Few activities during wedding planning will be as team building, or downright fun, as setting up your wedding registries! (Although we think choosing a wedding venue is pretty fun, too!) Unfortunately in their excitement at holding a scanner gun, or online “shopping” to their hearts’ content, many couples end up opening a lot of gifts they don’t need, and missing the kind of things that would come in truly useful as newlyweds. With that in mind, today we’d like to offer some practical tips for setting up a wedding registry that will actually prepare you for your beautiful life as husband and wife!
Know Yourselves and Be Realistic Goal Setters
Sure, some things will change once you’re married, like your last name, for instance. But you shouldn’t assume you two will become entirely different people, or have markedly different priorities, just because you’ve said “I do.”
So before you go to register for gifts, talk to your fiancé about what you love most about your home, and what items you would really like to upgrade (that cinder-block TV stand from college, is a great example!). That way you go in with realistic goals about what you need and want, instead of entering in with dreams of becoming Martha Stewart just because you’re now married.
- If you and your fiancé only ever order take-out, there is no reason to think that saying “I do,” will suddenly make you interested in cooking. If this is the case, there’s no need to waste a lot of time in the cookware aisle at your favorite department store. Instead focus on home furnishings that will get a lot of use and appreciation, like a nice sheet set and a gender neutral duvet cover (if your fiancé has already vetoed your floral one).
- Fun accents like throw pillows for the couch, cozy blankets and even board games can also help make your new house together, a home. And prepare you for hosting lots of fun nights with friends and family.
- For fiancés that do enjoy working together in the kitchen, avoid kitschy items that will take up more space than they’re worth, and focus instead on quality-made workhorses. Popular items year-after-year, that will actually get a lot of use, include a well-made Dutch oven, a slow cooker (your best friend on busy days!), clean and sturdy everyday dishes, a quality blender, food processor and even stand mixer (particularly if you’re into baking). Don’t be afraid to register for nicer, bigger items, since many people like to go in on a gift they know you’ll love.
- Some common registry regrets are one-hit wonders like margarita makers (use the blender), deep fryers (you can use a Dutch oven on occasions you do want to deep fry), rice cookers, etc. Especially if you’ll be living in tight quarters, you want to avoid overflowing your cabinets with gadgets that might be cool, but not very versatile.
What If a Wedding Registry Isn’t Really Your Thing?
Many modern brides and grooms prefer alternatives to a traditional wedding registry, especially those that are already living together, or have their own fully furnished apartments. While nothing says you have to set up any kind of registry at all, if you know your guests want to give you gifts, consider a honeymoon registry (which allows people to sponsor special excursions or adventures), or even charitable donations in your name or in honor of a loved one that has passed.