Building (and Pondering) A Wedding Registry

Practical tips (plus grateful acceptance of generosity).

By Faith Durand, Executive Editor, The Kitchn

Hello there, Team Practical! Before I dive in, first let me just say that Meg and all of you made up the most encouraging, sane, and inspiring community I found while planning my own wedding three years ago. I was so grateful for this site and this community. So I’m delighted to have a chance to chat about registries in general and practical kitchen resources in particular.

It seems that most brides and bridegrooms I meet these days are vaguely embarrassed by the idea of a wedding registry. I know I was. I was nearly 30 when I got married, and as a professional food writer I already had nearly everything I needed to stock a well-functioning kitchen. Was a registry tacky? Greedy? Too focused on material things during what ought to be a spiritual, deeply personal life moment? My fiancé and I toyed with the idea of jettisoning the registry completely, or asking for money to be given to charity in our names.

I’m glad that we grappled with this question, and that we worked together to make a thoughtful choice. But in the end, we got over our fear of looking like we were greedy or grasping. Because of course we were not, and the reality was that most of our friends and relatives were going to give us a wedding present. We came to the conclusion that grateful acceptance of this generosity was the most gracious option. (Just turn it around for a moment and look at it from the other side; I love giving wedding presents. It’s delightful to give a gift to people I love on such a wonderful day.)

All of our wedding guests were perfectly capable of deciding whether or not they wanted to give us a gift. Some guests who traveled a long way to be there simply gave us the gift of their presence. Other guests gave cash, and friends who didn’t want to give something off the registry gave us other gifts we treasure. One gave us a funny deck of cards; another played a song at the wedding. And those guests who were inclined to help us set up our home had a resource to do so.

This of course is not the only option or the best option for everyone. But our own personal way of making peace with the whole idea was to ask for a small list of things we believed would be long-lasting, beautiful, and helpful in offering hospitality to others in our home.

Meg asked me to offer some practical resources on this process — if you’ve come to the same place as we did in our wedding registry decision, and you want to set up your kitchen to be more functional, more hospitable, and better suited to the pleasures of cooking at home, then these questions may be useful.

A Few Practical Questions for Building a Kitchen Registry

1. What’s broken or worn out in my kitchen? If you’re getting married right out of school and you have no kitchen equipment to speak of, this probably doesn’t apply. But if you’re like me and you have a fairly well-equipped kitchen already, look over your tools. Are your tongs rusted and falling apart? Is your only stockpot thin and flimsy? Does any lack of equipment trip you up when cooking a basic meal? Look for the sore spots of your kitchen; this would be a good time to replace them. (For instance, my wineglasses were a mess — mismatched and chipped. I’m forever grateful to my aunt and my grandmother for upgrading this very important element of my home!)

2. Is there one special tool or piece I’ve been dreaming of? Don’t put a KitchenAid mixer on your registry just because you think you ought to. But if you’re an avid baker and you’ve dreamed of that perfect hot pink, glittery mixer, then there you go. (For me, I had dreamed of plain white bone china for years. It’s not the most practical kitchen item, but I wanted high-quality, beautiful china, and now every time I take a piece out of my cabinet I think of my in-laws and my mother’s friends who helped us buy it.)

3. Is there anything I would like to learn in the kitchen? This is a dangerous path to travel (think of all those discarded chocolate fondue sets and pizza stones). But if you are serious about learning something new (bread-baking, beer-brewing, canning and preserving) then think about registering for tools or books to take your new skills to the next level.









4. Is there anything that would make it easier to help others or to be more hospitable? I had only a handful of flatware when I got married, so I registered for 12 (yes, 12!) sets of handsome, affordable flatware. I treasure the fact that one set was given to us by my college-aged brother. This, as well as the rest of the sets, helped out when we hosted Thanksgiving for 12. Another practical wedding gift I love is my 9×13 pans with snap-on covers. I use them for potlucks and for taking meals to friends’ homes.

5. How can I make my kitchen greener or more sustainable? My husband and I wanted to start composting kitchen waste, so we put a Naturemill indoor composter on our registry. It was the only big-ticket item on our list, and we were surprised and incredibly grateful when a friend promptly bought it for us. It was a fun experience, learning how to compost (and using that compost in our garden!) during our first year of marriage. Other green ideas: Compost buckets, reusable produce bags, glass storage containers.

