Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Half Empty: Wedding Registry Tips

They say that when you hit your 40s, your life is half over. We prefer to think of it as HALF EMPTY. Our age has finally caught up with our outlook on life. Remember, it is possible to turn that frown upside down...but you might pull a muscle.

Wedding Registry Tips

By Rick Kaempfer & Dave Stern

Both of us are coming up on big anniversaries this year (15 years), and we’ve been waxing nostalgic about those halcyon days. Young, free, not a care in the world. Ready, willing and able to spend the rest of our lives with the same woman.

Neither of us regrets it for a second.

On the other hand, we wouldn't do it again for all the tea in China.

Planning a wedding isn't exactly a great experience. Inevitably some trivial disagreement will blow up into something legendary. For Rick it was a big argument with his mother about the color of the napkins at the reception. If you ever run into Dave and his wife, mention their wedding photographer and watch the sparks fly. Let's face it, everyone has something about his or her wedding that was a complete disaster.

The only wedding experience that we'd repeat is registering for gifts. Registering for wedding gifts can be very exciting because it doesn’t seem real...

“You mean all I have to do is write this item down on a piece of paper and I’ll get it?”

Yup. That’s a heck of a deal for the bride and groom. Enjoy it. We enjoyed it so much, we'd do it all over again. But this time we'd do it right.

Brides and grooms should take a little more time thinking about whether or not they’ll really need some of these things before they write them down on the list. Trust us, some of those things that look good on the Crate & Barrel shelf will never be used in real life. Ever.

Think of your guests. They are shelling out good money for these gifts. Don’t make them waste their hard earned money getting you completely useless and unnecessary items.

Here’s a helpful list to avoid.

1) Fine China

In a good year, you’ll use these fancy dishes maybe twice. In a good year. And a typical place setting goes for $150 or so. If you get ten place settings, do the math. You might as well take that $1500 and spend the weekend in Vegas. At least you’ll have good memories. $1500 worth of unused china stored in your china cabinet is the most wasteful thing in your home. Wait…check that. Do a price check on the gravy boat sometime. A typical gravy boat will cost more than a place setting. It’s a bowl that pours gravy. Seriously. Who are you trying to impress? Your boss? Who actually invites his boss to dinner? Unless you’re a hopeless kiss-ass, you’ll want to stay as far away from your boss as possible.

2) Silverware

We’re not talking about the regular fork, knife, spoon set that you’ll use every day, we’re talking about the expensive set that sits in your china cabinet and only comes out twice a year when the china comes out. The expensive set really doesn’t look any different than your regular set, and it doesn’t cut or pick up food any better either. Throw in the salad forks, and you have a clear case of needless utensil duplication. We’ve discovered that people are completely capable of using one fork for their entire dinner, and not only that, they do it every day of their lives. Who are you trying to impress? Your parents? It’s impossible to impress people who once had to wipe your bottom. Give it up.

3) Bedding

Yes, you need a fitted sheet to cover the mattress. Yes, you need a blanket to keep warm. It helps to have a backup of each. Everything else is completely unnecessary. What does the flat sheet do besides get in the way and add to the bed-making headache? Throw pillows? They are so-named because they're always in the way and you have to throw them out of your way. What about duvets? The purpose of a duvet is…um…well…hell, we have no idea what it does. It’s totally unnecessary.

4) Bathroom accoutrements

Decorative soaps aren’t that decorative and aren’t that soapy. Why display them? Really. We mean it. Why? Potpourri is nothing more than a couple of sweet smelling twigs next to the toilet. Hear that sound? That’s the sound of your wedding guests flushing their hard earned money down that same sweet smelling toilet.

Of course there are many other items that are a matter of personal taste. If you really think you need an edger to manicure your lawn like a putting green, be our guest. If you really think you need a fancy letter opener (maybe you have ten broken fingers for instance), have it at. A fancy bookmark instead of a piece of scrap paper, fine—you may be reading a book made out of gold.

All we ask is that you don’t start checking things off without thinking about them first.

And, by the way, when your wife asks you to decide between two items, ask her which one she likes better and pick the same one. You don’t really care anyway.

Do you?

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