The Most Important Thing We Registered For

It may come as a surprise, but I didn’t love wedding planning. I look back fondly on many stages of my life and think it would be fun to relive them for a week. I’d love to be pregnant with Maxi for one more day or go on my first date with Paul again. There are moments I miss living in a sorority house and just plopping on a best friend’s bed to talk about our days. I would absolutely go back to the summer before college with my 3 best friends. We had zero worries as we swam all day! But wedding planning? Been there. Done that.

It was a bit of a weird time in my life. I was moving, my mom was getting her Methotrexate treatments, Paul was studying 24/7 for his CPA when he wasn’t working. So the planning process ultimately didn’t feel how I had grown up envisioning it would. I think most brides can relate, yes?! Thankfully, I had a wedding planner that truly filled in far more roles for me than she ever needed to. She was the greatest blessing and support system for me! Although she planned my wedding, she was 100% a second mom or aunt during that time. And as we can all agree, we are planning a marriage, not a wedding.

But I just felt a little lonely and I think that is okay to admit. These things happen during seasons of life and we may envision one thing {like tasting wedding cake} to go one way, but it ends up being another way. My mom and Paul weren’t able to be there- but they were able to be there for one planning part and that became my favorite thing we registered for.

It seems a bit silly, but one of the best days Paul and I ever had dating was when we registered for dinnerware. We had my bridesmaid luncheon that morning where I asked my best friends to be in my bridal party. We put an offer on our first home the evening before and it was accepted while I was at the luncheon. My mom felt amazing that day and afterwards, Paul agreed to take a break from studying so we could celebrate. What did we do? We all went to register for our dinnerware. I had done the rest of the registry but I wanted Paul to give his input on the plates we would center our meals around.

We spent at least an hour staring at all the options, joking about the dinners I had burnt or ruined while we were dating. Side note, Paul choked for a good 5 minutes on the first meal I made him. He tells me he had a weird issue chewing his food that day. Nice save, love. Nice save…

There wasn’t stress the day we registered, it was pure fun- which is how the wedding registry should be. I mean how often are we encouraged to make pages of a wish list?! Not often enough!

Your dinnerware tells a story of your entire marriage of burnt newlywed meals, dinner with friends, Saturday breakfast in bed and the quiet moments, too. When your baby is napping and you’ve got 5 minutes to eat a sandwich, you put it on your dinnerware so you feel somewhat fancy. And each time I grab a plate to serve a loved one, I’m reminded of that day. In the midst of a few months that just didn’t feel “normal,” we had this perfect afternoon together envisioning our future.

Just like that day was the break we all needed, mealtimes serve as that same bit of peace. Whether you’re grabbing lunch with a girlfriend to talk about your recent breakup or celebrating a new job, we get three opportunities to dine with ourself or loved ones each day. Now as a mom, meals have become one of my favorite moments with Maxi. I roll her high chair over to the table, I feed her, then grab my plate. I sit and talk to her while she eats a million blueberries and says, “Dada” over and over. And I know that these little breakfasts and lunches will turn into her sitting at the table like a big girl, telling me all about school. They’ll grow into her running out the door for a high school activity and me wondering where the time went.

Our dining table is actually my parents’ as they purchased it when they were engaged and registering, so to eat on it with my family as I ate on it as a little girl just brings these meal time moments full circle.

As our family grows, these meals may get shorter and less frequent. But know when you can squeeze them in, the meals you have with your husband, your children, your family and your friends are such welcomed breaks from whatever other stress, disappointment, loneliness or exhaustion is going on in your life.

I love hearing from brides that read the blog and many do ask about registry items. This may seem a bit relaxed {coming from the girl who fully believes you need 47 lipsticks}, but don’t over think the process! Instead, think about the moments, not the items needed to create the moments. Maybe you’ll think about the moments you vacuum as you’ve got toddlers throwing Cheerios all over the floor. I’m here to tell you to grab a dustbuster for that situation. That thing is used the next most to dinnerware. 😉 As you envision your table with your family, just focus on what would be most important to you and them. For me personally, I love to dress my table as I think it really symbolizes each step I’ve prepared for my family.

Today I partnered with MacKenzie-Childs to show you their new Sweetbriar Collection as it was made for registering newlyweds, showers and special occasions alike. It’s quite a versatile collection as it is white and pressed with checks, dots, florals and stripes. This collection is meant to be built upon so you can keep it simple for dinner with your husband or formal with your other patterns as you host a baby shower. I blended in other pieces from my collection of MacKenzie-Childs so you could see how this pattern plays nicely with others. If your grandmother passed down her serving pieces or you want to incorporate some fun napkins, it makes your table feel warm and collected. But if you like to keep things clean, classic and simple the design in and of itself is chic, yet inviting. It may be no surprise to you, but I obviously love the metallic details on the napkin rings and the blush tones in the table decor that go along with it. It’s quite Katey on a table.

What I really enjoy is that it’s something you can register for and dress it up for dinner parties or make it simple for day-to-day use. I know as brides we all go through the saga of trying to find pieces that fit both scenarios. While registering, we crave something practical that will be there for us daily but also feels unbelievably special, one of a kind and indulgent- kind of like love, right? I think the new Sweetbriar Collection embodies all of those wish list desires.