Building a Kitchen from Scratch? Some Practical Suggestions:

And finally, here are a few posts from The Kitchn that address kitchen basics and essentials. Whether you’re building a registry or setting up a kitchen yourself, these may be useful. Kitchen essentials are fairly subjective; if you cook Chinese food more than Italian, you’ll need a different set of tools, for instance. But some things are almost universally useful, not to mention inexpensive (metal mixing bowls, cast iron frying pan, Dutch oven, and wooden spoons). Here are some of our favorites.

I would love to hear from you all on how you’re handling your own registry decisions, and whether you’re setting up a good kitchen for the first time. What does it mean to you to set up a practical registry?

Photos, in order: Emily Ho, Faith Durand, Faith Durand, Faith Durand, Emily Ho

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Dee

    Such a Practical post (and a great reminder of the archives). It literally had not occurred to think about a registry as thinking about the homewares for the marriage, or what we will want replaced in the short term.

    I’ve been waring with myself recently about registries. We have a lot of stuff since we’ve lived together for two years, but some of it is worn out, and the fiance is a chef so may be time to get some real knives…yay for a new perspective, and something to think about.

    • JEM

      I just took a cooking class and nice knives quickly were added to my list. Such a difference!

    • Marina

      Oh my god, the knives we got from our wedding registry are amaaaaazing. I didn’t believe the difference they’d make until we got them.

      • My husband already had a block of really great Wusthofs, but he didn’t have a chef’s knife, so he registered for it. And the weeks ticked by and no one bought it. Then, my mother’s good friend (who loves to cook almost as much as my husband), said, “That’s a nice knife you have on that registry.” “Yeah, C really really wants that knife, he has a whole block of knives at home to match it, but that one he doesn’t have.” This woman likes to get gifts, not give cash, so she was THRILLED to get us something that she knew a lot of people would bypass as a “boring” gift but that we really wanted. :)

  • Such a helpful post! I’m really into cooking and baking, so I want to make sure our registry is full of things we’ll actually use and will last a while. Great suggestions in the post, and I’m definitely going to be looking over all the links as well.

    On the subject of registries in general, I found a couple of wedding etiquette books that said (in more polite words of course) that registries were tacky and selfish. As a guest at other weddings, I find them really helpful–I’d way rather get the couple something they’ll use and enjoy than blindly guess what they might not have in their kitchen.

  • Amy

    I really love this post, even though I’m well past the point of registering. (Today is our second anniversary.) I feel like the questions listed will hold up extremely well as I think about replacing some worn out items or adding to my kitchen.

    • I agree Amy! Not only should this thoughtfulness be applied to kitchen gadgets, but really everything. Thoughtful consumerism. Thanks Faith!

    • I was thinking the same thing! It has me thinking about things we want/need for our kitchen now as well, way past our wedding day…. 2 years after, to be exact, for us as well! Happy anniversary Amy! :) Yay 5/23/09! :)

      • Amy

        Happy Anniversary to you too Christy! Hurray for 5/23 :)

  • CAMinSD

    I’ve tried to joke about the registry –“Whatever it is, if we don’t have it by thirty, we must not need it!” — because I do find the whole bit pretty uncomfortable. Thanks for the reminder of how much I have enjoyed gifting my betrothed friends over the years, even when I’ve opted to just give cash in a card. (And reminding me how much I might enjoy cutting tomatoes with something other than a glorified butter knife.)

  • Melissa

    2 of my favorite blogs coming together – love it! I’m going to bookmark these helpful tips for whenever it is that I need to register :)

  • Great guide! Registering for gifts was really stressful for me since I have a serious, catastrophic aversion to clutter. It gives me heart palpitations. My husband and I already lived together when we married, and the thought of adding any more stuff made me freak – at the time I was trying to get RID of stuff in that house.

    So for us, registering was all about upgrades, upgrades, upgrades. We’d been cooking easily for a few years so it was obvious we didn’t need to add anything, only replace with nicer (i.e. knives and pans) or make clutterfree (i.e. we registered for a magnetic knife holder to go on the wall to clear away our block).

    Also we registered for our dog’s daycare/boarding kennel. Best idea we ever had, since it took away a large chunk of our honeymoon bottom line.

    • suzanna

      Holy crap! Registering for your dog’s boarding? THAT’S GENIUS! I’m gonna file that one away for later, for sure.

