Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Wedding Registry Tips + Tricks

"Going to the chapel and you're gonna get maaaaaaa-rried…" 

Does anyone else immediately think of Annie Banks and "Father of the Bride" when you hear that song? No? Just me? 

Like Annie Banks Mackenzie, you'll be getting lots of gifts for your wedding {maybe even a blender from your fiancée!}…especially if you register for them, which I highly suggest you do. Not only is it a fun process, it's probably one of the only times in your life, save for a baby shower or two, that people are going to just give you free (expensive) stuff out of love...and a little obligation. #butseriously

So here are some of my wedding registry tips and tricks, and a big thank you to those of you who commented on my blog on Friday and helped me answer some questions about this process! 

{1} Register at places that are convenient for both you and your shower/wedding attendees. 
I grew up in a small town in southeast Texas that doesn't have a mall or even a Target, so people had to drive to the nearest bigger town to purchase from my "big" registries. However, I did register at a local store that carried my everyday china and select Mikasa and Lenox pieces to aid those who couldn't travel -- namely my grandmother's friends or those who wanted to make a bigger {read: more expensive} purchase. 

I registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Dillard's in addition to my local hometown store. I would recommend Bed, Bath & Beyond in a heartbeat -- they have everything you need all in one place and they're easy to work with {and returns are a breeze}. However, I wouldn't recommend Dillard's, as their customer service was terrible. Instead, if I had it to do all over again, I'd register at Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Amazon and/or Macy's. 

{2} Do your research 
If you know you're not a big cook, don't bother registering for things you know you'll never use, as they'll just take up valuable kitchen space and you'll regret it down the line. But if you are a fan of cooking and/or baking, now is the time to register for those big-ticket items you know you'll use {e.g. KitchenAid mixer, knife block set, etc.}. But do your research as to what brands fit your lifestyle the most; what size your cabinets are to hold your pots and pans; and really determine your taste. Do you like a bunch of stuff on your countertop? Then register for the rotating spice rack. Minimalist? Keep that rotating spice rack off the list.

{3} China or No China? That is the question.
This is a big question amongst my girlfriends and family members. Should I register for fine china? Will I ever use it? To be completely honest, I registered for fine china and I haven't touched it once in 5 1/2 years. It's just not in our lifestyle right now. But do I love having it and love that I didn't have to shell out the money for it? Absolutely. And I hope one day that I will use it! But this goes back to the research thing: if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're not a fine china person, don't bother registering for it. There's no rule book that says you absolutely have to! If I could do it all over again, I'd also register for the Spode Christmas China, as I love it and think I'd get a lot more use out of it around the holidays, even if it was just to display. 

{4} Don't register for stupid stuff. 
Was that a little harsh? Sorry. Actually, no, I'm not. If there's something that irks me, it's when people register for stupid stuff like toothpick holders, selfie sticks, candles and granite cleaner. My rule is, if I can buy it at the grocery store, I'm not going to put it on my registry. Save your registry for stuff you really need, want and those bigger-ticket items that you can't afford or don't want to spend your money on. 

{5} Don't be afraid to register for big-ticket items. 
Want that KitchenAid mixer? Need a knife block set? Then put it on the registry! You'll also need new sheets {register for two, just in case!}, a set of towels, your everyday dishes and a good set of cookware and bakeware. The one thing I've learned is that you never, ever know what people will buy…or go in together on! We had hostesses at a shower gift us with our knife block set and then someone my in-law's are friends with gifted us with three settings of our fine china! You just never know what people are going to buy!

{6} There are useless appliances. 
I know it seems like everything has a use, but I quickly learned that kitchen appliances take up valuable kitchen space. Quesadilla maker? Don't bother; you can make those in a pan on the stove. Rice cooker? Never understood this anyway; just boil it in a saucepan and voilà! And Kelsey and I agree: the salad spinner isn't really our jam. ;) And even though that waffle maker and panini press look and sound amazing, we even found that we only make waffles once a year and instead make pancakes because of easier cleanup. 

