Wedding Registry Alternative?
I spent a few minutes checking out my cousin’s wedding registry for her wedding next month. She is a little older than me, and ready a more settled life in Orange County. I almost fell out of my chair at a price tag of $88 for a salt and pepper shaker, but tried hard to swallow my judgment. After all, isn’t that normal in the alternate universe of weddings?
Since I last wrote about how I won’t want Kate Spade on my wedding registry, I came across the website Alternative Gift Registry, which allows you to “register” for your wedding gifts without actually registering (similar to an Amazon wish list). It caught my interest, so I checked it out.
The site and its message may be a little out there if you aren’t extremely into the green/organic/environmental stuff. I’m all for saving the environment, but primarily as it applies to simple living and frugality. For example, I’d never request a “fare-trade throw,” as they showed in their sample registry. But I guess I’d never request a $325 picture frame either. My views certainly aren’t Macy’s views either.
The benefits are obvious, but to point out a few:
- It allows your guests to price shop and get the best deal, if they want
- It limits the “I need to pick things at a variety of prices from these 2 stores, so everyone is happy” feeling, which may cause you to register for things you don’t really even want.
- You can request whatever you want — recipes, board games, guests’ favorite books (even used!), fine china, a new tent, tickets to the theater, someone to water your plants while you are on your honeymoon… Seriously, whatever.
- You can’t have stores pulling crap like “Coupon not valid on wedding registries”
There are a few drawbacks. First, it is 100% internet based, and you probably have a few straggling non-web relatives, as Paranoid Asteroid found when she tried to get away with an Amazon wish list. I have a few relatives that may have trouble with that, but not too many.
Second, the extreme green message of the site might rub some guests the wrong way. They may say to themselves, “What has happened to SP? She has become such an environmental hippie!” It simply isn’t normal to go this route, and it may make some people a little uncomfortable. However, if an $88 salt and pepper set is considered normal, do I want to be normal?
It also doesn’t seem very popular yet, and the website is not very slick. Would wedding guests really use it? I snooped, and very few registries indicated something was purchased for the couple, even from weddings in the past. The ones that had success seemed to have used it exclusively, and included lots of traditional items.
This could be a pro or con, but this requires you to get a little more creative. It isn’t wandering around a shopping center with a little gun, or starting from some sample registry. It requires more thought. (Well maybe not. I think a lot of thought goes into which china and bedding to chose.) Still, maybe it will result in more useful gifts, less pressure for your guests, and less stuff overall.