  • I talked a lot about my mixed feelings about registering on my blog ( My biggest problem with the idea – besides how greedy it seemed, and how greedy I think it made me – is that giving wedding gifts, and especially shower gifts, used to be a way to pass on wisdom through the generations. Aunt Bessie couldn’t live without her egg beater, so she got you an egg beater, because she’s sure it’ll be helpful to you. When Cousin Joan got married, she realized how convenient it was to have a slow cooker, so she got you a slow cooker. Etc. Now? We don’t care what other people think (unless they’re the people who leave reviews on Amazon, or the people who write blogs (No offense, Meg!)), and WE pick what WE want and that’s what we get. There’s nothing wrong with getting what you want as a gift, but I can’t help but think that passing on wisdom and learning from those who have gone before us is whole beautiful facet of gift giving that has been lost with the advent of the registry. I wish there were a more clear way to benefit from the wisdom of the ages (instead of just the wisdom of the internet) while still registering to make life easier for ourselves and our guests.

    P.S. I registered anyway, and loved all our gifts very much.

    • I think even with a registry you can get that. People will get you things from your registry that they loved or that were useful to them. Now they just know that you don’t already have it yourself.

    • I just read your blog post and I have to say that the wish for the days where a an older woman would give you not only an item, but the wisdom behind it really resonates with me. I want to have that kind of community with a group of women who will care for me in tangible ways like that. For the most part I really don’t, and don’t know how to create it for myself, as most of older women I know are big fans of the ‘age of convenience’ thing, and also acted like they would have been lost without a registry. I can’t say I blame them- I cook a lot and have a fairly well stocked kitchen even at 23.

      There is one exception- my great aunt, who is about 90, got us gravy boats. They were a traditional gift that we had left off our registry because we had never felt they were really called for, but I still think of her every time I see them, and I know that she uses her gravy boats on every holiday. Eventually, maybe I will too.

    • Shelly

      This was something that I hadn’t really considered until I received some incredibly meaningful gifts from one of our older guests. This was a woman who, along with her late husband, had introduced my grandparents to each other. I never had the chance to know my grandparents because they died when I was an infant. One of the gifts that she gave me was off my registry – a mortar & pestle – selected because it was something that my grandmother had gifted her 60 years ago. The other gift she sent was not off our registry at all, but was quite possibly the world’s best re-gift. She sent us some awesome etched low-ball glasses that my late grandfather had gifted her late husband back in the day. They used to sit around and share strong drinks after long day’s at work at the car dealership.

      It was that moment for me that helped me see that the registry and gift-receiving process can really connect us with people from this moment forward, but even into our pasts.

      • Diana

        This is a beautiful story, Shelly. Thanks for sharing!

      • Kayakgirl73

        Great story. What a way to pass on history. My mom gave my fiance some of my grandfather’s beer glasses at my shower. We used my grandparents toasting flutes at our wedding. I think of my Brother-in-law every time I use our fabulous knives. I think of my Aunt when I use the Waterford vase she gave me when I get flowers from my husband. I had always wanted one but but did not register for it, however she knew.

    • Marina

      I found that this happened, at least to some degree, even with making a registry. My grandma got us a giant turkey roaster, which wasn’t on our registry, because she values having lots of people over for large meals and wants us to have that in our lives too. (It’s sitting in our closet right now, but I think the day I host a big enough dinner to use it will be the day I feel like a real grownup.) A friend got us a large portion of the dishes we registered for, and every time we use them I think about her elegant style and the value she places on pretty social gatherings. One of the things we asked for was handmade blankets, and I don’t think there was any less love in every stitch because we asked for it.

      I thought of our registry as less of a wish list and more of an introduction to our taste. Our friends and family are so far-flung, many of them had never visited before the wedding. In the era you were talking about, Aunt Bessie could make a pretty good guess that your life would be similar to hers–that you’d spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, for instance. These days, young niece Jennifer’s life may be totally different than Bessie’s–maybe she’s a high-powered lawyer and her new husband does IT support all over the world, and neither of them know how to cook a thing. Or maybe they’re both vegan. Bessie’s success with an egg beater may simply not apply.

    • tariqata

      I think that it’s entirely, entirely possible to use a registry to pass along some wisdom!

      When one of my best friends (and my former roommate) married last year, I chose the one thing from her registry that I figured no one else would get because of it seemed so boring (a huge set of lidded Pyrex food-saver containers) – but having had powerful memories of the awful mismatched tupperware that we’d had at our apartment, I also knew that she’d use them constantly.

