What did you put on your wedding registry?
April 6, 2021 6:59 PM   Subscribe

We don't care about china and we have enough towels and kitchen gadgets. What should we register for? What did YOU register for that you are so glad you did? What would you register for if you could do it again?
posted by ohsnapdragon to Shopping (55 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:03 PM on April 6 [13 favorites]

Money to our house buying fund and high thread count sheets. People like the convenience of being able to just give $$ and high thread count sheets and worth it, but we would never spring for them.
posted by token-ring at 7:03 PM on April 6 [5 favorites]

Kitchen gear, like a food processor. Or, some solid cookware.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:09 PM on April 6 [2 favorites]

I should have registered for more everyday items. We have a dozen crystal champagne flutes and wine glasses packed away, and drink out of glasses that came free with purchase, because they go in the dishwasher.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 7:12 PM on April 6 [9 favorites]

Money (we did a “honeymoon fund”)
If I could do it again I’d probably put:
Linen sheets
Garden tools
Nice chef’s knives
posted by music for skeletons at 7:14 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

I would ask for money towards a beautiful dining room table, because food is so central to home and it’s a place where your loved ones can gather. And set an intention to throw lots of casual, informal dinner parties when the pandemic is over!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:14 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

Great bed sheets, pillows, mattress topper and a wool blankets.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 7:16 PM on April 6 [4 favorites]

A robot vacuum, Le Creuset, a nice knife set. Beautiful and sturdy pottery dishes that we use every day. We also got cash and used it to buy a really good king sized mattress and it’s been amazing.
posted by incountrysleep at 7:25 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

We were nerds in 1999 (as we remain today) and registered for board games. I would do that again. We also registered for cookware, a good burr coffee grinder, a crock pot, everyday Denby stoneware, everyday flatware, serviceable knives, and Pyrex. Today, I would add cookbooks.
posted by girlbowler at 7:30 PM on April 6 [4 favorites]

Quality silverware/flatware. Everyone should be so lucky to experience spoons that don’t bend when you’re scooping ice cream and that can also go in the dish washer.

If you don’t already have: Good pots. Good knives. A kitchen aid. Middle level dishes and towels. Basic glasses/tumblers. Oxo tools that you will use (potato peeler for sure). Quality measuring spoons.

We also registered for games - trivial pursuit, a play doh thing I coveted, awesome crayons. These days I’d register for a Switch. Certain people may not get joy from buying you ‘necessities’.

Tools are a good idea if you don’t have. A good drill is so useful even if you aren’t a big diyer. A solid hammer and mallet. One of those screwdrivers with the switchable tips. Wheelbarrow, rake, shovel, trowel, etc if you garden. Patio pillows. Outdoor lamps.

Laundry wishes? I have a great sturdy drying rack and metro shelves in the laundry room. An electric mattress pad. Massagers.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:33 PM on April 6

A couple I know registered for camping equipment.
posted by angiep at 7:33 PM on April 6 [12 favorites]

Honestly i would just skip the whole thing. People bought us things but I feel guilty and weird about it now and if i could do it again i would tell them to donate to a charity if they wanted to.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:43 PM on April 6 [17 favorites]

Towels. We got nice ones, better than we would have ever gotten ourselves. They are going strong 16 years later, through heavy usage.
posted by jb at 7:47 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

We registered for daily dishes and silverware, and people were happy to buy them for us. We also registered for chef's knives, and didn't receive a single one (people are afraid to buy knives in particular, I think). We registered for luggage, but it turned out that literally everybody thought that we'd just given into the pressure tactics at Macy's, and nobody bought it. We used Amazon's "universal registry" to add things like museum memberships but I don't think we actually got any. Probably the most out-there thing we actually received was a case of 72 (single) old fashioned glasses, which Libbey doesn't sell in smaller quantities. We keep a dozen in the kitchen, three dozen in the basement that come out for parties, and the rest were either given away or broken.

Almost everything people bought for us was a kitchen or bar item. We registered for other stuff, but the momentum all seemed to be in that one category. I had made sure to put a high ticket item on each registry (a stand mixer at one, fancy cookware at another), and in our case nobody bought any of it, which was totally fine (I basically just put them on there, over my wife's objections that we seemed greedy, based on the logic that some people may just want to go in on a big gift, so at least give them something to do).

