3 Unique Wedding Gifts to Give

Guess what! Wedding season is all year round – so if the Save the Dates are starting to fill up your fridge, here are a few ideas to stash away, or better yet – order ahead of time to give as the perfect shower or wedding gift this season.  Trust me, I’m not one to promote veering away from the wedding registry but after receiving a few of these ourselves I was shocked and taken aback by the thoughtfulness!
Unique Wedding Gifts - the bee life
Okay – let’s get to the good stuff!

  1. Custom Family Cross Stitch – We got this as a wedding gift, and I nearly cried when I opened it and saw our little family stitched into a beautiful frame.  Yes, it even included MOZ! which I think is what made me the most happy – upon further viewing behind my tears I noticed that the outfits B and I wore were the same from our engagement pictures! It was seriously one of the most thoughtful gifts and we have it hanging it a prominent spot to swoon over it.  Here is a similar one on Etsy. This could also be done as a custom painting or portrait of the couples new/first home or engagement picture! Better yet, if you’re crafty enough you could make this yourself!
  2. Monthly Wine Club Subscription – This could even be a food box service for a few months (while they’re adjusting to married life) or some other beverage/cocktail service that the couple can enjoy and experience together.  Giving them a few months free is a great way for the couple to get excited about something new and make a new married tradition.  Check out Winc, Clubbubbly or Home Chef.
  3. Honeymoon Help – A lot of registries, like Zola allow couples to add a Honeymoon Fund to their registry.  This is something to keep an eye out on! Another way to help a couple on their honeymoon is with a gift certificate to a restaurant for a dinner date on their honeymoon!  We greatly appreciated this as it helped us plan a special night out and around the rest of our trip. Does this couple love traveling? This 50 States Photo Map on Etsy is also another great gift and keepsake to help traveling couples document their travels!

The important thing when giving a gift is knowing the couple! And if you’re just not sure, but want to give something a little different talk to a closer family member or friend to gut check or figure out where they’re honeymooning.  Cheers to wedding season!

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Tips for Creating Your Wedding Registry

Since we are in the prime of engagement season, a lot of you newly engaged ladies and gents will be looking to start creating your wedding registries! This is a super intimidating process, regardless if you’re needing everything new or looking to upgrade existing pieces.  So here are some tips I recently learned creating my own registries, and some tricks I learned after, to help you create your dream registry!
Wedding Registry Tips - the bee life
Tip #1: Take A Walk Either through your house/apartment and make a check-list for each area and start creating your wish list of things you want/need!  Since everything is digital now, I also recommend going to the store, especially if you can’t decide between two stores.  Seeing, touching and comparing products will help make a decision and then no surprises when you receive gifts.

Tip #2: Use Starter Guides/Check-Lists These are pre-populated lists made by your Registries and they’re life savors, more and more sites are creating these.  It wasn’t until I’d already created two of our registries that I found Zola and their check list.  It was a game changer! The checklist allowed me to think of things I needed, ideas for pieces to upgrade, and filter out things that weren’t that important for us!

Tip #3: Star Your Most Wanted Obviously everything is a most wanted item, but reality check, not everyone is going to buy off your registry, and if they do – make sure you get your priority items first! I regretted not doing this sooner, as I ended up returning items in place of ones we needed more.

Tip #4: Take Your Time Since this can be a bit overwhelming, don’t feel like you need to do this all in one day or one weekend, start early, browse, shop, and add as you go and think of things.  You really just want everything final about a month before your first major wedding event (people are last minute shoppers!)

Tip #5: Put a Cap on It After you have your list created you’ll quickly find out what your priority items are, so limit the number of registries you create! This will be a life savor for you and your guests.

Tip #6: Use Zola The part I love most about Zola is the behind the scenes interface for brides/grooms, not only do they have a wide variety of products and brands, on top of money funds that you can create, they also make returns, shipping, exchanging, SUPER EASY AND you can be really secretive about it so you don’t hurt anyones feelings! Their app is easy to use and their customer service is great!

Tip #7: Link to Wedding Website Be sure to link your registries with your wedding website! This will be helpful especially if you plan on using your wedding website URL on all the various invites and serves as one central place for your guests.

Tip #8: Download the App! A lot of the apps for registries make it easy to shop, check-in and have built-in scanners for shopping in stores.  It can also allow you to check-in on pieces that might become out of stock or discontinued (because that happens more than you’d think!)

We had three registries; Target was a no brainer for me just based on shear convenience for myself and guests, Pottery Barn was mainly used for new dishes and few other fun pieces, and Zola was the catch-all but mainly all my dreamy Kate Spade pieces and other fun and functional pieces.  This is one of the fun parts about getting married, so don’t stress, add as you think of things, and get ready for a lot of awesome new stuff!

Happy Shopping!

The Truth: Weddings & Registries

It’s that time of the year again, wedding season! And with every wedding season, comes the cycle of bridal showers, multiple registries to review, and the actual wedding gift…  As a bride-to-be this upcoming fall, and a guest to four-weddings before then, I feel your pain! But here are answers that will help ease some of those questions and help you conquer all your gifts with success this wedding season!
Weddings & Registries Guide - the bee life
The Gift. If you’re like me, you’re often conflicted with wanting to give the couple something unique and not on the registry.  But I’ve also heard from many past brides/friends say; “I just want the stuff off my registry!” I always thought buying off the registry was boring! But, news flash, it’s not about you or me!

Ultimately it comes down to knowing the bride/couple.  Will they like something specific and personalized if you stray from the registry? Or are they picky and have a specific style, so it’s best to just buy off the registry?  When in doubt, buy off the registry.

Money. Yes, it is tacky to talk about money, but it’s a topic many people struggle with, myself included! How much is enough? Especially if you’re attending four or more weddings in one year!  So I did a little research, and asked my friends and fellow brides-to-be. The consensus for a bridal shower gift was around $50. Although, there is an exception if you’re in the wedding party/close family friend.

Okay, so now how much for the wedding? The going response was basically covering the cost per person/per plate. As you can imagine, this could vary depending on the city, venue, type of food, but a low, but safe baseline is about $50 per person. So between you and your hot date, grand total/minimum of $100. But again, this all depends if you’re in the wedding party, family, or simply just a guest!

The Wedding. So back to that $100 for the wedding gift.  Do you just write a fat check? Or do you head back to that registry for more goodies?  Well consider this; a box of envelopes is much easier to transport after the wedding for whoever gets stuck with gift duty vs. 50+ different sized presents. Also, logistically as the guest, lugging around a gift during the ceremony and cocktail hour might not be the most enjoyable! The couple will most likely buy items they didn’t get off their registry (with a discount) with that cash anyways. So when it comes to the wedding, stick with cash/check.

Before I dived into all my registries, I jokingly talked about creating an online fund for our kitchen remodel! But I found something better, Zola Registry! Zola is a one stop shop for planning the big day, registering for your standard gifts from a number of known/unique brands, but also allowing couples to register for experiences, trips, and personalized cash funds for a kitchen remodel or honeymoon!

As a bride-to-be that has spent many hours searching for the perfect pieces, I’m learning a new found respect for gifting off registries and knowing when it’s okay to just gift with cash.

Happy Wedding Season!