    • C.

      The registry we’re using allows us to nominate thing we need but to leave off brands and models if we prefer. So we’re hoping glimpses of personality and wisdom will come through as people select the brand of knife that they like (and can afford).
      not totally what you meant but a little compromise. Kathleen’s comment and the various replies also reminds me to make it clear that people can get off the registry gifts too if they prefer.

      • Kate

        What registry is that? Sounds like a great idea.

        • Emily

          free gift registry lets you do this. You can choose to give your guests as many details on the items as you want. e.g. ‘towels’, ‘blue towels’ or ‘x brand blue bath sheets’. Your guests can shop around for the price they want to pay, rather than being restricted to the one store. Then they mark it off the register on the website so other guests don’t purchase the same thing.

    • Noemi

      Interesting point about us picking what we want– However, I was pleasantly surprised at how many people bought us things that were not on the registry. We registered for pots and pans, but a group of ladies from my home church got together and bought me a complete set of pots and pans that they all loved using and which they thought were the best quality. Others bought us decorative items that they thought I would like (one blue/green serving dish was so spot on!), and others put together sets of things (crepe-making set, pie-making set, pizza making set) that were definitely personalized. My fiance’s step-mother bought us all the sheets and covers we needed, based on our color preference and they’re all gorgeous! I really appreciate the little extras that people picked out that we hadn’t thought of, or that they knew through experience were better. That was my favorite part of having a registry– receiving gifts that weren’t on it! It showed me that people really thought about their gifts and what we would be using it for.

  • Julia W

    I was so thankful for Meg’s post a while back about not being ashamed to have a registry because people want to give you nice things. For us we had some that wanted to contribute to the wedding or honeymoon and some that wanted to give things that would last for the entirety of our (hopefully long and happy) marriage. Since we were mostly starting out/ had a lot of crappy college kitchen stuff to get rid of (mismached dishes and terrible knives to name a few) we mostly just registered for the basics but opted for high quality. We placed value on items that would last (and we would like for a long time).

    I love the tip about registering for items that encourage or assist hospitality. Now that we are a family my attention to hospitality has changed and having these gifts help me reach out to friends and family in a what that I didn’t think fit before we were married.

  • peanut

    I felt weird about setting up a registry at first and just put some basic stuff on there, but then all of our family friends (my parents’ friends for 30+ years who have watched me grow up) called my mom and demanded I put “fun” stuff on so they could give us gifts that they knew we’d like. I realized that you’re doing your guests a favor by making a wish list, so those that don’t know you inside and out but still love you can feel good about getting you something you really want to start your new family together and don’t have to guess or give money if they’re not sure.

    • We put Harry Potter in Latin (because learning Latin is on our list of things to do as a couple) on our list. Didn’t get that. We also put, and got, a DVD of the movie “Up” from Pixar (combined with silicone muffin cups) and that was super fun. We watched it for our first married date night. We got a few board game type games as well.

  • Since both of us had lived alone for some time we both pretty much had what we needed for our home. We used our registry to fill in holes and upgrade. It worked out great. We got the most wonderful of crockpots for our wedding and we use it regularly. We got an electric can opener too, something I always thought was so super cool when I was little, and now I own one!

    Setting up the registry was an experience and a half. We went to one store, and then did the rest on-line. The guy at the store kept following us around and not listening to what we needed or didn’t need and talking about how he financed his vacuum.

    • That sounds a lot like our registry experience! The woman was cuckoo, and was telling us all about how she remembered going to my husband’s brother’s wedding (yeah, we didn’t know that when we went there, really weird) and scolding us for “making her job difficult” since we, for example, already had nice pots and knives.

    • Right! When we moved in together, we had had ouw own households for years. I left half my kitchen inventory for the new inhabitant of my house (my cousin, who didn’t have much). After all the unpacking, we gave away another four boxes of kitchen stuff and we’ve been decluttering the place ever since.

      I’m so glad we’ve decided to do no registry and will ask for donations to charity instead, because the experience you had in the store would make me very nervous. The less stuff we own, the better too, because we plan on packing out belongings in a shipping container and emigrate after we have our paperwork sorted :) If we were planning to stay longer, maybe asking for upgrades would’ve made sense, but it will be easier and cheaper to buy stuff once we’ve crossed the ocean than to get it for free and then pay for shipping.