{7} You'll get random gifts. 
Just to forewarn you: you'll get random, off-the-wall gifts you didn't register for. Whether re-gifted or just random, these gifts do happen. Jenn said she was gifted with just napkin rings (no accompanying napkins!); I was gifted with a random peach vase. So, whether you decide to give said random peach vase to your mother-in-law whose bedroom is peach or return said napkin rings, you'll eventually get enough built up on a store gift card to purchase those afore-mentioned big-ticket items you may not have yet received, or just wait until after the wedding to see what you do get and make all the exchanges at once to complete your registry. 

So what do you register for? Here are my top items, along with the input from those of you who commented -- so thank y'all! 

  • Everyday dishes
    • Note: I recommend registering for a basic white or off-white that won't go out of style quickly and can be mixed and matched with other cheaper, fun printed dessert plates, fruit bowls and/or salad plates. I also recommend registering for one more place setting than you need (e.g. 13 instead of 12) because things do break, get thrown away (yes, thrown away!) and/or chip. 
  • Everyday drinkware 
    • Note: Do your research to ensure the glasses don't sweat and can hold up in the dishwasher, and like with the dishes, I recommend registering for one more set of glasses than you need.
  • Everyday flatware
    • Note: Like with the two above, do your research to ensure the everyday flatware can hold up in the dishwasher. Also, I recommend registering for one more place setting than you need of this, as well.
  • Barware 
    • Note: We registered for crystal wine and champagne glasses in addition to our fine china, but also registered for simple stemless wine glasses to use every day. I recommend this big time -- especially because they can be thrown in the dishwasher and hold up well!
  • Pots and pans
    • Note: I really enjoy my Calphalon non-stick cookware because of just that: it's non-stick. Registering for a full set is typically the way to go, but be sure to add things that don't come in the set, like a roasting pan, an extra stock pot, extra sauce pans, a Wok, a cast-iron skillet and grill/griddle pans. (Almost all of you said cookware, including Renae, so thank y'all!)
  • Bakeware
    • Like with the above, registering for a full set of bakeware is a good way to go. Again, I really enjoy my Calphalon non-stick bakeware because it's non-stick! I recommend registering for a few extra cookie sheets and jelly roll pans, as well as a bundt pan and different-sized loaf pans.
  • Kitchen electrics
    • Toaster or toaster oven 
      • Determine which one (or both!) fit your lifestyle the most. Personally, we use our toaster oven every day for multiple reasons and rarely use our toaster at all. 
    • KitchenAid mixer and/or hand mixer
      • I have both, but if you know you're not a baker and would rarely use the KitchenAid, then don't bother! I use my hand mixer a lot more -- and for things other than baking, including shredding cooked chicken! 
    • Coffee maker
      • Whether traditional or a Keurig, determine which fits your lifestyle better. We gave up our Keurig a couple of years ago (when Walker was born) because we drink more than one cup of coffee a morning, and those K-cups were an added expense for us. However, if you're coffee drinkers, be sure to put this on your list! If not, perhaps a tea kettle or espresso maker is more up your alley. 
    • Blender (regular and/or immersion)
      • We don't use our blender often, but it's nice to have it when we want to make an occasional smoothie or margarita. I don't have an immersion blender because I know myself and know I wouldn't use it often, so again, think about your lifestyle (and storage options!) on this one. 
    • Food processor 
      • I love my Cuisinart food processor and use it often -- and it really came in handy when I was making Walker's baby food, as I just steamed the veggies/fruits on the stove and used my food processor to purée it all. But, I love using it to make salsas, pasta sauces and even frozen "yogurt." 
    • Crock Pot 
      • I promise, promise, promise that you'll use this more than you think! It's a great thing to have and I say, register for a good one that'll last you many years. (Thanks to Brittany, Owen and Pinky!)
    • Electric wine opener 
      • If you're big wine drinkers, invest in a good electric wine opener! I also recommend the Vinturi Wine Aerator, too, and your wine accessories, like a vacuum wine sealer and vacuum-sealed corks. (Thank you, Jenn!)
  • Tupperware/food storage set 
    • I like the glass Pyrex food storage set, but however you shake it, you'll need a place to store all the yummy food you're cooking and baking! 
  • Pyrex and/or Corningware dishes
    • Oh, how I use my glass Pyrex dishes almost daily, just like Emily! I recommend registering for two of each size because I can promise you that the one you need will either be in the dishwasher or holding leftovers in your fridge. 
  • Kitchen gadgets/tools 
    • Pyrex glass measuring cups 
      • Register for two sets of these because the one you need is either currently in use or in the dishwasher! 
    • Stainless or plastic measuring cups/spoons 
    • Cutting boards 
      • I recommend a couple of the acrylic rectangle ones, as they hold up for-ev-er, as well as a couple of wooden ones of different sizes. 
    • Colanders
      • Get two -- one small and one large 
    • Kitchen tools: 
      • Basting brushes, peeler, zester, grater, pizza wheel, slotted spoons, spoons, wooden spoons, spatulas (in various sizes), whisks, turners (slotted and not), meat tenderizer, potato masher, lemon/lime juicer, ladle 
    • Mixing bowls
      • I love my nesting mixing bowls from Williams-Sonoma, as well as my OXO stainless mixing bowls and my Pyrex glass ones. See? I have a lot because I promise, you'll use them! (Thank you, Meg!)
    • Knife block set 
      • While I'm not in love with the giant knife block sitting out on our kitchen counter (and will instead move our knives to a drawer once I have a house with more storage space), I do love my knife block set! In addition to your knife block set, I recommend an electric knife and an extra set of steak knives. 
    • Kitchen towels and pot holders 
  • Towels and sheets 
    • Now is the time to register for your full set of towels (bath towels, hand towels and washcloths) and sheets (two sets)! 
Don't bother registering for things like window treatments, selfie sticks, things you can pick up at your local grocery store (e.g. toothpick holders) and cleaners/polishes. Save your registry for the stuff you either can't afford, don't want to buy for yourself or simply need. 

