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The Bride's Guide Blog

Registry idea: Have you thought about the gift of a goat?

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My partner (now husband!) and I were driving back from a weekend in the Hamptons earlier this year and passed a large group of storage units in Long Island before coming back into the city. The billboard above the units advertised,  “Gay Marriage = Gay Registry = Gay Clutter.” This exactly summed up how I felt about registering for my wedding. I have worked at Martha Stewart for 10 years and have amassed dishes, glasses, vases and platters of every kind imaginable. Are you hosting a thanksgivukkah celebration this year? You are more than welcome to borrow my turkey-shaped menorah. It's not really Christmas until the brass stand comes out to display the hand-blown Christmas egg ornaments. What do you mean Easter is already here? I haven’t had time to locate my bunny creamers and lamb themed gravy boat!!! I love all this holiday-themed stuff, but also live in a New York apartment. I chose the current space based on its kitchen storage. It really doesn’t have a single adequate closet, but there is a cabinet for my Fourth of July china.


When Darcy and I first talked about the wedding, she immediately asked, “Where are you going to register?” Sweat beads formed on my forehead as I thought about the double Jimmy Buffet margarita mixer being delivered to my door. Guess I will have to throw out my coffee table and stack magazines on this massive mixer instead. She calmed me down and walked me through some of the newer registry options. More and more couples are waiting later in life to tie the knot and some (gasp!) are even living together and starting a life before they decide to get married. Given this is the new normal, rules for the registry have dramatically changed. For me, this meant talking to my partner and narrowing it down to experiences we really enjoy. We both love theater, so we registered for gift certificates. We have a friend who owns an online wine store, so also made the list. We added to round out the list, although this one got a little tricky. When guests sent gift certificates electronically, our computer read them as spam and filed them in a junk folder. Make sure that you add any web sites where you are registered to your computer's safe list.

Now let’s talk about some of our favorite gifts that were off the registry and very out the box. One of the first we received was from my partner’s favorite aunt, Mary.  She addressed the fact we lived in a small space in her card and sent us a goat. The goat is actually in Nepal and helps recipients in needy countries feed their families. It is part of an organization call Heifer International . We like to think we are the only people in Hell’s Kitchen to own a goat, but this is New York, so most likely there are many others.

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Going off-registry can be risky, but if you really know the couple, you can find the perfect gift. Etsy is another great source (and always a favorite of Martha Stewart Weddings). The customization there can be amazing. Two of our favorites were a cutting board and a piece of art.

In the end, we were able to tailor our registry to our likes and our life. Oh, and we won’t have to rent one those storage units in Long Island.

Comments (3)

  • So wonderful to read about your wedding (congrats!) and love hearing about gifts that give back, especially around weddings and in light of the upcoming holiday season! Another great organization that I support is Room to Read ( that makes sure children across Asia and Africa can learn to read and develop literacy skills. Check them out!

  • Good new ideas. Some old gifts are really out of the date now. But can you share more related information?

  • Does anybody have an idea what is meant by the ad, "GAY MARRIAGE = GAY REGISTRY = GAY CLUTTER"? I was in New York in September, 2012; & in July/August, 2013; & I noticed (& photographed) it each time. Does this imply that the proprietor is pro-"gay marriage" or anti-"gay marrriage," or neither? If it's just an advertising gimmick, then what's the point? I would assume that both sides of the spectrum would be put off by this, each with his own associations.

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