Weddings: What Would You Register For?

Weddings: What Would You Register For?

Weddings: What Would You Register For?

Weddings: What Would You Register For?

A wedding registry is one of the rare times in life when you get to ask for all the things you want. This is both awesome and overwhelming. What’s the best one-stop shop to find said things? How do you determine what you’ll use and love (vs. a crepe maker that will spend its days languishing in the shadowy darkness of your cabinet).

So we were delighted when Macy’s reached out to tell us more about their registry. They curate goods in every category — from hand-painted pitchers and soft patterned sheets to Le Creuset pots and the very best vacuums. Plus, if your guests don’t buy everything, Macy’s gives couples a 20% discount on most of the remaining items. Here are 15 picks (click or tap on the photos, if you’d like)…

What would (or did) you register for? We did a honeymoon registry, and this couple’s restaurant registry was such a fun idea.

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Pictured at top: coupe glasses, red pot, linen napkins and One Pot cookbook. This post is sponsored by Macy’s. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Sarah says...

    We registered for bikes! We worked with a local bike shop and people could call in to contribute to our bike fund. For more traditional folks, we also had a very small, curated registry at C+B. Everything we received we use all the time and I think of the giver every time I use the item.

  2. I just did a post on registering! I got married 5 years ago, but how much fun would it be to do again!

  3. FYI – Macy’s seems to be (temporarily?) out of Le Creuset pots and pans. There aren’t any listed on the website. Just went there to register for my wedding after reading this post, but now am I having second thoughts!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      You’re right, how strange! When we wrote the post, there were dozens and dozens of them (and you can see the landing page here: http://bit.ly/1Sbz25U) but there are no items available. we’ll ask Macy’s and get back to you. Thanks for the heads up, Jillian, and congratulations on your engagement! xoxo

  4. My sister works for Macy’s (and just got a promotion – yay Caroline!) and yet I still forget about it sometimes. My boyfriend and I are on the road to engagement, so this kind of thing has been on my mind. I feel like a registry will be really overwhelming – I feel out of touch with what I would need. I’m so flighty! But, I do love that hand-painted pitcher…

    As a side note, I love the way you do sponsored posts. This is thoughtful, helpful, and understated but totally transparent. Thanks!

  5. i was surprised at how generous people were at my wedding. When I was doing my registry, we just put a bunch of things on that we’re all expensive! Lol. My favourite ones we received were a gold candlestick, a cuisinart mixer, and a $16 garlic press which is AWESOME!

  6. Leslie says...

    I chose quality over gadgetry on my registry. The big things were Fiestaware, a 5 quart Le Creuset, really good Wusthoff knives, and Reidel wine glasses. We use them all every single day!

  7. Susan Laub says...

    Hey Joanna,
    I am so moved by your sister’s story. I also lost my husband (sweetest family doc) to NSC lung cancer. My son is getting married in May and they will not have a registry but will suggest guests donate to medical research. The bride is choosing Parkinson’s and my son is letting me choose what cause I would like guests to donate to. Would your sister have suggestions for any lab or research specific to lung cancer ? It’s so difficult to know how to get funding directly to the research itself. I have a feeling your sister might have some good suggestions.
    Thank you Joanna and I am so sorry for your loss.

  8. Geraldine says...

    Ok so I have a question. Are the presents you open at a bridal shower, actually wedding gifts?

    I’m Irish and registering would not go down well. It just isn’t done, and if it is then there would be a lot of people complaining about it. Basically cash is given by the vast majority of guests.

    • Great question. I got married a million years ago (20) and “in my day” there was one present – the wedding present – and if you had the shower, really small things like a soup ladle – that kind of thing.

      These days it seems people buy very expensive lingerie for bridal showers and then the wedding present too. A younger colleague told me it sets her back about R1000 for every wedding she’s invited to. Which is a lot in South African Rand :)

  9. Tanya P says...

    When we got married eight years ago we got almost nothing from our registries. People mostly got us things they liked. It was a good thing we both had stuff to combine from our single lives. If I had it to do again, I would have done a honeymoon fund – the longer we’re together the more we realize that shared experiences build a happier home than tea kettles and throw blankets.

  10. Vix says...

    One word: FIESTAWARE. It’s durable enough to be everyday dishes, but also simple enough to work for fancy dinners (especially if you get the base set in standard white and then use the extra plates and serveware to punch up the color). We didn’t register for china but ended up finding a full set of 8 place settings very similar to what I wanted at a consignment shop for $200. So now we mix that in with the Fiestaware for special occasions!

    We also LOVE and use weekly (especially in the winter) our large Lodge enameled Dutch Oven. It is such a workhorse in our kitchen and by far one of the best things we received.

  11. Oh I love the wooden kitchenware!

    I also liked adding the honeyfund option on top of the registry, helps save up for things people can’t really buy you (like “towards a new car”, cause we had to move after getting married).

