Well, hi y’all! Our first meetup in the New Year! The holidays are officially over, the lights are down and the trees have all been picked up…Christmas is all packed away, the New Year has come and gone, and now we’re in the wonderful trenches of winter! Ugh. Not my favorite. I love the lights at Christmas, and low key wish it was tradition to just leave them up for the winter months! Some how they just seemed to make the extra early darkness just a little more bearable. BUT, I digress. The world has not picked up on my wish just yet! One can dream. One thing to be super excited about for the start of 2023 is all of the amazing weddings that are set to happen this year! Something Blue launch early fall, and I’ve been so blessed and excited to get a great start on my wedding calendar for the 2023 season. I’m beyond excited for each one of them. Lots of awesome pictures to come!
This week I thought we’d start off “easy” to ease in to the New Year, although this sticky topic can sometimes feel anything but easy. Gifts and registries, and most notedly on the sticky: wording when you don’t want any stuff you just want money for a trip or whatever it is that y’all have need for. Yeesh, even typing that feels a little gouche. But, I promise, it IS ok, and there’s a way to word it! We’ll get into that. For right now, let’s start with the straight forward part!
Enter the wonderful world of gift registries! If you and your soon to be spouse are fresh in a new home, or really actually COULD use a good new set of dishes or that really awesome blender you both want, this is the route for you. And, just to sweeten the pot, the actual creation of the registry can be preeeeetty fun! Make a day out of it, and let it be one of the fun parts of planning you get to do together. It’s definitely one of the least stressful parts! A good rule of thumb is to register with an online site like Amazon, a bigger cooperate store like Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams and Sonoma, or Pottery Barn and then a more cost affordable option like Target. When you’re making your selections in each place, try to include a range of price points in your choices to give people options that fit their budget. If you’re going this route it’s also important to make sure you get it done around 4-6 months out from your wedding date. This gives enough time for the registry to be made available to guests attending your shower(s) and also for you to include the registry info in your invitations which should be getting ready to be selected and printed riiiiiight about the same 4-6 month mark!
Actually creating the registries is really the fun part. Well, in the store at least. Online anything usually makes me want to rip my hair out. But let’s talk about the fun part. We’ll use Bed Bath and Beyond as an example. When you go in and create your registry, they set up an account for you and then give you a scanner gun to walk around the store with. You see it, you like it, you scan it. Need I say more. It’s a friggin’ blast. You can enter a quantity of an item (i.e. a plate, you want 4) and it will automatically track what is purchased and cross it off your list so that people don’t buy the same thing twice. Easy, peasy! Now, in my humble opinion, the online world not so much. I think it’s simply an “amount of product” thing for me. Amazon literally has everything known to man you could possibly ever want. I get overwhelmed at the nail polish wall in the nail salon and the greeting card aisle in any store. I’m just to tactile for the internet. BUT, if that’s your realm, or you have a really good concept of exactly what you want, the online part might be a breeze to you.
As I’ve talked about before, Ellie is my second marriage, and we went a totally different direction with our gifts. My first marriage, we actually needed the things, so we opted to do the registries. Hence, how I know it’s so much stinking fun. However, Ellie and I were in a different place. We had been together for about 5 years, and we had already built a home a long time ago: we already had all of those “things”. Because we had dedicated our time, energy and most of our money (in the beginning) to creating that home, we had never once traveled together in the five years we dated. We really really wanted a honeymoon. These days the honeymoon fund has become an awesome trend that I am SO glad became a thing! I think it’s a great option, and it makes sense in today’s culture where people are getting married later, and many times are in the same position Ellie and I were in. The one thing I will say: there’s a way to go about it. Coming off as asking for money can always be a little tricky. You want to be polite in expressing your wishes, while also making it clear that a monetary present of any sort isn’t a requirement for attending your nuptials! Yet another place where Etsy and Pinterest sweep in to save the day: there are so many wording options to choose from that can help make it a classy request. Ellie and I got really lucky: one of our dear friends (who was also our officiant) is a writer, and we roped her into penning the perfect Honeymoon Fund/Wishing Well cards that we enclosed in our invitations. Having someone who knows us so well actually write them made it so much better, because it truly sounded like it came from us! Don’t be afraid to find a good form and tweak the wording to better fit you and your partner’s style. On the actual wedding day, we had our Wishing Well card box, as well as a Honeymoon Fund sign with our wedding Venmo QR code. During our shower, there was also a Honeymoon Fund sign and card box and a sweet note of explanation of the Honeymoon Fund was included in the shower invitations, though it was different than our wedding ones. The theme of our shower was also “traveling from Mrs. to Mrs.” so it helped to highlight the point of the honeymoon fund request, annnnd it was super cute (Etsy once again, and an awesome best friend). That fund was such a blessing to Ellie and I! We went to New Orleans for a week and had a week at home where (almost) everyone thought we were still out of town. It was amazing, and we made some of the best memories. Ellie has a lot of family ties to New Orleans, and being able to see places and things like the house her mom lived in as a little girl, and the gumbo shop that serves her grandma’s gumbo recipe, was really special: multiple times a month I STILL think of that trip when I need to go to a happy place. The art, the music, the food, the architecture and style…**sigh**. We plan to go back again for a big marker anniversary like 15 or 25. It was also really cool to be able to share some of the awesome pictures of our trip in thank you postcards to all of our wedding and shower guests. I waited until we were back and semi-normal before getting thank you’s printed, and I was so glad I did, because I was able to actually include something to show what we did with our honeymoon fund to truly communicate some gratitude to what our friends and family came together to give us. And, on a little more selfish note: it was a major time saver to be able to print a postcard style thank you message with photos (I did a favorite shot of the wedding and of the honeymoon) and send them out instead of having to individually write a message. On that same note: it’s the best way to go if you opt for a honeymoon fund…it’s a little cringe to thank someone for a specific dollar amount in a thank you note, and, with the honeymoon fund, that’s literally all you could do! Best to come up with a sweet, genuine message of thanks with some awesome photos to share with everyone what y’all got the chance to experience.
Let’s face it, a lot of the parts and pieces of wedding planning are stressful, but this is one of the fun ones! Don’t forget to let it be that: make it about the two of you and how y’all want to start your future together. I’m super stoked for the trends of today, and with the right wording and approach, those trends can be beautifully executed, and mean so much more when they are tailored to y’all! Make sure you set aside some time in your planning schedule around the 4-6 month mark and get those registries done, or start hunting online for some awesome Honeymoon Fund templates to create your own QR code sign with a little class. Have fun, and do what truly fits the needs of you and your soon to be spouse!
Happy planning y’all!