affordable and fun and people can picture coming over for a night of games.

So again, register for what YOU want - people will be psyched to give it to you because they know it will please you. (In fact, Eric's mom was surprised that we registered for china: do you know how much gear you could get for the cost of the china??? she asked. Awesome lady!)