In Part 1 of my Registry Methodology series I gave a few tips on how to get the best prices when you’re shopping online and I wanted to expand on that a little, specifically with shopping for holiday decor.
Again, we’re playing the long game here, so we don’t need to get everything at once. Think of it as a 5-10 year exercise and just do a little at a time.
My trick is to pin or bookmark the holiday stuff I like each season and then after the holiday look and see how it does on sale, leveraging available promo codes to lower it further.
I played chicken with Terrain for years before their pumpkin carver got low enough in price for me to snap it up. That, along with a Land’s End canvas candy bucket, pretty much sums up my Halloween items.
In the same stroke, we neglect our girls. Not because they can’t read “boy books” (they do and will). But because when they see those awards, they also learn something — to accept a world in which they are rarely the central players. They learn, at a formative age, that the “best” books are the ones about boys."
— Laurel Snyder, “Boys Will Be Boys, and Girls Will Be Accomodating,” Medium, February 12, 2014
This is a little series on the methodology behind putting together my wedding registry. Part 1 is a whole lot of backstory.
Good decor requires vision and direction, which for me requires playing the long game. If you want authenticity and craftsmanship on the cheap you have to put in time and effort, which means:
- playing the sales on a regular basis
- negotiating prices in an antique shop, yard sale, or flea market (which is a great primer for salary negotiation, I have found)
- controlling yourself at auctions
- saving searches on eBay that limit by dollar amount (which is how I buy $60 candles for $20 or less)
- keeping your mouth shut about the church basement thrift store where the rich ladies donate their stuff (which is why I have a set of 12 crystal water glasses for $12 and truly beautiful green cashmere wrap for $5)
- being firm about saying no when people try to give you stuff that you don’t like/want/need, even if they get pushy or mad
- editing out the clutter (something I have trouble with)
- pinning or bookmarking items you like, waiting for them to go on sale, and then using a promo code to reduce the price even further. I use retailmenot.com to search for promo codes before I buy anything online.
- never paying shipping. If you contact customer service over the chat feature they’ll nearly always waive your shipping.
- if something comes damaged, take a picture of the item to attach to your email to customer service and they usually won’t make you ship it back before refunding your money or sending you a new one.
- and above all, making sure every new addition fits into your vision cohesively
It starts with developing your style. For me this has evolved- and is evolving.
I haven’t done my registry yet, but I’ve started to look into it and I want to do a tumblr series about defining your decor style, keeping track of what you have and what you need, general tips for online shopping, and putting together a registry.
Kirsten, what makes you the expert?
Way harsh, Tai.
- anal-retentive, bordering on psychotic, record-keeping
- inveterate online shopping
- years invested
- a sense of decor that has evolved with time
- and direction for where I want to take it
I went to lunch with my boss and coworker today and they want to take me to try on dresses, since it’s the thing I’m most resistant to. I said we could go as long as we went cake tasting, too.
And it was so funny, because I showed them the types of wedding dresses I’ve been pinning for years now- the creme de la creme of what I had pinned, in fact- and they both hated a solid 80% of what I showed them. I said, fine. I’d just wear this.
I still haven’t decided what I’m going to wear to my wedding, as it’s a low-key gathering and entirely nontraditional… maybe a white dress. Maybe a red & white dress because of the Danish theme. Maybe black pants, a white silk blouse, and a red cardigan.
I think I’d look nice in something like this:
… but I can’t find anything current that’s similar in my size and price range.
Ten dresses I showed them are after the fold. I maintain that they are beautiful.