After fourteen years of marriage I can tell you that we made some great decisions for our wedding registry, as well as some really bad ones. As we went through Macy’s with scanner in-hand to choose items, we realized how little we knew about what we would really need and want years in the future. So we did our best to pick what we thought we’d want or grow into, as well as items we knew we wanted in the moment. Some of those things panned out and some were a waste of money. So, I thought it would be fun and helpful to share our best and worst registry decisions here to help you as you put your own wish lists together.
Best Wedding Registry Items:
1) Everyday dishware
We opted to register for one set of everyday china. It’s a nice set from Kate Spade that can work for a fancy dinner party, but it’s also microwave and dishwasher safe and we’ve used them EVERY DAY for every meal for the last 14 years. Scott agrees this was hands-down our best decision.
2) Nice sets of sheets and towels
Unlike the dishware, after fourteen years, we’ve replaced all of our towels and sheets. BUT, we got years and years out of both. We’re college sweethearts and lived separately for a few years after college. So, up until our wedding we had a mishmash of stuff we’d each bought when moving into our first apartments. It was wonderful to start our marriage with new high-quality towels and sheets that matched each other!
3) Wall art/decor pieces
Loved ones want options when they go to choose what to get you. And I promise you, if you don’t choose things you love for home decor or wall art, you’ll end up with some of those items anyway and they may not be your style. So put candlesticks, frames, art pieces, and decorative items on your registry, too. We had a couple frames on ours and I wish I’d added more of these types of items.
4) All the kitchen utensils and tools
These are items we still use all the time. We cook dinner together most nights. So, our measuring cups and spoons, pots, pans, mixing bowls, and utensils see a lot of action. And these items are often less expensive, so people love to add them onto their gift to finish off their order for you. One of Scott’s groomsmen actually waited until after our wedding and then bought us the remaining random kitchen items on our list. A few weeks later we got a box full of things like a melon baller, a pizza cutter, a vegetable peeler, spatulas, etc. It was a great surprise!
Worst Wedding Registry Items:
1) Silver serveware
We registered for large heavy pieces of silver serveware that we’ve used maybe three times in 14 years. The pieces are nice but they take up a ton of storage space and are made for entertaining on a large fancy scale. These items were things I thought that I was expected to put on my list. And I justified them as things we’d need for entertaining later on. The truth is that they simply don’t match how we live and they aren’t used at all. We don’t even have a formal dining room for goodness sake! The exception is the silver serving tray that Scott put his turkey on at Thanksgiving for the two years. We celebrated at home during Covid and even that was a bit ridiculous because the tray is so large you need a giant turkey to fill the tray.
2) Wine glasses and water goblets that aren’t dishwasher safe
We opted for beautiful stemmed wine glasses and water goblets that matched our “everyday” china. The problem is the glasses are NOT functional for everyday use. At least not for this girl who needs them to go in the dishwasher because she would never consider hand-washing fragile items on a daily basis. We ended up getting our own cheap but highly functional dishwasher safe glasses after the fact. Now we only pull out the pretty stemware for the comparatively rare special occasion.
3) Not registering for more sets of flatware & silverware
We went with eight sets each of dishes, glasses, bowls, and silverware. That number works fine for us day-to-day. But now that we’re in our house and want to entertain more than one couple at a time, it would be nice to have 10-12 sets instead of only eight. Plus, over the years we’ve broken a plate or two. That means we’re down to only four or six of some of the pieces, and that is super annoying.
4) Leaving the less “sexy” items we really needed off the list
We felt bad about registering for some of the more mundane functional items you need for a home. I mean, who would want to get us a trash can as a wedding gift? So, we ended up leaving things like a vacuum, steamer, and trash can off of our registry because it felt strange to add them. But in hindsight, we should have put them on and let our friends and family decide whether or not they wanted to get those things for us. They were absolutely items we needed no matter what and looking back, I wish we’d added them.
There are lots of lists and guides out there to help you curate your registry. For example, I love pretty much all of the things on this one by Crate & Barrel. But it comes down to trusting your gut. Get things that will match who you are as a couple and the way you live day-to-day. So make sure you see yourself actually using the wedding registry items you pick out and you’ll be all set!