There are 142 days left until my wedding, kids. That is both the most exciting and most horrifying thing I have ever said in my entire life. Nobody ever told me that wedding planning would be easy, and I never thought it would be. I have met girls foolish enough to think that it will be and every single time I just chuckle and shake my head; the way you do when a child says something naive. I just want to sip my wine, flip my hair and say “That’s cute.” Organizing small events gets stressful so I knew that eventually the fun of being engaged would be replaced by the murderous impulse that accompanies nerve-splitting stress. I was right. I could probably fill a book on the type of bullshit that goes in to planning a wedding. Instead, though, I have decided to mini-series it into Wednesdays, mostly because “Wedding Wednesdays” just sound kitschy and I like it. I’ve decided to start with Wedding Registries and how they are both exciting and irksome to the deepest core of your soul.
I am not and have never been very girly. I was the only female in my family until age 13 at which point my father’s brother had a daughter. We hardly even see these people but it was another girl, which took some of the heat of me. My grandmother stopped trying to force me into godawful dresses and my mother had simply accepted the fact that I preferred sports to barbies. This was just the side effect of having only male siblings and cousins. That being said there are some ways that I am quite the traditional female – and while I have never considered myself a feminist, I suppose my preference to sweatpants, smoking and telling Nick to fuck off all fall farther from the 1950’s housewife and closer to liberated woman. Regardless, I like to bake and cook. I thoroughly enjoy entertaining in my home. I like to come home and make dinner for Nick, since 1- I am better at it than him and 2-he works hard and deserves delicious home cooked food. I like to have complete control over my household – not in an obsessive way, but in a womanly way. I know where everything in my house is and I know that it has a spot – Lord forbid I find it someplace else. I like to decorate and remodel my apartment at a moments notice. I couldn’t wait to register for gifts. New fancy things to outfit my home with.
I’ve read many places and been told by many people that registering for gifts is a couple’s bonding experience. I took that at face value. Meaning I could see where these people were coming from — the whole spending time together planning out the daily pieces of your future. “We can serve salad in this bowl” or “I can pour you a nightcap in these glasses”… In theory this makes a lot of sense, but sometimes – as is the case with me and Nick – this activity can be yet another stressful even. I love my man, guys, I really really do, but our tastes are quite varying. I’m far more bohemian and bright, where he is classically Italian and loves black marble and dark colors. This posed a problem more than once while registering. There were (quite) a few things that I refused to budge on whether because I fell in love with an item or it was something I felt we absolutely needed or would need in the future. Crystal Lenox “Harvest” collection – I am in love with the colors and I cannot wait to sip wine out of them. While the colored crystal differs from his taste of the “traditional” he compromised understanding that I loved them and he rarely drinks wine. However we did not get matching rocks glasses. Here is where we compromised – scanning a different collection that showed just a touch of the same colors at the base but were otherwise clear. He was happy with them and so was I. We continued to have to make these compromises throughout our two day registry spree. But it was exhausting and there were times when one or both of us were ready to scream. We spent a solid forty minutes in the flatware section at Macy’s arguing about the design and shape and brand of fucking forks. Weddings make you crazy, ya’ll. While I suppose it was a good experience for us I would advocate that couples with such varying tastes as us perhaps do their homework first. Look through the websites of stores you plan on registering at, but do it separately. Then get together and discuss your common ground and what compromises you will be willing to make. It will save you a lot of public frustration toward each other, for sure.
The second issue we ran into was pricing. This, though, I think is just a man thing. Often men do not have a firm grasp on what it cost to furnish and outfit a home. When they do realize the cost of basic items they often become turned off. I cannot count how many times he stopped me while registering to tell me that I was inconsiderate for requesting a $100 salad set or $80 dishes. I am not a high end, fancy – pants person, guys, but I do like quality products that are aesthetically pleasing. I was not registering for the top of the line items here (most of the time!) – these were your everyday basics that matched the home theme I was shooting for. He was further aghast when I explained that I have in fact purchased many of these items or their similarly priced counterparts for other peoples wedding gifts. My love also suffers from severe buyers regret and applies that to life consistently. I mean, this guy will regret purchasing shampoo. He is savvy and in a lot of ways frugal. This can be a great thing at times, since I do not have to worry that he will make some insane impulse purchase with money we were saving for our wedding or house. However there are times when it gets on my every last nerve – such as gift purchasing or food shopping… I am a generous person so this is one area where we do not always see eye to eye. As I explained to him that we were not requesting opulent and expensive gifts from our friends I could see that frugal little man in his eyes struggling to step out of his comfort zone. I have often explained to him that a quality $50 product will far outlast it’s cheaper counterpart – but old habits die hard. Further he often needs to be reminded that we live in New York City, not because he has ever lived any other place but because the cost of living rises so often it is difficult to keep track of at times. Perhaps this item would be $40 elsewhere – but here it is $75 and that is standard. After speaking to a few of our married friends and relatives on this one he seemed to calm down a bit and accept that if people wanted to get us these nice gifts that it was customary and completely on them. To be fair I registered for just as many low budget gifts, because I know how it feels to be invited to a wedding when you’re broke.
All in all it was a learning experience. While trying at times we learned more about each other and how we viewed our future. I am genuinely thrilled with the items we ended up registering for and sometimes I daydream about mixing cocktails and serving dinners and folding sheets and towels. I definitely daydream about being fancy and drinking wine out of my gorgeous and colorful glasses! I am glad that I took some time out to create a list of things we planned on registering for and things that just didn’t jive with us as gift requests. I am also glad that I was able to talk Nick out of registering for a car, although it took weeks of me explaining that it was just plain tacky!