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Wedding Registry Alternative?

September 10, 2008

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.

While it sounds like a great idea to me, I might end up being a hypocrite about it and going the traditional route.  It is hard to break away from the norm, but possible.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2008 8:25 am

    Thank you for mentioning alternative wedding registries.

    It is great to see how popular the honeymoon registry is becoming. When Traveler’s Joy first started accepting Members over four years ago, we realized there was a large number of engaged couples that were not satisfied with the diversity of the traditional wedding registry market. Since then, the honeymoon registry has become a mainstream option for brides and grooms and the industry has experienced significant growth.

    We are proud to have helped thousands of couples travel to destinations they may never have considered – a great feeling for everyone at Traveler’s Joy.

    I encourage you to contact us with any questions about our service. Most importantly, enjoy your honeymoon!

    Best Regards,

    Brandon Warner
    President & Co-founder
    Traveler’s Joy Honeymoon Registry
    Traveler’s Joy, Inc.

  2. September 10, 2008 1:34 pm

    I could write pages upon pages about the scam of the wedding registry! The $88 shakers better be made of pure gold and alter the chemical composition of salt/pepper such that it removes all of the calories from the food you sprinkle it on.

    I like the idea of the site, but society – family members and evil corporations – have managed to keep things much more traditional for now. It’s a shame… I wish someone would give us 30 recipes to try!

  3. September 10, 2008 1:49 pm

    Exactly. I like the idea, but i’m probably not brave enough or rebellious enough to actually use it. Hmm..

  4. Stephanie permalink
    September 10, 2008 5:19 pm

    In my experience, Bed Bath and Beyond has the best registry set-up. Anyone can use the 20% off coupons they send out every week, (even for the registry). The other major benefit is that they don’t jack up the prices every other week like Macy’s does. For example my flatware at Macy’s was $50 a place setting and the “sale” price was $29. At BBB it was $29 ALL THE TIME. I wonder if Macy’s thought they were fooling anyone with their “sales.” Macy’s would have “sales” on the weekends, and for other occassions, but if you wanted to buy silverware during the week, you are basically going to have to pay double.

  5. Bonnie permalink
    September 11, 2008 10:58 am

    A close friend of mine (getting married on Saturday!) and his fiancee registered at a great local independent bookstore. I’ve never had so much picking out wedding gifts!

  6. Bonnie permalink
    September 11, 2008 10:59 am

    Er, so much “fun”! 🙂

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