Published February 03, 2012
My brother, my best friend, and my girlfriend's sister are all getting married in the upcoming year, so I've heard a lot about wedding registries lately, and there seem to be many pros and cons. Personally, one of my least favorite things in life is going to Crate and Barrel, walking around with my scanner gun, and seeing that the only things that fit into my price range are wooden spatulas and the saucers to espresso cups (the cups already purchased). “Congrats on your everlasting love. Here's a steamer basket.” I've always thought there has to be an alternative.
Here are two numbers I found interesting:
Okay, so 70% of engaged couples are living together, and 88% of engaged couples are registering. According to the survey, more than 90% of registered items are bakeware and kitchen appliances. Here's my question: Those couples that are living together, do they not have spatulas, steamer baskets, and toaster ovens yet? Is their apartment filled with mismatched plates and saucers and an uneven fork-to-spoon ratio? Do they not already blend their own smoothies?
The point I'm trying to make is that the majority of couples are living together, and I assume they have a functional household complete with everything they need. As for the couples who aren't living together, it's rare to have someone move out of their parents' house and into the house of their betrothed. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median marriage age in 2010 was 28.2 years old for men and 26.1 for women. In the 1960s, it was 22.8 years old for men and 20.3 for women. Compared with our parents' generation, the 30% of currently engaged couples not living together have an extra six years to accumulate not one, but two sets of IKEA kitchen starter sets and warped cookie sheets.
Apparently, I'm somewhat alone in this thinking.
Things you wouldn't buy yourself
My brother brought up that he would never buy a $500 blender, but it'd be nice to receive it as a gift. Perhaps then a registry is a collection of things you'd never buy yourself. I know that GRS readers are impossible to generalize, but I can't help but think that if we're itching for a Vitamix, most of us would forgo the $599 one from Crate and Barrel and substitute in the $499 one off Amazon listed “like new” (or better yet, chose a different Vitamix then the currently hip 500 professional series and get whatever Vitamix was hip last year, for half the price). We're conscious about where our money goes, and I'd like to take into account my friends' money, as well. (I don't mean that literally…at least, I think I don't.)
I'm not saying to throw caution to the wind and leave yourself open to getting a bunch of gifts that don't fit your tastes, but if you're looking for something that doesn't come from Macy's, there are other options for registries. In my continuing conversations about registries with those closest to me, I've come up with a list of a few fun suggestions:
Weddings truly are big business and even creative couples who try to circumvent some of the higher costs of the big day itself often fall short in their creativity for registries. Couples can create registries that are personalized without relying on the mainstream box stores.
And to my brother, I love you bro, but when you move four times in the next five years, I know it's going to be me carrying that Vitamix up four flights of stairs.
What are your ideas for creative wedding registries? If you're married, what did you like about your registry process, and what would you do differently?
This post is from staff writer Tim Sullivan.
The original article can be found at GetRichSlowly.org:
Let Go of the Spatula: Reconsidering Wedding Registries