if you just clicked on this to see my ugly cry and jake's adorable episodes of tears then just click here for the 4 minute video - the rest of this post is about registry tips .
< i was reminiscing as I was writing this post so I had to include that link, more throwback at the bottom of this long post>
Three years have passed since Jake and I registered for wedding gifts and there are some regrets and successes we encountered along the way that we'd both like to share. We don't agree with all of the things that those Bed Bath and Beyond reps tell you.
1. Make sure you have enough options for guests - J and A
As a guest, it's very uncomfortable to shop for a couple, see their registry, and notice there's not enough gifts to buy! Especially if you are also having multiple wedding showers. Wouldn't you rather have a gift that you picked out and know you both will love? We recommend one item on the registry per person at the wedding and add the wedding shower guests - but keep in mind some gifts like a spatula will be combined with other gifts. It's a good number to start with because not everyone will shop the registry and some will just give gift cards and checks.
2. Don't double register for the same product at more than one store, no matter what BedBath and Beyond people tell you - Jake
No one wants two toasters, if you register for two, you'll get two. And no one wants to take a bunch of time to return gifts after their wedding. Don't worry someone will buy you the gift you double registered for, and if they didn't you will still get gift card money or cash money and you can buy that item regardless. BBB tells you to double register because then they can get more sales - think about it, when you return a gift you get a gift card (not cash) so they still get the sale and it's better for them because you might not use all of your giftcard.
3. Hit up multiple stores for your registries - A and J
To me, 3-4 places is a good number, but at least have more than one store for guests to shop at. We registered at Bed Bath and Beyond and Pottery Barn. Looking back, I would also done one at Target and/or Nebraska Furniture Mart. If we lived somewhere else I would have chosen Williams Sonoma or Macy's. (It's hard to be creative here when we only have so many places to shop and everyone and their friends who are getting married all have the same BBB appliances as you) One of my friends registered at Anthropologie - that was a great pick too!
5. Know what you need and what you don't - A and J
Do you need crystal and china? That's up to you and how fancy you are. I can't remember drinking out of crystal growing up so I opted out on that one. We put a lot of research into this topic when we were registering and we settled with everyday china as our everyday dinnerware.
Mom said she could give me fancy china if I needed it since she never used hers - idk if she actually has it or not - never have seen it. :) I know some families do use it, so that's up to you. Mom also tried to feed Minnie (a poodle) off of my china...so there's that.
China holds up better than stone and some people have multiple problem with chipping of their stoneware so I'm really happy we went with China. I dropped my coffee mug from the microwave (a high microwave) and it didn't break or crack!
Do you need items that aren't dishwasher safe? Yeah of course you need some fancy stuff, and sometimes that pie pan is worth the hand wash, but seriously, don't get a bunch of this stuff! Ugh, I hate hand-washing my fancy mixing bowls and bakeware and coffee mugs. Read the bottom of the product before you buy!
6. What to order multples of - Al
- -If you are clumsy, get extra coffee mugs and lasagna pans. We had two lasagna pans, but I broke one so I'm glad I had another. We had two square baking dishes but Jake set one on the hot stove burner and then that exploded, so glad we had another!
- -Get extra cookie/pizza sheets for the oven because those get nasty and I can never clean them. We have three but I wish I had some more in storage.
- -Get extra spatulas and spoons etc. (at least 3-4 of each) It seems like ours are never clean
- -Jake's recommendation - Order a few plastic cutting boards in addition to your wooden one. It's so easy to throw those in the dishwasher and they bend so you can throw in the ingredients quickly.
- -Extra pyrex containers will be worth it. They are less carcinogenic then plastic in the microwave and they are just nice
- -Sheets, at minimum get two sets, but I recommend three. You can change the threadcount for different seasons and you will always need another set for guests. Plus if you are lazy and don't like to wash your sheets and put them on that day you can just throw the old in the laundry and pull out a fresh set.
7. Don't forget the following (becaues we did!) - A and J
- Board games (then invite us over!)
- Food processor / juicer / ice cream machine
- if you can imagine using it in the next 5 yrs then register for it
- bar/mixed drink supplies - if that's your thing
- vegetable spiralizer - if that's your thing
- plastic storage bins for the garage or under the bed storage
- Toolbox with tools
- Camp chairs
- A nice grown up lunchbox
- You thought you were done carrying lunch in elementary school, but when you're a grown-up and you want to save money and be healthy you need a lunchbox
- Athletic equipment
- A nice trash can
8. Split big items up - Jake (pans and pots, cookie sheets, bakeware, luggage)
I recommend splitting up "package items" so more people can buy you gifts from your registry. It detours guests from buying you your pots and pans if they see a $500-900 price for one gift. If you have a group of people who go in together for gifts then it shouldn't be a problem, or if you know who wants to buy you that set then ignore this. But if you are waiting until after the wedding to buy your large gift then you may end up paying out of pocket for it.
People will gladly buy you your expensive pots and pans but it's much more appealing for me to see a price at $50 and probably some people will buy multiple pots at a time from the set. Plus it gives you more individual gifts for your registry if you are having trouble thinking of enough items for it!! The cookie sheets and cake pans are easy shower gifts so it may make some people happy to see them split up - but those shouldn't be too high of a price as a package.
9. When registering for your bedding... - Al
Have you run into the problem where there is no duvet cover or comforter design that you love where you are registered? Here's my advice, don't register for one then. Plan on using the other gifted money for that cute duvet cover at West Elm/Pottery Barn/Anthropologie (wherever) and register for everything else. Find your color scheme and pick out sheets, throw pillows, a cozy down duvet, pretty quilt (so it looks like a store set up) and then register for those at your registry store.
10. Start early! and update! -Al
If you give me a save the date I'm checking out your registry already (I can usually guess where you are registered). I just like to cross things off my list and I like to have first pick of the gifts (yes, I'm that person who bought the first gift on your registry - I know you check it). So help a girl out and get it done and then update it along the way!
10. Work online -A and J
So much more selection online, and so much quicker. Go to the store and find out what you like and register, then check online to see if there's something better. Or if you thought something was overpriced in store for what it was, then go find a different brand online and make your changes.
photo from Rebecca Ellison Photography
see our engagement shoot from her here
see our wedding post from her here
to re-live the emotional wedding the 4 min video is here
so young. so full of life.
Hope some of these tips will come in useful this wedding season! Can't wait to shop your registries!