While planning a wedding many brides stress over their hairstyle, seating charts, and how to manage drunk relatives. For me and my (now) husband, Travis, our single biggest stress was the registry. Sure, going into a store to scan beautiful things with a registry wand is great fun, but for us it felt like nothing but logistics and head scratching. Our (glorious) predicament was that four and a half months after getting married we were selling all of our belongings, moving out of our apartment and embarking on an 18 month journey. Registering for gifts meant finding a way to store them for nearly two years. We considered just asking for cash, but out of respect for my older-fashioned, southern family, that was out. After pouring over blogs and forums, I saw an add for Simple Registry. “Hmm... how simple!?!?”, I thought skeptically. I’d looked at numerous honeymoon registry sites, outdoor stores, and even Amazon, but nothing quite fit the bill. No one could put our wide smattering of items and experiences in one place. After five minutes on the Simple Registry site, I knew it was perfect for us. It gave us the chance to register for traditional items, non-traditional items, and funds for our trip. It was organized and easy to use for our guests. It didn’t scream “I’m a non-traditional registry!”. Simple Registry provided us the space and platform to design a registry that was personal and specific. What made us most excited was that it could get our community involved in our adventure. For the first time we had a way to lay out our epic journey and give people tangible items to correlate with the places we’d go and things we’d do.
If I do say so myself, we registered for some AWESOME things. One of our biggest items was a Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera that, thanks to the beauty of Simple Registry, we could break into 10 parts. Our friends and families loved this and it was one of the first items to be ‘fulfilled’. We were elated! When we ventured out to buy our camera we realized the true flexibility that Simple Registry offers. The Canon we requested felt huge and a bit cumbersome. With more research we found the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10; a high performance, compact camera that goes beyond point-and-shoot capabilities. The fact that our gift was delivered in the form of cash instead of the physical item gave us the opportunity to change our minds... and get exactly what we wanted.
One of our favorite 'home' items is our Singer Heavy Duty sewing machine... and we haven't even bought it yet! Again, the simple genius of Simple Registry shines. Everything we own is currently in eleven neat boxes stored in my parents garage (minus the thirty or so pounds we're carrying on our backs). We were able to deposit the gift money for items like the sewing machine into an account that will help set us up when we return in a year or so. No costly storage fees, no heavy lifting... just a little nest egg, provided by our community, waiting for us to return. We were intentional to register for items that were not trendy and would still be available down the road. I realize that our trip may be unique, but I know a lot of newly married couples who are venturing into all kinds of big endeavors where a 'nest egg' like this is a huge help. Isn't that the idea of a registry to begin with... your loved ones providing a foundation for your life together? Whether it's traveling around the world, moving into or building a new home, sometimes the delayed gratification and convenience of buying the item when you actually need it makes the item that much more special.
Another one of our favorite gifts that was only possible with Simple Registry was a wool blanket. Yes... in a world of flashy gadgets, handsome mixers, high thread-count sheets, and flat screens, we registered for a wool blanket. We ended up purchasing it in Peru, directly from the woman who made it. We will have it forever and were able to email the family friends who bought us the item with the story of how we'd come to find just the right blanket. That connection made it more special to them as well.
The opportunity to register for an array of experiences cemented Simple Registry’s great appeal. The first leg of our journey has been in South America, where we are three months into a four month visit. The quintessential mode of transportation across South America is the bus. It's not glamorous or always comfortable, but we've spent long days and nights on buses, watching incredible landscapes pass by. We were able to register for general 'South America Bus Fare' on Simple Registry. Brilliant. After returning to the States in a few short weeks, we will begin a 'thru-hike' of the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT is a 2,650 mile National Scenic Trail that runs from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. It will take us about six months end to end. It's a big endeavor and requires a large amount of planning and gear. Along with headlamps, trekking poles and ultralight titanium mugs, we registered for postage funds. As we travel the trail, pre-packed/pre-shipped boxes of supplies will be waiting for us at various post offices. I am willing to bet that I'm one of very few brides out there (if any at all) who registered for postage. But, it was a need we had and Simple Registry was the only way to make it happen.
The bottom line is that Simple Registry saved our butts. We've sung its praises far and wide (and have proudly inspired four other couples to sign up) and have no doubt we will utilize it again for baby items some day. Thank you, Simple Registry, without your ingenuity we would not have been able to make this once-in-a-lifetime trip happen.