What the Heck Do You Put on a Wedding Registry?

Well, here we are. We’re officially 7 months out from our wedding! And we are getting EXCITED!! The “Save the Dates” are being put in the mail tomorrow morning, bright and early, and we’ve got most of our “i’s” dotted, and “t’s” crossed.

But really, what do you put on a wedding registry? And did you know that depending on where you live geographically in the US, there are different customs?! #wedding #registry #bridetobe #brides #engaged #engagement #nyc #shopping #fall #family

The venue, the reception, the dress, the photographer, videographer, hair and makeup — it’s all set.

One thing we’re actively working on….the registry.

Now. Here’s something I’ve come to learn: registries are actually very geographically specific. For example: Here in NYC, it is customary to give cash as a wedding gift. However, in the midwest, it is customary to give a gift off the registry as a wedding gift.

This was a difference that I was not aware of until I began being invited to weddings on the east coast, and quickly realized that you don’t give a KitchenAid stand mixer to a bride at a New York City wedding.

But anyways…

Wedding registries are strange, because you’re picking out gifts you’re asking other people to buy for you.

I mean…at the end of the day, that is a very strange — and humbling — exercise. And the people pleaser in me is having full body cringes, choosing items that I’m asking another person to purchase for me. I know, it’s all part of the deal…but it still is just a little hard to get used to.

But as I’m sifting through various knife sets and salad spinners, and towels that I’m unable to feel through a computer screen, it made me think…I should be asking YOU wonderful friends what I should put on our registry! Because I feel like there are things you learn about registries only after having gone through the process…does that make sense? So I feel like there is a lot of insight to be gleaned here. 🙂

So my question to you is, What was the BEST thing you registered for on your wedding registry? What do you WISH you would have registered for? What advice do you have for me!

There’s so many different ways to do it these days. Amazon offers an amazing registry — which, yes, we are considering utilizing. Or you can register on various wedding website hosts for everything from “honeymoon funds,” to furniture, to kitchen gadgets, to gift cards, to cooking classes and gym memberships! Talk about running the gamut!

So hopefully, I can learn from you tonight, and for any other future brides that may stumble across this, they might gain some wisdom too! (And I’ll compile the tips for a later post as well! :))

In other news, the photographer is coming tomorrow to take photos of my apartment to list it to sell. And I’ve gotta tell you — it’s been really something. I’ve had to fix all the little things I had been putting off for the last few years: Like a broken faucet I’ve lived with for 9 years, a broken microwave I haven’t fixed since the pandemic, a window screen with a hole in it…I mean, I even installed a BACKSPLASH behind my oven! It’s like — I should have done this sooner, so that I could have gotten to actually enjoy the fix!

But really, what do you put on a wedding registry? And did you know that depending on where you live geographically in the US, there are different customs?! #wedding #registry #bridetobe #brides #engaged #engagement #nyc #shopping #fall #family

But alas. It’s also like: I wonder if the buyer is going to hate my furniture design, or think I’m tacky!?

All things that — I really shouldn’t be worrying about. But much like the options of registry items, such is my brain right now: a little. all. over. the. place.

So with that, I hope you have a wonderful evening. Thank you for stopping by my little dusty corner of the internet, and I’ll see you on Wednesday!

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26 responses to “What the Heck Do You Put on a Wedding Registry?”

  1. Wedding registries are great! Instead of thinking you’re asking people to buy you things, think people will be giving you a gift of love and they would prefer to give something you will use and enjoy rather than something you will return because you have 3. Register for things you will use and maybe even donations to the honeymoon. Please ignore this next rant but I can’t stop myself – please please please do not use Amazon. This is not the place for detail so I’ll just say the FTC had to go in and force Amazon to pay their food delivery people the tips Amazon chose to keep. Amazon stole from people delivering for rent and food money.

  2. Don’t worry. You will not be able to truly anticipate what EXACTLY you will use when you’re in your new married life. And no one else can for you, but I will say that getting towels or sheets from guests was really special because every time I used them I thought of them probably because they were soft and next to the body they were somehow special. If I had a dollar for everything I fixed just before I moved…I feel ya there.
    Happy registering!

  3. Our wedding registry was a bust. We only got 2-3 plates of the china and a few spoons for the flatware, but my workmates purchased a toaster oven that still works nearly 50 years later. As Amy says above, don’t worry.

  4. Hi Caralyn! Despite the guilty agonizing, as you have felt, our registry worked out well. We listed inexpensive items as well as a few pricey ones, which gave our guests lots of options. That was 33 years ago, and most of the stuff has had to be replaced!! But be sure to list things like nicer white casserole dishes (or Corningware) for serving…they last a long time. We still have our electric ice cream freezer, just used it a few weeks ago! Have FUN with choosing things with Steven!

