Thursday, March 5, 2015

Unsolicited Advice for Your Wedding Registry - Non-Kitchen Edition

One of my dear, sweet, little fourth graders is getting married. No, Lauren's not a 10 year old child bride, but back 2001, when she was in my classroom, she was the most adorable thing on the planet. I still think of her that way and cannot believe that ANY of the kids I taught are old enough to be married and having babies and being grown ups and stuff. But apparently they are, because she's not the first.

Today her beautiful sister, Kaity, posted a question about what to advise Lauren to put on her wedding registry.  Because I'm helpful like that, I posted a link to the post I wrote last year, after another of my beautiful students got engaged. That post is all about what to get to stock your kitchen. It's good advice. Take a minute and open that in another window so you can read it when you're done with this one.  You won't regret it. I promise.

Kaity's question reminded me that I'd always planned to do another wedding registry post for things that were non-kitchen related. So, thanks for reminding me!

It's been over 15 years since I got married, but if I had to do it all over again today, I'd do my best to ask for things that would last as long as my marriage (or at least for the first decade). Here's what I'd put on my a wedding registry:

1. Bedding. You're going to need a couple pairs of sheets. Might as well ask for the nice ones now. Go for the good stuff because buying them yourself later is pretty pricey, especially if you have a king size bed. And after a couple kids, you're gonna want a king size bed. Trust me.

2. An emergency kit for each vehicle. I know, glamorous, right? Jumper cables, flashlights and a jack. Seriously, who buys these for themselves? But you need one. So, let Uncle Harold and Aunt Marjorie feel good about getting you something practical that could literally be a life saver down the road.

3. Tools. Rakes, shovels, hammers, ladders, snow shovels, saws, gas cans, flash lights, screwdrivers and a staple gun are all things you're gonna eventually need. If you don't have them now, put them on your list! And don't forget the plunger. Because you're definitely going to need one of those when your brothers come to visit.

4. Games. Believe it or not, these can really add up fast if you're players. If you plan to entertain, it's always great to have a few board games on hand. Even pick out a few kid friendly versions if you think you'll ever go that route, or even if you just want to someday entertain the nieces and nephews. Yard games like corn hole, croquet, and even lawn darts could be a lot of fun, too!

5. Lawn Chairs. To go right along with those outdoor games, ask for some nice lawn chairs.  More than two, because yes, you and your spouse will be using them the majority of the time, but they're always great to have when company is over, too. We still have a set of folding lawn chairs that we got at our reception. We use the heck out of them, especially during baseball season, and they are holding up beautifully. If you aren't apartment dwellers, outdoor furniture could be a great thing to ask for as well. A table, chairs, maybe even a fire pit, would all add wonderfully to your list.

6. Towels. I'm a little torn here, because you're going to get them anyway, so why put them on the list.  I was tempted to put them on the Stuff You Don't Need to Register For list, but decided to go on this one instead. Why? Because at least this way you might get a couple that are the color you want.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have been married for 15 years, have 4 kids and have still NEVER ONCE bought a single towel for my house. We are still using the ones from when we got married. We got that many. It was a bit overwhelming, but it's been nice to not have to buy new ones. For the record, the last of the wedding towels are now in use and have seen their better days. I don't know that we'll make it to year 16 with these but one and a half decades seems like a good, long run.

7. A year of Amazon Prime. Free movies. Free books. Free music and free two day shipping. You really can't go wrong with this one. Even if you don't use the shipping, the movies and music alone are totally worth the price. Even better if someone else is gifting it to you for the first year!

8. A Christmas Tree. If you're not live tree people, you might consider putting a tree on your list. I know it seems strange, but this is a surprisingly big ticket item that you may not be able to afford for yourself for a couple of years if you're just starting out.

There are also a couple of things I think you should skip putting on your registry. One you will get anyway and one I think is just plain impractical. But this is just me. If you just really, really want or need either of these, go for it! It is your registry, not mine.

1. China. Unless you are going to be hosting a lot of formal parties, I don't think you need to register for this stuff. Yes, it's kind of traditional, but do you have a place for it? Will you really use it? The answer to both, if you're young, is probably no. My suggestion would be to pick out some great everyday dishes that you can use for a long time. I'd go with simple, solid prints that you can mix and match with some pretty patterns. Stay away from anything that is going to look dated: stick with classic looking pieces for your mainstays and accent with more trendy items.

2. Picture frames. You're gonna get them anyway. I can pretty much guarantee it. Frames are a go-to gift for people who don't know the couple well, haven't seen the registry or don't have a lot to spend. This doesn't mean they can't be a good gift. I actually still have a couple that we got 15 plus years ago. So, you'll get some. Just don't ask for extras by putting more on your registry.

So, all the rest of you old married folk? What would you add to my list? Newly marrieds, what did you put on your registry (or receive as a surprise gift) that you think everyone else should have as well?