Wedding registries can suck your time like a vacuum. It’s hard to know what you may need before you need it, and sometimes even harder to ask for it!
I expected to spend a couple hours on my registry, but it ended up taking DAYS.
Looking back I would consider alternative options to a normal registry. I didn't have capacity to figure out how to decorate my future house in engagement! You may be more practically minded than me and know exactly what you want in your kitchen and bathrooms, by all means rock a regular registry. I'm going to tell you what I learned from setting one up and now looking back what I wish I knew.
Tip #1 - If you are short on time, SET UP THE FUNDS THAT PEOPLE CAN GIVE TO
The two best benefits of this:
a. Easy on your guests
b. Easy on you during engagement season
While I am SO SO grateful for each gift people gave (many of which we use regularly), looking back I would opt for the funds that people can give too. However, we planned our wedding in 3 months which might be why I’m biased toward them. I struggled to figure out which kitchen towels would match our undecorated home and didn’t have the capacity to make large decorating decisions during engagement season.
Nevertheless, it was incredibly helpful to have a basic set of items to be able to cook, eat, and sleep on upon returning from our honeymoon.
HOW TO PICK YOUR FUNDS
Think about any larger ticket items that might pop up soon. Neither of you own a good couch? Maybe you need to buy appliances for the kitchen, maybe your car needs some serious work, you’re about to buy a house or build a tiny house…incorporate that into what you ask for - ask your friends and family for what you need - it doesn’t have to be what you want. If you foresee being strapped for cash after the wedding, ask for a grocery or gas fund. The people who feel passionately about getting you a physical gift - they will. You can only ask for what you need!
1. Honeymoon fund (or travel fund if someone is already paying for your honeymoon)
2. King bed fund (Every week my husband and I wonder if we should purchase a king)
3. Appliance funds (Refrigerator, washer and dryer)
4. Down Payment fund (House, car)
5. grocery/gas fund ( I call this survival after wedding cash fund)
6. House remodel fund (New siding needed, new kitchen cabinets, garage door, etc.)
Funds are easy to set up through Zola, and minted. I haven’t tried with the knot or wedding wire, but assume those would work well too.
This is especially the way to go if you want to cut out gift opening from your bridal shower. However if you do not, you can always add a small registry as well.
If you do a Wedding Registry...
I will say sometimes it’s more fun for people to buy things off of the registry and then you can later stand in your house looking around thinking “Aunt Betty got my that blender, I wonder how she’s doing” and send her a text. Even if you don’t remember who gave what - they probably will when they visit.
Tip #2 - Where to Register/What I learned:
I am not a big amazon fan - however, their registry was the EASIEST to use, it keeps track of who bought what for you, which is so nice when you go back to write thank you cards (which we are still going to do). Keeping receipts from many arriving packages - especially if you’re living in two places can get a little tricky. You can still buy from small businesses off amazon - you just have to search a little harder. Start it here.
I found Target's website kind-of hard to use, just because they are so massive it’s hard to find the really cute modern things you see when you walk in the store on their never-ending indexes. However, the returns are SO easy and you can find the basics even if you don’t have time to hunt for the cutest version of a spatula. You register through your target account.
If you register with anthropology and need to return an item for whatever reason - do not bring in the gift receipt, they will put it back on the givers card accidentally. I read this online and didn’t believe it until I tried it for myself. That is exactly what happens. Anthropology stays in demand and has things go out of stock pretty frequently, which is something else to keep a watch on. Their redeeming quality is beauty. I love just about everything I registered for and received from Anthro. Some of it isn’t as high of quality as it seems like it should be based on the price and it’s not always that functional - but it sure is gosh darn pretty. Like look at this towel:
I was excited to find that Etsy offered registries! I like that Etsy supports small businesses and is generally more sustainably friendly. However, it doesn't have that many practical items like - kitchenware, laundry baskets - etc. I registered for a handful of fun items off of registry but no one purchased from it. I think this is because of how it displays on our Zola page - the individual items I put on the Etsy registry don't show up on the listed items, you have to click specifically on the "Shop Etsy Registry" option at the top of the page. Sign up here!
CRATE & BARREL/ BED BATH & BEYOND...
In hindsight I might look into crate and barrel or some of the more classic shops to register for, they probably have better systems being more known for registries.
I ended up finding our plates and bowls at World Market after our wedding, I wasn’t ready to commit to style beforehand. World Market doesn't offer registries individually but if you use the site myregistry.com you can connect a ton of stores including World Market. I wish I would have thought of them! Their plates and bowls were the only ones I liked out of everywhere I looked!
West Elm, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma are "Family brands" , they give you one log in to all of their registries. Check out West Elm’s registry for some extra cute house decor. Link to Start
TIP #3 - Registry Basics Don't Sleep on these
Skillet for cooking, multiple sizes
Pot for soup - small, medium, large or at least medium and large.
Bowl for mixing
Pasta serving spoon
Rubber Spatula(s) (if teflon skillets)
Metal spatula (for the iron skillet)
Utensils (fork, knife spoon) Yes, the gold and black will wear off - choose wisely or register for really nice ones!
Bowls (big and small)
Everything else I personally think you can figure out later if you want to stick to a minimum. Actually, I would add a Chemex - but that’s just me.
FAVORITE FUNCTIONAL ITEMS
These are a few of our favorite items that have proven to make our lives genuinely easier, saving time with good design. I was also surprised at how many of these came from amazon. I also love the towels we received from Anthropologie, but those links are gone already!
1. Our gooseneck kettle we are obsessed with.
2. Pyrex Glass Tupperware that makes storing food simple, stackable, and fast to warm up.
3. Two chamber laundry hamper - we use it for one cold water wash, one warm. It’s so helpful!
4. Nalgenes! We live in Colorado, no explanation needed.
Click here to get started on your next wedding task list....booking a videographer or photographer! :) Let me know what you decided to do for your registry in the last section!