What to put on registry

lovekcdillas

My fiancé and I have started the task of putting together our wedding registry. Whether you've been married for 1 year or 40, I'd like to know what you wish you would have put on your registry. Conversely, what did you put on it that you wish you hadn't or have never used?

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Beverly Hills

Anything that was not easily returnable!

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gellchom

I was married 34 years ago. Back then, people used registries mostly for things that came in patterns -- dishes, flatware, crystal, sheets, towels. People might put on a very few other things -- a serving piece, for example -- and often there was a notation like "Kitchen is blue, bathroom is yellow. Likes glass and silver." No small gadget-y items.

I know the common practice now is to put all kinds of things on, not just appliances and luggage and other non-pattern stuff, but little items like whisks and dishtowels. I literally had to sit down on the floor in the department store the first time I saw a six-page list full of stuff like this, I was laughing so hard -- it looked like a greedy shopping list to me, not a registry -- but now I'm used to it.

Honestly, I like the old way better. It makes the couple seem less focused on gifts and getting only exactly what they would choose; he guests are less pressured to buy the couple only things they chose themselves; the couple gets more things that the guests chose themselves, which have a personal meaning and also may be things that the couple never thought of (and can usually be exchanged or passed on if they don't like them); and the couple's home won't be entirely fitted out from only 2-3 stores (the same 2-3 stores as all their friends' homes, to boot). Many people argue that as guests are trying to choose something that will please the couple, they should stick to the gifts the couple selected for themselves. But I don't think that everything that the couple might love is available at those few stores; if you register at, say, Macy's, Target, and BBB, that doesn't mean you won't be thrilled with a gift from Cartier.

Also, if you are registering patterns, the more other stuff you register, the less likely your patterns are to fill in. You can usually exchange the other stuff to complete them, though.

So I can't think of anything I put on our registry that I regret -- it was only patterns: dishes, stemware, flatware. What else would I put on it now if I had it to do over (in 2016)? Maybe a few more place settings of china and silver, although honestly 12 has been enough most of the time. A really good knife. A fine tablecloth and napkins. A good mixer or food processor.

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lovekcdillas

Thank you for the input gellchom. I've definitely been putting some staples on there (like dish sets, flatware, sheets, towels). I'm torn on putting things like china and silver, since there may be a time in the future that I would need them, but we're also very casual and the dishes we have now could be dressed up if they needed to look a little fancier. I'm not sure whether or not to put those more traditional items because I think it's more practical to have things that will get good use. I feel like it'd be such a waste to have a beautiful china set that just sits in storage all the time!

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gellchom

Why does it have to sit in storage? Use your nice things! You deserve it as much as your guests do. It's not just for holidays or fancy entertaining. Enjoy!

We use ours frequently. It all goes in the dishwasher (yes, fine china, too, even with gold) just the same as the stoneware and stainless. And bone china is much, much stronger. We haven't lost a single piece in all these years.

Many of the gifts we love and use the most were the ones we didn't need right away. Like lots of place settings and large serving pieces. But as the years passed and we began hosting holidays and "grown up" dinner parties and large events, I was so glad we had them. And for most people, if you don't get it at your wedding, you never will -- unlike the "practical" items you'll just buy for yourself if you don't get them as wedding gifts.

No need to feel funny about registering for things you don't need right away but will enjoy later. If you were my kid, I'd advise you to do so. That practical teakettle and cookie sheet will need to be replaced in a few years, but your good china will be with you for a lifetime of happy times with your family and friends.

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xarcady

My parents got married in 1950--both lived at home until they married. The only dishes they had were their wedding china--Mom described it: "We had a hide-a-bed that we sat on during the day and slept on at night, with an orange crate coffee table that we ate off, using the good china and silverware."

So register for what you like.

A hint: the bridal consultants at most stores are under pressure to get couples to register for a lot of stuff. I used to work in the home department of a "major US department store" and a perfect registry consisted of: over $4,000 in gifts registered for, at least one piece of furniture (even though our particular branch didn't sell furniture), get the couple to open a store credit card. The consultants have to open a certain number of registries every month, or they get dinged on their scores. And then they get dinged if a registry doesn't meet the absurdly high standards Corporate sets.

At some stores the bridal consultant will go around with you, just to push you to add more to the list. You can always say no, or just walk out of the store. (I've heard some horror stories.)

One thing to consider is that these days, most wedding guests want to purchase from the registry. So register for enough stuff in a variety of price ranges, so that your guests will be able to find something. I think that's one reason why the registries have expanding, as gellchom explains. The couple's parents' friends might be able to afford china and crystal, but the couple's own friends might have more ice-cream-scoop or towel budgets.

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sheilajoyce_gw

Ask in your family about any fine china sets that perhaps could be coming your way as hand me downs. I loved my grandmother's sets, but they went to my cousins. So my husband bought me an antique set similar to hers on a PBS auction on TV. I have loved it ever since he gave it to me, and it does remind me of my grandmother. I read online about so many women who have sets they would like to bequeath, but no family member is interested. When my daughter married, she was given a set that had been set aside by her husband's grandmother for him when he married. It is sweet to have something like that. I like to buy something that the couple will own for decades when I shop for wedding presents. Silver, china, crystal. For shower presents I am more practical and think of useful kitchen items.



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lovekcdillas

Yes, my mom told me that she really wanted her grandmother's china set, so that's where her set came from. I have received some non-china pieces from my grandma, but I think her set already went to someone else, and I know my mom's not ready to give hers up yet!

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nycefarm

We only registered for China and Silver, we got all the china and one set of silver. Most recently I looked at a registry for a young couple that included things like a bottle of armor-all and a bucket. Honestly it looked like a shopping list not a registry. I would much rather give a gift that is valued and remembered rather than something that is easily used up and disposable...

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kathyg_in_mi

Fiesta ware!!!!!

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arcy_gw

This is curious. Over on the HD site big discussions on how no one is buying China/crystal anymore. Young people are just not interested and so china cabinets are a thing of the past. I married 28 years ago and did the china thing. I was so shocked at prices mine is very inexpensive as these things go. My place settings were under $35. I did register for a few decor items like candle sticks and such, kitchen items like mixing bowls, pie plates, cookie sheets. I still have and use them all. Our list was not large--but I agree with as a guest reads through your list if nothing pops out at them they at least get a sense of you and what you would like. My son is getting close to this stage in life and he has found the entire idea RIDICULOUS. I popped in to see if he is as weird as I think or if this is a new thing among the young. Congratulations, hope it all goes well for you!!

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