You'd think that wandering the aisle of a store, registering for all the gifts you'd like to get would be fun, right? Unfortunately, that's not usually the case. Once you've gotten past the exciting gifts (That KitchenAid mixer you've wanted since college! The hifi stereo system that will make his favorite bands sound like they're live in your living room!), you're left searching for wedding registry items that are anything but sexy. New silverware, anyone? But it has to be done, even if you've lived together for years and don't really need anything — your guests want to give you a gift to celebrate your marriage, and would really appreciate a little guidance. So how do you put a little excitement back into the process? Here are a few tips.
Make a day of it.
Set aside a day when the two of you can wander a few different stores, from the department variety to specialty shops, without feeling like you've got to squeeze it all in during your lunch break. Turn it into a date, starting with a cup of coffee at your favorite local spot, then break for a tasty lunch (and a glass of wine!), and cap off the evening with cocktails to celebrate the fact that you've gotten through it. Don't forget to pack snacks, and be sure to do a little browsing online beforehand so that you know which stores have the items you really want. This will help you avoid having to retrace your steps to figure out where, exactly, you'd seen those frames that will look perfect on your mantle.
Think outside the box.
These days, there are a huge number of registry websites that will aggregate registries from across the internet, and even let you add on items from sites that don't offer a registry. This is your chance to register for items that fit your lifestyle, even if they can't be found at Macy's or Bed, Bath & Beyond. Are you avid mountain bikers? Add some new helmets or cycling shoes to the list. Barbecue fiends? A smoker box that hooks up to your charcoal grill could be just the thing you've been hoping for. Throw in a few board games or that drill that will make your home renovation projects so much easier. Intersperse some more traditional items (as well as things at a lower price point) so there's a gift every guest might be inclined to give, but feel free to think beyond the traditional list.
Dream a little.
Wedding registries have come a long way since the days you were limited to dishes, luggage, and new towels. Is that once-in-a-lifetime trip to India a little out of your budget? Set up a honeymoon registry to allow guests to chip in toward things like a visit to that tiger reserve you've got your eye on. Hoping to trade in your cramped one bedroom apartment for a home with — wait for it — a backyard? Guests can contribute to your down payment. After all, where exactly are you supposed to put fine china for 12 in 600 square feet? Whether it's a gorgeous print you'd love to hang in your dining room or season tickets to your favorite sports team, you'll be way more eager to set up your registry if the gifts will be things you're really excited about.