Setting Up Our First Wedding Registry

Where we’re registered: Target


I don’t know if it was due to the recent death of Amendment One or just the fact that it was a Saturday night but I drug Ciara out of the house at 8:30 PM to set up our wedding registry! Like many engaged couples, we thought Target would be a great place to start. When we walked up to the registry desk I made sure to say that “we needed to set up our wedding registry” to avoid any awkward moments or confusion. The customer service lady didn’t bat an eye. While we were setting up our registry on the red phablet (Phone/Tablet, think iPhone 6+) there were options to designate ourselves as “bride”, “groom or “partner”. It seems small, but I was really touched by that. To me, it meant that Target was ready for us and we didn’t have to “explain” anything. We could just walk in, get scanner training and be on our way to a happy marriage. So, the customer service lady gave us a quick training on how to scan as well as what things we should and shouldn’t scan. So by the end of the training we were pros! The customer service lady sent us off with a heart felt (and kind of loud) congratulations and we were off,  determined to scan until our hearts were content, but there was only one problem…

We didn’t know what we needed

Let us explain… We have been together for 5.67 years (according to Melinda’s calculations) and have lived together for the majority of that time. So we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Last year, we moved into our first house together and purchased a lot of the items you traditionally ask for as newlyweds. Now that we’re getting married, we just didn’t know what to ask for. Seriously, are you supposed to get stuff that you would never buy for yourself because of the cost, or things that you keep forgetting to pick up, or just things that you REALLY need to survive, or just stuff that you want for fun? What are the guidelines, here? 

So we had a few moments like these… 

Ciara: Babe, I think we should ask for SoniCare toothbrushes

Melinda: Really, toothbrushes? 

Melinda: Oh! Maybe we should ask for a pack of air filters, we are getting low on those…

Ciara: Um, I think we can handle that expense. 

Ciara: Can we put a big screen TV on our list? 

Melinda: This is not a Christmas list, babe

So as you can see, your girls were struggling… 

But it wasn’t long before we snapped into our wedding registry groove. We shifted our approach to not only think about items we needed, but items we wanted as well. I think we developed a good system by asking for things that just “say” Ciara & Melinda. Things that you all would know were connected to our collective and individual personalities. So, we were finally able to shed the discomfort of asking others for something and started our voyage down each aisle.


Eventually the scanner shut down and a message popped up that said, “Ya’ll are doing too much.” JUST KIDDING. This didn’t happen. All in all, we had a great time and no big screen televisions were added to the registry. Yeah, it was a lot of fun! It kinda felt like that moment when you have an extra paycheck in the month and you feel like you can get WHATEVER you want (muahahaha) and then you walk into the store and can’t really find anything you REALLY want to buy. So our Target Wedding Registry is pretty random and kind of light, but never fear, we are developing several options for your shopping pleasure! 

Next up- The honeymoon registry…


Our First Wedding Expo

“I wonder what it’ll be like.”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been married before.”

“Do you think they’ll be nice to us?”

Our minds were filled with questions and our hearts were bubbling over with excitement. We were on our way to our first wedding expo! And we had no idea what to expect. Here we are, two lesbian women planning a wedding in the South, with no real clue of where to begin.

We walk up to the registration table and are immediately greeted, “Hello! Are you here to sign in? Please sign in here as we’re raffling away prizes throughout the expo.” “And who’s the bride?”

“Meeee,” Melinda eagerly proclaims. The check-in attendant gives Melinda a plastic diamond ring to put on her finger to let vendors know she’s the bride-to-be. (That would be a light up plastic ring, thank you ~Mel) We laugh and head through the double doors, so far, so good.

Florists, Photographers, Caterers, oh my!

