Wedding Registry Tips

This year, it seems, all of my friends decided to tie the knot.

Subsequently, I have waded through more than my share of wedding registries, trying to find that perfect gift for them. Some things on the registry made me shout out, "Amen, sister! Good choice!" and others left me chuckling. Seriously, a coaster holder? A banana hook? Blue jeans?

Eventually, I started thinking about my own registry. Having been married for a little over one year, I am now an expert at marriage (ha ha) and can maybe help brides-to-be with what worked for me in my registry.

What turned out to be the THE BEST ITEMS:

Heavy-duty metal measuring cups
  • They won't get dents or melt in spots, ensuring accurate measurements every time. Not to mention, they're heat-proof! I once accidentally left a burner on and started a fire with a bunch of metal utensils and a plastic measuring cup. Guess which one bit the dust. Also, I like to occasionally make mini-pies in the metal cups and stick them right in the oven. Try that with your plastic cups! (no, really, please don't)
Knife Block:
  • A great way to get all the knives you'll ever need-- and an easy place to store them! Be sure to request a block with knives that you'll actually use. I knew I would need a chef's knife, a bread knife, a paring knife, and some steak knives, so that's what I looked for. A boning knife or an oyster knife, not so much.
Pyrex Dishes
  • Mixing bowls, baking dishes, measuring cups: they are all indispensable in my daily kitchen. They are oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe, and they're very hard to break. Believe me, I break things all the time. :-p A huge plus is that they now come with lids!
Something for Hubby
  • My husband, who loves quesadillas, was absolutely enthralled with a contraption called a Quesadilla Maker. So, being the nice fiancee that I was, I added it to the registry. Personally, I think it's a waste of cupboard space, plastic, and Chinese labor. But when I see the glow on Adam's face and the chorus of singing angels that fly around his head when he makes quesadillas on that thing, I know that it was a good idea.

What turned out to be a BAD IDEA:

-Kitchen-Aid Mixer
  • Hear me out on this. I LOVE Kitchen-Aid. I drool every time I see one in the store. It is awesome. So I asked for it. For some odd reason, however, no one wanted to shell out $300 for a wedding present! What I should have done was ask for a more modest mixer, waited several years, and then twisted Adam's arm on my birthday. :-P But as it is, I ended up having to buy a mixer I could afford... which has one speed and leaves lovely metal shavings in my cookies.

Wine Glasses and the like
  • In the spirit of putting enough items on the registry, I asked for all sorts of wine glasses, goblets, snifters... you name it. This may be a good idea if you are a great wine connoisseur or entertain a lot, but as a near-teetotaler who was attending a university with a stiff no-alcohol policy, I wasn't thinking. After the wedding, I set up house with 956878 wine glasses and ZERO real glasses I'd actually use every day.

Incompatible cookware
  • Another classic case of Not Thinking. I asked for metal spatulas and stirring utensils to go with my collection of Teflon pans and griddle. I seriously have only one pan I can use those with. After the wedding, I had to go out and buy all silicone/plastic cooking utensils. Did that solve the problem? Mostly. Unfortunately, my dear husband was not as enlightened about not using metal utensils on Teflon. That was a sad day.
Silicone Bakeware
  • It is a great idea, unless you're someone like me who hates creating more dirty dishes than necessary. So putting a silicone liner inside a pan I would have used anyways didn't really jive with me after the first few weeks. They now sit on a high shelf and say, "I'M SO LONELY!" every time I open the cupboard.

What I WISH I'd put on the list:

More kitchen utensils
  • I forgot to ask for a lot of utensils that I'd need: pizza cutter, ice cream scoop, vegetable peeler, meat thermometer. And a good rule of thumb: you can NEVER have too many scrapers/spatulas, whisks, or wooden spoons.
  • Nothing says, "home" like bathroom rugs, kitchen rugs, and welcome mats! And nothing hides carpet stains better!
  • This was a major fail. There is nothing like setting up the bed after a long day of moving and discovering that you don't own a single pair of sheets. And those things are expensive! We went through our first year with one set of sheets, no joke. Wash, dry, and remake the sheets in the same day. Last month, I thought it'd be appropriate to get us a second pair of sheets- second year of marriage and all- and there was much rejoicing in the house.

In conclusion

  • Research your registries. Registries are awesome, but some are more awesome than others. I have heard rave reviews about some retail store registries and horror stories about others. I will say this: as a gift buyer, Bed, Bath and Beyond has always been an easy place to navigate with reasonable prices. I would have liked to have registered there, but my tiny hometown was two hours away from the nearest BBB store. The place I registered offered some nice perks, like 5% back on every registry purchase, in the form of a gift card, but the merchandise was a little too expensive for my liking.

  • Ask for high-quality items. Lord knows, if you're young like I am, that you probably won't be able to afford this stuff on your own for a while. And it is truly devastating when a wedding present breaks! So ask for things that will stand the test of time.

  • Ask for things that you think you'll actually use. Apartment space is limited, after all. Think about what your mom uses in her kitchen/bathroom/bedroom. Ever hear of the 20:80 rule? It states that people use 20 percent of their kitchen items 80 percent of the time.

  • Research your appliances. Consumer Report is great for this sort of thing. You don't want a coffee grinder that never fails to give you an uneven grind (this is the voice of experience speaking) or a vacuum that is notorious for clogging up.

I hope this was a help to somebody out there. Have fun with your registry, and Mazel Tof!

This post is linked to We Are THAT Family, who is hosting Works For Me Wednesday. Check out all the great ideas flying around!


  1. Register with Pampered Chef for a pampered chef bridal shower! It is a great way to get quality kitchen items and have fun visiting with others!

  2. Bravo, Bravo!! My secret? I hate wedding registries. While I know they serve a good purpose, all the stuff that suits my wallet is either stuff that I do not want to give (plastic trash or useless do-dads), or already taken. Maybe I just wait too long. I cheat. I write a check and stick it in the card. Daniel and I have used our "wedding money" time and time again (not really, but we say so)... we've used those do-dads and trinkets and gizmos 0 times. My other secret? I've only tried to navigate registries twice, so I'm probably speaking prematurely. :P

  3. Great stuff! I agree with almost every single thing you said, down to the fancy glasses and incompatible cookware!


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