Forget China – Register for Your Honeymoon

15 Nov

Confession: I moved in with a random guy I met in the grocery store after only four months of dating. Sound crazy? I know. If this wasn’t my life, I would have said I was totally nuts. Definitely not recommended. But since this is my life and I know how the story has progressed since then (wedding!), I can talk about how this accelerated approach to relationships results in a prime piece of wedding planning advice.

Since the initial merger of crap in January ’09, my (now) hubby and I have moved two more times. The initial consolidation was the worst. I had a fully furnished 670 square foot apartment and he was introducing his half of an 1150 square foot apartment. This was a very volatile time in our relationship, since as you might expect people who have only known each other for four months are still feeling each other out. Trying to decide whose plates to keep wasn’t just about who had the better plates – it was about asserting yourself as a strong female who didn’t need this boy to come in and save her and replace her perfectly fine Target bowls with his trendy bowls from Ikea. My stuff is just fine!! But I digress…

These moves from an extremely crowded 1-bedroom apartment to a slightly less crowded 2-bedroom apartment to the current cozy townhome on a street that no one’s GPS can seem to find resulted in further and further consolidation of stuff. Sometimes you decide that you hate everyone’s stuff and just go out buy a new meat tenderizer. It happens. But the key is…for today’s modern, cohabitating couples, many of these home furnishing battles are waged well in advance of him putting a ring on it.

Once we started the wedding planning process and realized we would be paying for the vast majority of the event ourselves, we really hunkered done and started saving. We gave a little thought to the registry and started to go down the obvious path that leads to a price gun and Crate and Barrel. But as we went through the store, very few things jumped out at us. We were also dealing with the hard truth that you can only fit so many wine glasses in a townhouse kitchen. So we registered for some house accessories (including what we affectionately refer to as the “baby bathtub” for alcohol) and went home.

As the financial pressures of the wedding began to mount, we wondered how the hell we were going to pay for a honeymoon. The wedding wasn’t going to be until October, which meant that we would be hoarding the (embarrassingly and unacceptably) few vacation days we had until then. We were going to need this vacation by the time it rolled around. Badly. And then we found the answer in one of my several volumes of wedding porn – register for your honeymoon!

Talk about killing two birds with one stone – what a completely genius idea! We already had a fully furnished home – so what was the point of having our friends and family buy us stuff we a) didn’t want and b) really didn’t need. Don’t people want to buy couples stuff they can enjoy? The next day we embarked on the honeymoon registry process.

We decided to go with the Grand Hyatt Kauai and it was possibly the best decision we’ve ever made (besides getting married, of course). The registry is set up for you to list several different items at different price points for your guests to purchase. The choices ranges from room costs to meals to pool drinks to spa treatments. You have the ability to adjust the pricing of each item, so even if the place you want to stay normally goes for $400/night, you can break up the price increments for a “romantic beachfront suite” into $100 increments to make them more accessible to your guests. It’s an easy way to ensure there is something available for your generous family members to buy as well as your buddies who are just getting out of school.

Right before your wedding, the Hyatt sends you a gift card for the total amount of gifts received through the registry. At the hotel you charge everything back to your room, and when you check out you hand them the card. It was so simple! I can’t emphasize enough how great it was to be sitting by the pool ordering another delicious $14 Mai Tai and not worrying about whether or not we were over budget. Your honeymoon is a much deserved opportunity to relax and enjoy yourselves after the months of toiling over the creation of a perfect wedding. It should be your reward for a job well done and, in all honestly, I had never been more relaxed in my whole life. Mission accomplished!

I know this type of registry is not for everyone, but it was the perfect solution for us. If you find yourself saying “I can’t fit one more coffee cup on this overcrowded shelf!” I would highly recommend asking your friends and family to contribute to what should be a beautiful start to your life together. You can’t go wrong on a free trip to paradise.

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