Wedding Wednesday- The Registry

Apr 12, 2009 by

Wedding Wednesday- The Registry

Ok, ok so it isn’t Wednesday I will give you that.  I am late.  Readers I urge you for forgiveness.

To make up for it this will be a spectacular Wedding Wednesday on Sunday.

This week’s Topic: The Registry.

You will questions as soon as your are engaged as to where you are registered.  Trust me you will.  And if you are really particular on what you want maybe you want a registry that early.  We have a very small place and don’t have a lot of room for things we don’t need, but all the non-registry gifts we have received are lovely.

So the first decision is when to register- again people will be asking.  I would suggest registering as soon as possible.  Heck yes it is a pain in the butt, but people really would like guidance.  My suggestion is to just register for a few things you know you need- new towels, sheets or table linens and maybe a few fun things like some vases, picture frames, toasting glasses and cake cutters.  That way people will have a good selection, but you won’t be overwhelmed quite yet.

Next decision is where to register-  I suggest registering in multiple places that way people can find somewhere convenient for them.  And check to see if they use the interface.  If so 3% of online purchases can go to a charity you designate.

Macy’s– the pro to Macy’s is that it is everywhere.  Literally everywhere now.  The downfall- it is hard for you to find stuff to register for and it is even harder for your guests to locate those gifts.  They have so many things, but everything is divided by brand instead of by type of item. We went searching for a knife set for a friend, and we looked at 12 different knife sets of the same brand and none were that of the registry.  Then finding someone to find the right one was even more difficult.  So although it might be great for you as you might not have to register in more than one place, it could be difficult for your guests.  What you need:

121584_fpxtifCasual dinnerware that won’t go out of style.  Although you can replace this easier than fine china, you really want something beautiful, but versatile.  When I was little we had white plates with a navy blue stripe around the rim.  I always remember how elegant those plates were in their simplicity.

William Sonoma– The pros- also everywhere.  Also they have a fantastic thank-you note assistant where they even give you the addresses for your thank you cards.  The cons- limited selection.  They have all you ever need for the kitchen, but on dining, server-ware, and the rest of the home it is limited.  Consider this as an alternative registry.  What you need:

img39mThis cutting board is reversible.  The edge makes it great for carving meat because it will catch the juices, as much as you let meat rest there will be some au jus.  Also Bamboo stays more sanitary than other wooden cutting boards, and it looks nice too.

Crate and Barrel– The pros- relatively mid-priced items, furniture, kitchen, dining with lots of options, even some bedding.  The cons- their bedding isn’t that nice, they don’t have china and you have to like slightly modern design.  What you need:

reversibledoublegriddleThis is a reversible griddle/ grill pan that will fit on top of your gas burners.  Great for steaks, pancakes, panini’s, kabobs, polenta rounds, the list goes on and on.  For us it means with a meat press, that we can get rid of our grill pan and panini maker.  So it will clear some space in the kitchen while providing some good eats.

Dillards– The pros- has much of the same goods as Macy’s and other department stores, including china.  It has lots of sales.  The con- it is a regional location and is lacking in really nice serverware and brands. Also their online interface is awful.  What you need:

hq-084_ziThis classic pitcher by Waterford is timeless and classic.  I think it would fit in any home for a casual dinner or more formal.  It reminds me of a more formal version of the old Fiestaware pitchers.

Bloomingdales– The pros- the store is easily laid out and finding something is very easy.  They have a nice selection of china, bedding, housewares, kitchen and furniture.  Staff is easily found to help locate and package any selections and they have free gift wrap.  They have a good web interface.  Also they are extremely helpful in helping you add items to your registry in person or over the phone and will also help with any mishaps quickly and efficiently.  The cons- in metropolitan areas only, a little more pricey than other department stores with fewer sales covering the whole store.  They have a thank you card manager, as well, but it doesn’t give you the return addresses. What you need:

945249_fpxtifSomeone is going to want to get you the big wooden salad bowl and salad spoons.  You don’t know who it is, but someone will have that urge.  Cut them off at the pass by putting this beautiful bowl and serving spoons on your registry.  It is so pretty they will hopefully realize that the big wooden bowl and spoons are not on your list for a reason.  Plus when you are not using this, it would be beautiful sitting in a glass china cabinet.  I really feel a piece of Michael Aram is essential.  From a picture frame,  to beautiful trivets, to this bowl this brand has some amazing designs.

Pottery Barn– The pros- nice web interface, is a little more spread out than Bloomingdales. The cons- again like Crate and Barrel it has a limited selection and no china.  Also it does tend to be more pricey than Crate and Barrel or Macy’s. What you need:


With classic casual dinnerware or china, spruce up the table with colorful linens.  The stitch on these makes them very classy looking, while the colors available could make any table very fun.  Also you can tell even from the picture that the linen used is a nice quality.  Just remember they will have to be ironed.  Their quilts are also made from really nice fabric and get so soft in the wash.  I would highly recommend adding one of those too.