The day after the wedding my sister said, "I never bought you a gift. What didn't you get?" Somehow we got our luggage in time for our honeymoon, and we still use it.
posted by fedward at 7:47 PM on April 6

I know people who have more than enough stuff and the resources to buy more stuff give a list of charities to have people donate to.
posted by brookeb at 7:48 PM on April 6 [9 favorites]

We asked for insulation batts (well, cash for) and insulated our roof.
posted by freethefeet at 7:51 PM on April 6 [2 favorites]

There is a tradition that giving a knife as a gift is bad luck (unless you also give money -- usually a penny). Maybe that's at play here?

Anyway, skip the china dishes and sterling, and focus on what you need or else what you do with your free time: cooking or camping or whatever. We've been married almost 25 years and some gifts instantly remind me of the folks who gave them while other things I forgot quickly. That carving knife and those everyday silverware remind me of friends and family, because we use them more than once a day.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:53 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

[Slight derail but the cure for bad luck on knife gifts - i.e., that the knife will cut the marriage bond - is for the giver to give the receiver $1 instead of the knife and tell them they need to buy the knife from the giver. Source: Got $2 for our wedding to buy two knives, still married 13 yrs later and using the knives]
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:07 PM on April 6 [7 favorites]

nthing honeymoon fund. We had a few other larger purchases we crowdsourced. Really, anything should be fair game if its a thing you could use or want. Good people will get you want you ask for. There's a good chance you will also get what you do not ask for - We have a box of ancestral china under our stairs now.
posted by lownote at 8:22 PM on April 6

We gave the whole registry idea a miss. With any luck neither of us will ever be faced with the question of what to do about it again, but if we did I'm sure both of us would still give it a miss next time around as well.

We also wanted to make our wedding reception a bring-a-plate potluck instead of doing the whole wedding gifts thing, but both sets of parents vetoed that and insisted on paying for catering instead.

It's just weird how many people keep telling the bride "it's your day" and then acting in ways diametrically opposed to that.
posted by flabdablet at 8:23 PM on April 6 [5 favorites]

Got married in '92. Even after the divorce I still use the every day cutlery. Also, I now use the fine china as my everyday plates. We probably only used it 4 or 5 times during the marriage. Registered for, and received, a bunch of kitchen appliances we used a lot. We also were gifted tech stuff of the day like a video recorder, VCR, and portable DVD player.

The one unusual item that we registered for and received which I still cherish is a really nice rocking chair.

I would consider registering for workout equipment, a standing desk, nice chair or other home office stuff.
posted by AugustWest at 8:29 PM on April 6 [2 favorites]

The stuff we use every day - Le Creuset, our coffee machine, dinner sets, stand mixer. Someone bought a goat for a charity on our behalf which I thought was great too.
posted by Jubey at 8:42 PM on April 6

Another oldie over here, got married in '95. We are still using the "nicer than we would have bought ourselves" everyday dishes we got from Williams-Sonoma -- their Brasserie line. Same with the Calphalon pots & pans, and Wusthof knives.

We also got some high-quality sheet sets that are still going strong, believe it or not. Sometimes these really nice sheets/duvets just get softer and more lovely with each wash.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:45 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

In my ask history there is a question I asked where I desperately wanted permission to ask for $$$ and was scolded away from the idea. This is the kind of thing that people strongly differ about. I registered for a food processor, a nice cutting board, a nice carafe for cold drinks, and some measuring spoons and I still regularly use them all later. Don’t register for a cheeseboard, I literally never use it.
posted by cakelite at 9:05 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

Good hiking and camping equipment - at the time my cousin worked for REI, so that turned out very well.
posted by centrifugal at 9:19 PM on April 6 [2 favorites]

We didn't register for anything because, like you, we had enough stuff and we didn't want to put our guests through the hassle of buying more stuff for the sake of tradition, and then putting us through the hassle of having to look after more stuff. No presents, just your presence, etc.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 9:32 PM on April 6 [5 favorites]

We didn’t register but my advice is that if you get something you won’t use and it comes with a gift receipt, to use it instead of sticking with something you didn’t ask for out of misplaced guilt. I wish I’d done this instead of sticking with the food processor I won’t use.
posted by sm1tten at 9:38 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

We took it as an opportunity to upgrade some things, where we had second-hand or thrift store stuff that worked and was fine but wasn't great. A duvet cover we actually picked out ourselves, an actual set of silverware so all our forks match now... Some camping stuff, too (a better cooler, a lightweight table). Those are the ones that stick in my mind so clearly they're the ones I'm most glad about!

