Blythe's Wedding Diary, Part VI
Our own Blythe Copeland got married in December and she kept a diary of her experiences, right up until she walked down the aisle.
Mike and I are one of those few, old-school couples who didn’t move in together until after the wedding—not for an moral or ethical or religious reasons, but only because our jobs had us in different cities and our leases ended at different times and we both lived with roommates we’d known since elementary school. Since my roommate, a Food-Network-and-kitchen-gadget-obsessed amateur chef, had our kitchen outfitted with tools and dishes and cookbooks before I even unpacked my suitcase, and Mike and his roommate were living a bachelor life based on drinking beer and cooking everything on the grill, we had a lot of registering ahead of us.
Wedding registries are a complicated thing. The stores tell you to register for two gifts per invited guest in a variety of price ranges—then suggest 8 complete sets of towels (three for the master bath, two for the second bath, and two for the guest bath), 48 pieces of crystal (a dozen each of wine, iced beverage, water, and champagne glasses), and a closet full of bone china, candlesticks, ice buckets, roasting pans, and tablecloths. All of which is just perfect if you happen to be one of the few brides able to move into a three-bathroom house that comes with plenty of storage space and room for a china cabinet—but our one-bedroom, two-closet apartment isn’t exactly set up for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and serving it to a party of 12 on brand-new Vera Wang plates. (Though I know myself well enough to be sure that I am never going to want to buy a tablecloth and 12 linen napkins, so we registered for those—and got them! Thanks, Jen!).
But there are items that you want and need and will use all the time. These, unfortunately, are the things people don’t want to buy you. Guests do not want to bring new pillows, or a Swiffer Wet-Jet, or a bathroom scale, or a broom to your shower or wedding. They want gifts that are more fun and easier to carry: china teapots, 400-thread-count sheets, luxury towels. (Our pots and pans have languished on our registry for months, and I have the feeling we’re going to wind up buying them ourselves.)
But once you figure out what you need, and can store, and will likely get, there’s a whole new issue: compromising on all of it with your fiancé. Mike and I learned more about each other from registering than we did from all our pre-marriage counseling classes and from five years of dating. He made some very practical points about the frosted silverware handles getting scratched every time we use them (we went for plain settings and frosted serving pieces), but I did hours of exhaustive research to find the perfect spice rack for our new kitchen. He deferred to my insistence on two muffin tins instead of one, but I gave into his wish for a top-of-the-line George Foreman grill. I was a little surprised that he cared about any of it in the first place, but it was so much more fun to register together than it would have been to do it without his input. And now when we finally do move in together, I know we’ll both be psyched to use that Foreman grill.