Let me start by saying that you do not have to dress up to attend a wedding expo. Melinda got the memo, Ciara did not. Ciara looked like she was headed to work on Wall Street; Melinda looked comfortable and appropriately dressed for the occasion. (I tried to tell you, babe)

Back to the story…

We walk in and excitement immediately rushes through our bodies. “Where do we start?” Melinda asks. “Let’s just go around the room, starting with this florist,” I suggest. We walk up to the florist and there’s a moment of silence, then the owner approaches us, “When is your date?” she asks. I’m thinking, “an introduction would be nice, but whatever.” (I know, right? She did just jump right into it, didn’t she?) Melinda answers and the next few minutes of conversation is best compared to watching paint dry. We thank them for their time and put their information in our “Not interested bag”. (Learned that tip from bridal blogs. You bring a bag with you even though they will give you a bag. This way you can sort your flyers and information automatically and just recycle the whole bag of ones you don’t need when you get home.)

The next vendor was totally different. She represented a local wedding boutique and immediately engaged with Melinda. I watched as Melinda’s eyes lit up with joy as she described the kind of dress she was interested in. And, inside, I melted. I melted because someone, a complete stranger, made us feel like we belonged there. She didn’t care about our gender, she saw the love and that was all that mattered. After a few more minutes of conversation, she and Melinda exchanged contact information (Using my handy, dandy Wedding Business card – saves you from having to fill out a gazillion forms at the expos) and planned a consultation for Tuesday.  You should have seen Melinda’s face.

So much cake…

I am convinced that wedding expos should have a dedicated workout room for the guests who have one role- test tasting. See, I was given this role  (“given”, babe?) and totally missed that it was a setup. Melinda had a plan to pass all the calories to me, so she could keep that slim figure of hers. And, well, I fell for it. Okay, let me be honest, I didn’t even put up a fight. Everyone and their mothers’ had free samples of food and wedding cake, what was a girl to do? (That food was really good, though)

In between all the cake eating, we stopped by to speak with a photographer who was really excited about us getting married. It started like this, “Who’s the bride?” Melinda raises her hand and says, “I am!” She, in turn says, “Congratulations!” “So wait, are you two getting married?” We both say, “Yep!” And that’s all it took. She’s like, “AWESOME! I love same-sex marriages. We have worked with a lot of same-sex couples and they’re great.”

We spent the next 20 minutes talking about venues, our wedding date, her boyfriend and finally the various packages they have. All of which were incredibly high, like who pays almost $5,000 for a photographer? Melinda takes the information, hands it over to me; I put it in my “Not interested bag”.

IKEA has a baby registry too…

So we’re wrapping up the expo and decide to check out the Groom’s Lounge upstairs. This is the place most grooms go to have a drink and watch the game while their wives-to-be plan all the wedding details downstairs. This was our first wedding expo, so I chose to experience it all with Melinda. Right as we’re making our way to the bar, Melinda spots the IKEA booth.

And it’s over.

Two sweet ladies take her under their wings and start telling her about the wedding registry they have. I just shift my attention to the Panther’s game until I hear, “And we have a baby registry too.”

In my mind I’m saying, “Ma’am, you are out of control.” But I decide to go with, “Oh! Baby steps, babe. Let’s get married first.” The other IKEA representative chuckles, “That’s right, first things first.”

I had to laugh. Sure, IKEA is trying to take all of our money, but these two ladies were genuine. They, like everyone else we encountered, did not see two women getting married. They saw two people in love embarking on this lifelong journey.

P.S. – We will have a wedding registry at IKEA. But don’t worry, we only have two light bulbs on our IKEA wish list- we’re not hard to please.


In closing…

We walked out of the wedding expo cheesing from ear-to-ear. (Seriously, we tried 17 times to take a picture where we weren’t showing more than 90% of our gumsWe gave each other a high-five and said, “We did it!” As we got closer to the car, Melinda looked over to me and said, “We’re getting married, we’re really getting married.” With all the joy my heart could possibly hold, I replied,  “Yes, we are. This is really happening.”



What we learned from this experience…

Love will do the work. Just be true to yourself and to the love you share with each other.