  12. Phoebe says...

    We got married two years ago and I am, thankfully, still happy with almost everything we registered for and received – however, I will say that I did a fair amount of returning things in the weeks that followed our wedding once I had a better idea of what we would really use (yay gift cards to use later!).

    One random thing I’m so glad I registered for is TWO sets of (nice) sheets. It’s just so wonderful to be able to change the sheets and not have to wash the dirty set immediately. It’s the little things in life :)

    The thing that surprised me the most about registering was that people actually DO want to buy you the expensive stuff. I felt terribly greedy registering for more expensive items (in addition to the inexpensive stuff), like a kitchen aid mixer or a pricey waffle maker. My now husband told me that some people really would want to get us the pricier options, and he was right. People were so sweet and generous – it still amazes me.

  13. Virginia says...

    Hi! Lovely post. I will say that’s a wonderful throw! As a Canadian I suggest you check out the Hudon’s Bay Company as that pattern is their signature. They have so many wonderful home goods with the stripes. Can’t believe it’s marketed with Macy’s in the US!

    • Ronda says...

      HBC was bought by NDRC, an American company in 2008.

  14. Cat says...

    Most of our registry items have been put to great use. There are a few stand-outs that I would absolutely recommend again: high quality linens (think about how much time you spend in bed… especially as newlyweds!), serving dishes for all your dinner parties and holidays, high quality stemware, and for those who live in small spaces, beautiful storage like woven baskets and pretty boxes. Of the things I regret putting on the list, here are the few that immediately come to mind: a huge stock pot with strainer (it takes too long for the water to boil, and when am I ever going to feed that many people?), an iRobot (but my mom wanted it, so at least it found a new home!), and a pizza stone. Single-use kitchen appliances are just not a good idea and take up space.

    A word on adding expensive items to your registry: we waffled on whether to add a gorgeous wooden storage trunk from Crate and Barrel that was something like $600/$700, and ultimately decided to add it to benefit from the registry discount we’d get for all unpurchased items. To our surprise, a group of friends decided to pitch in together to buy it for us! Now it has a place of honor in our hallway. We don’t know how we lived without it, and we sit on it / take shoes in and out of it every day. Our friends love seeing it whenever they come over.

    So you never really know!

    • I love that story! that’s exactly what wedding gifts should be.

  15. My husband and I registered for REI, but it didn’t really catch on. People wanted to get us the traditional stuff. We got a pretty awesome tent and hiking backpack though :) 10/10 would go for camping gear again.

  16. Emily says...

    We both just had cheap college stuff, so we registered for the basics and also some lovely china that I still love 10 years later and I love using it.

    But – the best thing we did was to register for something completely wacky because we wanted to see who it would be that would choose to purchase that. We registered for a cookie jar in the shape of a bust of a Chiquita banana girl. The lid of the cookie jar is her fruit hat that you take on and off. The person that bought it for us was one of my mother’s friends and she gave it to me at my bridal shower and I couldn’t stop laughing. I was so surprised that this sweet WASPy lady had been the one to purchase it. I told her the story and she loved it and that purchase endeared her to us forever. Now, about 6 or 7 moves later, I think of my mom’s friend every time we use the cookie jar and “Cabana girl” still has a place of prominence in our kitchen. She’s part of the family!

  17. Marcy says...

    We’ve been married since 2008 and I had a great time registering for our wedding. We asked for good knives which we got and use all the time. Our glassware turned out to be a disaster – they broke so frequently that C&B no longer carries them.

    I wish I had asked for 12 place settings of our casual dishes. Eight seemed like plenty when there were just 2 of us but now we are a family of 5 and have lots of visitors and frequently run out of dishes. I also wish I’d done more research on good pots and pans. I’ve been replacing them with what actually suits my cooking for the last few years.

    We “secretly” registered for a bed in Pottery Barn (feeling like others in this thread that it was too expensive to ask for outright and figured we’d use the completion discount to buy it ourselves) but my husband’s aunts found out and we got a bunch of hefty gift cards. We ended up not having to pay out of pocket for it.

  18. HILLARY says...

    I just got married in October- for my shower we registered at Crate and Barrel- we had already lived together for a few years before getting engaged so we really didn’t need THAT much- so it was perfect for a Bridal Shower. For our Wedding we registered for a honeymoon and it was THE.BEST.IDEA.EVER. we used travelersjoy.com and it was so easy to set up and for our guests to use. We went to the most opulent and ritzy resort in Fiji for 10 days as a result. I know honeymoon registries are not for everyone- we had some family and friends complain, but it was just perfect for the two of us!! When else would we be able to totally splurge on a very expensive trip? not for many decades probably!

  19. JT says...

    When my husband and I started dating seriously, I started asking for Le Creuset pots for my birthday presents/christmas presents from my parents. By the time we were married, I already had a good collection of them going. But I got a really good set of non stick pots and pans set from Circulon from my registry and a really good set of knives. Also a set of solid white every day China from C&B. Halo I think was what it was called.