I think in general: housewares, where you can either identify a gap or "an upgrade would be nice." And things that you two can enjoy together, which is why you see camping stuff a lot, but if you have any couple-y hobby/activity of choice, your friends who are also into that hobby/activity will probably enjoy buying you things for it. The honeymoon fund option also seems pretty common these days.

We also noted on our website that we didn't need stuff so no one should feel obligated to give a gift, and we linked to a few charities, encouraging people to donate in lieu of gifts. The charities ended up getting a couple hundred bucks all together. That felt nice. I'm still glad we registered because some people just really wanna get you a gift so it might as well be something you like.
posted by mandanza at 9:38 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

I would love to buy people nursery gifts or certificates if they like plants.
posted by trig at 2:43 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]

Pendleton blankets
Chunky bath robes
House plants
A coffee press or an espresso maker thinger
Def linen sheets (!!)
posted by speakeasy at 3:08 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

One thing you should AVOID doing is registering for third-party items on Amazon - suddenly that $200 piece of camping equipment you registered for is inexplicably priced at $500 and your aunts all go in on it together...

We registered for mostly small stuff - a new coffee grinder, glassware - and a couple of higher-ticket items. We didn't register for that much stuff, so some people gave us cash, some people gave us off-registry gifts (mostly very nice!), and some people did not give us gifts (which we were 100% fine with). I don't love the "register for an experience" sites because um, why do they get 10% of my gift for telling me that my cousin is going to spend it on a massage? I usually just give a check if people are registered at those kinds of sites. But supposedly people do give more if you sign up for one of those sites than they would otherwise.

I do mildly disapprove of directly asking for cash but I 100% approve of WANTING cash and GIVING cash. For me, that translated to the dumb vague hinting of "Oh, we already have everything we need, especially with our tiny apartment! Maybe we'll be able to afford a bigger place after we're married..." And I told, e.g., my parents, that I didn't want stuff, just money, and that they were welcome to pass that on to family members in whatever language they wanted.
posted by mskyle at 4:19 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]

We didn’t (not in our culture). They were by and large thoughtful, reflected the giver and reminded us of them in a way that a registry wouldn’t, and some were things we wouldn’t even have thought about getting but enjoyed. Many gave us gift cards for furniture stores, which we had no trouble using. No one gave us two rice cookers or whatever it is that people claim will happen if you don’t register. Also, some people gave nothing which was just fine by us. It sounds like you’re not obsessive about all your kitchen items being perfectly coordinated, so consider this path!
posted by redlines at 5:20 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]

We used Honeyfund as a way to let people give us cash while still "picking" something - they were giving us money for a dinner on our honeymoon, or a night at the hotel, or an activity we wanted to do while we were there. It was totally flexible so you could also list charities here if you don't have a better spot to suggest them (you would need to do the donation once you get the money). We also had a regular registry with items at a variety of pricepoints. People really like a. giving tangible gifts and b. knowing that they're giving you something you like. I'd say definitely be creative if you want to go another route but don't feel bad if you want to stick with doing a registry.
posted by brilliantine at 5:27 AM on April 7

We were another couple that registered for board games. We still play them (I think we ended up with risk, scattergories, balderdash, a few others) with our kid, nearly 20 years later.
posted by gaspode at 5:31 AM on April 7

We registered at REI and got a bunch of camping equipment, including a sleeping bag, some camping cookbooks and a few others things.
posted by chiefthe at 6:06 AM on April 7

Electric bed warmer; artwork.
posted by metasarah at 6:07 AM on April 7

Bath towels. We didn't even register for them but recieved a good set anyways and after 20+ years of steady use we just retired them this year.
posted by Mitheral at 6:25 AM on April 7

We skipped it and said “if you really *must* bring something, booze”, just to try to avoid still being given random home-making junk to clutter the house with.

