A Dozen Items You’ll Regret Not Putting on Your Wedding Registry
You may think that china is the most important thing to put on your registry. But what about that honeymoon you have planned?
Regrets, I’ve had a few
Ask many married couples and they’ll tell you that months after tying the knot, they wish they’d registered for way different items than the ones they walked around scanning at Williams-Sonoma and Bloomie’s. In fact, that ice cream machine or margarita maker that seemed like such a great pick years ago? It’s likely on a high shelf somewhere in your kitchen having been used maybe twice. (See 19 Wedding Registry Items You’ll Probably Regret 5 Years Later.) Turns out, it’s very common to regret your registry items and it might be time to think outside the china, bedding and small appliance box and get creative. If you’re currently in registering mode, read on to avoid the inevitable case of registry remorse.
Get on the same page
Before even beginning to register take stock of what you have and what you might like to upgrade, suggests Lauren Kay, deputy editor of The Knot. “And then get on the same page as your partner as these gifts are intended for you both,” she says. “Your guests want to give you a gift you’ll love and use, so ask for what you really want, even if it means registering at a few places.”
It’s okay to be non-traditional
While there may not be any hard data on this, a lot of couples register for traditional items when they really want something else and this may just lead to registry remorse years from now, adds Kay. “You can—and should!—register for what you really want, be it camping equipment, a honeymoon wine tasting or donations to a favorite charity,” she says. Consider these off-the-grid small towns for your honeymoon.
Walk through your daily routine for ideas
To avoid that feeling of “I wish I’d registered for…” start with your daily experiences—then seek meaningful pieces that will enhance those everyday moments. “For example, if you cherish your morning coffee, take time to find the perfect mugs or cups and saucers that will elevate that everyday experience into something extraordinary,” suggests Jung Lee, a wedding planner and registry expert at Jung Lee NY.
Get a head start
To prevent receiving yet another serving dish or silver platter when you’re more of a low-key party thrower because you’ve rushed your way through the registry process, stay one step ahead of your guests. “Someone’s going to throw you an engagement party and people will show up with gifts,” Lee says. “You don’t want to get stuck with a well-intentioned vase you will never use.Add to your registry often—especially after events—to make sure it isn’t depleted.” Find out the 32 secrets your wedding planner won’t tell you.
Ignore one-size-fits-all checklists
Remove that voice in your head that says “you should have crystal goblets for 12” when, let’s face it, you’d prefer to drink wine from a mason jar. “Your registry should reflect your lifestyle and this new beginning together,” Lee says. If that means not getting the gravy boat—do not get the gravy boat!”
Have fun with your registry—but take it seriously
Your registry should cause lots of delight—just think about it—you get to walk around a store with a dream list of items you’d like, but what you’re registering for should also be considered an investment. “Think of it this way: If 150 wedding invites equals roughly 125 gifts, and if each couple spends $100 per gift, that’s a $12,500 investment in your future together,” she says. “That’s big. Treat it as such.” Dress hunting? Check out the best wedding dress styles for your body type.
Embrace the group gift
This isn’t a trend anymore—it’s a thing. “Now that guests can pool for bigger ticket items, whether that’s travel or a backyard grill, you are finally free to register for that bar cart if you love it,” Lee says. Find out the songs guaranteed to get your guests dancing at your reception.
It’s OK to ask for something like luggage
Speaking of group gifts, when over 650 couples who were married last May asked what they wished they’d registered for, the number-one answer was luggage, according to a survey conducted by Zola, an e-commerce wedding site that connects with 450-plus brands enabling couples to register for products, experiences and personalize their own cash funds. “Most couples regret not registering for these bigger ticket items because of cost,” says Jennifer Spector, Zola’s director of brand and newlywed-at large. “But using a group gifting feature helps couples get what they really want without breaking the bank for their guest.”
Get help furnishing your pad
Stuck with a hand-me-down (and worn-down) sofa and matchy-matchy chairs? Now’s the time to skip the china and ask guests to register for furniture that will take your living room from drab to fab. In fact, furniture was listed as the number-two registry regret, according to the Zola survey.
Don’t hesitate to ask for cash
Cash funds have hit their stride and in 2016, two-thirds of couples added cash funds to their registries. “Millennial couples want to have it all—gifts, experiences and funds,” Spector says. “We encourage couples to personalize their funds so guests feel the most comfortable, so instead of registering for a general honeymoon fund, create funds for specific dinners, excursions, and activities you’ll be doing together.”
Focus on quality
In the end, the goal of a well-done registry is one that means few if any regrets as well as a collection you’re left with five, ten, and 15 years down the road that you’re proud of and love, says Lee. “Don’t forget to pick a few things you’d consider passing down as heirlooms,” she says. “If you choose high-quality pieces, they will last. And, the more you use them, the more valuable they will become.”