But no matter how you have your meals or set your table, I hope this post was a little reminder to just soak them in. I’m such a believer that we are given 3 opportunities a day to take a break, enjoy community, indulge in a meal and slow down for ourselves.

And if you’re going to take the time, you might as well find the joy in dressing your table as you do it. What do you think of the Sweetbriar Collection? What was the most important think you registered for?

Placemats: MacKenzie-Childs | Votives: MacKenzie-Childs | Sweetbriar Dinnerware: MacKenzie-Childs | Mugs: MacKenzie-Childs | Tablecloth: Nordstrom | 3-Tier Sweet Stand: MacKenzie-Childs | Pie Dish: MacKenzie-Childs | Sweetbriar Serving Bowl: MacKenzie-Childs | Sweetbriar Platter: MacKenzie-Childs | Serving Spoon: MacKenzie-Childs | Sweater: This Post | Shoes: PLV [c/o] | Denim: Nordstrom | Napkin Ring: MacKenzie-Childs | Napkin: MacKenzie-Childs |

Thank you to MC for allowing me to photograph some of this collection. I blended gifting with some of my personal pieces I’ve collected over the years. 

Photography by: Madison Katlin

In sponsorship with MacKenzie-Childs. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  1. Sometimes I really wish gift registries for weddings were a thing where I live. It’s just not the culture here – instead, people give red packets, which is straight up cash! Which, when I think of it now, is a bit better… haha! 🙂

    Love the beautiful photos as always, Katey!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
  2. Ah, I can totally relate to this post. We just got married a month ago, and I really did not enjoy the planning process. It’s a lot of pressure and can definitely feel lonely at times. I’m glad I’m not the only one! These dishes, however, are beautiful! Love the texture they bring to the table. xoxo

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
  3. Amanda wrote:

    I LOVE this post. It weirdly came at such the perfect time for me. I am in the middle of planning or my wedding and really stressing out about the registry portion and life just being completely and utterly chaotic. You really hit the nail on the head when you said that this whole process can feel a little lonely. Thanks so much for being so relatable always!!!

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
  4. Danielle wrote:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE those pieces! Such a great post 🙂 One question, what color is your nail polish?

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Danielle! It was a Dip powder from my salon- I know that’s not super helpful! 🙁 It was shade 124. So sorry! xo

      Published 15 Mar 18Reply
  5. Tori Block wrote:

    Katey- I needed to hear what you said about weddings. My wedding planning experience was one of my biggest heartbreaks (girl drama) and I definitely felt lonely. Im so glad I was not the only one. As you say “Comparison is the biggest thief of joy.”

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
  6. Jessica wrote:

    LOVE the table setting!! So pretty! I need to up my game. I’ve got white dishes that I can easily match with other pieces but I might have to incorporate some of these. And I’m glad I’m not the only one that did not enjoy wedding planning. But bring on the pain and join of my daughter’s birth, I could so relive that!

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Joy* not join

      Published 14 Mar 18Reply
  7. Sarah wrote:

    Katey, your table setting is gorgeous, right down to every last detail. My husband and I will celebrate our 43rd anniversary in August, and though wedding planners weren’t really a thing in the 70s, I do have fond memories of registering for our china. I can pull of vivid images in my mind of that afternoon. We both instantly agreed on a simple pattern, and we still enjoy using it today. Classic white with a narrow chocolate brown band trimmed in gold. It looks terrific with our Courtly Check chargers and other MacKenzie-Childs details. If I were a young bride, you can bet I’d be registering for Sweetbriar. Thanks for sharing this lovely post. May you and your family enjoy many happy meals around beatifully set tables.

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
  8. Shelby wrote:

    This post could not have come at a better time! I stopped by your blog after seeing your instagram post, and thought it would be about styling tables, home decor, etc.. Instead I was so happy to read an honest perspective about how wedding planning can feel lonely and not as enjoyable as the picture we envision as little girls. I am in the midst of planning our wedding, and my fiance is a full-time nursing student and my mom lives in another state. It has been much harder (and sadder) than I imagined, as I always pictured this picture-perfect planning process of doing everything together. It’s so nice to hear that you and other commenters have felt the same! I also love your thoughts on how dishes or furniture pieces can be so important for family time. I always love reading your blog! Thank you!

    Published 14 Mar 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Shelby! Thank you so much for reading and I wish I could give you a big hug! It really can sometimes be such a harder process than we ever imagine and you aren’t with your loved ones all the time like we always envision. 🙁 Thank you for your sweet words and I’m sending you all the well wishes for your special day and your marriage! xo

      Published 15 Mar 18Reply
  9. Emma wrote:

    Great post. Am sure so many women can relate especially on wedding planning.

    Published 19 Mar 18Reply
  10. Lauren wrote:

    I loved reading this post. I am engaged and have found myself not super excited about wedding planning. Of course I cannot wait to spend forever with my fiancé but I get overwhelmed with all the planning. My wedding planner was been amazing and I honestly don’t know what we would do without her. Thanks for sharing!

    Published 23 Mar 18Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      Also, so refreshing to read an honest perspective post!

      Published 23 Mar 18Reply