  5. My suggestion is to offer variety in price and gift type so there can be something for everyone and also higher priced items to accommodate families, etc. The most recent wedding gift I gave was a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, and I hope the coupld think of me when they use it. Personnally, I give a piece of hand-thrown pottery as wedding gifts because I love pottery and it is generally not something people buy for themselves. The registry helps me see color schemes, and then I seek out the potter who offers something in that color line.

  6. Furniture, curtains, things to fill your new home. Maybe even door dash or grocery delivery gift cards so that there is one less thing to think about as you move and settle in to your new life.

  7. I was way too uncomfortable with this, too! We put due to our circumstances (saving for a house, etc and way too much for this comment haha) if you feel inclined to donate to the future fund. But, only if they WANT to. We do not have a registry… I could not ask people to buy stuff for me. It made me cringe.

    However, when I put myself in another’s shoes I would be excited to buy them something. Like, I bought baby items for a friend’s shower, but I cannot do my own wedding registry. haha

    Can I register at Marshall’s or the thrift store…? 🙂

    Plus, being in my thirties means I own a lot of home items already. I don’t know… awkward.

  8. I love my pressure cooker and wore it out after 25 years. I had to go buy another one! I guess nowadays an Instant Pot can do the same thing, but I still prefer the stove-top pressure cooker.
    Your backsplash looks great!

  9. I also didn’t do a registry (and I’m from the Midwest too). My husband and I got married right after college so we had pretty much nothing, haha. We used our cash gifts to go pick out what we needed after the wedding. (Which was a lot… we didn’t even have a bed or a table to eat on, lol). And it was so much fun! I’m painfully practical, but I would say register for what you need. If you guys really don’t need much, maybe consider not doing a registry at all or giving suggestions of alternate ideas, like cash or grocery gift cards, or even ways to support your ministry. Just thinking out loud…
    Anyway, I’m so happy for you. 😄 Enjoy these exciting times!

  10. Disclaimer: I’ve never been married, I’ve never had a gift registry, so I’m not really one to answer those parts of your questions.

    However, I guess I never thought it was weird to ask other people to buy stuff for you, probably because in my family, that’s how it went every birthday and every Christmas, and it’s still like that today. You tell people what you want, and they buy it. Some years, I’ve decided to get creative and buy something I think they would like that they never mentioned, and most if not all of the time, those creative un-asked-for gifts just sit on a shelf collecting dust. For Christmas 1996 I got my brother, who loves basketball, a wall calendar of NBA all-stars, and it was still hanging on the wall showing January 1997 well into 1998. I’ve also discovered that I’m a horrible gift-giver in terms of picking out things that someone would actually want.

    I always assumed that the purpose of a wedding registry was that the bride and groom are starting a new home and asking for things that would be useful for the new home. Most of the registries for the weddings I’ve been to have had housewares, bedding, towels, stuff like that on them. When you’ve been living on your own for several years before getting married, that kind of registry is a little less useful, but most of the weddings I’ve been to that fit into that category, the people still ask for stuff for their home, but nicer stuff, usually.

  11. Always a crock pot, even if you have one or don’t want one, you will get one…might as well pick the one you want. Plus, that way people will see it’s been bought when they look at your registry. But you’ll still get 5 from people who don’t look at it. Same thing probably goes these days for things like air fryers and Instapots.
    Past that, my advice is definitely to use it as an opportunity to upgrade your current kitchen arsenal!

  12. The excitement will be accompanied by stress as you approach the date. But all this will lift when you are married and a bright and happy future beckons from that time onward.

  13. Enjoy this season! WordPress stopped sending me your posts… you completely disappeared from my blogroll. I had to work to hunt your blog down. It didn’t come up easily in a search. FYI. I have no idea why?

  14. Instant Pot, towels, sheets (determine bed size ahead of time), salad bowl sets, extra silverware, serving bowls. Keep everything neutral as styles change over time. I name these things because these items have lasted me 23 years of marriage and you appreciate them. Pray first and talk abput what you two value. Kitchen time has been important so keep that in mind. Couples devotional might also be helpful. Love you! Hugs! XO😃❤️

  15. From my experience, my (ex) wife and I went bananas at Target with the registry gun. Stainless steel soup ladles, pizza stones, wine glasses, and all sorts of stuff that soon broke or never got used. A registry is about setting up your new household with stuff that will last. My recommendation would be a Sabatier chef’s knife, a LeCrueset dutch oven, and stuff you can pass on to future generations as well as get consistent use out of.

    If I got to do it all over again, I would register at United Airlines or Airbnb. hahaha! I would rather go places and have experiences now. Stuff is just stuff. It breaks. It wears out. And in my case, you spent twice as much again fighting over it in mediation (would not wish that on anyone). No one can take experiences away from you. The rest of the stuff you can find for cheap at a thrift store.

    Best wishes for the happy couple!

