I don't agree with the way we do wedding gifts. It's fucked up, really. Think about it - some young kids get scan happy with a scan gun and start agreeing that yes, indeed, they need a tent even though they fucking hate the outdoors. And yes, a quesadilla maker is a needed appliance and not just a waste of valuable apartment cupboard space. And while we're at it, maybe an air mattress for when they never go camping or to make their unwelcome in-laws feel like they really can stay there (but please don't).
I have been married for eight years, and only recently did it hit me what I really should have registered for back then. Like a salad spinner - have you heard of those? I don't have one, but I think I'd like to, seeing as I eat salad every day. Or a food processor. A hand mixer. A steam mop. Now that I'm becoming domesticated, I'd like some of the gear that goes with doing mother/wifely duties well. Because let's be honest, I'm just skating on thin ice as it is, getting by until spring thaw (and no one better get me any of that stuff as gifts as if the only hobbies I have in life are cleaning the house and cooking. Those are chores. I'm not wasting my gifts on chores. I have hobbies. Beyond being a chore-doer, I do exist).
Perhaps what we should do instead for wedding gifts, is give money on a sort-of trust fund allowance schedule. Newlyweds really just need cash. They don't need tents or salad spinners or quesadilla makers. They might need towels, but they probably won't appreciate the nice ones you get them or will scoff at the shitty ones you buy. So how about 1/3 of the guests' gifts are sent to one bank account, available for immediate use. A lot of newlyweds are young and/or poor, so they would rather have cash to pay rent than a Kitchenaid mixer. They are trying to pay off their honeymoon and credit cards, and sometimes even their rings.
The next 1/3 of the guests' gifts will go into another bank account, available when the first real nesting move comes: either a new home or a baby, whichever comes first. That is when they have room for those kitchen appliances that they might actually use now. Now that they aren't going out to eat or surviving off only boxed and frozen foods. And we all know babies require a million things. If we go with this model (my model, the best way), anyone who attended the wedding gets a "get out of jail free" card to use on the baby shower. Only new friends have to participate in that bullshit.
The last 1/3 of the guests' gifts will go into the final bank account which is available on the ten year wedding anniversary. It's a, "Wow! Ten years! What's your secret?" account. But seriously - ten years: there has to be a secret. That's a long time to not get tired of someone (I'll tell you our secret in just under two years). At this point, the couple has been through a whole lot of shit together and deserves a nice vacation. Not a budgeted honeymoon, but a fucking awesome vacation where the drinks are endless and include paper umbrellas. If the couple doesn't last ten years, all of the wedding guests get part of their money back. It won't even be enough to cover the dress or shoes you had to buy for their wedding, but hey, something is better than nothing.
Whose wedding is next? In the card I will enclose a voucher for "1/3 committed" - the idea I have that if someone is willing to run with and actually set up, I will donate into an account for these newlyweds. And only at today's going gift rate. I'm not paying inflation on that shit.