IMO registries are a tradition that makes vanishingly decreasing sense as people marry later, more financially secure, and having already moved in. Our guests were already putting a bunch of effort into coming to our do (travel, hotels etc). It felt uncomfortable to further encumber them with demands for houseware, especially for guests who aren't well-off. Like, “please subsidise our household with a bunch of fancy goods we don't actually value enough to have already bought ourselves”?

posted by BobInce at 6:47 AM on April 7 [7 favorites]

We both had simple, but complete households before we got married; so we didn't need things like silverware or a blender or stuff like that. In a lot of cases, we had two of a thing and had to get rid of one! So we registered for Board Games and Lego kits.

Oddly, I'd say that 75% of our gifts were household items that were NOT on our registry. I think people looked at our Board Game choices and went "Surely they don't want a...[adjusts glasses] Gloomhaven Board Game, surely they REALLY need a punch bowl." Uncharitably, I think that these relatives just found a good deal on a punch bowl and said "ah yes, that's a good wedding gift" and decided to go for it rather than go the extra millimeter and get us something that we registered for but they did not understand.

Anyway, we wanted Board Games and we got punch bowls. To help avoid this situation with our friends, we always buy off the registry unless we know the people well and 100% know what would be on their real wish list. YMMV.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:01 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

We registered for a dining room table and chairs from Crate and Barrel to replace the sidewalk-find furniture we had. I think there was an option to have people contribute a smaller amount. We did not get the full cost paid for... but that’s ok as there was a significant, like 20% discount to “complete your registry” and pay the difference. We saved hundreds of dollars because of that.
posted by sol at 7:10 AM on April 7

Nthing camping stuff. Nice tent, maybe a sleeping bag for two, etc.
posted by number9dream at 7:34 AM on April 7

My wife and I had already been together for almost seven years by the time we got married and as such there wasn't a whole lot of house stuff we really *needed* by that point, so in lieu of having a registry we asked guests to donate to a couple of charities we each chose. Most of the people who didn't want to do that for whatever reason (and there were a few) wound up giving us cash.

But to actually answer your question, if we had registered I would have chosen bigger-ticket items like furniture or really nice bedding/linen/towels over a bunch of random gadgets (buying a freakin' lemon zester for someone else's wedding because almost nothing else on the registry was left put me off the idea of registries altogether).
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:46 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

We were in the same situation of "been together for a while before we got married, didn't really need any house stuff" but certain family members insisted that we have a registry. I put a kazoo on the registry, which we received.

So I suggest that you put a kazoo on your registry. A nice metal one, not the cheap plastic kind that you would normally buy for yourself.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:49 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]

Upgrades to existing things we had but would need to be replaced in the next few years, like a vacuum, microwave, and shower curtain. You can put the new one away and keep using the old one until it dies, but that assumes you have storage space. We put on a set of salt and pepper grinders and the salt one is still in use (pepper grinder broke), and also a wedding themed scrapbook kit. Casual plates and bowls (not china), wooden TV trays, pet items, camping items, luggage. Board games and cookbooks are popular with gift givers, so be sure to list a few so people can be sure not to buy you one you already have.

In the current US culture, gift registries are not asking for gifts! They are providing ideas for people who want to give you a gift. I am a bad gift giver and wish everyone would give me a wish list when I want to buy them a gift. For weddings, I give cash or gift cards.
posted by soelo at 8:26 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]

I upgraded a few of my pots and pans. Le Creuset dutch oven (this gets SO much use).

We also got nice everyday dishes that are dishwasher safe. And that are cute enough for dinner parties.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:06 AM on April 7

We were emerging from broke post-college status when we got married and while we had the bare functionality level of housewares from living together, it was all falling apart, so we did register for the "traditional" stuff (my only regret, honestly, is picking the nice china with the platinum border instead of the plain white bone china that would be easier to wash), but I agree that upgrades to your current stuff are totally reasonable and a way to slice this. For example, if all your flatware or drinking glasses are a random jumble of stuff stolen from past roommates, get a full set of sturdy ones that actually match and that you like. If your sheets are a decade old, ask for a set or two of something that's a delight to sleep on, but that you wouldn't just go get yourself. Get new pillows if yours are manky (and pillows constantly need replacing, so that's easy!). The "small life upgrades" threads are good idea-starters. Hobby things, like games or gear, or luggage/travel gear for your honeymoon or a hopeful post-COVID future are great. Small "housewarming party" type things that you legitimately like, like scented candles, fun wall prints, or consumable things like nice soap, spice blends, nice vanilla extract, etc are useful and good for people who love you and want to give you something tangible on a budget.

