My sister Sandra is getting married in October, and a few months ago she and her groom-to-be,Tyler, went to register. Once her mission was accomplished, I asked her if she would share some advice for anyone getting ready to do the same. Here are her tips:
1. Have a Game Plan: To get in the registry mood, talk about what you need and what you just really want. You can save time by looking at catalogs and selecting some items in advance. This is also a good time to learn each others’ color and style preferences (if you haven’t already), and the art of marital compromise: if you can’t live without the all-white bedding he’s skeptical of, he gets those modern pewter bowls that don’t go with anything else you have but will make him super happy.
2. Come Prepared: The “Never Shop Hungry” rule is just as important when shopping for linens as it is when shopping for groceries. You’ll likely spend several hours in each store, so make sure you eat a light meal beforehand and take along snacks if you or your fiancé tend to get a little cranky with low blood sugar. Wear comfortable shoes, and bring a notebook with your list of items and a pen, or load a PDA with everything you need before you go.
3. Add Variety: Sure, you need those towels and spoons, but there will be people on your list who aren’t satisfied with getting you something that’s strictly utilitarian. Register for cool stuff that people want to buy for you. Also, don’t forget to include all sorts of price ranges to accommodate any guest.
4. Put Him To Work: While he may not admit it, your fiancé could feel left out of the whole registry process if you’re hogging the fun registry gun. Hand the gun over when it’s time to pick out the manly stuff, like knives or barbecue equipment. He’ll appreciate the fact that you value his opinion. To keep his interest, you might also spend part of Registry Day picking up gifts for his groomsmen. For inspiration, take a look at Carolyn Gerin’s Gift Guide for Groom Guys.
5. Don’t Forget the Internet: It’s fun to start creating your registry at the store, but don’t expect to get everything on your registry list in one outing. You can easily go to the store’s website later to add forgotten items, or pop back to the store if you just have to see it in person before you add it to the list. You’ll also probably feel pressured to tack on items that you don’t actually want or need while the salesperson is helping you, but remember you can always delete those items later from the comfort of your own home.
I coordinated a wedding at Viansa Sonoma in May 2008 for my friends Lucy & Ross McClennan that turned out to be a really gorgeous event. I think the photos (by the super-talented Catherine Hall of Catherine Hall Studios) say it all. Click here to view their slideshow and be inspired.
Event Professionals Who Made it All Possible:
Location: Viansa Sonoma
Photography: Catherine Hall Studios
Flowers: Wine Country Flowers
Cake: Fiorini Pastry
Hair & Makeup: Clifford Hoshimoto
DJ: Denon & Doyle
Transportation: Royal Coach Limousines
Wedding Programs, Escort Cards & Table Numbers: Unveiled
Videographer: Cory Darayan
When I was planning my sister’s bridal shower, I knew I wanted to make centerpieces that were more fun and unique than the obvious vases of flowers. My inspiration came when I went to pick out the dessert for the shower. While I was at the shop, it dawned on me that those 3 dozen delicious cupcakes from Icing on the Cupcake in Rocklin would make whimsical centerpieces for the party. This was also a budget-friendly idea, since my dessert was going to double as décor!
My next challenge was finding the right item for displaying the cupcakes on each table. Originally I considered simple white cake stands, but they cost much more than I wanted to spend: at least $20 per stand! Luckily, The Container Store had some nice, inexpensive white round tins that were the perfect height and size. I also snatched up some ribbon and double-sided tape so I could add a colorful accent to the plain white containers.
As a finishing touch to my dessert centerpieces, I included some martini glasses filled with candy. I already had the glasses, so that part was easy. I found the candy I needed while I was picking up a gift for my sister at the local mall. The salesgirl even packaged each kind of candy in an individual bag that was measured perfectly to fill a martini glass!
The end result was exactly what I had envisioned, and it was a big hit at the bridal shower. The best part, though, was the cost: The grand total for the four centerpieces (not including the cupcakes) was just $59. The cupcakes—which were already budgeted with the food cost!—were $83, but you could make your own to save even more money.
If you want to recreate this look, here are the necessary materials: