When it was time for my husband and myself to register for our wedding, I was stressed in the way only a bride can be. The idea of asking people to buy us things (expensive things at that) was very uncomfortable for me, and once we started the actual registry process I managed to get all worked up over whether or not we were registering for the right things. Did I want someone to spend their hard-earned cash on a waffle maker? Was I the sort of person who now makes waffles? What if my children asked for waffles one day and I had no way to make them because I hadn't registered for the waffle maker? Argh!
It was a really fun process.
This is when a very wise friend took me aside and said, "Kara, chill out. People are not required to buy you anything on your registry; think of it more like your dream list of items you'd love to have. If you get them, fun! If not, nothing lost."
And that, dear readers, is when everything changed. Because the reality is, I don't cook, so a waffle iron was just going to sit there and make me feel guilty. I do, however, entertain, so those platters from Anthropologie I'd been drooling over were going to get a lot of use. Let's just say, after that, I very quickly got over my phobia.
So today, in the spirit of thinking outside the box, we've put together a couple of alternative registry ideas. Please feel free to tell us what we've missed!
Uncommon Goods has the kind of gifts that when you pull one out everyone collectively gasps and demands to know where you got it. Plus, they're the kind of presents that people love to buy you because they know you'll remember they gave it to you simply because it's so darn unique.
But, they're also items that you'll use, just often with a twist. For example, you're probably going to register for beer glasses, but how much cooler would your beer glasses be if they featured vices and virtues? That's what I thought.
How often have you been in a store and thought, "Man, I would love to register for those pot holders, bird cage, high heeled boots." Hasn't happened yet? Believe me, it will.
With Registry Stop you can register for anything, anywhere, all from your phone. Using their free mobile app, you just scan in the bar code and it automatically adds the item to your online list. As if that wasn't enough, the site also compiles price comparisons on items so your guests always get the best deal. And it's smart enough to automatically update your list if someone happens to buy a gift from a store that is not on your registry. Pretty nifty, huh?
I Do Foundation
One of the best ways to feel good is to help someone else in need. In this case, the I Do Foundation lets you set up a Charity Registry where guests can make donations online. They have a recommended list of non-profits divided into focus areas (Environment, Education, Children, etc) in case you're not sure which specific charity you'd like to support; otherwise, they can set you up with one of the 1.5 million charities in their database.
They also offer Charity Gift Cards, which would be a really nice way to thank your wedding party for their help with your Big Day (and it lets them choose which charity they'd like to give to).