Broke-Ass Tag: Registry


Is it Saturday yet?

How about now?

You guys, my wedding is THIS WEEK. Like, when someone asks “So, any fun plans this weekend?” I can say “Yeah, I’m GETTING MARRIED on Saturday.” As one does.

Oddly enough, I’ve had countless people tell me how miserable this week is going to be: “Oh wow, congratulations! Get ready for the worst week of your life!” Ummm, what? Since this is my wedding, I’m embracing love, not negativity, and I’m going to take any issues that crop up in stride. What’s the point of the last year of planning if I can’t enjoy myself this week? I think a lot of DIY brides (myself included) get overwhelmed with the details, since we’ve had to think of pretty much all of them at this point in the process. I made a list this weekend of literally everything, walking myself through each day, just so I could cross it all off and see that IT’S ALL DONE. I left three items on the list, though: to be grateful, to be in the moment, and to take lots of photos.

To be honest, I’m the most relaxed I’ve been in months. My amazing, wonderful lady friends treated to me a fabulous bachelorette party in San Diego two weekends ago — we went to the County Fair (two words: baby goats), ate some seriously outrageous food, and visited the gorgeous (and budget-friendly) Balboa Park, though my favorite part was just laughing in the hotel room with my girls and some peanut butter stout. But while I’ve certainly had little moments of “OMG this is really happening” during the planning process, it wasn’t until I relaxed and let my friends love on me that it really sunk in that I was a capital B, imminent Bride, and that YES, this is a really special time in a person’s life.

Real Bride Elissa's San Diego Bachelorette

As a very independent woman who has never particularly liked being the center of attention, this whole wedding process has put me a little outside of my comfort zone. On top of that, I can feel pretty uncomfortable when people spend money on me, since I know that – especially for my generation – a lot of times money is tight, and I don’t want anyone to feel put out or obligated. I even put off creating a gift registry until about six weeks ago, feeling like it was materialistic to ask for gifts. After enough people asked about it, my family finally convinced me that this is a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime thing; your loved ones want to help you build a home, if you just let them.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far then is to Embrace the Love. As stressful as coordinating visitors’ schedules and nail appointments and last minute rental additions seems, it’s all boiled down to the fact that family and friends are all gathering in one place, traveling from places like New York and New Orleans and Missouri and Montana for no other reason than that they love Nick and me (and, I hope, tacos). That’s such an overwhelming feeling, so much so that just typing this is making me a little emotional. I’ve vowed to remember that when things start to get crazy this week, and I’m so happy that we’ve made a lot of plans to spend time with loved ones who are coming in from out of town, even if that means we had way too many errands to run this past weekend. And – I’ve seen this time and time again from other Real Brides – people love to feel like they’re helping you, so let them!

Our parents have never met, so tomorrow night we’re having an intimate dinner with just them before the chaos of Friday’s rehearsal. I’ve also set aside the morning to show my Boston-based bridesmaid around town and get some brunch. Friday, the day before the wedding, my mom is hosting a Ladies’ Lunch since I didn’t have a traditional bridal shower, after which my girls and I are going to get pedicures for a little bit of relaxation before we head to the venue for our run-through. Finally, I’m so thankful we were able to find a rehearsal dinner restaurant with a small private room – that means we had to limit the dinner to just parents and the bridal party, but I think will be a great bonding experience for everyone. Plus it’s BYOB, which equals big savings and better booze. Then I’ll spend the night in a hotel room with some of my bridesmaids, with lots of sleep on the agenda.

Real Bride Elissa: Don't Kill My Vibe

I can’t wait to run down the big day for my Real Wedding post, and share some of the DIY projects we did (stressful, but I regret nothing!). Until then, Happy Wedding Day to my fellow June brides. Don’t let anyone kill your vibe — you got this!

Elissa Stooker
  • 10/17

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    Image courtesy of cb4me

    Dear Heather,

    I’m helping my daughter with her wedding details. She and her fiance are 31 and 40 years old and have been living together for several years, so they don’t need the normal registry items like a toaster, a blender, towels, etc. They are hoping to buy a home together and maybe some larger pieces of household furnishings. Is a money tree an option? If so, how do you set it up and does it need to be attended at the reception? What about cards, or a gift basket? How do you address this issue in an invitation? Are there other options? I look forward to your input. Thank you.

    Jlee (older generation mother-of-the-bride that got toasters!)

    Dear MOB Jlee,

    I’ve somewhat addressed this issue in a few previous columns, but I think it’s worth it to tackle it again, since it seems to be an ongoing issue with BAB readers.

    When it comes to registering for a wedding, there are many, many options. Speaking of not getting a toaster, BAB did a post a while back about PresentValue, which is a way to ask for monetary gifts rather than more traditional items. Other options include Hatch My House and Traveler’s Joy, a honeymoon registry. Even with these types of registries, though, I would still have a more typical registry, since there are some guests who simply prefer to give an actual gift rather than money. I have faith that your daughter and her fiancé can come up with some material items they could use. Personally, I’m of the opinion that one can never have too many towels, and spare bedsheets are always useful. They could also register for upgraded versions of items they already have.

    In regards to letting folks know where you’ve registered, it’s typical to include this information with shower invitations, since the whole purpose of a shower is to “shower” the guest of honor with gifts. You can also have a wedding website and include registry information on it, with the URL for the website printed on the wedding invitations. And simply letting close friends and family members know where the couple has registered also works.

    As far as having a money tree, I’m not a huge fan of setting one up at the wedding reception. It looks a bit too “gift grabby” in that setting. Instead, I would have a basket or box for cards, and a table for those folks who bring the gift to the wedding rather than sending it to the couple in advance. Doing a money tree at a bridal shower, though, would be far more appropriate.

    Are you planning on doing a money tree? Did you use a cash registry website? If so, what was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 4/16

    Wedding registries are hard. Everyone’s telling you “don’t forget anything!” “register for more than you need!” “don’t forget China!” “you can always return it!” Why can’t I just register for the things I want? Neither Michael nor I drink coffee so we really don’t need a coffee maker. My parents have used their wedding China maybe one time, so I probably don’t need wedding China,…

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    Photo by Teddy James Dear Heather, Hi! Love your website. I just got engaged this past Christmas and have been enjoying wedding planning our upcoming December wedding. Have you done a post on "bridal fee showers" or "greenback showers," as they are referred to in different areas? I would love to see a post on this! I have heard this sentiment shared by other brides…

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    Before we mailed out our Save the Dates (and thus, our website info), we decided to register so that we could include that information on the website as well. We took one Sunday and registered at two different places: Sur La Table and Macy's, the former because we enjoy cooking, and the latter because there's a location just about everywhere our extended families live.  (Granted,…

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  • 3/3

    Admit it: limiting your wedding registry to one big store is just that... limiting. Well now you can put any item from any store into one convenient registry, thanks to SimpleRegistry! AND - in the event that you should end up with the dreaded double-toaster conundrum, you can redeem that redundant toaster (or ANY gift) as cash.... without having to ask for cash. SWEET ACTION…

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    Let's face it - you don't really want another set of monogrammed napkin rings, what you really want is an amazing honeymoon vacay, and now you can forgo the traditional bridal registry (or supplement the one you have) with a Honeymoon Registry from Traveler's Joy! Whether your only prerequisite for maximum relaxation is a beach or mountain getaway, or you have a very specific destination…

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