If We Registered For Our Wedding Today

Do's and Don'ts

We've been married almost three and a half years now. Time has both flown and hardly moved, it seems. 

In that time, we have moved twice - one of which was major.
From those moves, I've learned a few things about the stuff we own. When push came to shove, we tossed items instead of packing them and it's given me a few revelations about what was worth registering for, and what we could have bought ourselves... or not bought at all. I'll get right to it - here's what we learned.

DO register for...


Put them on your registry... BUT go neutral. Say your first apartment or house has purple accents in the bathroom. Well, chances are, your next place won't and your lavender towels will suddenly look weird and out of place. Going neutral (white, beige, gray, etc..) will help you keep those nice towels longer. The same can be said for kitchen hand towels, though they're inexpensive to replace if you tire of them after a year.
Hint: white towels can be bleached - easy upkeep! I hate thinking about what kinds of gross stains are hidden in dark towels.... and if benzoyl peroxide products come in contact with them, you're looking at pinkish bleach marks too :(

Knife set

You will use them. Whether you cook a lot or not, good knives will always come in handy. Just be sure and do a little research as some will get crummy over time. Reviews might tell you that not all knife handles are created equal. Whether they begin to rust, or somehow fall off, check those reviews.

Dinnerware, glassware, and silverware sets

Meaning: glasses, wine glasses, silverware set, dish set, bowls, coffee mugs, etc. This can depend on your particular needs (maybe you don't drink wine, so wine glasses are not useful). Go timeless if you're looking for items to last you possibly a lifetime. White dishes never go out of style, basic glasses, and classic silverware sets will always serve you well... literally.

Smaller appliances

If you love to bake, a nice KitchenAid mixer will last you forever. A toaster, clothing iron, coffee maker, good vacuum cleaner, crockpot, etc... again, there's no need for all the items you see, but knowing which ones you'd love to have starting out will be helpful. We've added a few to our shelves over the years, like a waffle iron, but early on that waffle iron would have been less valuable than a toaster. Which ones are the most basic to you? Go from there.

Tool set

Nothing fancy or huge, but a good starter tool set would have come in very handy several times even in apartment living. When I think back to the jerry-rigged things in our first apartment, I realize how much easier some simple tools would have made things. 

Storage and organization

Two of the best underrated gifts we got were a large canvas tote, and large plastic bin (filled with kitchen utensils and other goodies). Everyone should wrap their wedding gifts in storage bins/organizers, because man, they've earned their keep over the last 3+ years. A good tupperware or glass food storage set, drawer organizers, etc... are used constantly and keep your stuff neat and tidy.

A good kitchen trash can

Maybe this is just us, but I do not know how people with tiny kitchen trash cans do it! Having a big can in the kitchen is priceless. The thing is, the nice ones are surprisingly expensive, so no one wants to dish out the money... but once you have it, you can't believe you waited all that time. We would have loved one as a wedding gift.

Pots and pans

This "do" list has a lot of kitchen stuff, I know. But truthfully, most kitchen items are used very frequently, so they make great gifts. We have a stainless steel set of pots and pans, which is great because you can scrub the bajeezus out of them and they won't get ruined. And their quality has been compared to All Clad. However, I think owning at least one really good non-stick pan is essential. The GreenPan is great because the non-stick won't contaminate your food as it wears out or gets scratched. 

Basic bedding

I say basic, because again, a big colorful comforter may not work in your next place. White sheets (again) can be bleached so the upkeep is easy and it goes with everything. A good down or alternative comforter is a wonderful thing to own along with a duvet cover. We didn't register for any bedding or pillows, but now, I think it would have been a safe call and a really nice gift.

Gift cards

I know it seems impersonal, but if you have enough giftcards to the same place, you may be able to purchase the really big item that no one guest would buy alone. Or the less basic items that you 'want' more than 'need.' Those giftcards led to some more fun purchases that only we could have picked. 


DON'T register for...

Home decor

If there is anything we've learned in three years, it's that styles change. Especially going from an apartment to a house, we've learned that many decor items that got us through temporary apartment living suddenly look terrible in a house. Personally, we did not register for decor and I'm so glad we didn't. This left more room for necessary items for everyday living... and those needs certainly don't go out of style!


Do you know where you'll live in a year? Five years? That shelf you registered for may not fit in your next place, or you may just grow tired of it. The money spent on it could have been better served on a set of good platters or a great sauce pan. You don't want to limit where you want to live based on your gifted furniture. To this day, we don't buy expensive furniture because our life stage could mean more moves or messy children. We don't want to limit our living options based on our furniture or become devastated when someone smears peanut butter on the back of the couch.

Novelty kitchen gadgets

As hard as it is for me to put this one in (hello, we love our sous vide machine), it really is a don't for a wedding registry. A set of good knives will be far more useful than a rice cooker. Focus on needs first, fun stuff later. 

Fun stuff

Okay, this one is debatable. Especially coming from a couple that loves experiences more than things. We almost registered for some camping gear (in fact, I think we did), but I'm glad we didn't get any because we've camped maybe twice thus far. I much prefer having those everyday items. When we did get a tent and some gear, we spent very little on them and they've been good for our short trips. Some people may love the fun stuff more, and that is A-Okay too... we just happened to discover that the necessities were really fun at that point in life.

What about you? What would you add or nix from a registry?

P.S. This is by no means an end-all-be-all. We're all different! After three and a half years, though, I'm still so grateful for all the wonderful gifts we received! Such a happy time :) It was interesting to write this post and see what a great impact kitchen items have on our life.

Some honorable mentions for the do list: cooking utensils of all kinds, measuring cups, cookie sheets, serving platters, large cutting board, wine and beer :)