“So What Can I Get You for Your Wedding?”
Written by: Lorelei G. Voorsanger, SoKind Registry User
It should have been a question that filled us with delight and anticipation, but when our friends started to ask us what they could get us as wedding gifts, both Mark’s and my face dropped. “A new salad bowl? Some dishtowels? A set of steak knives?”
You see, we are so rich. And I don’t mean the kind of rich that you might be thinking, with three houses, five cars, and money to burn. Not that kind. But we’re so rich with love and family. And we’re especially rich with stuff. STUFF.
This was the second marriage for both of us, and when we came together to blend families, we looked around and realized we had at least two of everything. Two sets of frying pans, two sets of camping gear, two toasters. Two sons and two… no, wait… THREE daughters. See! We had some to spare! We pared down most things to just one (but kept all the kids), and still, our garage and storage areas were bountifully full.
Hmmmm…. Could we get away with being stern about our “no gifts” policy? We gave it some thought and decided that either people might think we’re grouchy and not grateful, or they would haul off and get us yet another set of pillowcases (we have 68 pillowcases… no joke) that we really don’t need. We had to find a way to redirect our guests to something that we could feel good about receiving.
That’s where our SoKind registry came in. We brainstormed with the kids about activities that the whole family could feel good about (donations to causes we care about, passes to the local pool so we could all splash around on a hot day, home-cooked meals to give the kids a break from my weird dinners) and a few lovely indulgences for our honeymoon like a massage or bicycle rental or hotel room view upgrade. Since we didn’t know where or when we would be able to go on our honeymoon, the “credits” to apply toward our romance at a later date were perfect.
It couldn’t have fit our personalities more! We customized our registry to the hilt with a background, funny descriptions, goofy family photos, and creative requests for gifts. The kids showed it to their friends, proud that our family wasn’t asking for fine china, but instead for donations to specific charities.
Then, at our picnic-in-the-park wedding reception, as Mark and I were having a friendly hula hoop competition (I won) and eating our body weight in BBQ and cornbread, we overheard our friends saying: “Did you see their registry??!! It’s HILARIOUS! Here. I have it on my phone, I can show you.” We were delighted and flattered to hear people raving about how creative and fun and thoughtful it was that we put our own spin on the wedding gift tradition.
And I’m pleased to report that (aside from a cheese grater that stands two feet tall. What is THAT????), we received the most delightful “gifts.” A piece of artwork made by a friend who had just traveled to Thailand and brought back materials to make a collage, a rum cake, a coupon for a couple’s massage, movie tickets, and many more thoughtful gestures. We didn’t get any more STUFF to clutter up our garage!!!
For more information, visit SoKind Registry.
When my sister-in-law got engaged, she asked me if she should register for a stand mixer. I was baffled because she really isn’t a big fan of cooking anything, much less anything from scratch. When I asked her why she wanted one, she said that it was on every registry starter checklist that she had seen. Plus her best friend had registered for one.
I told her that I thought the mixer was just going to take up valuable real estate in her small kitchen and that, if she ever got the baking bug, she could save for one then. Or everybody could pitch in and get her one for her birthday or for Christmas. So, she decided to leave it off her registry, and she hasn’t regretted the decision once. And those springform pans she decided to leave on her registry are still collecting dust in her cabinets.
I think my sister-in-law was tempted to add the stand mixer because, in the midst of all the many decisions she was making in preparation of her wedding day, it was so much easier to simply follow a registry checklist than to think about what she and her fiancé truly wanted.
But I also think that sometimes people register for items because they have these fantasy versions of themselves. Maybe you never bake now, but the fantasy version of yourself would have freshly baked cookies for your family every night after dinner. Or you register for fine china because your fantasy self is going to host elegant dinner parties every weekend once you’re married…even though you’ve never hosted anything other than a take-out pizza party.
And I don’t mean to imply that stretching to create a fantasy self is a bad idea. But the key is knowing whether the fantasy self you have in mind would actually make you happier. On their podcast Happier, Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, often talk about how they have to stop themselves and try to discern whether they want something because they actually want it or whether they just wish they were the type of person who wanted such a thing.
