This year Michael and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary (WHAT). When we got married, we were fresh out of college. I remember being really frustrated with how people talked to me about marriage. Have fun being tied down! was the implication. Being so young, I was desperate for examples of successful partnerships that were adventurous and fun. I didn’t want to think that marriage meant the end of good times, but rather an ushering in of a new phase of good times.
Looking back, I think those conversations about marriage were very much informed by how we talked about weddings at the time. Ten years ago, weddings were much more princess-y, Your Big Day, ball gown vibes. But a lot has changed since then. We celebrate backyard weddings now. We’ve embraced the minimalist elopement. And you can also see how we’ve changed the conversation around marriage with how we treat wedding registries.
When Amazon Wedding Registry invited us to partner with them this month, it got me thinking about how registries inform our understanding of marriage. When I got married, traditional wedding registries still ruled the day. Registry checklists were filled with items that suggested you might be spending the rest of your life huddled around a dutch oven discussing the various merits of your $700 vacuum. Which, no shade, because I love my expensive vacuum, but I didn’t want that to be all our marriage was about. I wanted our marriage to be about exploring new places, camping out of the back of our truck, playing games with friends, making art projects, and discovering new hobbies together.
The New And Improved Amazon Wedding Registry
Which is why I’m so glad that Amazon Wedding Registry exists now. The best part of an Amazon Wedding Registry is the obvious: we already buy lots of our household goods on Amazon. My grandmother knows how to use Amazon. Even my highly skeptical aunt who “doesn’t trust” internet shopping will order things from Amazon.
But in the last few years, Amazon has upgraded their registry features to make registering even easier. For example, you can add anything from anywhere using the Amazon Assistant, then let your guests shop from one convenient location. Amazon also offers a one-time post-wedding 20% discount for Prime members (10% discount for non-Prime members) on certain items that you registered for, but didn’t get (don’t be like me having no pots or pans to cook in after we got married because I was convinced we’d get a new set and donated our old ones before our pre-wedding move across town.) Plus they’ve got extra perks like an 180-day return policy, easy group gifting (you can automatically make any gift over a certain dollar amount into a group gift), and the occasional free bonus gift.
What’s On Your Marriage Bucket List?
But the thing I like best about Amazon’s wedding registry experience, is it’s clear from the get go that they understand you aren’t just here for pots and pans. While you can search through their most popular gifts and top brands to find all the standard home essentials like cookware and home gadgets, it’s just as easy to sort through gifts by hobby and register for travel essentials, fitness equipment, personal technology, music, home entertainment, craft supplies (give it all to me), board games, outdoor fun, gift cards (hello Airbnb), even that camera you were eyeing for your honeymoon. Plus, their entertaining essentials are anything but boring (does anyone else need this marble hexagon cutting board?) and I would basically buy anything from their Jonathan Adler partnership.
With Amazon, you can let your registry speak to the kind of marriage you want to have, and then manifest it into existence. So today, in partnership with Amazon Wedding Registry, I want to invite you to talk about what’s on your relationship bucket list and how you’re letting that inform your own wedding registry. What do you and your partner want to accomplish together and what will it take to get you there?
But first, here’s what our own team had to say about their relationship bucket lists:
A little Friendly Competition
When Dennis and I got together, our different friend groups naturally gravitated towards each other and before we knew it, it was as if everyone was one big family. It’s really important to me that our friend group continues to play a key role in our relationship. We love to play games and a good portion of our friend group is pretty competitive, so any games that can bring all of us together is a win in my book. While we’re not getting married any time soon (do you hear that APW staff?!) if I were registering now, I’d definitely be sure to add some group activity items to the list.