  • Great post! We had to come to most of these conclusions on our own as we were registering (fortunately we did), so this post should be extremely helpful for anyone who has yet to register. I, too, struggled with the idea of registering for things despite having had a fully stocked kitchen for the better part of a decade now. It helped to know that our friends and family found the registry useful and we did have stuff that needed replacing.

    My one beef with registering at retailers is how they cycle their merchandise out with the seasons. We registered for beautiful white Martha Stewart dishes at Macy’s two or three months ago, and they’ve already disappeared off Macy’s website. They’re white dishes, for freak’s sake! (I know there are tons of other white dishes out there — it’s just the principle of having to constantly monitor our registries and swap items in and out).

  • Irene

    Tell me – what do you guys think about knives on registries? I know in some cultures it is considered bad luck to give a knife as a wedding gift. I was sorely tempted recently to gift a friend a set, but then decided against it for that reason! So – culturally acceptable, or no?

    • CW

      I’m going to go with if they registered for it, then the couple doesn’t consider it bad luck to receive knives as a wedding gift. And if you culturally feel it’s bad luck, then you don’t have to buy it. If they didn’t register for knives, then maybe it’s worth a question to the couple about their cultural superstititions.

    • Shelly

      I’ve heard of this also (knives symbolize severing a relationship), but I suppose it depends on the population who will be attending your wedding (or who the recipient of the gift is). I don’t think that many younger Americans have heard of the superstition.

      When my sister got married, they received knives that they had registered for, but when they sent out a thank you note, they included a penny or a dime into the card. Their logic was that they had “paid” the giver for the knives, which would render the superstition moot. Seemed a bit silly to me, and probably led to a confused thank you note recipient.

      • Marina

        My mom told me to include nickels in my thank you notes for people who’d given knives. Explaining why did make the notes more fun to write… ;)

        • And in my family, you would include a penny with the knives to fend off the bad luck…

        • Sarabeth

          We didn’t register, but some friends did give us knives, and demanded that we pay them a penny for them, for similar reasons. Not a tradition I’d ever heard of before, but it only added a layer of meaning to the gift, never a bad thing.

  • Marina

    Also keep in mind that most big box retailers will give you a significant discount on everything left over on your registry. We made a boring houseware registry and then a more fun “registry” with things like “handmade blankets” and “your favorite cookbook”, and tried to make it clear that both registries were more about brainstorming and less about requests. We got maybe half the stuff on our houseware registry as gifts, and then got a significant discount on the other stuff, which we would have ended up buying for ourselves anyway.

    You could even make a registry and not tell anyone about it, then just use the discount to buy everything after the wedding. :)

    • We registered for our honeymoon primarily, but we also created a basic home & kitchen registry for people more inclined to get us physical gifts. After the wedding, we were able to use the discount to round out our dishes and flatware that desperately needed replacing, which was really great.

  • It’s good advice to really think through “will we really use that?”
    We had a smaller list and mostly asked for money if people wanted to give. One thing we put on our list was a blender – “think of all the smoothies for breakfast and cocktail parties we can throw!” 18 months later it is gathering dust and has rarely been used because we have hand held blenders that do the job faster and with less washing up.
    But we feel too guilty to give the blender away because it has “wedding present” status…!

  • CW

    I’ll also throw the 2 cents in as someone who has yet to ever create a registry, but from the gift-giving end: I much prefer getting someone something that I know they want, will use and enjoy. This holds for birthdays, baby showers, etc. Unless I know the person really really well, as the gift giver- I don’t think “wow they’re being selfish,” instead I think “now I know they won’t make those strained faces or roll their eyes when they open my present.” It also lets me combime practical with creative- someone asks for a nice espresso or coffee maker- bam! I can get that from the registry and get a bag of nice beans from my favorite coffee place to go with it.

  • Thank you so much for this post! Part of me was really, really, really excited to create a registry, and the other part felt a lot of pressure from the indie wedding community that it was crazy and selfish to have one. Thank you for removing the crazy from yet another wedding entity!

  • This is GREAT advice and basically what my husband and I did. I wanted crystal stemware, he eyed a new shiny food processor, I wanted a Le Creuset Dutch oven, we needed sheets and a comforter that weren’t falling apart, etc.