  20. When we were registering I just got so gun happy. Hahaha. I wish I had registered for a lot less to ensure that what we got was actually good. One thing I have learned? You if you get married in 2015, you really don’t need to register for copper mugs. You’ll get SO MANY! :D
    Also everyone will ignore your registery filled with beautiful white fluffy towels and just buy cheaper, brown ones at Khol’s anyway. Orrrr maybe that was just some random thing that happened to us.
    I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I AM swimming in copper mugs and cheap, brown towels right now. Hahaha.

  21. I was inspired by you, actually, and we did a honeymoon registry too, with the folks over at buy-my-honeymoon. We opted for a two week road trip around the Garden Route area of South Africa, and it was AMAZING. Thanks to our friends and family we got to experience some of the most breath taking and incredible things, such as getting feet away from wild cheetahs and going cage diving with great white sharks.

    • As a South African, I’m super chuffed (pleased!) you honeymooned in our beautiful country. That is an amazingly beautiful part of the coast!

  22. We registered for a lot of stuff we thought we needed to register for (I never used that salad spinner), so almost four years into our marriage, I have a better idea of what I would have registered for. I think a nice dinner set, and good serving dishes are definitely great things to register for.

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  23. Kelli says...

    My husband and I asked that all guests make a donation to a charity in lieu of gifts. We listed our favorite charities, but wanted guests to put money towards an organization or cause that meant something special to them. We did the same for my bridal shower. It was a nice way to see what causes are close to people’s hearts. Money goes farther with a charity than it ever would in my kitchen.

    • I wish we had done this! couldn’t get my parents to agree to it. We should have just gone for it…it’s way more meaningful than getting “stuff.”

  24. Now that I’m four years into our marriage, I feel like I have a better idea of what I should have registered for. Here’s some stuff I should have registered for, but didn’t… and ended up buying later: Le Creuset cookware, a Dyson or Shark vacuum, nice bedding, and a food processor. Somehow, I was worried that those things were too fancy and would be offensive (??) on my registry. Who knows what was going on in my 21 year old brain! I am happy though that I got my coffee maker and Kitchen Aid mixer. All that china though? I didn’t really need that. Sadly, I haven’t even used it!

  25. Lauren E. says...

    Can anyone recommend quality cookware? I’d love to use this opportunity (getting married in October!) to get a great quality set but keep reading about how non-stick cookware can be poisonous and dangerous.

    • Wulfgang Puck is a great brand. My mother in law has their cookware and loves it. I have a nice set of Cuisinart stainless steel cookware that I have loved.

    • Roxana says...

      First, congratulations!

      Second, register for All-Clad and a few Le Creuset pieces. All-Clad is high-quality (American made) stainless steel and doesn’t really leech anything into your food. The same is true for Le Creuset. The only problem with LC is that it is SUPER heavy. . . kind of a pain to clean, etc. Either way, avoid aluminum and non-stick, etc. The latter if scary.

      I really regret not registering for quality cookware and better knives. At the time, I wasn’t much of a cook, but now I absolutely love cooking and wish I had better tools. Even if you don’t end-up cooking really, these things are investment pieces. At worst, you’ll not use them, but you could sell them if/when strapped for cash :).

    • Jessica says...

      I second the All-Clad recommendation, but I prefer Staub cookware over Le Creuset (all Staub pieces are made in France, not in China)

    • Keli says...

      Le Creuset cast iron is made in France — and it is well worth the investment! For Le Creuset pieces, though, I stick with the fantastic cast iron. Their stock pots haven’t worked well for people I know; their stoneware seems prone to cracking. For stoneware, Emile Henry (also made in France) is wonderful.

  26. Heather says...

    Registering for wedding gifts was so much fun! We didn’t live together before we were married, but I had lived on my own for a few years, so we didn’t need tons of home stuff. We got many, many duplicates and simply returned them for gift cards.

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but we did NOT ask for gift cards or cash. That’s a little tacky in my opinion.

  27. i love this post.

    we were married in 2011, but had been living on our own since we graduated college in 2003. so we had quite a collection of our own practical things that we just didn’t need as wedding gifts. what we really needed was a bed big enough for 2. :)

    BUT…we felt guilty registering for anything over $200-300 because we didn’t want our friends and family to feel pressured to spend that much on us. anyone else?

    so my husband came up with an idea…a group-gifting focused registry that allows couples to register for the big stuff they really need, and allows their guests to contribute what they can. plus, all your registries (Macy’s included :) ) are housed in one link.

    newly engaged couples, check it out: http://giftingtree.com/ There are a few other perks to Gifting Tree that you’ll want to see, too. And congratulations to all of you lovebirds! Marriage is the best. :)

  28. Samantha says...

    I love baking, so I would DEFINITELY register for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and I’m really really hoping someone will get it for me, I mean, us. They’re kinda expensive for me now, being a college student, so I can’t think of getting one for myself now, so I’ll leave that to a rich uncle (lol). My boyfriend’s mother and sisters got theirs as wedding presents (no one in my family registered for one, that I know of), and they all use it pretty regularly. I know I would register for lots of baking tools if I don’t already own them by then. I just love cooking and kitchen appliances/tools, so lots of that. A good set of knives is super important!:)

    • Julia says...

