The short answer: yes. Whether you’re having a last-minute intimate ceremony due to COVID-19, or had originally planned to elope all along, you should definitely create a registry. Why?
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Because everyone will ask you about it. This is as true now—when shifting wedding plans due to COVID is becoming more of a societal norm—as it was in BC (before COVID) times, when eloping wasn’t viewed as so mainstream. Most BC couples we spoke with didn’t set out to create a registry, but ended up doing so because everyone kept asking for one:
“When we came home, we did a legal ceremony on the beach. We did a reception party with family and friends, so we decided to register because everyone was asking.” – Erin and Jeff, who eloped to Positano, Italy in September 2014.
“We did create a registry on Zola, even though we were fortunate not to need very many things for our home. We knew people want to send gifts anyway so we mostly picked out a new set of dishes and some kitchen items.” – Caroline and Marty, who had a surprise engagement-party-turned-wedding in Washington, DC in June 2018.
Turns out, those who love you really want to buy you stuff when you get married, pandemics aside. Which is why you might as well tell loved ones what to buy, unless you’re really into multiple Dutch ovens and Things You’ll Use Once (ahem, immersion blender).
Here are 5 tips and ideas to keep in mind when Aunt Bev is all up on your Facebook page:
1. Be Tactful
However you choose to announce your elopement, do not send out announcements that you’re eloping with a link to your Zola registry plastered anywhere on them—friends and family members with traditional wedding tastes will likely think this is rude. Only share your registry with loved ones who ask for it.
2. Be Prepared
Even if you really don’t want to make a registry, do so anyway. As previously mentioned, people will ask about it. Better to have a registry at the ready than be scrambling to make one on the flight home.
3. Go Big—But Not Too Big
Now is the time to ask for all the stuff you’d love to have but don’t really need—but within reason (maybe leave off that Chanel bag). Stick with elevated items for the home that you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to: organic combed cotton sheets, a new chef’s knife, a killer living room rug.
4. Definitely Ask for Non-Traditional Gifts (AKA What You Really Want)
Registries have long been known to include items that are fun to open and pretty to look at but lack much day-to-day use (etched champagne flutes come to mind). You might as well ask for gifts that are off the department-store path but are, in reality, what you actually want. Go ahead and ask for vacation money for your unused PTO—travel registry sites Traveler’s Joy and Honeyfund both let you create a cash registry for excursions nationally or abroad.
Or, looking to do a bathroom reno? Ask for it. With Zola, you can register for a Home Depot gift card in whatever amount will cover that Carrara marble hexagon tile you’ve been coveting.
5. Ask for Donations Instead of Gifts
If you’re really, really not into asking for material items, direct your loved ones to your charity of choice. Registry services such as The Good Beginning, which specializes in charitable giving, lets you find your chosen charity, register, and say thanks to guests who give.
Registry Ideas for Home That Really, Really Make a Difference
Know you definitely need to make a registry, but don’t know where to start? Here are four items you should definitely ask for.
A New Vacuum
The request for a vacuum topped nearly every registry list last year. If you’re looking to upgrade, make your life simple and go cordless. This stick model from the maestros of vacuums, Dyson, is the gift that keeps on giving: it seamlessly moves from hardwood to carpet; you can disconnect the handle for a handheld, cordless vac; and, given its sleek design, storing it won’t suck. Dyson V-7 Motorhead Cord-Free Stick Vacuum, $299.99, Best Buy.
Anthony Bourdain’s Chef’s Knife
Or, rather, his favorite knife in general. The late genius believed you only need one knife in the kitchen, a chef’s knife, and this one, designed by Japanese designer Komin Yamada, was Bourdain’s all-time favorite. Yoshikin Global 8″ Chef’s Knife, price varies, Amazon.com.
Large Wooden Cutting Board That’s Gorgeous, Too
For those whose culinary dreams include prepping all ingredients on one cutting board at the same time, then using it as a snazzy charcuterie board later, this herringbone-patterned stunner is for you. Herringbone Cutting Board, $99.95, Crate & Barrel.
If there’s one splurge to register for, go with one you’ll spend 200,000 hours of your life on: great sheets. Currently the darling of sponsored podcasts everywhere, Brooklinen delivers a lux product on a millennial’s budget. Its Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle lets you customize the color and size of your flat and fitted sheets, duvet cover, and pillowcases, all of which come in its Classic Percale blend, which promises a hotel-style feel. Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, $198, Brooklinen.
Aunt Bev says thank you.