There’s any number of ways you can register for your upcoming wedding (congratulations, btw!). We dig into why the traditional registry is more relevant – and in the long run, more joyful, than the alternatives.
If you’ve gone to a wedding in the last few years, chances are that in addition to the gravy boats and stand mixers, you’ve purchased your share of the following: Massages for the happy couple in Waikiki, gift cards to big-box stores, a stake in your friends’ down payment, and a share of the wedding costs themselves. Practical, yes, but not super romantic.
We’re not judging, we swear – weddings, honeymoons, first homes, they’re all expensive. And with a constant churn of research showing that purchasing experiences, not objects, is the key to buying happiness, it’s easy to let that sway you into going the non-traditional registry route. But the truth is it’s not that clear-cut. A product, when used correctly, can make for a much more special and longer-lasting experience. Here’s why.
1. Many experiences > one experience
So yes, the gift of a honeymoon snorkel expedition is going to fill you with good feelings and good memories. But the gift of luxe, high-thread-count sheets is so much more than just a pretty folded white square in your linen closet. It means higher-quality sleep and a supple, cozy canvas for Sunday mornings (with newspaper and coffee as essential accessories). It means a pillowcase that feels just right when you hit the bed after an exhausting day, and the cool, fresh touch of a well-made sheet against you and your partner’s bodies (interpret that part as you wish).
2. The beauty of investing in others
Yes, your wedding gifts should be for the two of you. But research suggests that purchases for others tend to make you happier than spending on yourself. A beautiful and well-crafted set of serveware, dishes, and glasses means countless opportunities for dinner parties, lazy-chic brunches, and spur-of-the-moment cocktails. While a traditional registry makes for ongoing experiences for the two of you, don’t forget how it also serves your “village” – the family and friends you’re celebrating with on your wedding day. Why not register for the pieces that make it easy to celebrate for days and nights to come?
3. Buy yourself time
Another silver bullet to happiness: buying yourself free time. And while spa visits are beloved pastimes, there’s something extra special about having the tools at your disposal to get that kind of treat at home. That means baby-soft, enveloping bath sheets and robes you’ll want to live in – and can, preferably while watching high-minded TV dramas.... Or low-brow reality, whatever relaxes you more. Gifts that give you both the chance to create blocks of me-time on your own schedule with no commute and no waiting room are truly the ones that keep on giving. Top off the experience by DIY’ing your own spa water with some cut cucumbers and mint sprigs in a crystallized glass carafe of H2O.
Ultimately, if you can't resist the allure of a hotel upgrade or snorkeling expedition, it's still worth registering for at least the essentials – enough plates, glasses, and pillow cases for the two of you. No one wants to leave paradise and come home to chipped dishes and pilly sheets.