Grooms and Wedding Registries – They want to have a say!
Bridal registries are extremely popular in the United States and around the world. Since 1924, when Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago introduced the first wedding registry, brides have been choosing their preferred china and silver patterns, bedding and household gadgets. Thanks to a new trend, though, “bridal registry” may be a misnomer; finally grooms are getting in on the registry too. On wedding registries you can now see power tools, grills, and even motorcycles. Enhancing this trend is MyRegistry.com, which allows the bridal couple to register for virtually any item that they could want, from the comfort of their own home. MyRegistry.com allows a couple to register for their desired items from many different stores, and even to link an existing registry from another store, like Best Buy. No wonder grooms want to get in on this – it is a practical, simple way to make sure that the entire household is outfitted! Not only that, but MyRegistry.com’s “one-stop shopping” makes it much easier for wedding guests to purchase an item from the registry without having to explore three or four different locations, whether physical or virtual.
When I first heard about this trend, I was slightly indignant. Being a married woman, I firmly believed grooms and wedding registries do not mix. I thought that the role of the bridal registry was to make sure the bride got all of the items necessary for stocking her home: dishes, silverware, or a silver soup tureen to be pulled out once a year – for Thanksgiving, and then stowed away again. After all, these items were for the bride and the groom. She was doing this for him.
Then I started thinking about the registry. It actually makes a lot more sense for the groom to be involved with choosing. He is (hopefully) also going to register for things that will benefit the entire household. But why should a groom have to get excited about 8 settings of daily tableware when a bride is most likely not going to get excited about the (very necessary) cordless drill he wants to buy? One positive result of males getting involved in the registry process seems to be a more practical approach. Instead of nodding and saying, “yes, dear,” more men seem willing to ask when they will actually ever use a silver tea set. Of course, through MyRegistry.com couples can still register for the traditional tableware and linens, but the site opens up a multitude of other opportunities too.
I think that the increased involvement of men in the wedding registry is also a sign of some changes in marriage and society. First of all, more and more people are living together before marriage. Often they bring duplicate items into the marriage – blenders, toasters, coffee makers. So unless they are looking to upgrade, many couples do not need small appliances or tableware; they already own it. Another reason for the trend is that people are living and working differently than they have in the past. Often a couple is made up of two breadwinners; the wife is not a housewife. Couples are looking for easy meal choices, and eating out more than before. Requesting TV trays is more practical than registering for fine china.
Entertaining has changed as well. Instead of formal sit-down meals, couples host casual events like barbecues, or offer snacks and hors d’oeuvres. Technology is very important; they will have friends over to watch movies or events, and they are not as concerned with the differences between a wine glass and a champagne flute. Often if either the husband or wife (and it could be either) is a foodie, they are registering for more specialized cooking equipment.
I think that men are also becoming a lot more involved in registering because they don’t need to be dragged through the bedding department at the local department store. They are able to register online at MyRegistry.com, which allow them to compare items at different stores and to register for larger items like riding lawn mowers or power tools. MyRegistry.com even offers a Cash Gift Fund so that gift-givers can give cash toward a larger purchase.
I really like the fact that people seem to be registering for the items that will fit into their lifestyle, instead of registering for a gravy boat that they will never use, because it is expected. Instead, active couples will register for mountain bikes or cross-country skis. MyRegistry.com makes registering and purchasing extremely simple, and gives the couple and their guests many new options. Having the groom actively involved helps to create a more balanced registry, and one that will complement the home inside and out.