5 Ways to Make Your Wedding Registry Meaningful
December 17, 2016
Hi SMP brides! Shelby here from Pretty in the Pines! With less than six months left until our wedding, we’ve started the process of registering for gifts. Before making any decisions, I decided to do some research and learn how to make a registry more meaningful and give it some purpose. I kept the following five tips in mind when creating our registry and I hope they'll help you through the process.
Think About Future Traditions with Holidays in Mind.

When you begin your registry, really think about the family traditions you’ll want to have after you’re married. Personally, I would love to eventually be able to host family dinners around the holidays, something we’ve never had the chance to do.  We don’t have any large sets of plates for families of six or more, so we decided it would be smart to register for entertaining and dining sets for large family gatherings. One thing we use all of the time is our bar cart. Whenever we entertain we have a mobile station to keep the drinks flowing, food nearby, and spirits high. This made us consider glassware and cute bar tools like this as another good place to start when registering.

Make it About What Defines You as a Couple.

Since each couple is unique, make your registry true to who you are as a pair. If you’re more of the adventurous type, keep travel or camping items in mind. If you love to cook, focus on items that will help you in the kitchen. If you’re more casual and rarely have formal and fancy dinners, think twice before registering for crystal glassware you’ll rarely use. Thinking about TJ and me, we love spending time at home. While we love going out and meeting friends, our cozy living room is one of our favorite places. When registering we kept that in mind, adding a couple of cozy pillows, a throw blanket, and a nice cheese plate for wine nights! If you are really adventurous with the registry, try adding a couple of nice small furniture pieces, like an accent chair or ottoman.

Research Alternative Registries.

If you’re a couple who already has every item you need, consider creating a honeymoon registry. Different generations may have varied opinions on this, but some guests may really enjoy putting their money toward an experience rather than a material item. I once read that people who are truly happy spend more of their money on an experience rather than a commodity item. I definitely cherish the time I spend with TJ experiencing life together. This is something TJ and I have been debating. Besides contributing to “honeymoon funds”, some of these alternative registry websites allow friends and family to contribute towards other experiences like a date night, a cooking class, or even donations for a down payment on a house. Some websites also allow for the couple to put a portion of the funds toward a charity.

Consider Gifts That Give Back.

- While doing research on registering, I was surprised and humbled to see how more and more couples were giving guests the option to put funds toward an organization or charity that was important to the couple, as opposed to a typical registry gift. I have been to a few weddings where the couple gives a donation in lieu of party favors, but this really touched my heart. One thing that is very important to TJ and me is giving back, whether it be financially or with our time. We have seen a couple of the experience registries where you can take a percentage of the honeymoon fund and put it towards a charity or special organization. This is something that TJ and I would definitely consider doing.
Blend Your Styles Together!

Registering for gifts with your fiancé is better when both of you incorporate a little bit of your own style to make a house (or apartment) a home. When TJ and I first moved in together, there were a lot of discussions about the décor in our new home. Luckily for me, TJ and I have very similar tastes when it comes to color preferences and furniture styles. There are still a few times where I go a little crazy with art prints, soft pastel furniture like the loveseat in my office, and the blue book collection for our TV stand. But nothing made us happier than when we put up our recent engagement photos in our living room, because it is something we both adore. It is also perfectly fine to have your own space in your new home to be able to take advantage of registry gifts that may not fit your partner. There are a number of things in my office that would not completely fit with TJ’s style and vice versa with our bedroom (TJ’s lair). The important thing is to build and style your home together… and nothing helps with that more than doing a registry with your significant other!
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