SETX Wedding Registries for All Guests

Be conscientious about your gift registry.

As brides, we have to balance and budget every dollar to create our perfect wedding yet still pay our monthly bills.

Your wedding guests will have the same issues. Every wedding typically has a few guests with significant financial means, some guests who are somewhere in the middle class, and a few guests who financially struggle. For those who are financially comfortable, there is no reason they can’t bring something from a traditional gift registry- dishes, linens, electronics. For those who are struggling financially, there are ways you can guide them to inexpensive gifts that are just as significant to you.

You can say, “You don’t have to bring me a gift,” but anyone attending your wedding will want to bring or do something to let you know they care and that they are happy for you.

One current trend is finding meaningful ways to allow your most budget strapped guests to still be able to do something meaningful to commemorate your special day.

Here are some meaningful items that you can add to your gift list that are more budget friendly and creative for your bridal shower or wedding.

Your childhood, high school, and college friends have a ton of emotionally significant photos that you don’t have and some you’ve never seen. Your family, particularly your in-laws, have a treasure chest of great photos as well. Some friends or family members can’t buy you a new vacuum or big screen TV, but they can sift through their thousands of photos to find the three or four you’d most like to have. They can copy and frame them, make a digital slideshow, or if they are artsy they can make a collage that will mean much more to you than even the nicest toaster or microwave. Any picture that would mean a lot to you or your future husband is perfect- his first day of kindergarten, your great granny, wedding pictures of nana and pop, family holiday photos, significant birthday snapshots, etc. When you have children together you will be able to show them where they got their unique features – their chinny chin chin, left cheek dimple, emerald green eyes, or their height (or lack thereof).

A heartfelt letter is also a great gift, particularly if it will help you deal with some future stress or strain. Your life, your marriage, will have its ups and downs. Having personal, heartfelt letters to read when needed can be a true treasure. Your mom can tell you how she and your dad stopped fighting and started working to build a life together. Your grandma can tell you how she helped your grandfather transition back to normal life when he came back from the war. Your mother in law can tell you which buttons you can push – OR NEVER PUSH with you future husband. Keep the letters in your wedding scrapbook or framed with your wedding invitation and photo of the writer. These will become beautiful memories that will last long after those kitchen hand towels have transitioned to car wash rags.

Recipe cards can be especially significant. Sometimes it’s those old homemade recipes that take you back to the warmth and safety of childhood. Be sure you get that family secret before it’s too late. Have mom’s old fashion sugar cookie recipe on hand for Santa’s first visit, or ask your dad to finally tell you how he makes his brisket rub (girls can grill, too!).

The economy is taking many Southeast Texans back to basics, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Even the most expensive gifts break or are lost, but memories are what life is all about.

So, be mindful about your gift list and try to make everyone feel comfortable about bring something meaningful.

If your rich uncle can buy you a new Lexus or washer dryer, great. Take it! Everyone however, regardless of income, can make a meaningful contribution. Helping them know what will be most meaningful to you will benefit both you and all of those who want your wedding day to be special.

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