I’ve always been one of those people who pooh-poohed wedding registries. For some reason I wanted to be remembered for something more meaningful than cash or a set of towels… regardless of the fact that these towels were EXACTLY what the bride and groom wanted and picked for themselves. If I think about it, wedding registries are ingenious, really.
Because of my need to be personal and “different,” I sought the other path to gift-giving and the pressure was always on. I put in many hours thinking about the couple, researching their likes and dislikes, investigating the décor of their home, and then pounding the pavement (and internet) to find that perfect gift. At the end of it all, all I could hope for was that the couple would actually like the personal item I’d picked out, just for them. Don’t get me wrong, the gifts were always received with a smile and a kind thank you note but… you never really know. Was that handmade quilt I found in a cute boutique sitting on the sofa every day or was it only brought out for my visits??
The reality is that with countless weddings and multiple bridesmaid stints, my idealistic philosophy on wedding gift-giving is unsustainable. I’m coming around to the idea of registries by necessity, but also because registries are evolving and becoming as personal and unique as the couples themselves!
Personalization is a trend that I can embrace as a wedding attendee. I’ve seen the evolution from traditional everything to personalizedeverything in the mere 15 years that I’ve been going to weddings. Not only can the couple personalize their favors, their ceremony, their vows, their music, and their wedding attire to match their style, it now seems to be perfectly acceptable to personalize gift-getting too!
Traditional house and home registries are great and will always have a place at a wedding, but I can now get excited about alternative registries which match my own personal philosophy on unique and personal gift giving. While these new registry ideas would probably make the Emily-Post-traditionalist cringe, for the most part I think guests want to get the couple what they really want or need, be it a down payment for their first house, camping equipment which will help couples spend more quality time together, or the honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of but could never afford.
Many new sites and companies are popping up online to capitalize on this trend and make it easy to take advantage of alternative registries. Many banks will work with you to accept contributions to a house down payment. Theknot.com even lets you create a registry for whatever you want, and sends you the “gifts” in the form of American Express gift cheques.
But, don’t be put off if a company or website doesn’t exist yet for getting the perfect gift. Recently, a groom-to-be called a local furniture store to find out how to register for a sofa – it was to be the centerpiece of their new home and lives together. The store was a small business and had never done anything like this before, but they were more than happy to work with the couple to make it happen. And, I was more than happy to contribute to the gift, knowing that this sofa would become an important part of many family memories to come.
Or, best of all, if you are one of those couples who really don’t need or want anything, register with a favorite charity for donations. This is a great way to enlist your guests to support a cause that is important to you, and to know that you’re giving the perfect gift to your favorite organization who can really use it.
Be creative and be personal! Invite your guests be a part of the perfect day… and the perfect gift.