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Creating a wedding registry is one of those unique tasks that, by nature, most people have never done before when it comes time to do it. When we got married, I did a ton of research on what to put on our wedding registry. So I wanted to share with the hope you will benefit from it as well since I don’t plan on doing it again 🙂 .
It’s funny, wedding registry checklists haven’t changed much at all since our parents got married even though everything else has changed SO much. For example, it’s now much more common for couples to live together before getting married. Because of this, we often have a lot of the essentials already (e.g. a toaster) so our needs are different.
Here are my top tips for creating a sophisticated yet practical wedding registry:
1. Skip the random kitchen appliances that you are never going to a use like a bread maker or a panini press and stick to the core appliances that you will use for a lifetime. Extra kitchen gadgets are just going to clutter the kitchen and take up space for 364 days until that one day when you decide to use it, mostly out of guilt.
Between college and living together for a couple years, we already had many of the smaller items. So, we kept it simple and focused on those bigger ticket items that were practical and would last for years:
- Kitchen Aid Mixer: a kitchen staple that will last for years. Kitchen Aid is the only brand worth considering in my opinion
- Food Processor: After doing a ton of research, I registered for the Cuisinart 14 cup food processor. It got great reviews on all sites I referenced.
- Instant Pot: multitasking at its finest. This 7-in-1 Instant Pot can serve as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, and slow cooker! Again, getting back to the point of avoiding clutter, it is much smarter to buy and store one piece of equipment rather than three.
When I posted the photo below of me and my brand new Kitchen Aid mixer, my aunt responded that she remembers when she got hers for their wedding and she is still using it 33 years later!
What I love about wedding registries is the sentiment of people you love helping you buy things that you will keep over many, many years so that you can look back fondly and tell your kids (which my parents always did), “That was actually a wedding present when we got married.” So pick things that will remain classic and useful for many years. If you pick things that are too trendy, you may look at them and instead say “What was I thinking back then?”
2. Opt for classic white dishes (set of 8-12) instead of colored plates that are “in” at the moment, but won’t stand the test of time. I got matching bowls, plates, salad plates, and mugs from Crate & Barrel and I absolutely adore them! They were much more reasonably priced than I expected too.
3. Don’t put anything on because you think you “should.” Be true to yourselves. I used this mantra throughout my wedding planning process as I will write more about in another post, but I think it is SUPER important. It is so easy to get caught up in the wedding hoopla and feel like you should go through The Knot’s wedding registry checklist and check each item off, but registries shouldn’t be one size fits all. Focus on what matters to you!
4. Try to stick to registering at 2-3 places. At least one should be a vendor with a very broad selection where you will be able to get most of the general items at the best prices. We chose Amazon, Target & Crate & Barrel.
5. Register for whatever you are going to want even if you are having a small wedding. A couple reasons for this:
- Many of the vendors will send you coupons after the wedding for discounts on your registry items. I got 10%+ discounts at Crate & Barrel and Target.
- My main reason for making a full registry despite us having a small wedding is it serves as an ongoing wish list for holidays so your family will always have great ideas for gifts.
6. Think about other rooms in your house than the kitchen. Do you need sheets, towels, luggage, or power tools?
7. Pick products at a variety of price points since your guests may have a variety of budgets. Don’t just pick the most expensive item. For example, I found a number of Target serving ware that I liked just as much as the very expensive alternatives. So that is what I opted for. Then, if I want to add on or one breaks, I can do so without it being an investment.
8. Register for a few high-quality knives instead of an overpriced 15 piece knife block. In reality, you really only need a chef’s knife, paring knife, and a bread knife. Here’s a helpful article for picking out a chef’s knife from The Kitchn.
9. Here is a list of items that people said they would NOT register for if they could do it again:
- Panini press (use a waffle maker instead)
- Ice cream maker
- Fancy espresso maker
- Fondue set
- Pasta maker
10. Other products on our registry:
- Marble pastry slab (also great for blog photos hehe)
- Roasting pan for the Thanksgiving turkey. Here is the well-rated one I chose.
- Dutch oven. This one gets as good of ratings as the very expensive Le Creuset brand.
- Cheese plate & knives
- Ladder golf for our backyard because we have a family tradition to always play when we go home.
When should your wedding registry be complete?
If you are having a larger, traditional wedding, your registry should be complete by about 4-6 months before the wedding. Definitely by the time you send out the invitations. However, it is considered a bit of a faux pax to include the info for your wedding registry in your invitation. You can include it on your wedding website or provide via word-of-mouth when people ask.
Most of all, enjoy putting together your registry! I know weddings can be a super stressful time, but hopefully, these tips and recommended products can help alleviate a little bit of it for you. Happy planning! I plan to share more on our wedding soon. Subscribe to our newsletter below to stay tuned.