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One of the things I struggled with the most while planning the wedding of the century was registering for gifts. I mean, I don’t like the idea that only married people get to have neat kitchen things. And furthermore, we’re both past 30. We have a stocked kitchen. Our home lacks for nothing, really. Then there’s the issue of space. We’re already living in as small of a space as Brent wants to live in, ever. Where are we going to put all this new stuff? So really, the question is, what do we include in a minimalist wedding registry?
There are cash registries. Pay for horseback riding on our honeymoon! Upgrade us to a different sized room! But asking our nearest and dearest for money felt even worse than registering for stuff. I wanted to ask for restaurant gift cards. You know, put a list of our favorite places on our website and ask people to buy our date nights for the next year? That would be awesome! But Brent said that was exactly like asking for cash, and he wasn’t comfortable with that.
My future mother-in-law is a frugal kindred spirit, and understood my dilemma. But she picked up the phone several months ago and administered a little tough love. “People want to buy you things. They’ve been waiting years for this. You have to have a registry.”
Anne, who is the expert on all things gifty, agreed. She even put together a whole post of what to register for when you already have everything.
So, I reluctantly agreed. We registered with Amazon, which is amazing, because I didn’t actually have to go to Target with one of those gun things (which I bet I could get into, but sounds really awful).
Then, a funny thing happened. Brent made margaritas, which was a really splendid idea. That loosened us up a bit, and we used Anne’s list as a guide, and got to work.
It wasn’t long before we were shouting things back and forth at each other. “Get the fanciest can opener they have!” “Sort by price high to low!”
I can’t be the only one with this problem. We had to register for stuff. Well, that’s not true, we can do anything we want! But I decided not to start my married life by picking this battle. Wedding guests give presents, that’s how it goes. Okay.
First, let’s agree on a working definition of minimalism.
I like this one:
My interpretation of this rule: have the very best things in your home. The best things don’t need to be replaced often (if ever, for some things), and they’re perfect registry items because they’re the kind of thing we wouldn’t buy on our own.
Next, let’s talk about one of the cardinal rules of minimalism: one for one.
Every time we get something in the mail, we promise to take out something it’s replacing, or if it’s not replacing anything, we have to find something to get rid of anyway. We’re aiming to decrease the amount of stuff in our home, not increase. So we’re doing this gradually, though we recognize that we’ll have our work cut out for us when the wedding gets closer.
Getting gifts ahead of the wedding is wonderful, and it’s a practice I will carry forward for every single one of the weddings I’m invited to in the future. We’re able to thank people right away, and play our one-for-one game several times a week.
Now for the registry. Everything we registered for falls into one of four categories: nicer versions of things we already own, things we’d like to own but haven’t gotten around to buying for ourselves, things that will help us organize our small space, and things we’re “supposed to” register for.
Below is a sample from our list.
Category One: Nicer versions of things we already own
Chef’s knife, paring knife, cleaver… and a place to put them in the drawer.
Le Creuset hotness
We had a Dutch oven, but it wasn’t Le Creuset, and the enamel had chipped, revealing rust. Also the ramekins are just adorable. And the crock replaces a vase we currently use to hold wooden spoons.
This line replaces almost all of our pots and pans.
Included: an awesome steamer, a saucepan that sits under the steamer, big stainless steel frying pan with lid, little stainless steel frying pan, a teeny tiny saucepan, and a 3-quart simmering saucepan.
A wok, and lid
We’re getting into Thai cooking, and a wok, and its corresponding lid are essential for cooking the way Thais cook.
Kettles for Coffee — both electric and stove-top
Ours leaked, and needed to be replaced. Now it is gone, and we have two new ways (electric AND stovetop) to heat water quickly. They’re so hip, too, that our kitchen looks like Portland’s smallest coffee shop.
The world’s most beautiful cutting board
Seriously. This thing is amazing. It lives on our island (take that, mail!) and is one of those pieces we will have for our whole lives. It is not just a cutting board. It is a statement.
Fancy wine glasses
Sure, we had wine glasses. But not these. These are lovely.