Photo: Getty Images
You're online wedding registry is a work of art, created by logging countless hours deliberating stand mixer colors, china patterns and other SUPER important decisions (okay, relatively speaking), and you're pretty darn proud of it. But, er, has that pride turned into more of an obsession? Are you logging more hours at work on your registry site than you are on actual, well, work. Trust us, you're not alone. Bridal counselor Allison Moir-Smith, who solves family, emotional, and sticky wedding-planning situations at The Bride Whisperer, lends her expert advice for those brides who just can't seem to tear themselves away from their own online registries.
"I'm a pretty serious person, with a serious job as a litigation attorney," Erica told me. "But I'm embarrassed about how much time I'm spending each day tweaking my online wedding registries. An hour? Maybe two? I can't settle on how many sets of china, or how many wine glasses to ask for. I keep changing, tweaking, second-guessing."
"If the partners in my firm found out, they'd totally lose respect for me," she continued. "And frankly, I'm starting to lose respect for myself." My advice to Erica? Stop judging herself, and start digging more deeply into her behaviors. In other words, start looking for the metaphors in her online registry tweaking.
What metaphors await Erica at Crate & Barrel website? Her entire new married life, that's what. Online wedding registries are acts of imagination. You don't yet actually own any of the items you list yet, and you may not receive everything. They live purely in your imagination.
As you tweak the number of place settings on your registry — "Should I ask for 10? Or 12? Or 10? No, 12!" — you're fantasizing into the future about all the holiday meals you'll serve on these very plates, your table filled with family, with you and your husband as the hosts. The first Thanksgiving as newlyweds. Your first holiday with a baby. Your kids getting older (and maybe your as-yet-unborn gangly teenage son accidentally smashing one of your pretty fine-china plates!).
The obsessiveness about the online registry really isn't about the stuff you may or may not acquire — the glassware, the kitchen equipment, the tableware... If you look at what's going on psychologically, all your tweaking's actually helping you slowly wrap your mind and heart around these enormous life changes that are happening to you.
So go ahead: be obsessed with your online wedding registry if you want to be. Just bring an awareness that it's not about scoring awesome stuff. It's about how your imagination's helping you process and prepare for your future.