    I will say this for the practical brides – we had a lovely registry of things at multiple price points and multiple levels of practicality (ranging from a desk organizer, to a tent, to, well, pretty stemware), and we still dealt with headaches. My uncle threw a FIT when my mother told him we weren’t registering for china (because we have no where to put it). At this point there were loads of things on our registry we still really wanted (including new everyday dinnerware) but he had it in his head he wanted to buy us china and was annoyed that we weren’t registering for it. My mother was a great advocate for us in this case, but I got varying degrees of “there is ‘nothing good’ left on your registry.”

    “I’m sorry you’re having difficulty. Everything we registered for is something we want and will probably buy for ourselves after the wedding if we don’t receive it. There are things left on our registry that we do really want, even if they don’t look like a lot of ‘fun’ on the surface. Of course, though, any gift you give us, we will treasure.” (Or some variation of that.)

    Sidenote – my husband is on a Riedel kick and I could slap him upside the head for realizing he wants all new wineglasses NOW instead of, say, this time last year, when we could have registered for them, and my uncle could have been somewhat appeased. :)

  • Judy

    Also, a registry is not just about kitchen supplies, it’s about wedding gifts. We followed a similar procedure for all aspects of our home and life, and ended up with wonderful gifts that people enjoyed giving us, because they felt more personal and knew that we’d use them. We registered for a printer, a kindle, board games, books, and other toys. We have friends who have registered for camping gear. Also, we posted places to give to charity in our honor right next to our registries, and many people gave to charities we selected.

  • anonymous

    It’s a good post, and very practical. I can’t disagree with any of the advice.

    I have noticed, though, here and on other wedding blogs/sites, that posts about registries always start with a token bow to not registering or thinking about not registering, and then go ahead and talk about why that person ultimately decided to register and why that’s OK (and it is OK!) and some advice on registering yourself.

    I’d love to see a post – a guest post perhaps – from someone who grappled with that question and ultimately decided NOT to register, how it worked out and some advice for the wedding planning community on how to go about not registering. As someone who did not register, I can say that there is actually something to it – you can’t just “not register” and have that be the end of it. You have to figure out how to tell people, how to deal with pushback (from family, from guests, from the wedding planning community), whether or not to substitute for a charity, favor, recipe etc. “registry”, why you don’t need an excuse not to register even though so many people seem to think you do, why it’s OK not to give in, and how to announce all this on your website, if you choose to do so (if you even have a website).

    This was a great post, but I think a not-registering post would make for a great counterpoint.

    • Rymenhild

      Can you write it? It looks like you’ve thought a great deal about the issues involved, and you know at least to some extent how you’ve handled them. I’d be curious to hear more about your perspective.

      • anonymous

        I will try…my wedding was more than half a year ago and besides skimming the few wedding websites I’m still subscribed to, I’m not really in a frame of mind to write about weddings now at any great length. But we’ll see – sometimes I just get an idea in my head to write something and it sort of spills out.

        But if I don’t write it, someone really should. I can honestly say that even on all the against-the-grain wedding sites like OBB and APW there really isn’t much – if anything – on the topic. It’s always “we considered not registering…and then we decided to register!”

        • You know, a lot of the time, Meg puts up blog posts in sort of pairings, so she’ll post a thing on waiting for sex until marriage and then later that week she’ll post on non-monogamy in a relationship, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s got a post from a different perspective up her sleeve — and if she doesn’t, it’s probably because no one has written her with their story. One thing I really respect about Meg is that she doesn’t try to blog about things she hasn’t experienced herself, so if she registered for her wedding, she sure won’t be writing about not registering! So let’s get your post on here, Anon! Seems like you’ve got some things to say!

    • Mihaela

      I would love to read a post like this, if you’d be willing to write it! We decided not to have a registry, and the results have been pretty interesting so far, but the wedding isn’t until September, so we’ll see how it all pans out. If you don’t want to write a post, I can try my hand at it after the wedding!

    • CAMinSD

      I attended a wedding for a couple that didn’t register…but I also flew to Mexico for that event. It wasn’t explicit, but I think just showing up was supposed to be the gift. I wish they *had* made it explicit, because we felt a bit in the dark, but I am absolutely thinking our wedding site will have a “Presents? Your presence!” section instead of a registery.

      Another thought: Has anyone registed for wedding elf services? My fiance has reacted cooly to my suggestion that we “register” for homemade baked goods, cat-sitting, flower picking, guest shuttling etc. He thinks it’s asking people to work when we want them to party. Still, I kind of like the idea…

      • Emily

        I had friends who didn’t register. They received 52 mugs. Not kidding. Not registering is a valid decision, but there is a reason (several?) why people do!

