Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Some tips for the bride-to-be: Wedding Registries

Well, y'all liked my last wedding post so much that I thought I'd do another! This time, we're going to talk about wedding registries.

Disclaimer: These are my own opinions. If you don't like what I've written here, don't bother leaving a nasty comment. I won't publish it anyway, so don't waste your time.

Moving on.

The concept of a wedding registry was started in 1924 at Marshall Field's as a means for an engaged couple to indicate chosen china, silver and crystal patterns to family and friends. And oddly enough, the concept is rather United States-centric to this day.

Many women today don't choose to register for silver {I didn't} or even separate china and every day patterns. So - because I know it's insanely overwhelming - I'm going to give you a little help in letting you know what is typical and atypical for a wedding registry, as well as tell you what to not waste money on!

A wedding registry really should be items to help you start your home together: dishes, china {if you choose china}, silver {if you choose silver}, crystal {if you choose crystal} bakeware, cookware, serveware, barware, small kitchen appliances, sheets, towels, other linens and a few home decor items.

A few things that I've seen on registries? Keurig K-cups. Plastic hangers. A shower rod. Swiffer WetJet cleaning refills. A travel neck pillow. An air mattress.

Remember that while it's fine to have an "untraditional" wedding registry list, you need to strike a balance and have a "traditional" wedding registry list, too. Keep in mind that it is not greedy to register! People want to know where you're registered so they can buy you what you want; they want you to enjoy their gift. {Keep in mind you will not always get what you register for, but that's why you need to keep receipts and put on a happy face when you receive that "gift."}

So...helpful hints when registering:

1. Register in places that are convienent for both your family/guests and his family/guests. I'm from a small town and Brandon is from a large suburb of DFW, so I registered for my every day dishes at a local store {that was convienent for my guests} and at Dillard's and Bed, Bath & Beyond {which was convienent for both of our guests}. Don't go overboard and register at too many stores; it overwhelms your guests!

2. Registering for my every day at three places and my china at two places proved very smart for me. Where some guests purchased china from Dillard's, some purchased from BB&B. I could mix and match and take back as needed, leaving me with more store credit to get what I ended up needing more of after the wedding.

3. Do make sure to register for more than 12 placesettings. At first, I thought it was silly that my mother-in-law suggested that, but it was very worthwhile because I dropped a bowl and broke it soon after we got home from the honeymoon! So, that left me with 12 bowls as opposed to 11. You never know when accidents will happen and when they'll discontinue your china!

4. Don't waste registering time on items like a quesadilla maker {you can make them on the stove with less clean-up} or a rice cooker {again, on the stove with boiling water}.

5. Do remember that people on your guest list have different budgets. Just because you gave them a place setting of china for their wedding gift does not mean that they can afford to do the same. Write a kind, sincere thank you note within a couple of weeks for the gift.

6. Don't be like me and start using your gifts the day you get them! You never, ever know what people might send -- even the day before the wedding! -- that could be a better, newer model than what you just opened...and now can't take back. Be patient!

7. Do ask yourself when registering, "Will we really use this?" Many newlyweds live in apartments or smaller homes when they first get married, and there might not be any space for those 10 vases you registered for...right now. However, if you're a cook, make sure to register for a good set of pots and pans {I really enjoy my Calphalon nonstick}, kitchen tools {I like my Calphalon and Oxo brands}, and KitchenAid stand mixer. If you bake, make sure to register for jelly roll pans, nonstick cookie sheets and muffin tins {6- and 12-count}.

8. Don't register for items like I mentioned in my intro. The way I see it, if you can buy it yourself -- tomorrow -- don't put it on your wedding registry. Most people are still pretty traditional when it comes to buying wedding gifts, so they most likely will not buy that box of Swiffer WetJet refills you have listed. Think to yourself, "If I saw this on someone's registry, would I buy it for them?"

9. Do go ahead and register for a few expensive items: a nice coffee maker, a stand mixer, a knife block set, your crystal/china/silver, and nice pots and pans. You never know what people will buy, or if people will go in together on a more expensive gift. If you don't get these items, don't worry! You'll most likely get gift cards, have to return items that weren't on your registry, or even cash; so if you want to buy them then, go ahead!

10. Don't ask for money. If people give it to you in a card at the wedding or at a shower, great! But never ask people for money in lieu of wedding gifts. It's awkward for all parties and is still rather taboo.

Of course, every home and every person is different. Register for items that work for you and your husband-to-be! It is up to you to figure out what those needs are.

Happy registering!

{Thanks to Martha Stewart and Emily Post for their etiquette help!}


  1. So you're saying I shouldn't register for curtain rods and a scale for the bathroom? Oh dear!

    Great tips!

  2. Haha! Nope! And you'll have to leave that "LOVE" wall art off, too! ;)

  3. I do enjoy reading the wedding posts! I know some of it already, but it's nice to hear from someone who has recently been a bride. :)


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