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Please Don’t Register For This. I’m Not Kidding.


Every year thousands and thousands of couples head down to their favorite retail stores and take advantage of the bridal registries. Macy’s or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target or your favorite olde gifte shoppe, chances are that if you’re getting married soon, you’ll be filling out a form or zapping goods with a little ray gun scanner in hopes that your friends and families will give you items you can actually use and that you will actually enjoy in your married life.

Into the fray leaps Yahoo headlines.
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Tips for Registry Choices: China


(Illustration via The Titanic Gazette of a plate used on the Titanic)
There’s a little known fact about me that might intrigue you all: I am not the first wedding professional in my family. My mother was the bridal consultant at a department store in San Francisco long before I was so much as a gleam in my father’s eye. It was her job to help brides-to-be choose their china patterns and cookware and household linens and then organize the list so that her friends and family members had only to go to the store and choose something off the list.

In order to do her job well, Mom had to learn a lot about china and cookware and linens and so on, of course, so as to help those blushing brides make good choices. And eventually she gave me quite a bit of good advice for making those same sorts of decisions when it came my time.

I realize that many brides now already own china, glassware, cookware, etc. well before they either say yes or pop the question themselves. Still, there are those who haven’t got anything, those who want an upgrade, and those who decide that a wedding is a great time to replace all those broken and mis-matched things. So I’m going to pass on a couple of Mom’s favorite tips for picking a china pattern you’ll love.
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Really? That’s Your Complaint?


Last week, Tony Romo and Candace Crawford tied the knot, as pretty much everyone with an internet connection or a television knows.

I didn’t even know who they were, since I follow neither professional football nor beauty pageants. I had to Google their names to find out what the fuss was about. All the same, I wish them all happiness, as I do every couple who gets married.

The details are easily found from the dress to the menu (short ribs and a pizza bar), to… well, pretty much anything you could want to know and probably several things you don’t.

All well and good. Happy famous couple gets married, people want details.

And then along comes this cesspool of nastiness of an article.

Yes, apparently it’s worth the time of Chris Chase at the Yahoo sports blog Shutdown Corner to be offended that the happy couple chose to register at Macy’s and Crate & Barrel! What’s more, they had the crust to register for a gravy boat that cost a mere six dollars! Gasp! Horror!

As if forcing people to make the trip to Dallas on a three-day weekend wasn’t bad enough, the Romos then ask folks to buy them various home knick-knacks that they’ll never use and easily could have afforded for themselves? I suppose you have to get a rich guy something when he gets married, I just never figured it would be a six-dollar gravy boat.

How does Chase know that Tony and Candace won’t use that gravy boat? Maybe they like gravy with everyday meals. And what do you want to bet that had they registered for a six hundred dollar gravy boat it would have come in for equal disdain from the same source?

Look, I don’t care how rich or how poor you are. I don’t care whether you’re famous, infamous, or utterly unknown: register for what you would like to receive. If your family and friends are strapped for cash on a good day, be sensitive to that by including some inexpensive items, but don’t base your entire registry on the fact that your closest associates have money to burn.

And if you want a gravy boat – no matter how expensive or thrifty-minded it may be – go ahead and register for it. The fact that it’s on the list doesn’t obligate anyone to give it to you, nor is it a reasonable cause for annoyance on the part of someone you probably wouldn’t invite if you thought of it.

In fact, Chris Chase? I’ll make you a deal: you stick to talking about sports, I’ll cover the wedding beat, and then nobody will have to deal with my ignorance of football or yours of proper wedding etiquette.

Wedding Gifts 101


It’s been a while since we’ve talked about that white elephant in the room, wedding gifts.

I know the thought causes an amazing range of emotions from absolute joy to abject terror to… well… whatever it happens to stir up in you. Some people think gifts are the best part of getting married, while others would rather discuss having public rectal surgery than consider the possibility of more stuff in their lives.

