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Registry #1: Laying the foundation

31 January 2011

Mr. Collier and I established a weekend wedding task of starting our registries. Although we are a year out from the wedding, in my mind, it is never too early to start looking. Of course there are some draw backs that must be considered when building the registry this early such as product turnover but by choosing well, Mr. Collier and I hope to avoid this issue. I did some research into the history of a wedding registry and as it turns out,  according to the first official wedding registry was offered by Marshall Fields & Co. department stores in 1924. I have a natural love of Marshall Fields because of growing up in Chicago.

So where to begin? After moving in together last July, our attic is essentially full of duplicate coffee makers, knife sets, silverware, plates, and Tupperware. Our home is a consolidation of our previous single lives  which make it hard to identify things that need to be upgraded. Nonetheless we started walking through each room and made of list of items that need to be replaced and envisioned items that we would like to add to our home. Mr. Collier got creative and suggested that we start thinking abstractly for our registry such as registering for a digital camera/videocamera, our honeymoon, or even Wii games (we just got a Wii). I would completely encourage thinking out of the box here. As with weddings, registries are becoming more and more personal so if you don't want a China set don't register for a China set (although I would recommend it).

A second thing to consider is your guest list. For us, we have a bunch of friends in graduate school, then a population of folks with the standard 9-5 jobs who are more established, then a group that are our elders. We decided that it was the most important to pick gifts within a wide price range so that no matter what the financial situation is of the individual, they could find something they can afford.

I realize it can get touchy when you begin thinking about gifts and asking for things. I certainly began to feel uncomfortable about making a "wish list" for people to pick from. But as I started looking at store websites, I got excited about the possibility of owning that KitchenAid stand mixer (in red of course) or new bedding. And what other time in your life will you have the opportunity to acquire these things? And as far as what to get you as a couple, without a registry your guests will seriously be lost.

There are also some great resources out there to help you build your registry and that even get you started with lists of items to consider. Wedding Channel and TheKnot are great places to start. Be sure to also check with the stores you are thinking of registering with; it seems everyone these days provide some sort of wedding planning materials. Bed, Bath, and Beyond also has a fantastic comprehensive list of everything you could imagine for your home.

Sample list from The Pink Book

I shall continue on the registry process as I get further into it myself. Stay tuned!

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