        • anonymous

          Absolutely. But there are also reasons why people *don’t*. The reasons why they do have been aptly explored (and I am not saying they shouldn’t continue to be explored)…the reasons why people don’t really have not, and they should be.

          We didn’t register and we got some people who gave nothing, some who gave just a card, others who gave very small gifts, a few charity donations, but mostly cash. It was absolutely the right decision for us even if it doesn’t work for everyone.

  • This post is really relevant. Thanks for sharing all this information. If I have just read it before my wedding, I could have for sure used it. Thanks anyway! I’m a fan of this blog!

  • Mayo

    So I’m lucky that both myself and my man have most everything we could need, and jobs that allow us to buy fun things when the time is right. Even though I still don’t have a salad spinner, because the Target one is too damn expensive and I can’t seem to get over it. Anyway, we decided to register at I Do Foundation, and chose two charities we’ve been really involved with over the past 5 years. We explained our thoughts on our website, our passion for each charity, and provided a link to donate. It’s all very neat.

    So here’s the problem – everyone has been saying to me, “I want to give you a gift – what do you want?” And I tell them I want them to donate. Really, truly, pretty please donate to help these causes we love to much. And no one is listening. It bothers me, especially since I don’t want anything else. No custom cutting boards, new sheets, nothing. I am already inundated with crap. And it pisses me off that no one is respecting my wishes.

    Anyway, rant aside, I appreciate that Faith recognized that people were going to give things one way or another. Perhaps I should have taken her advice and come up with a small list of helpful items (or skis…or bikes…dreamy) because few people seem to be enjoying the concept of giving to our chosen charities.

  • On reading this, I now wish I had done a kitchen registry. Somewhat.

    That said, we couldnt have afforded a honeymoon without our honeymoon registry and we had a workable kitchen, and got plenty of the important pieces from our very small home-goods registry (towels, cutlery, wine glasses – the important things that we DID need replaced).

    Wish someone had written this about this time last year though!

  • Kate

    We did a small traditional registry, but like many couples who already have a home together, we really didn’t need much. So we also created a personal registry with three local potters who I know and whose work I love. I worked with each to create a list of items I would love to own, and that covered a range of budgets (small bowls all the way through giant platters), and then put each of their contact details on our wedding blog, with a brief description or image of the type of pottery they made. So guests decided what style suited them, then contacted the relevant potter with their budget, and the potter helped them select an item on our list, which was then made to order.

    The pottery registries were the most popular; I think we got pretty much everything on our pottery lists! And I liked the fact that our guests could choose an item which suited their tastes as well as ours, in a budget range they felt comfortable with (grad student friends could get us a cereal bowl, while some of my parents’ friends bought us several items!). Everything felt special because it was unique and made for us.

    We chose pottery because it’s my favourite thing, but obviously this idea could apply to any handmade product.

  • Val Tsvettkoff

    Sure-it makes perfect sense, these registries. Pick out your own gift, and tell people you (supposedly) care about enough to invite to your celebration of marriage what they will pay for said gift. How unselfish. How nice of you to ease their burden of choice of picking out a thoughtful gift on their own, as they are morons and you may not like what they have gone to the trouble and expense to give to you out of the goodness of their heart. (isn’t that what a gift is, after all). But heaven forbid it is something not up to your standards. Better start picking out the bone china instead of the stoneware and get it up there on the registry…..

    • Brittney

      You know, the guests do have the ability NOT to purchase something on the registry, or any gift at all….. calm down. A lot of people like having options instead of trying to come up with something on their own. It’s not selfish to ask for things you actually need when you’re married and give people some idea of what you like…

  • Evie

    I totally agree that its a great idea to ask for something you would never buy yourself. My fiancee and I decided to ask for some nice bedding (enough with the Target sheets!) that would last forever. My mom suggested Thomas Lee, and we registered for them! I am so excited

  • Pingback: Mindful Consumption and Wedding Registries: What are some good things to ask for? « I Have Arrived. I am Home.()

  • Pingback: Wedding Registry Round-Up()

  • Pingback: Wedding Registries Are a Necessary Evil. Here’s How You Make Your Peace with Them. — The Happy Ever After Wedding Registry | Caribbean Blogz()