We almost didn't register for wedding gifts, because we didn't want to buy into the materialism surrounding weddings. We didn't want to invite guests as an implied exchange for gifts.
In the end, we did register. Because, we can't make it all on our own, and we didn't want our friends and family to feel it was our aim.
And can I just tell you - we are so glad we did. Planning becomes overwhelming, and you can easily start to feel you are doing a terrible job, especially if you are two perfectionists who really love so many people and hate hurting other's feelings. A midst those cycles of thoughts, conversations and feelings, we'll often open the door to find some box sitting on the front steps, or the chair next to the door, or right out in the middle of the front walkway like it snuck inside the gate all on its own. It feels magical. It feels frivolous. Gifts just appearing at your door from all sorts of friends who have never bought you a birthday gift or a Christmas present. And you've never before received a gift "with someone". But here we are, us two, getting all sorts of fun surprises from all these fun people, like a three-week long scavenger hunt constantly lifting our spirits, making us laugh and dance and celebrate getting married and building a home together, and all the special people we will get to see on that life-altering day. It's exciting. I'm so glad we didn't skip this part of the lead-up. We would be just fine without all the amazing serving trays and copper bar wear. We'd still get married. And we'd still have dishes and forks and glasses like we do now. But this process and lead up - we wouldn't have that - this increasing excitement, ongoing celebration of not just our decision, but our community, we might have missed. It's such a blessing you guys.
And it isn't only the gifts - last night, our friend Erik brought over his amazing new girlfriend, and they helped us with house chores for an evening and ate pizza and drinks with us around a messy table. This girl I've spoken two twice before, grabbed a paint brush and sat beside me for hours laboring on my new home.
Last week, my life-long best friend Elise picked me up at my house at 5something AM, with a homemade latte and drove me to the floral shop, where I wandered and strove to make decisions for hours. She then dropped me off at work and invited herself back over to the house to help in a few more nights. She helped cut runners, make decisions, sort through the missing details, and encourage me.
Two mornings ago I had a voicemail. Aunt Linda, my neighbor for the past 20 some years, my elementary teacher at times, one of my best friend's mom's, eventually one of my friends had just called to tell me how she felt about me, to express her excitement and encouragement, and to let me know she was praying. "No need to call back." The voicemail lifted me up that day as I worked through another painful day in the office.
Esther dropped me a beautiful card in the mail that I love! My sisters have both written cards, sent emails, texts and calls. Elsa spent a morning with me touring the venue and dreaming about decor. Her and Ty threw us an amazing party along with my parents, and the whole neighborhood it seemed. My parents painted for hours, unbeknownst to John and I at premarriage.
My mom has come back many times, laboring for hours and hours on our home and yard, running errands trying to get everything ready for the wedding and family visitors.
Today, I feel incredibly blessed by these people. I'm so happy they will be with us on our wedding day. I'm just so blessed by each of their gifts.