Honestly, I don’t care which camp you’re in or whether you’re somewhere in between. This is not my concern. After all, I did my thing. It’s done. This isn’t about how you should feel about wedding gifts or whether it’s okay to want or not want them. This is about the practical aspects of handling this particular part of getting married. If you want pressies, that’s great. If you don’t want them, that’s great, too. But the fact is you will have to deal with the question, and with people who make choices that don’t necessarily match your wishes.

Here’s the deal.
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Can a Wedding Registry Go Green? Or Blue?

Here’s a question the lovely Leah sent to me a while back:

I have been enjoying MftB for years but only now have a pressing question for you: a friend of mine is getting married soon and, at the request of family members, will be doing a registry. But it’s important to her to register with a company that has green/sustainable options for a lot of her household goods and is also “blue” (the human rights/labor rights version of being green) in its business practices–nixing most of the big-box retailers. Ideally, she’d like to register with a store that is good to the earth and to its employees, especially on women and LGBT issues. Problem is, she’s not really sure what companies those are, especially not that offer a fairly wide range of products so that she doesn’t have to register 14 places. She is not interested in doing a ludicrous super-registry list, just some household basics to start their new home–linens, towels, some basic kitchen stuff, etc. Do you have any leads on some sustainable, high-integrity businesses that do wedding registries, or perhaps another way to put together a registry altogether?

In a way, Leah, this is a toughie – finding supposedly green wedding registries isn’t the problem, since there are environmentally friendly shops that let brides and grooms (and anyone, really) create gift registries. But going blue hasn’t quite caught on yet, even if it should.

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Register Without Complaints

No, you aren’t required to register anywhere for gifts. If you don’t see a need and don’t plan to register, then that’s fine.

On the other hand, there is the sad tale of my sister-in-law’s friend who didn’t register. Every single guest at her wedding gave her a casserole dish, because, hey, who can’t use another casserole dish? The woman who just received eighty-five of them, that’s who.

Registries are expected these days, and couples are getting more imaginative with them, as well. Still, there are a few rules in place, and some advice I can offer. If you’re thinking of setting up a gift registry, look behind the cut for more information.

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Strong enough for a man, but made for a groom?

I tend to think of the items on the common wedding registry as being fairly unisex. Everyone…okay, almost everyone…uses things like plates and glasses, deli slicers, and toolboxes. Then again, plenty of wedding registries I’ve seen have included stuff like iron sconces and votive holders. If you think decorative items are intrinsically feminine, then I suppose plenty of registries do err on the side of girly.

Um, power tools and what?

But is the answer a wedding registry designed specifically for dudes? The Man Registry claims to be the worlds first registry that puts the Reggie back into registries. (Hey, you try making a good registry pun!)

TheManRegistry.com is the world’s first wedding gift registry for grooms. We offer hundreds of products geared specifically toward men. The days of men being content with dishes, hand towels, and linens as wedding gifts are over. With The Man Registry, grooms everywhere can pick out the barbecue grills, tools, bar glasses, and electronics they’ll need to start their new marriage.

Three brothers started TheManRegistry.com in 2007 when they noticed that many of their close friends and family were getting married, but too often were registered for gifts that were strictly geared toward the kitchen. Where were the gifts that the groom could get excited about? It was clear that creating a wedding registry tailored to grooms was necessary.

Some of the products listed in their Top Ten include the Black & Decker Cordless Screwdriver and the Pharos Science 3.5 GPS Navigator. Now, correct me if I’m way off base here, but I would say that nearly every single female I know has both a screwdriver set and a GPS. I can’t say I like the fact that The Man Registry is pushing these things as toys for boys and spreading the myth that chicks all lust after hand towels.

I guess I am just not seeing why an entirely separate man-oriented registry is necessary when many department stores have both linens and power tools. Why are grooms-to-be who want to set up a killer bar not simply adding shot glasses and cocktail shakers to their registries? Have their brides truly taken complete control over all gift options, or are they just looking for something to whine about? I feel like the guys who created the Man Registry said, “I know, let’s create a fake problem so we can make money by providing a solution!”

On a scale of one to ten, I would skip the numerical system altogether and rate this site as pretty pointless.

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