A New Kind of Bridal Registry

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A New Twist on an Old Tradition

By Frederick Jerant PLACE 14 (1)
Photos Courtesy of Scott Rothenberger

Last year, Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America made an interesting observation:

“Culturally, young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a ‘capstone’ rather than a ‘cornerstone’—that is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood…”

And the same report noted that cohabitation is skyrocketing.

Translation: when these older couples marry, they probably have all the household gear they need. Heck, they may already own a house!

Which can make buying a wedding gift a bit of challenge.

Fortunately, Scott Rothenberger, owner of PLACE (a Barto-based firm that designs and creates exciting living spaces) offers a novel alternative to selecting tired old china and silver patterns. PLACE lets soon-to-weds create a landscape/garden registry, where guests can purchase plants, flowers, landscaping and other services.

It started with a simple question. “A bride asked if we’d ever used a landscape registry before.  I said “No…but we CAN!” and it took off from there,” Rothenberger recalls.

I’d never heard of it, either, but Rothenberger walked me through it, step-by-step.

The plans

Rothenberger meets with his clients and walks the property, reviewing the space and their likes/dislikes in greenery, pavers and other key elements.

From those notes, he creates detailed hand-drawn outlines of all aspects of the project, and takes his clients to visit actual installations. “It helps them get the essence of the space. And the finished work is more representative of what they’ll end up with. They can also talk to those clients about their experiences,” he says.

PLACE 5 The customized website

Rothenberger sets up a customized personal website for the couple. It includes the conceptual drawings and an itemized price list of the many materials involved – hedges, shrubs, pavers, flowers, timbers, sod…you name it.

“Guests can visit the site, and pre-purchase as much or as little as they’d like,” he explains, adding that unclaimed items on the list are often paid for by the newlyweds themselves – and not necessarily at the outset.  “They might opt to go as far as they can, and then finish the project in steps,” he explains, even years later.

The installation

Landscape work is subject to the vagaries of scheduling, weather and other factors, of course, and this is where PLACE’s flexibility comes into play. “Every situation is unique,” Rothenberger says.  “Depending on the contract, PLACE might handle everything from beginning to end. Sometimes clients want to use another contractor, and we’ll manage the project.  At other times, we’ll bring in decorative rocks and boulders, and the client will handle the planting. We take whatever approach works best.”

Landscaping design PLUS

Because PLACE also is experienced in event decorating and planning, Rothenberger can skillfully incorporate some of the gifted materials into the reception’s décor.

“Decorating with natural materials is a huge trend, and ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ is something I’ve done for years.  I see the use of these pre-purchased materials as the next logical step,” he says. For example, he could bring into the hall a few small trees or shrubs, perhaps some hydrangea bushes and ornamental grasses – and transplant them after the festivities have ended.

“It’s a simple way to add natural beauty to a space,” he adds.

Registry TOCPricing

Every PLACE project is customized, so it’s impossible to come up with an “average” price. But Rothenberger says the bottom line can range from as little as $3,500 to $25,000 and beyond. And using the registry can help bring even the dreamiest landscape down-to-earth.

“Let’s say you have 150 guests, and each one contributes $100 to your project. That’s $15,000 already paid off by your friends and family,” he says.

Using the landscape registry is a terrific way to make your special day even more so. “Just imagine using little trees to decorate your reception, and then planting them outside. Your wedding photos will show the saplings — but 10 years later, you might see your first child outside playing on that same tree,” he says. “It’s a wonderful way to connect all aspects of your wedding experience.”


Knot Yet source: