The Minimalist Wedding Registry

Minimalist Wedding Registry

After much debate and several conversations, my fiance and I decided to create a wedding registry of items we need or that we’d like to update. It seems a bit off from what I’ve been working towards lately, so I thought I’d write up a post that explains (or maybe tries to justify?) our decision. So why did we do it?

The pressure of “tradition”

The main thing that frustrates me about wedding planning has been that the word “tradition” gets thrown around a lot, and often carries with it a hefty weight of guilt. It’s tradition to have a registry. It’s a tradition to not include that info on the invitation – people just have to ask.

It’s a lame excuse, yes, but it’s also better than having people confused about our choice, calling us out of frustration and asking, “well what do you want? Just cash? Do you just want money from us?” This way, our more traditional guests get what they want, and through a carefully curated list, we get what we want, too.

If you’re getting us a gift, make it something we need

I’m looking forward to getting a lot of handmade gifts, especially since my friends and family are a creative and generous bunch. But, what I was worried about without a registry was getting strange trinkets that my husband-to-be and I really don’t need.

Having specific requests takes the guesswork out of what we really want, need or even like.

This is our chance to be “real adults”

Most of our cookware, utensils and place settings are mismatched Goodwill finds – and not in the quirky, cute way. We picked them up throughout college, finding them in dark corners of new apartments when we moved, picking them up for under a dollar at garage sales…you get the picture.

Having a registry is a good opportunity to upgrade our kitchen appliances, our linens and our tableware so that we have uniform, high-quality essentials that will last us forever. As a friend reminded me, one of my central tenets as I go through minimizing is keeping what is useful and beautiful, but with a high focus on quality so I don’t have to ever purchase the item again.

It’s still not that traditional

Since I didn’t want to get too tempted by exploring beautiful stores like Crate & Barrel, I decided not to do an in-store registry. I’ve been having fun, snooping around Amazon for great deals and quality items. While I’m not sure how the convenience of it will work out for our guests, I feel good about being able to check prices and reviews before adding anything to the registry without a salesperson telling me what I need and what I don’t.

For example, I’ve heard friends talk about how the salesperson told them that it was traditional to register for 12, but they thought it was too much and registered for 10 instead. My fiance and I are doing fine with 4, and we’re not planning on hosting massive formal dinner parties any time soon. Those, however, will be replaced soon by 6 settings of the much thinner and lighter Corelle dishes so we can maximize our space in our cupboards wherever we move next.

So, what did we register for?

I must admit, it’s been tough to not let the registry get away from me. There are so many beautiful things on the internet, and it’s so easy to fall down a rabbit hole, chasing fine bone china and fancy kitchen gizmos. But here are some of the things that we registered for:

  • Bakeware, including a muffin pan and some real baking sheets that don’t have years of mystery food (not all mine) burned into them
  • A real vacuum – ours is clogged, again with years of mystery “stuff” and has duct tape covering the wire
  • A blender – it’s been far too long without. I broke my last one blending paper pulp, and I’ve learned my lesson
  • Knives, because knives
  • Updated kitchenware and an actual oven mitt (again, I’ve been without for over a year)
  • Tea and soap – who says consumables can’t make the list?
  • Linens, linens, linens. At my fiance’s request, we’re going to work on making the apartment a little less “girly” (understandable, since I’ve covered the place with pink & purple blankets and fake flowers)
  • A tent. I don’t know, if we ever get a weekend off at the same time, maybe we’ll go on adventures!
  • Glass spray bottles for our homemade cleaning supplies!
  • Baskets – it’s time to get rid of the cracked, dollar-store plastic baskets that we’ve been keeping produce and toiletries in and get some baskets that won’t break. I requested metal for the kitchen, wicker for the bedroom and bath.

What do you think about the strange conflict between minimalism and wedding registries? Or, minimalism and weddings in general? Is there anything I left off, or anything you wouldn’t add to the list? It really varies from person to person, so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.



Let’s Plan a Minimal Wedding!

As you know by now, I’m starting to plan a wedding. And with that, there comes certain expectations. For example, I not only have to rent a hall (which is going to be finalized this week hopefully), but now I’ll have to consider renting dishes, glasses, tablecloths, and cutlery. That’s right. I’ve already scouted out prices on renting cloth napkins.

All of this seems a little ridiculous to me, so my fiance and I are focusing on identifying everything we want, and more importantly don’t want on our wedding day. For example, we want color, but we don’t want cost, so we’re going to be making all of our flowers out of tissue paper:

Paper Wedding Flowers

We want our closest friends and family to be there to give witness to the promise we’ve already made to each other: that we’re sticking it out, through good times and bad, until death do us part. We want to get married, and then we want to party. Maybe we’ll snap some photos in between those two main events, but those are less essential than marrying and partying.

So, as I progress through planning, I’ll be focusing on the essentials. I’ll cut up my own fabric to make napkins (seriously, 55 cents to rent a cloth napkin for a day?) and I’ll spend time with my fiance discussing our future.

For me, planning a minimal wedding means focusing on what the day means and not the circumference of tablecloths and the freshness of the bouquets. A minimal wedding means focusing most of my energy on the person I’ve chosen to spend the rest of my life with.

Trilliant Cut Engagement Ring

What were/are/will be your wedding essentials?

My Break from Pinterest

That’s right. I’m officially off of Pinterest for the next 9 or 10 months. I’ve already shared my opinion about Pinterest before on this blog, and I wanted to reiterate it now that I’m engaged (gasp!) I’ve spent my fair share of time pinning away dreamy things on Pinterest and thinking of the day when I’ll walk down the aisle.

Pinterest makes me think everything in a wedding looks so rosy. Not quite. I’m sure I’m going to be tired, my teeth aren’t going to be glowing white and I’m absolutely, 100% sure I’ll be sweaty. (Sorry for that–but it’s true). I’ve sworn off Pinterest while planning so that I can clearly imagine my wedding the way I want it to look and not be inundated with possible alternatives that might make me second guess myself about silly things like colors and the amount of mason jars I can realistically fit into my decor.

Pinterest has started to come out as an added stress during wedding planning, setting unrealistic expectations for the day. With all of those beautiful and widely varying images laid out in front of me, I can’t help but think I’d want it all and then be disappointed when it doesn’t come true.

My less-than-perfect fix? Google images. That way I can only see precisely what I type in to the search bar. I see pink and green weddings. I see paper flowers. I do not see royal blue weddings with 24-Karat details. I do not see purple macaroons or yellow and white fresh Easter Lilies. I’ve picked my colors and my flowers. Pinterest, you’re just too tempting.

See you on the flip side, Pinterest!