The Business of Bridal Registries

It’s that time of year again.

Not spring. Wedding season.

I recently got my first two invites of the season. 

And as I usually do, I’ve immediately started worrying about three things (somewhere before or during sending my RSVP to the happy couple-to-be:):

  • How I’m getting there (and where I’m staying, if I have to stay overnight)
  • What I’m going to wear (and whether I get a new outfit, so as not to recycle outfits or risk wearing the same thing to both weddings)
  • What I’m going to get the blushing brides as gifts.

Issue 1, I’ve already been working on and is partly resolved. Issue 2, I usually don’t worry about until about a week beforehand. (Although maybe this year, I should probably get that squared away as far in advance as possible.)

But Issue 3? It never ceases to amaze me how crazy this can become.

Last year, I gave cash gifts to all the couples whose weddings/receptions I attended. But I kind of wanted to change it up this year. So I thought I’d give the registries a try (since I don’t have time to crochet them all afghans and wedding doilies 😛 ).

You’d think it’s pretty simple, right? Just get a copy of the bridal registries at whichever stores my aforementioned friends are registered at, look at it and pick something.

That’s the easy part, in my opinion.

Last Saturday, while at the mall, I thought I’d start thinking about gifts for at least one of my friends. So off I trudged to one store and located the registry kiosk. After a few tries, the machine spit out the registry list. Then I strode to the other store, up three floors and picked up the list from the other kiosk.

Then I actually looked at both lists. 

Holy. Crap.

Does anyone else but me think that $50 for a muffin pan is a bit steep? Or that $80 for a toaster is a touch insane?

Maybe it’s the age we’re living in. Or a miserly old woman is squatting inside my body.  

But this bridal registry business in general is, like, a total cash cow for the bride. There is definitely the potential to clean up, but large.

No offense. I’m sure a lot of brides are quite reasonable when picking items. And my friend is a fantastic person. It’s her special day – on top of which she’s moving out of the country sometime this summer. (My other question: how is she going to move all this stuff?)

But that’s crazy.

I have to get her a decent bridal shower gift and a wedding present. I just don’t want to get her pot-holders and a spatula for $25. That’s not fair to her.

But here’s the thing: When you’re part of a couple attending a wedding, getting a gift is no problem, ’cause you’re splitting the price.

When you’re a single guest who’s pretty sure she’s going solo on everything for the special day – including transportation between events, and possibly overnight accommodation -and when you go to a department store, print out the registry list, and notice there’s, like, salt and pepper shakers for $30 apiece?  It might make you blink. Hard.

My other friend – who’s registered elsewhere – decided on one store, and to keep the list small, since she and hubby-to-be will probably be moving in the months ahead (not out of the country), and wanted to keep gift storing and moving to a minimum, for spatial purposes. Her list seems fairly reasonable. I just want to make sure I can her the gift I want to get her, before someone else does!

This wedding business is certainly not for the faint of heart. I’m taking mental notes in case I ever have to go through this.


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