Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wedding Gift Registries: Choose Wisely and Avoid Clutter

wedding gifts, wrapped

My biggest regret was registering for camping gear and sporting goods we never use. That includes the wonderful charcoal grill that has never been out of the box because we don't have any outdoor space in which to use it.

We registered for gifts aspirationally, rather than for the life we actually live.

-- stpauligirl, commenting on The Kitchn

Not everyone likes them, but wedding registries, used well, can help ensure you get gifts you can really use. But you'll want to avoid doing what ladyofshalott (another commenter on The Kitchn) did:
I got really ambitious with my gift registry and ended up returning almost half of the items I got because 1) I had no space and 2) I seriously wasn't going to be using some items in the next couple of years. ...

In hindsight, I definitely would've made the list smaller, and focused on more quality items.
Remember that you don't need to use just the traditional registries; all sorts of places have registries now. For example, some museum stores (like this one and this one) offer wedding gift registries.

For those who don't want gifts, a nice option is the charity registry. Here's what one bride said about her decision to go this route:
I worked at a non-profit called GlobalGiving, which directly connects donors with grassroots projects. We loved the idea of our guests donating to amazing projects, in honor of our wedding.

My fiance David and I are in our 30s and really don't need stuff -- he's a gourmet cook and has tons of kitchen supplies, I own my own condo which is crammed with furniture and books and clothes.
You could look at JustGive and the I Do Foundation, two organizations focused on charity registries.

And some individual causes have registries, too. When some friends of mine got married last year, they registered at Equality California.

Photo credit:


The Thrifty Stylist said...

my fiance and i both have a full arsenal of kitchen goods, so we'll most likely be registering for donations to kiva!

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Great observations and suggestions.

The insightful comment by the woman who registered for "aspirational gifts" rather than gifts that reflected her life as it was actually being lived applies when shopping for ourselves, too. It's easy to get caught up in buying for the fantasy rather than the reality -- I know from personal experience!

It's fun to dream, but it's good to know when the real world should kick in.

Jeri Dansky said...

Happy upcoming wedding, Thrifty Stylist! And I like your Kiva plan!