      Check craigslist! I got mine new/in the box on craigslist for a crazy discount, people get them for wedding presents and then never use them! I have two other friends who ended up doing the same.

  29. The only things I would want is a set of Le Crueset cookware, a stand mixer, and maybe some serving platters. We have lovely dishes and flatware that we love, as well as lots of appliances. I figure if I haven’t needed it yet, I don’t need it now (I’m an adventurous cook).

  30. As boring as it sounds, I think I’d register for all the essential serveware. Something I would hate buying for myself but would love to receive! Also love the idea of a honeymoon registry, hadn’t heard of it until I read your post.

    http://www.kelseymarie.co

  31. nohatnogloves says...

    I have been married a long time now and still have things that we were given – actually, quite a lot. I am glad that I sat and thought about what I wanted and was very clear about it. We still got stuff we hadn’t asked for and I am grateful for those gifts too as they are (mostly) in regular use. Be Some beautiful hand made glass ware. A large bath towel that I did not ask for is, at this very time, in the washing machine, having been used to dry off a large dog. I managed to smash all our handblown glasses when I was pregnant and truly regret that. If in doubt about what to give a married couple, I always buy a big, silver photo frame. You never think about that and it comes in useful. I still use one I was given by an old friend and am grateful. BTW where did those fabulous champagne coupes come from? I want them!

    • nohatnogloves says...

      Oh…just realised it is Macys. We do not have that in England. Sad face.

  32. First of all, I absolutely loved registering and wish I could do it all over again. We tried to stick with the basics on ours and quality pieces that would last forever. Our most expensive items were a couple of shun knives, pots and pans and an Emile Henry casserole dish. But overall, everything was under $150 and there were a lot of items in the $20-$50 range. I always think it’s a bit silly when I look at a friends registry and there are extravagant items like $300 toaster ovens and complete sets of La Creuset (when I know the person has never cooked anything ever). We registered at Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table. Still love everything we got almost 7 years later.

  33. Our flatware is the best thing we registered for hands down. It’s expensive, each 5-piece-set costs $50, that’s $10 per knife/fork/spoon, but we use it every day and it feels so nice to hold.

    Macy’s is great, they let us exchange our never-been-used fondue pot four years later.

  34. Ann says...

    Your Pendleton throw looks like a Hudson Bay throw a Canadian design. That being said love you blog.

    • Elle says...

      Seriously. Seeing a ripoff of a Hudson Bay blanket called a “Pendleton” actually made my jaw drop. The Hudson Bay Company Point Blanket has only been a part of Canadian heritage since 1780. No biggie.

    • Rebecca says...

      Apparently the Glacier National Park design by Pendleton has been around since the early 1900s, and Pendleton Woolen Mills partners in some cases with Hudson Bay (to make coats, I think?). I wondered, too.

    • Keli says...

      The Pendleton design is based on marks and colors used in frontier trading posts. The value of each blanket was originally shown by how many stripes the blanket had. This looks like a shared heritage between American and Canadian design, given that both countries had frontier trading posts!

  35. Lynn says...

    We registered through blueprint registry as we could create a honeymoon fund and also choose gifts from the stores we love (sorry, macy’s). we mainly wanted cash for a trip as we have so much, but we did ask for a few nice “adult” things like a pricey knife set. It also lets guests go in on big ticket items together – so my sister and my aunt both contributed to the knife set. It works out for all parties that way!

  36. Georgina says...

    I have really mixed feelings about doing a registry. One the one hand, I think it’s kind of rude to present people with a list of stuff to buy you (and, I think, is more seen as so in the UK, where I’m from) especially since they usually have to fork out just to come to the wedding! But on the other hand, as a guest, I appreciate knowing that I haven’t just wasted my money on something that the couple don’t want or need. We’re getting married in November and I’m not sure what we’ll do – I think we will do a honeymoon registry if at all. We’ve lived together for 5 years and have everything we need, but what we don’t have (and would appreciate so much more than more stuff in our tiny flat) is the money to go on a really great trip together.

    • Hannah says...

      I am South African and I feel the same about a registry. We are getting married in June and I have no idea what we will do, we will most likely just leave it seeing as we have been living together for 4 years and I love buying us nice kitchen wear so we have some great pieces. If some guests do buy us gifts that would be lovely, but no pressure on them.

  37. JeanneW says...

    Here are the things we still use every day from our Macys registry after being married for 18 years : upgraded AllClad and Calphalon pots and pans, upgraded Wustoff classic chef knives, 6 and 8 inches (The Macy’s registry counselor recommended the 6 in for women’s hands because they are smaller. At the time I thought whatever and just listed it. It’s the knife I reach for most!), Onieda flatware (again they recommended ordering extra teaspoons because they disappear. They were right), Lodge cast iron pans, Nested glass mixing bowls and measuring cups, crystal wine glasses, Vitamix Blender (seriously this thing is a workhorse), white towels.

