Wedding Registry Advice I Wish Someone Had Told Me

When Adam and I were building our wedding registry, I sought out advice but didn’t find anything useful online other than “don’t be afraid to register for the expensive stuff”. Great. Super helpful.

But why would anyone need wedding registry advice in the first place? After all, it’s such a minuscule part of the wedding planning process! That’s a great point. The reason I think it’s important is because you and your future spouse are going to need a few things to build a home and a life together. I think it’s worthwhile discerning the items that you will use day by day as a family. These things will (hopefully) last for years after your wedding day. In addition, you and your spouse can save money by creating a well-thought out registry of items you will use often.

I won’t be covering where to register or if/how to register for honeymoon/cash funds in this post. There seems to be lots of advice out there on these topics already. I will say, however, that we enjoyed using because it allowed us to add items from multiple stores.

I definitely got way too into making a registry and would obsessively edit and check it every day. So, my first piece of advice would be to not do that! But that should likely go without saying. We didn’t do everything on this list perfectly, but these are some things we learned along the way that would’ve been helpful to know from Day 1.

Questions to ask before adding something to your registry

Before I go through my list of wedding registry advice, here are some questions to consider before adding each item to your registry:

1. Is there a need for this item in my and my spouses’ life?

2. Will I get good use out of this item?

3. Is this worth the hard earned money of my friends and family?

Okay, now here’s my actual list of advice for those building a wedding registry:

1. Prioritize the basics

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Your registry will depend a lot on what you and your future spouse are in need of and what you already have that needs to be replaced. But I would advise to start with the basics and go from there. These basics include towels, sheets, dishes, and pots and pans. These are the things you will use constantly and will hopefully last you for many years to come. For that reason, I think it’s a good idea to register for the higher-quality versions of these things.

2. Go easy on the kitchen gadgets

Photo by Mikael Cho on Unsplash

Kitchen stuff is definitely the largest registry category especially nowadays where there seems to be a specific appliance for every type of food: panini presses, breakfast sandwich makers, rice cookers, etc. And then there’s all the fancy coffee and espresso machines you can get. My mother-in-law once pointed out that if you go to a secondhand store you’ll get a good idea of what the less useful kitchen appliances are because there will be a bunch of them there!

Reflect on you and your future spouse’s cooking habits and think of a couple appliances you need the most and would use regularly. Consider registering for multi-purpose appliances. For example, Adam and I don’t have a toaster because we use our toaster oven for toasting, baking small meals and side dishes and keeping food warm.  You may also want to consider registering for one of those blenders that also function as a food processor, puree-er, juicer, and vacuum all in one. Just kidding about the vacuum part; that would be gross.

The reason for not registering for all the cool kitchen machines is because they take up space. Small kitchen appliances can be clunky and hard to store. Also, the appliances that accomplish very specific tasks seem to shoved somewhere and forgotten about once the novelty wears off. Not a great use of your loved ones’ money.

3. Don’t go overboard

I’ve seen info-graphics on Pinterest that break down how many items to register for in each price range according to your guest count.  Don’t worry about these. You don’t need a mathematical formula to build a wedding registry, that’s just silly! Remember, the more frivolous items you register for, the less likely you’ll be gifted the things you’ll actually use. Stick to the essentials and throw in a couple nice-to-have things that you really love. Yes, the bigger your guest count the more you “can” register for, but if you’re trying to figure out how much you can possibly fit on your registry, then you’ve got the wrong idea.

4. Read the reviews

Photo by Kowon vn on Unsplash

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You might come across something you think is amazing only to find out that it stopped working for many people after just a couple months. Reading reviews is especially important for the “basics” and for higher-ticket items.

5. Don’t register for stuff you can easily thrift

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

As bad as it sounds, it’s tempting to register for a bunch of stuff just because someone else is (hopefully) going to buy it. But there’s a lot of stuff that it just doesn’t make sense to buy new. I find this is particularly true for kitchen stuff, things that break easily, seasonal items, and serving/entertaining items. For example, you can probably find a plain white gravy boat at a thrift store for $1 after you’re married instead of registering for a $20 one. One less thing to move into your new place anyway!

Even if you’re not into thrifting and are more comfortable in a HomeSense, you can still apply the same principle. I get sucked in by all the gorgeous servingware at HomeSense so I didn’t register for much of it. I knew I would rather come across something unique and affordable at HomeSense than register for a bland and overpriced item at a department store. For this reason, you may want to consider registering for a gift card or two from your favourite decor or housewares store.

6. Consider the children

You may not have kids yet, but if you are planning on having kids that’s something you may want to consider when making a wedding registry. It would be weird if you registered for kids bedding and toys, but extra dishes and towels will come in handy when you have little ones running around. Sure, it’s not super convenient to store and move extra stuff when you don’t already have kids, but it might be hard to find matching place settings down the road when there are more chairs around the table.

7. Don’t forget the boring stuff

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

If you are like me you will have a hard time not adding all the decorative cushions and throws to your list. But before you go there, don’t forget the mundane everyday stuff that’s even less sexy than a nice set of towels. I’m talking things like tools and cleaning supplies. The stuff that you don’t want to have to go out and buy when you’re in the middle of a household emergency! Consider browsing my cleaning kit list for ideas.

8. Think outside the house

Photo by Laura Pluth on Unsplash

Adam and I love camping so we registered for a bunch of camping supplies including an air mattress, camp chairs, a cooler, camping pots, a lantern, etc. This seemed to be the most popular category on our registry! I think it was because these items were a bit more unique and reflected things Adam and I enjoy doing together. If you and your significant other have a shared hobby, you may want to register for a few things that are useful for that hobby. If nothing comes to mind and if you’re not big on camping, you might want to consider adding some things for outside like gardening and lawn tools or even patio furniture.

And that completes my list of wedding registry advice! If you’re getting married, I hope you found this helpful and I wish you every happiness in your new life together! Thanks for reading!

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