While we will not be adding Dennis’ actual dream to the registry, we will be adding some of the classics. Jenga is a crowd favorite, I love this giant set for parties. Plus you can never go wrong with karaoke in our group. And Dennis has been promising to teach his nephew how to play dominoes. Hopefully twenty years down the road, we’ll still be having some friendly competitive fun with our crew. – Chelsea Hanepen, Director Of Operations
Something For The Birds
Sibley Backyard Birding Flashcards, The Sibley Birder’s Life List and Field Diary, Sibley’s Birding Basics: How to Identify Birds, Using the Clues in Feathers, Habitats, Behaviors, and Sounds, BFULL Binoculars
Levenhuk Broadway Opera Glasses, Sibley Backyard Birding Flashcards, The Sibley Birder’s Life List and Field Diary, Sibley’s Birding Basics: How to Identify Birds, Using the Clues in Feathers, Habitats, Behaviors, and Sounds
My husband and I had nothing in common when we first started dating. Except, surprisingly, bird watching. We would wander around the woods together, going to parks, and then when we were able to travel, we planned that into it. When we got married, a new pair of binoculars were way out of our price range, but our friends went in on them together and were very excited to buy the one non-kitchen/house thing on our registry.
If I had to register again, it would probably be for two pairs of them so we wouldn’t still be fighting over them. We’d also register for way less of the kitchen stuff we didn’t want or need. I’m sure someone would’ve been just as happy to split the fancy point-and-shoot camera I got for our honeymoon as the KitchenAid. – Keriann Kohler, Director of Brand Partnerships
The Travel Bug
When David and I got married, we knew that travel was one of our goals. I didn’t grow up with money, and I didn’t leave the state of CA till I was 14, and first left the country at 21. I’d gotten a little taste of what travel was like, and I knew that it was part of the marriage that I wanted to manifest. While we mostly registered for cookware (David loves to cook), we added luggage to the list as part of trying to create the life we wanted. A decade later that luggage has been used so much, on so many continents, both with kids and without kids, that it’s about to bite the dust.
Traveling isn’t always easy for us. We joked during this shoot that David should take a photo of me while I cried from jet lag, which I’ve done in Rome, London, and Athens… just to name a few. That, or we should have two tired tiny kids trailing in our wake, full of complaints and questions. But, even with all that, travel has been such a gift in our marriage, and I’m glad we put that luggage on our registry to help make that dream feel more tangible. – Meg Keene, Founder & CEO
A couple of years ago, my husband and I looked at each other and realized our jobs and income had stabilized, so we had some newfound free time and money—but no kids yet. So we set the goal of travelling twice each year: one domestic trip, and one international. We’ve discovered that we actually travel really well together, and that planning each trip is part of how we bond, too. I sometimes get restless in our domestic life, and he has a really demanding job, so our travel is definitely one of the key ways we are able to maintain a sense of both adventure and sanity.
When we married, we registered ALL WRONG. I sometimes look back on it with mortification and can’t believe how poorly we did. But if I could do it over, I probably would have registered us for good-quality luggage and travel supplies. Hard side suitcases in two sizes, a duffel for each of us, and maybe even something cute like a passport holder or some other travel-related fine leather goods. – Dana Eastland, Content Strategist
Back To Nature
As for me, Michael and I fantasized about driving around the country after we got married, camping out of the back of our car. So we put the word out to our families that we were hoping for camping gear and ended up with tents, griddles, lanterns, comfy sleeping bags, and a camp dining set (though it would have been nice to actually choose the items we wanted, because I definitely would have gone for this cooler if we could).
And while it took us a few years to make our camping dream a reality, when we were ready, it was so nice to have all of our equipment ready and waiting to be packed up. We even ended up taking a camping babymoon with all of our wedding registry items. (Yes, I camped out of the back of a truck seven months pregnant. I don’t know what’s wrong with me either.)
So all those have fun being tied down conversations proved very wrong. In the last ten years, we’ve moved across the country, started businesses, traveled, had a kid, and checked off our big bucket list item of living on a farm (going on eight years strong with that one.) Because as it turns out, marriage is not a prescription. It’s whatever the heck you want to make out of it. And what we fill our home with is just one step in manifesting those goals into existence.
So tell me, what’s on your relationship bucket list? And what are you registering for that will help bring your bucket list to life?
This post was sponsored by Amazon Wedding Registry. With the Amazon Assistant, you can register for anything you want, meaning you can focus on the life you want to build together after your wedding. Plus Amazon’s got you covered with perks like Two-day Prime shipping on eligible items, easy returns within 180 days, and up to 20% off on any items left on your registry. Click here to explore registry ideas by room, by hobby, by personal style, or check out Amazon’s exclusive partnership with designers like Novogratz and Jonathan Adler and then sign up for your Amazon Wedding Registry today.