So, for example, Liz declared one year that this was the year that she was going to learn how to make soups. She was going to make soup all the time for herself and for her family. She went on about it so much that one of her friends got her a big soup cookbook as a gift. And, as soon as she had it in her hands, she realized that she didn’t really want to make soup. She just wished she were the kind of person who enjoyed making a pot of homemade soup.
Through her happiness research and projects, Gretchen has come to the conclusion that the first happiness commandment is to be yourself. So when she wishes that she liked music more, she reminds herself to “Be Gretchen” and pursue the interests that she actually likes. Being Liz means that, rather than spend time reading recipes and chopping vegetables, she really should spend her time eating out, writing, and catching up with reality television.
So go ahead and create the registry that will launch your fantasy life. But make sure that it’s the fantasy life that would make you and your partner happy…not the fantasy life laid out by a standard registry checklist or by your best friend or by the advertising companies.
Unlike other registries, SoKind is totally customizable, so you can be as quirky and authentic as you would like. Amanda and Asher, for example, love learning together, so, on their SoKind Registry, they’ve requested glass blowing, cooking, surfing, singing, piano, pottery, and welding lessons. Mark and Lorelei, both parents being intentional about smoothly blending their families together, registered for a “Movie night for us + the kid of our choice.” Adrienne added a “Get Adrienne out of the Doghouse” request on her wedding registry. Her fiancé was a professional chef, and she had ruined one of his pots. So she requested a replacement (new or used). They had a lot of fun waiting to see who would take pity on Adrienne.
Rather than another item that needs to be checked off your long to-do list, creating a registry can be a fun opportunity to dream together about the kind of life you actually want to create together. Take the time to think about what matters most to you and your partner. If it’s music, register for concert tickets, lessons, or iTunes gift cards. If you want to spend more time with friends, register for double dates. And, if you actually love to bake and have always dreamed of a stand mixer, go ahead and put it on there as well. Someone who has a secondhand mixer that they received as a wedding gift would probably be very happy to pass it on to you!
For more information and/or if you’d like to sign-up for your So Kind Registry today, visit their site HERE
isn’t like other registries. With SoKind, you can register for anything you want. Really. Anything!
You can register for concert tickets, guitar lessons from a talented friend, DIY help, a secondhand stand mixer, a monthly date night, a favorite recipe…you name it, and a SoKind
user has probably registered for it!
Here are some real gifts from real SoKind Registries
that we absolutely love:
Fun Experience Gifts
The Right Stuff
- Canning lessons
- Graceland tickets
- Live music fund
- Craft party
- Treasure hunt at a junk yard with us
- CSA Share
- Marathon fees
- Brew lessons for two
Heartfelt handmade and helpful gifts
- Sunscreen for the honeymoon
- Coffee from your city. (“If you have a favorite roaster, buy a bag and we can have a coffee collection to enjoy this year.”)
- Wedding ring tattoos
- Tiny home fund
- Organic Beer Kit
- Meyer lemon tree
- Ancestry DNA Kit
- Pre-wedding guest hosting
- Board game loans for the wedding reception
- Stock our bar
- Three decorating divas on our wedding day
- Moving help
- Write us a story!
- Relaxation tips for newlyweds
- Wedding scrapbook
- Dig up perennial plants from your yard (“We would love to think of you when we head outside and see your beautiful plants in our yard. Hook us up with your flowers and herbs!”)
- Music list for DJ
- Pet staycation while on our honeymoon
- Nerd help (“We’re both interested in learning skills related to small business website design and server maintenance.”)
- “Get out of jail free card” (“Help us when our car breaks down on our road trip honeymoon.”)
- Help repaying student loans
- Potluck rehearsal dinner contributions
- “The last-minute mishap fund” (“This is a fund to cover all the last-minute expenses that we know will come up in the last few days of wedding planning.”)
- Big tip to the best waiter or waitress of our honeymoon trip (“Help us give a huge tip to an unsuspecting waiter/waitress.”)
- Foster an elephant
- Papal Blessing of Our Marriage
was designed as an alternative to the traditional, retail-based gift registries. SoKind Registry
wanted to create a platform that allows registrants to receive meaningful, customized gifts from their loved ones while still making the process for the gift-givers easy and elegant. And SoKind Registry
knows they’ve succeeded based on all the amazing gifts that SoKind Registry
users create. We hope you’ll join their incredible community of couples who want more fun and less stuff!
Create your SoKind Registry today!