    Things we use regularly: Kitchen Aid mixer, Slow Cooker, formal china and silverware. We were on the fence about registering for formal china (how old fashioned, we’d never use it!) But I’m thankful my mom essentially forced me to, because after having kids, I would never spend the money on that now (hello college funds and the prices have gone up drastically). It’s a lovely thing to bring out for special events and I can pass it on to my children.

    Things we never used or made mistakes: Ice cream maker, pasta maker, any sort of one trick large appliance that we though was “fun”. We also registered for nonstick pans. I regret that. They wear out and scratch. It’s better to register for stainless steel and regularly replace the nonstick with less expensive brands.

  38. Chaucee says...

    I have mixed feelings about wedding registries. It kinda comes across as greedy. Why is everyone else expected to pay for your new life and set you up with all the new things you want? If you’re old enough to get married you’re old enough to buy your own toaster.

    • Josephine says...

      I have to agree here! I don’t think the spirit of a wedding registry is to upgrade all the stuff you probably already have for fancier versions. Consider that many people are already spending a lot of their own money to attend your wedding and would think hard before treating themselves to an expensive pot or set of knives, so why ask them to buy you yours? Registries were originally intended to help young couples set up house after moving out of their parent’s homes. It seems to me they’re now just an excuse to get lots of nice things for free.

    • I agree with you Chaucee, definitely greedy. This and baby registries. In the UK you grow up with a bottom drawer where you and your mom collect things to start your own home with and this is great because you don’t have to get married to use all these things, plus most of us live out on our own before getting married now and have everything. Just let people enjoy your day and give a gift certificate to a nice restaurant or a great bottle of wine to start you collection. I dislike registries.

    • Lauren says...

      I like the registry. I like buying gifts for special occasions and all occasions and I want to know what the couple would like to have so I don’t waste money.

      For me, I would feel exceedingly impolite if I did not give a gift to the couple.

    • Samantha says...

      Well, when every one of those guests is costing you money, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get you a gift, and what better gifts than the stuff you need for your new home, which you would have to buy anyway. I don’t see it as greedy, I see it as practical. How can you avoid receiving 4 toasters? By having a wedding registry. Yes, some people do get greedy and register for LED tv’s (yes, I’ve seen it), but there’s always something for every budget. No one forces you to get the expensive feather throw and pillows, you can get some less expensive wine glasses, for example. If you’re old enough to get invited to a wedding, you should be able to get a gift that’s withing your price range, that will be useful for the couple.

    • Lauren E. says...

      My fiance and I are getting married in Europe (we live in NY) so it felt especially greedy to me to register when we were already asking our closest friends and family to travel for our wedding. But then every single friend I told (mostly those who knew they wouldn’t be invited to the actual wedding) told me to register. “Trust us,” they said, “People want to buy you gifts. And if you don’t register, they don’t know what you need.” After hearing it from multiple groups of friends, both single and married alike, we decided to register. We’ll still say “no gifts” on the wedding invites so that those who are traveling know, and if we get nothing that’s fine, too, but it’s out there! Just in case.

    • Pamela says...

      Couldn’t agree more. Hate registries. Had to be pressured into making one for our wedding years ago. It’s so gauche, especially if you’re both working professionals and especially if you already live together. I particularly hate the honeymoon/etc. registries that basically solicit money. Don’t have enough money to go to Paris, don’t go to Paris.

      That all being said, what is one to do when people genuinely want to get you something that can be used/cherished? I really love other cultures’ approach. I’m Chinese and we give red envelopes. It’s not weird because it’s the norm and everyone loves cash and not having to go through the hassle of choosing something. That is, I understand, a no-go in Western cultures though.

    • Ashley says...

      Hi! I am struggling with this right now, so this post happened with perfect timing! We aren’t doing the traditional ceremony wedding, but rather a private court house wedding and then a reception later in the summer to celebrate with friends and family. At the end of the day, what I truly want is for everyone I love to be there and be happy. We have lived together for 5 years and just bought a house, so we have just about what we need. But everyone keeps telling me people are going to/want to bring gifts, and it is in our best interest to register so we get what we want and not a bunch of junk we will never use. But I feel so tacky and greedy! Help!!!

    • Kate says...

      When you really think about it, asking for anything (money, kitchenware, honey moon funding) IS greedy, but somehow gift registries have really become the norm, and, in my opinion, are not seen as tacky by the majority of wedding attendees in the US. We had a registry — a few family members told us they thought they were impersonal and wanted to pick something out personally — we were happy to receive these gifts. However most people were all about the registry or just gave money.
      I personally love when other people have registries with a wide range of choices – I can pick something I like and that they want, and I know they won’t be getting duplicates. So much easier than agonizing about it only to end up with something they will probably return.

      What I find to be very tacky is when people ask for money. I have had a few friends do this and the buzz generated around this is never good. I know this is the norm in many cultures, and it goes without saying. But for some reason saying it seems really tacky. Honeymoon registries I think are becoming more acceptable, even though they are really just another way of asking for money. If we hadn’t needed housewares, I probably would have registered for a few select items and then done a honey moon registry.