I hope this helped any of you out there, and feel free to ask me any questions or let me know of some stuff I may have left off the list! 

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi 


  1. Love this!! I went a little scanner happy and registered for SO MANY things I didn't end up needing or using! I've already had to replace my everyday drink ware, and we did get China and I've used it twice! I will say though that my rice cooker is my favorite item - I use it every day! You haven't had good rice until you've had it in a rice cooker 😜

  2. Wow, what a great post. Such a wealth of knowledge, you did a great job compiling everything. I know I had a few small sillier things on my registry because there were some cousins coming who were still in college and I know they wanted to gift something small. I really loved all the monogramed and personal gifts people gave us, things I wanted but wouldn't buy myself.

  3. I love this list! I think it's a great idea to register at places that are convenient for you and the guests--that's a great tip. And yes, those random, thoughtless gifts totally happen. You're right, those help you with the big ticket items down the road. You should do a post on wedding gift donts haha!

  4. I definitely agree with the first one! Sometimes it can be challenging for people to purchase items at the stores you register at, if they are not local to the people attending your shower. It's also good to be somewhat practical in what you put on your registry. Great tips!

  5. Great tips!! Totally agree about NOT registering for the pointless appliances... definitely go for more practical things like boring Tupperware or pots and pans that you will use every single day!

  6. Napkin rings and no napkins :) classic ... We went without the registry since our guest list was so small, and we've already lived together for over 3 years. We did last minute create one for hose who asked to send us something from out of town. Xo

  7. One of my mom's friend gift us with an ice cream maker for my shower (not on our registry), I will barely back frozen cookie dough so we took it back to BB&B - well over $100! Same thing with this person and our wedding gift, and hard boiled egg cooker (which neither of us like) so we took it back - well over $100 AGAIN. I can not fathom giving someone that nice of a gift and not knowing if they even like eggs! People are nuts. These are great tips and YES to the W&S nesting bowls!! I use mine almost daily!!

  8. The post is fantastic! I love it so much:)
    Have a nice day!

  9. Excellent! I have a lot of friends that could benefit from this right now! Thanks for linking up today! xo