  16. Blessings on you both!
    I forgot to place a cast iron skillet on our registry, but my best man and his wife got one for us anyway. I believe it is one of of the few items we have left after 13 years.

  17. Interesting! So, the very first wedding I went to was before registries were even a thing, and I cannot tell you how it felt when the bride opened my gift and her eyes lit up as she said, “These dish towels are the perfect color for my kitchen!” So we lose that experience with registries, but for better or worse, here’s where we are! 🙂

    Anyway, we didn’t have a registry, either at our courthouse wedding (we were engaged for 3 whole days) or at our convalidation. We figured that we already had everything we needed and we just wanted to celebrate with everyone.

    But for you – what do you need / want for your house that you don’t already have? You can do practical things like matching dishtowels, extra matching dishtowels (you literally cannot have too many dishtowels!). You can also mix in a special splurge, like a fancy espresso machine – it is your wedding after all!

  18. I’ve found registries to be extremely useful as otherwise you have no idea what the couple already has or indeed what they need. More mature couples who are often combining the contents of two properties generally have no need of smaller items but maybe would like a really nice piece of artwork or spectacular honeymoon to which you can contribute. When we got married straight out of university we had nothing and were grateful for anything. However, having a list guided (some) people towards items we liked and wanted to collect such as table and glassware. We were very fortunate and had some lovely gifts which we still use today. I said some because despite the registery some of my OH’s relatives gave us stuff which wasn’t on there. But let’s not go there as it was over 45 years ago! So put stuff you’d love to own at all price points so that there’s something for everyone.

  19. I’m going to give you a contrary response based on the history of wedding gifts. The tradition came to be, because people married young right out of their parents’ home. They had nothing to start their own household with, so the wedding gifts were an important piece in help a completely non-established couple get started.

    You and Steven have been living on your own for years and already have everything you need to move in together, cook, etc. This is why you and others commenting here feel uncomfortable asking people to buy things for you that you don’t need!

    My proposed solution? Ask them to make a donation in your name to your favorite charity. Give them information on where to send their donation and leave it at that. This solves the angst problem of asking people to buy you things you either already have or don’t really need. It also solves the problem of allowing people to love you by way of giving you a gift. Maybe tell guests briefly why it is your favorite charity and how great they will make you feel by supporting it WITH YOU!

    I think this is the sort of thing a couple like you and Steven should do. A lavish wedding is great. Make it more memorable for you and your guests by doing a great deed for those less fortunate and commemorate that at your reception by way of your toasts or a brief speech about it. I think that would be both noble and God-pleasing.

    Jeff

  20. A few thoughts from an old married guy:

    First, I’d never thought about the struggle of registering online and not being able to touch the things you’re registering for. When we married 25+ years ago, we went to a couple department stores that were widely available and actually had someone walk through the store with us, helping us find what we wanted. It was actually kind of fun! I wonder if you could still do that at some places? Or at least go in person to stores to register on your own?

    Second, consider registering for stuff that the look and feel won’t matter (appliances, tools, etc.), and use the cash gifts for things like towels, bedding, etc., so you can purchase in person.

    Third, think about stuff that you need or want, but that chances are you will limp along without rather than buying it for yourself. Early in our marriage, “nice to have” items didn’t make the cut when we were trying to make ends meet, but people love to give gifts like those! An example: We got a dear friend a hand blender–she wanted it for a couple specific things she and her new husband enjoy together, but wasn’t about to spend the money herself, because it wasn’t necessary. They loved opening that!

    Finally, don’t forget the less beautiful but handy stuff (e.g., again, tools). We got two comforter sets, and on the advice of a friend, took one back and purchased a bunch of hand tools that I’m still using regularly today. (Also, if you don’t have one already, a rechargable drill/driver and bits is one of the handiest tools known to man. I asked for one a few years into our marriage, and my bride said, “Why do you want a drill? You don’t drill anything!” I replied that my lack of a drill did not allow me to think in terms of drilling or driving. She got on for me for Christmas, and within a few short weeks, acknowledged that it was one of the best purchases we made in our young lives together.)

    God bless your upcoming nuptials!

  21. Wow! I feel for you. I never had such a wedding, so I wouldn’t begin to understand that feeling. The one, formal wedding was a backyard wedding. It was nice and very simple and before I’d even heard of wedding registries. lol. The best gift we got was a honeymoon camper parked in a nice campground far from the maddening crowd. Nice and private. lol. I would have a hard time suggesting gifts and especially not having control of what they were. Can you go to the stores and handle the items and pick them out that way?

  22. Going by my life’s experience, ONLY put on a wedding registry what you will actually use, preferably on a daily basis. *Use* the special plates and bowls daily. Life *is* special every single day. Don’t squirrel away things to be used only occasionally. Use them all the time, and celebrate every single day.

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