This post is about a different topic than our usual travel, downsizing, or hiking posts. Today, I write about our wedding registry.
When Jeremy and I first announced we were getting married, we would get anxious anytime someone asked us about the wedding registry.
What the heck does a young couple who have plans to backpack for three months then live in an RV put on their wedding registry? There wasn’t much we needed. We had each lived in our own places up until we were married, so we had TONS of glasses, dishes, bowls, towels, sheets, furniture, etc.
We knew we’d have to downsize when we got a place together anyway, so what were we going to ask for?
Asking for anything has never been either of our strong suits, especially when we don’t need anything (which is most of the time). We like useful gifts, as anyone who knows us will tell you. So when Jeremy and I started to talk about what we’d put on the list, it took us a while before we thought we can ask for the gear we need for our hike.
It made so much sense. Jeremy had most of what he needed, but since I am a first time backpacker, I needed pretty much everything: backpack, sleeping bag and pad, stuff to eat with, boots, etc. And those things are pricy.
However, because it was our place as a married couple, we also thought it would be a good time to get new sheets, towels, a full set of pots/pans and a couple other items like maps and passport holders for our future adventures.
Whatever we put on the list was going to be something we used. No random items we’d look at for a couple months then need to get rid of the next.
There were a few items that were acting as replacements, like an area rug. We did not need this item, but it is helpful to have in a big space. Jeremy’s previous rug had been through so much devastation that I thought using it in our place might break some health code violation. I have witnesses to prove its dire state before disposal.
Anyway, I wanted to take moment to list a few tips for creating your wedding registry. As a young married or almost married couple, you need to hear it is ok to add items that are beneficial to you and your partner. Items YOU want and that YOU will use.
I’m going to walk you through most of our wedding registry and the thought behind our final decisions.
1. Make sure it has a designated function. Talk about how you will use that item.
We didn’t randomly choose to ask for pots and pans or towels. We decided that these items wear over time, and the only pots/pans I had were from before I left for college (they were caput). And towels should be changed out every few years due to bacteria and all that, so we thought those two items were worth asking for practically.
2. Talk about any big trips or excursions you may take in your first few years of marriage, including your honeymoon.
Are you going to the beach? Do you have a good beach towel or bag? If not, why not ask for it? Again, this is your registry. Think outside the box.
Jeremy and I knew we’d be hiking long distance in the UK after he graduated. In fact, that trip was going to be our honeymoon. We had a major loss in the family and ended up planning a trip to get away for a bit, but before, going to the UK was the plan.
I had zero gear and we thought about how fun it would be to have our family pitch in for the trip (our families are like that). They wanted to be a part of the adventure. It just made sense to let them. And man, that was the best idea we had. It was not only a lot of fun to get individual pieces in the mail bit by bit, but this really helped us out cost wise.
My backpack, our tent, and my hiking poles are just a few of the items we need for a successful long distance hike. All can be found at REI.
Good, durable gear is not cheap.
3. Are there any items you can think of that you may need but would never buy for yourselves?
We both wanted to have an air filter in our home because of the our fur babies. When I say fur, I mean I don’t know how they produce as much as they do. We’re both pretty susceptible to allergies in the air here in Austin and pets have their own fun kinds of dander, so we put an air purifier on the list. We love it, by the way. We’re really glad we asked for it.
4. When you picture your place together, what do you see?
I have always liked having a few throw pillows around the house. I like unusual designs or pictures, so when I envisioned our place, I thought nature and the outdoors. So, I chose map, bear, RV and compass pillows. We use these every day and they add a nice touch to the living room.
You gotta get something fun, right? Marriage is fun!
5. Don’t be afraid to be creative.
We first thought about all the places we usually shop: REI, Amazon, Target, HEB, etc. Instead of having a registry for all those places, we chose Amazon and Zola.
Zola is a neat registry platform that not only allows you the option to choose items, but you can create “money jars” for things you want to do or experiences you want to try together.
You can set up a fund for your wedding photography or that wine tasting you two are interested in. The funds are not designated to any particular company, but it allows your wedding participants, and other people in your life, to contribute amounts they want without having to buy an item off, say, an Amazon registry. I was smitten with this idea, so for all the other things we might need but could not foresee, we made an “Adventure Fund”.