A few years ago one of my best friends got married and registered for a bed. Seriously. Mixers, toasters, place settings and a humongous sleigh bed from Pottery Barn. I think I called immediately yelling at him saying things like “You registered for a BED?!?”, “Who’s going to buy you a bed?!?!”, “Are you out of your mind?!?” and “Seriously, it’s like $1500!!”

This was my first brush with the high ticket registry item. I was accustomed only to baking sheets and blenders. I didn’t know what to do with a bed. My friend explained to me that registering for the bed was really for their own benefit. They knew no one would buy it for them. But apparently, if you register for something, no one buys it and after the party and the “i do’s” you still want it, you get it at a discount.

“Ohhhhhhhhhh.” I said, sounding half relieved and half annoyed that I was learning this from a boy and wasn’t already well versed in the tricks of the registry trade.

“But do you really think someone’s going to buy you that bed?” I asked again.

And for that wedding, someone did buy them that bed. We did. Fifteen friends of the bride & groom came together and presented the bride and groom with a card at the reception that said, “Surprise! We bought you your bed!”

I have to say it was one of the best moments I’ve ever witnessed and been a part of. So from that moment on I decided group gifts and big ticket items are totally worth it and really the way to go. The thought of someone treasuring something that big for a lifetime rather than five years, which is my hypothetical guess as to how long some a blender might last, just seems like a much better gifting plan.

For a wedding we’re attending in June, we all decided to buy the bride and groom, another set of our very dear friends, their honeymoon tickets to Puerto Rico. In my opinion it’s just more meaningful than sticking to the registry or buying single gifts.

There’s a few caveats that you should think about before you start to rally the troops though.

Give all members of the group gift plenty of time to save up money and cut you a check for their share. This should avoid any last minute excuses that include but are not limited to: “I have no money”, “I spent all my money on booze, gambling and hookers”, or my personal favorite “Wait… we’re supposed to give a gift?”

Give all members of the group extra time if they happen to be living in far away places like Japan, New Zealand and Finland… this is actually my life right now. Yes, my friends are world traveling kick ass people, by the way.

Spell it out for people, especially boys, who may not know better. (Though, I will say MOST of my guy friends are very good about the group gifts, there’s always one.)

Something like, “Put $10 away for GROOM X and BRIDE Y from now until MADE UP DATE WITH BUILT IN BUFFERS. Then you’ll have enough to give me for their INSERT AMAZING GROUP GIFT HERE,” will go a long way.

My parents got a bed from my godfather, my father’s best friend, when they got married. As the story goes they didn’t have one when they got married… I actually have no idea what they were sleeping on until then, and there’s a good chance I just made that part up … but when they returned home from their honeymoon, they had a bed. A big beautiful bed that later became mine, and is still mine on the weekends that I’m home.

A very good gift that lasted well beyond the blender’s lifespan.

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