Before we get into which is the least worst, here’s the real question: should you even register? To be honest, when we first started planning this wedding, we had no plans to register. I mean, really, between the two of us we already had enough crap jammed into this one-bedroom apartment. Did we really want, or especially, need more?
And so, we tossed around the idea of requesting that, instead of gifts, people donate whatever amount they’re comfortable with to two charities that we like. While I still dig this idea, mostly because my charity would be the Humane Society, where I found this dumb, but cute ‘n cuddly monster, something about it felt a little strange.
Probably because, um, what does giving money to animals have to do with marriage? Nothing. Which means “registering” in this sense seems a little weird, especially in the context of history. As you probably know, the historical purpose of the registry is to help two people set up house together. Traditionally, as we’re all told, one does not “live in sin” before being properly married.
Well, it’s 2013, and if you’re planning to wed someone without knowing just how annoying (or hopefully not) he or she is to live with, you’re probably doing it wrong. Not to simplify how complicated relationships with other human beings are, but you don’t buy a car without test-driving it… just sayin’…
Although you do buy a house without living in it…
Which brings me to why we ultimately decided to register like normal people. We really do need shit now because… we bought a house. Literally, last Tuesday we signed a bunch of papers and became homeowners and, suddenly, a traditional registry started to sound a lot more appealing. This three-level rowhouse ain’t gonna outfit itself.
While I still plan on giving the charity-gift option to our guests (especially if their budgets are limited; see also: ALL THE CATS!), we decided to also register at Macy’s (because, yanno, it’s standard) and Amazon (because, yanno, it’s the 21st century) for things to fill our new home with, such as flatware, linens and, of course, this REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill, featuring Smart Grill Technology™. (Nothing says, long-lasting, happy marriage like smoked meats.)
I gotta admit, I’m really kinda loving the idea of presents to decorate our new house. At the same time, though, I feel pretty greedy. Now, not only am I suggesting (albeit not forcefully, and we’ll get to that in a second) our friends and family spend money on us, but I also feel like we’re stealing money from helpless kitties. Do I really need a new set of flatware more than a few homeless cats need to eat? Definitely not.
Also, shouldn’t having your guests, especially those coming in from out of town, pay out-of-pocket for plane tickets, etc., just to come see you get married be considered a gift in and of itself? Fuck yes, it should. And so, despite that we’re registering, an action which basically by default suggests to your guests that they buy you something, we’ve decided to make it very clear that nothing is expected. And so, besides this blog post, we’ve decided to keep our mentions of the registry as low-key as we can. We won’t be having any verbage on our invites, for example. What we will be doing is mentioning it only on our wedding website (and I’ll blog about wedding websites in the near future), and even then, we’re still gonna put in a couple sentences that express how totally optional gift-giving is.
Basically, the bottom line is this when it comes to wedding registries. They should be totally optional, never in your guests’ faces, mindful and mostly for the cats.
Now, to get to the question posed in the headline: which company, Macy’s or Amazon, seems to be the least worst when it comes to registering? Well, let’s just say Amazon isn’t spamming my inbox with emails with headlines like, “Celebrate your bridal party with ‘thank-you’ gifts!”, and then the first gift you see upon opening said spam (my mistake) is a string of fucking pearls…
And not to be outdone, is the suggested best man gift. I’ll make sure to forward to this email to my fiance, as I know he’s just been dying to “make his right-hand guy even more charming…” Pfft. Flasks for everyone. Seriously.