  39. Elle says...

    When we got married in 1997, mother-in-law insisted that we register for sterling flatware at the fancy jeweler in town, although we were skeptical. We chose Towle’s “Old Colonial” pattern with its unique, faceted spoon bowls and fluted forks — and someone gave us two place settings. We loved using it for dinners for two so much that I began collecting antique sterling and have plenty now, via eBay. Sterling is a lifetime pleasure if you choose well and use it daily. Stainless simply can’t compete.

    Worst registry mistake? Nonstick Calphalon cookware from the era, which has probably been poisoning us for all these years. I am FINALLY replacing it with Demeyere stainless, ordered from Williams-Sonoma. Fortunately, we’ve eaten a lot of take-out in in the past 19 years, which is probably why we don’t glow in the dark from the Teflon chemicals, or whatever.

    • JeanneW says...

      We got married at around the same time. I find it interesting that our posts are very similar!

  40. We registered at Macy’s and had a great experience. Many of our guests regularly shopped there since it is accessible in our area. We were just out of college and hadn’t lived together before the wedding, so we needed everything! Four-plus years later we still use almost all of the gifts because we chose higher quality items that will last! Also check out the luggage options…we registered for a set and have used it a LOT! I also recommend doing some in advance browsing on the website because there are so many options and it gets overwhelming quickly if you don’t have a game plan going into it.

  41. Love this post! I kept it super simple when registering and listed only the necessities ( I hate clutter!). In lieu of a regular wishing well, we did a wine wishing well. Each person put a tag on the bottle and wrote when we should enjoy it (your first married Christmas etc…) and who it was from…

    Check out my wedding posts here: http://lipsticksandwich.com/?p=1944

  42. Lindsay says...

    When we got married 9 years ago, I picked my favorite things at Williams Sonoma. I still use them all. We needed everything. Classic and good quality, they’ve held up so well. I didn’t put my registry info on the announcements as that seemed tacky, but people ask. We were surprised how many checks we got. so we used that money for the rest we had really wanted/ needed on the registry.

  43. Lisa says...

    My husband and I just got married in September and did not register for gifts as we are in our 40’s and felt like we have everything we needed. We had a small wedding (family and close friends only) and those that gave gifts mainly gave cash or gift cards to local or online businesses. We have three acres so many of the gift cards were for local gardening shops which was fun! But our favorite gifts we received was a gift card for a company we could use to make a photo album/prints from our wedding photos. It was the favorite gift we received because after saving for and covering all our wedding expenses I don’t think we would have worked into our monthly budget the costs of making a high-quality album of our day!

  44. Rebecca says...

    We registered with John Lewis (a big UK department store), mainly because a lot of our elderly relatives asked us to to take the stress out of it. We really focused on items we really needed because our old ones were worn out or broken, like new pans etc- but made sure to include a huge range of prices. Loads of people went off piste too, which was equally lovely.

    The sweetest registry present of all was from a friend who’s been fed many times at our house and who used our shower and stayed over a lot when hers was broken; she bought us new oven gloves and a new bath mat, because to her they were so symbolic of times we’d been important to her. Apparently the staff were kind of bemused by why she chose those things, but to us it was a really sweet choice that still touches me. All this to say, registries are as good as the thought you put into choosing what’s on them, I suppose!

    • nohatnogloves says...

      The bliss of John Lewis. I married 26 years ago, miles from JL. But it is still, for me, the best place to put your list of gifts. Quality. I also like the sound of your friend. Off piste and with intent.

  45. Michelle says...

    We did both a traditional wedding registry with Macy’s and a Honeyfund. The Honeyfund was a hit and every “item” sold out so fast we were asked to add more to it. As for traditional registries, I am a firm believer that everyone should have a good set of knives.

  46. Jenna says...

    I can vouch for that vacuum! We just bought it after christmas and it is awesome. We have three dogs and it has totally reduced the amount of hair and dust in our house. Trying to think of the one wedding item we got the best use out of, and i think it is a white pottery pitcher. It is useful for serving water/drinks to guests, putting flowers in, displaying in my cabinet, etc.

  47. high ticket items like pots and pans all the way. start with the basics. and nice silverware! there’s nothing worse than eating off of cheap metal and tasting it!

    the smaller stuff i don’t care so much about. i’m a kitchen minimalist.

  48. PM says...

    Good knives!

    I really wish we’d registered for a set of good, lifelong knives.

  49. My wife and I did a honeymoon registry in addition to a few items on a more traditional registry. The honeymoon part was essential to us being able to afford a trip! And one of my favorite things we got from the traditional registry was a KitchenAid mixer. I loved the whole experience – I can’t imagine ever justifying spending money on these expensive but well-made things for myself.

    • Emilie says...

      I second the Kitchenaid mixer! It is a baking game-changer.

