I thought, when I got married, that I would skip the gifts. Brandon and I weren’t doing any of the usual ceremonies. We weren’t starting a new life from scratch—we already lived together. We weren’t even upgrading. The Ikea plates that we own will do us fine until we leave New York City, at which point we can pass them on and buy a new set when we get there—wherever “there” turns out to be.
But then, you know, gifts! Plus all the more mature stuff Meg says in the book about letting people enjoy contributing. But actually, gifts!
We opted for a honeymoon registry on Wanderable. Were there relatives who were horrified? Sure. The dreaded word “tacky” hung over the whole enterprise. We had awkward conversations about how much money it’s OK to ask for, because even though the idea is that guests give you an experience, you’re still the one putting on the price tag (and subsequently spending the money however you wish). My mother was convinced it was only acceptable to ask for $10 at a time. We cautiously sent around the link including caveats and get-out clauses. Friends and family had already been so helpful during the planning process; so many of the folks we know are broke. Prefer to give stuff? We love stuff!
Our guests’ generosity was so incredible that it’s one of the most eye-opening and memorable parts of the wedding. We not only made our entire honeymoon budget, we actually overshot. Some people brought stuff—beautiful stuff—so the next day felt like Christmas morning, with bonus ginger cookies in the shape of moustaches. And an amazing number of people found other ways to bless the proceedings. Our photographer was a friend who donated his time and skills. My sister made us a painting. Another friend, Kyle, is a pop-up artist, and created the card pictures. Who else thinks he should go into invite business?
We’re still calculating when I can take enough time off for the honeymoon. For those expecting wedding-planning withdrawal after the big day, I recommend delaying your honeymoon so that your inner executive still has a task to sink her teeth into. Looking forward is part of the fun!