Also, while we still actively use (or have used up and replaced) almost everything we received for our wedding, the most FUN gift we got was a cheese of the month subscription for 6 months. If there's anything random like that that appeals, I am willing to bet someone would be happy to give it to you and get texted every time your tasty cheese (wine/whatever it is) shows up and is tasty! And then we ate the cheese, and it didn't take up space forever.

You'll get stuff you don't ask for, and a lot of it will be tea towels, if my experience is at all normal, but those things have a limited shelf life and something is always getting spilled, anyway. There are worse fates. I feel like for all the angst about registries and gifts and all that, the most important and best part is knowing that people thought about and cared about us in their own way. It's so easy to lose sight of that with all the fraught emotions and expectations and family conflict that come up around a wedding. Congratulations on the coming marriage!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 9:12 AM on April 7


Mrs. Kreiger and I had combined households before we married, and gave away an entire registry worth of beds, sheets, household goods, etc. while we were planning the wedding.

A few people covered the cost of their meal and drinks (most didn't), and a few people couldn't help bringing something, but they were small, deeply personal gifts, like a hand-turned bowl with our wedding date on the bottom.

The money we were given went straight on to the cost of the wedding itself, which seemed like the right place for it, to us.
posted by Kreiger at 9:31 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

posted by toddforbid at 9:45 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

I found a registry where you could add things like "make a dessert for our wedding," "help set up/break down the venue," "donate to xxxxx organization," stuff like that. We also registered for a honeymoon fund, and then a few traditional things (that Le Creuset braiser, man, we use it almost every day), and a few non-traditional things (bike rack, fund towards nice furniture, songbooks). It worked out well because our guest list ranged from broke artist friends to rich elder relatives wanting some direction. We got almost everything, including the intangible things. Some people wrote us checks anyway. A few went off-registry with some really neat gifts! The only real misses were an ugly "artistic" household item and a random crystal vase that we still don't know the source of.

My only registry regret is not registering for dishes, because we had the random thrift store jumble, and were perfectly content with it, but several years and one child later, that's become impractical, and good-quality dishes can be expensive.
posted by the_blizz at 10:34 AM on April 7

We had complete households, so we registered for a few things that needed an upgrade. Also, serving dishes. We had the dishes, but we didn't have platters, or a gravy boat, or a nice pitcher. Those turned out to be the all-stars. We use them all the time!
posted by BlueBear at 10:54 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

People definitely were more comfortable giving us household goods (including sheets, towels, a rug) than the other things on our registry, but I did like having those. We had power tools, fruit and vegetable seeds for the garden, and charities on our registry also and I still feel fondness for the people who said, yes, I will buy you a wedding sawzall. Most folks gave cash which was good.
posted by Lady Li at 11:50 AM on April 7

Friends did a honeymoon fund for a big trip, with amounts pegged off ($50- a dinner, $100- night in a cheap hotel $200- a scuba class, etc).

And they made it clear that they’d donate 15% of the total cash, splitting equally between Black Lives Matter, Greenpeace, and a local Indigenous organization. The couple is white so I loved this because it meant they were kind of forcing their relatives to support their politics and tacitly inviting convos with anyone who didn’t.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 12:59 PM on April 7

This thread is reminding me that for a while people kept recommending fire extinguishers here as a wedding gift. Maybe you need some fire extinguishers?
posted by trig at 1:56 PM on April 7

Hiking gear, board games, charity donations, inflatable kayak/paddleboard/paraglider/slackline/outdoor gear.
posted by turkeyphant at 3:51 PM on April 7

I married a partner I already owned a home with, and our needs were few. A lot of our registry was, like, "the nice version of a thing we already have and use." So now I own, like, coasters I actually really love, and attractive, well-designed, matching kitchen utensils. It felt exciting and decadent to receive these little upgrades. I would totally do it again.
posted by girlstyle at 2:35 PM on April 8

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