  50. it was my first wedding and his 2nd, so a few of his friends who had attended his first did not give us anything (which i was totally ok with) but we had registered for things like paint because we were painting our spare room and bathroom. we didn’t have much on the list, i think a le crueset stock pot, a few replacement pans and that’s it. we only had about 30 people attend and my side of the family gave us money.

    • Samantha says...

      Paint actually sounds like a really good idea if you wanna change the decor in your home. I can’t get over how rude of his friends to not get you anything. The fact that they already got him a gift for his first wedding doesn’t mean that they didn’t get to eat, drink and enjoy at your wedding. If you attend the wedding, you must bring a gift, even if it’s not from the registry. People have no manners.

    • Geraldine says...

      Did they not eat at your wedding!

  51. We contacted a local art gallery and registered for art! We have beautiful pieces that we get to see and enjoy every day. Beats a toaster.

    • PM says...

      Excellent idea!

    • this is brilliant, what did you end up picking?

  52. Margie says...

    I grew up in the Midwest and getting married straight out of college was the norm. Wedding registries are wasted on the young and clueless! My registry after thirteen years of marriage would look a lot different than my own did. Thankfully, things are wearing out now and I am slowly upgrading to the things I should have registered for. A minimal set of All-Clad cookware, solid white dishes, a great vacuum cleaner…

  53. kate says...

    We registered at Macy’s primarily because there seems to be at Macy’s at every mall, so it was easy for guests. Plus they run a lot of sales, which can be helpful to guests, too. Initially, I was against registering at all- it felt so greedy! But my cousin, who married a year before me, didn’t register and it upset a lot of the guests. My aunts and other cousins wanted to buy her exactly what she wanted, not take a guess on something like cookware or sheets. They all complained about it behind her back! Her bridal shower was a lot of anxious faces waiting for her to open their gifts and see that she liked it. So my mom urged me to do it because it makes the guests feel good to buy you what you want and will use. Maybe my family/circle is just weird, but people seem to prefer giving gifts over cash or checks.

    I love using things about knowing who gave it to us. It’s been fun to have friends over and serve them wine in the glasses they gave us. We’ve tried to invite people over for dinner or happy hour and to use their gift in front of them. I took pictures of our Thanksgiving feast and sent them to some gift givers who live far away. Surprisingly, my husband’s friends- all dudes in their mid 20s- are the ones who get the biggest kick out of it.

  54. Tamsin says...

    We love our LeCreuset stovetop kettle – it has a retro appeal and saves worktop space! Other top wedding gifts were a huge oval fruit bowl that we keep on the kitchen table and a nice big wall clock. I recommend not registering for champagne flutes, we ended up with loads of them! We also love our 6-slice toaster but that is not a space-saving option!

  55. Annie says...

    We did a honeymoon registry and a traditional registry. I was really dreading the traditional one (we’re both in our 30’s and have plenty of stuff), but it actually ended up being fun! Favorite items:

    – Matching zwilling cooking pieces (12″ non stick is probably our most used, though i’m interested about the square pan now!)
    – Another Shun knife or two
    – crockpot with the timer is AMAZING
    – I always thought the Kithenaide mixer was hype, but OMG I LOVE IT. I mean, so easy, and everything I’ve made with it so far has been amazing.

    We registered for the normal pieces, but since we really didn’t need stuff (such as dishes, champagne flutes, etc.), we returned everything and used our 20% day (we did BBB, but I do love Macys!) to get nice sheets and fluffy towels, which we also love!

    It should be noted that our Honeyfund was awesome too. I really think we had the best of both worlds!

  56. Nora Ryan-Garvey says...

    Less kitchen more bedroom – almost everything we got was kitchen gadgets, except one nice person who got us a duvet cover, quilt, shams and sheets. I wish I had angled my registry more towards that than the chef end. Luxurious linens are such a treat!

  57. Emilie says...

    Nice towels and sheets are the gifts that keep on giving! I also really like our plate ware – it seemed like a lot when we first got married, but having a full set is wonderful now when we host parties or holidays. Other surprise hits: the rice cooker and wooden cutting board. What I wish we had skipped? The George Foreman-style grill, and the giant electric griddle. Bulky appliances like that are a storage nightmare and you rarely use them.

  58. Jenne says...

    My husband and I registered for the usual gadgets like a better-quality toaster and towels, but we also chose things to help us spend time keeping our relationship a priority. We asked for (and received!) a membership to the Bronx Zoo, where we went on one of our first dates and used it when we took time for ourselves in our busy work-filled schedules. We asked for gift certificates to our favorite restaurants, too. Those things are used and gone, unlike the household items we still have, but we have memories from those little dates together that will be around forever!

  59. Jill says...

    We hardly registered for anything because I had been living on my own for 5 years before we got married. My hodge-podge of house ware that I’d scrounged together seemed adequate enough. It’s common to get “presentation money” instead of gifts where I’m from, so little did we realize how much money people were willing to spend on us for gifts!