So where did I register?  Bloomingdales, Crate and Barrel and William Sonoma.  We live in the city and a majority of our visitors either will order online or be within 20 miles of a store.  We did most of our registry at Bloomingdales and put a few things that Bloomingdales didn’t have on the other registries.

Now what to register for:

On any registry that you need to check a box that says you will accept gift cards, do.

Bloomingdales has a great service that analyzes your registry to tell you if you have enough gifts in the right price ranges.

I always think it is best to err on the side of too many.  People who can’t attend the wedding might like to send you a gift, you will need shower gifts and then the wedding gifts.  You want to make sure you have all price ranges considered.  More on the lower so if people want to pair multiple small things.

You should register for china, unless you already have really nice china, this might be your only chance to get nice china paid for. Pick out a pattern that will always be classic and stylish try to avoid bright colors and patterns that you will tire of or that will go out of season.  Also remember you will be using your china year round.

If you get china, make sure you look to see if they have coffer service, gravy boats and serving platters and bowls to match.  Likewise if you get silverware check to see if there are matching serving pieces.

Register for a cake serving set and toasting flutes.  Some people will want to get you these so they feel that their gift is a part of your wedding.

Now you need to deeply analyze your stock.  If you have nothing that is easy, or if you have a really huge house.  I don’t.  So we went for as many multiple use things as possible.

For instance I don’t have room for a slow cooker and a rice cooker; however, I would like a rice cooker to help with my sushi, and a slow cooker to slow cook.  So I registered for this:

41zt8dnne3l_sl500_aa280_It slow cooks, rice cooks or steams.

Also you don’t need a food processor that slices, chops, purees and makes dough and a mini-chopper, and a mandolin, and knives.  And really unless you are a super chef, I really think the small cuisinart should do you.  I don’t need a mini-chopper.  I have good knives.  If you feel you need all those things you need a course on knife skills.  Unless you can a whole garden, then I will give it to you.  Also make sure you feel your knives and try them.  William Sonoma is a goood place for this.  Don’t buy Shun if they don’t feel good too.  Don’t buy Global knives unless they feel good in your hand for all types of chopping.  Also you don’t need 12 knives.  really you need a couple nice chef knives, a sanotoku or two, a boning knife, paring knife and a bread knife.  That’s really all you should need.  A knife set really is a waste as you will get a lot of knives you don’t need and you might like the chef’s knife of one brand and sanotoku of another.

Replace spatulas and spoons if they are old and worn, baking sheets that don’t cook well.

Get a pizza pan if you don’t have one or a pizza stone, they are really nice.  They help cook your pizzas evenly and pizza makes a great fast meal, and an exceptionally fun meal for guests to help you customize with their favorite toppings.

Get what you need or would like to replace.

Get really nice sheets.  If you don’t have 300 count sheets, you need them, multiple sets so that when you need to wash them you are not without others, trust me you won’t go back.  Make sure you guest bedroom has nice sheets, too.

Get nice glassware.  If you like beer, get Waterford Pilsners.  If you drink liquor get nice high balls, martini glasses and etc.  If you like wine get decanteurs and wine glasses.  We already have casual glasses we love, but we had Ikea wine glasses before, not anymore.  But get some that you can use everyday and won’t kill yourself replacing, like a casual Waterford set, in case you break them and a fancy set.  That way you don’t have to be careful everytime you have people over for a cocktail party.

Make sure to get linens for all seasons, containers for in cabinets for things like flour and sugar, candles and diffusers, nice liquor decanters, a Le Crueset dutch oven (trust me you want one), a really good skillet without non-stick coating, a cast iron skillet, a non-stick skillet, sauce pots, baking pans.

Also make sure you have a tab on the very first page of your wedding website directing guests to the registry.  They will ask for it, they will not find it make it easy.

You can register for luggage, the only problem is that it often won’t come in time for when you need it.

Also consider listing a charity that you support.

That is my registry advice.  If you have any other specific questions on if a product is good, I highly recommend using they have a board called Cookware that is a nice board to view before stocking your registry, search for registry in the threads there will be lots of hits, those people cook a lot, they know what is good.  And feel free to ask me.

Good luck.  I found that this can be a really tiring experience and not near as much fun as you think it is, I was lucky that my fiance was really good at taking control when I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  I suggest devoting a whole day to this and taking multiple breaks just to get something to drink or eat so you don’t get too worn out.   And remember if you get odd gifts not on your registry you can’t use, ebay is a good thing.

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1 Comment

  1. Excellent advice, Kate! I agree–filling your registry is a fairly exhausting endeavor because not only must you plan for what you want now, but what you MIGHT want a few years down the road.

    The only thing that I would add is this: Put LOTS MORE things than you think you will need/want on your registry list, because after the wedding date, your store will give you 10-20% off everything that wasn’t purchased. They call it a “completion rate” and it’s useful for buying up that last silver setting or highball glass.

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