    We did register for camping gear, but oddly no one seemed to think that an appropriate wedding gift…

    • Amy says...

      seriously! we had everything we needed, since we both lived on our own before we got married. We just moved to a state with beautiful forests, so we wanted to get out and adventure. We registered for a tent, sleeping bags, etc. and no one got any of it! Everyone was so generous, and of course we were grateful, but I thought that was really funny.

    • We did the same- my parents ended up getting us two items, the rest of the list remains untouched…so strange. I suppose people are sticklers for tradition..

  60. We are getting married now! We live together in a small apartment and the thought of more stuff stresses us out in true Marie Kondo style. :) So, we decided to register at World Vision, one of our favorite charities. Guests have the options to buy ducks, soccer balls, food, shelter, etc. for families in need! We are excited about it!

  61. Hannah says...

    Our best idea was registering for Amazon and Target gift cards! We moved to a different state right after our wedding, and it was so nice to not have to move all the gifts with us. Those gift cards helped us stock the house with all the “boring” stuff we needed, and wouldn’t have had a ton of extra cash for: cleaning supplies, toilet paper, pantry supplies. We also didn’t hesitate to use any cash we got to have a meal out in the middle of all the chaos! Now for all our friends getting married, I like to get them a beautiful set of coffee mugs, some high-quality coffee/tea, and an Amazon or Visa gift card.

  62. yael steren says...

    Hmm that’s a good question! I would definitely register for nicer dishware (although not too formal), and then the rest would probably be dependent on the man I marry and what the two of us currently own! xx yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/

  63. R. says...

    This was something my husband and I really struggled with when getting married last year. We didn’t want more stuff because we already have everything we need in our tiny house. Didn’t like the honeymoon registries either because they take a cut. Here in the South, the pressure to register was intense! But we stuck to our guns, didn’t register, and it worked out great. Most people gave cash, which was what we really wanted anyway.

  64. Erin says...

    We registered at Amazon (bad experience where they wouldn’t let us return a broken gift), Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma (for a few pricey things). The best thing we got was our large dutch oven, which I’m obsessed with.

    The other thing I’d say is DON’T get the knife set – you don’t need all, and you’re better off asking for some nice chef and paring knives and building your own set!

  65. Donna says...

    We got married well into our dink stage so we registered for high quality every day plates from Heath ceramics and love making each meal special. We have two plates from their Alabama Chanin line that we pull out for when others might use fine China. Register for what you love and would never splurge on for yourself if you already have your essentials.

  66. We are constantly using our awesome Greville toaster – it makes me so happy to see the perfect toast pop up – and our pizza stone. Still really happy with the white dishes we chose (they make everything look good!) and our cutlery is beautiful. Very lucky.
    http://theroyalpost.com

  67. Marissa says...

    We’ve only been married 6 months and I already regret several items from our registry: waffle maker, salad spinner, ramen bowls, way too many different types of glasses

  68. I already feel like I have everything I need – I’m in my 20s and most of my kitchenware is all budget stuff, but I can’t imagine throwing it all out to get new, better stuff right now! The only thing I would really love is a stack of fluffy towels, but I work at a department store so I can get them on a discount.

    I’m getting married in September and suggested to my partner that we have a DIY registry because we’re in the process of doing up our apartment. He wasn’t keen, so we’re going to set up a honeymoon fund instead; we’re hopefully going to be backpacking in Asia, so I thought it would be fun to send postcards along the way saying ‘Thanks for the money you gave us, we just took the overnight sleeper train to so and so and it was such an adventure,’ etc. etc.

  69. A mistake that I made with our registry was not taking the opportunity to upgrade items we already had. Yes, I bought a toaster in college, but it was cheap and crappy. I still have it. I’m a 33 year old professional with a toaster that has a “pop tart” setting. Seriously.

    • Colleen says...

      That is some kind of awesome!! : )

  70. Sara says...

    I love to buy couples a cast iron pan, Lodge is my choice unless they register for a different one. It stays on the stove so no need for storage, lasts forever, and we use ours every day without fail.

  71. A Le Creuset Dutch oven is such an amazing gift. We use ours 2-3x a week & it’s in perfect condition.

  72. Megan says...

    My husband and I have found that in the 2.5 years since our wedding, a certain registry items stands above all the others: a square skillet!

    We love many other gifts we received, and think of the givers with great love and appreciation. But that square skillet — it’s in the daily rotation! Great for fried eggs, warming tortillas, making two tuna melts at once, it’s just the best.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good to know! we have only a tiny bit of storage in our kitchen so we’re always looking for the best multi-use items.

  73. We registered at Macy’s! They have such a wide variety of stuff. One thing we had on our registry that raised a few eyebrows were good Samsonite suitcases. A good quality suitcase is a big purchase and one you almost never make because you can’t justify the expense, so I thought a registry was a good place for it. We’ve had our set for eight years now and use them all the time.

    • My parents bought my sisters and I good suitcases for college graduation. They are such a great gift!

  74. erin says...

    digital crockpot. for sure! i went so many years without one, and i only have a regular crockpot, a digital one would be awesome.