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Getting married is an exciting time, but it’s also a complicated ritual with a lot of steps. One hurdle engaged couples have to jump before their big day? Registering for wedding gifts. There’s a lot that can go right with a wedding registry, but there’s a lot that can go wrong, too.
1. “When I registered for my wedding, I registered for china and too many fancy things because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. That meant that after the wedding, we had to buy towels, shower curtains, everyday dishes, a utensil tray, dish towels, cooking ware, everyday glasses, tablecloths, serving spoons, candles, and towel racks. These things add up for newly married couples. If I could do it all over again, I would register for everyday things and not the fancy stuff you look at on a shelf.” —Melanie
2. “The hubs and I combined households about five months before the wedding. Needless to say, our wedding registry was small and our family constantly reminded us just how small. We received tons of phone calls asking us what we needed or wanted. Not wanting to collect a ton of stuff we didn’t need, the hubs and I had to buckle down and really look at what we lacked. We went up and down the kitchen appliance aisle at Target and picked out several things. That said, to this day (two months after the wedding), our fancy toaster oven and waffle iron are still in boxes.
“If we had to do it all over again (and the husband will back me up on this), we would register for multiples of things that we use every day like towels and sheets. Thank goodness our family bought us plenty of towels, but the sheets were a different story. He liked one kind and I liked another, so we simply decided we would buy some with the purchase of a bigger bed. The bigger house has to come first, so low and behold we didn’t register for new sheets.
“We would also register at more than one store because not everyone has a Target close-by. I will say, as college students, we really appreciated the gift cards. It meant we could buy not only appliances and household items, but groceries if we chose to. All in all, I think we kept most of our registry very practical and we use most of our gifts weekly if not daily.” —Brittony
3. “Don’t make the registry too sparse. We were afraid of winding up with a bunch of useless kitchen stuff, but in the end we wound up missing some essentials and amassing a ton of towels, because that’s what people default to when you don’t give them enough registry suggestions.
“A friend of mine always said that his registry regret is an enormous toaster. They didn’t notice the size of it when they registered online, and it takes up just about the entirety of the counter space in their tiny apartment kitchen.” —Garrett
4. “We didn’t even want to have a traditional wedding from the beginning, but when you have a decent amount of conservative, traditional family members you make a few exceptions. Needless to say, we also didn’t want to register…but we also did that. We actually had fun with that scanner thing in Target (and we probably registered for things we’ll never need or use). Overall, a pretty good experience considering our starting expectations.
“If we had to do it over, we would do the same thing again. We only registered at Target and even though we registered for a bunch of stuff we didn’t need, we’ve actually used everything we received. We did get several duplicates, but I think that’s pretty much expected.” —Josh
5. “One important lesson I learned after the fact was that I should have taken the scanner away from my husband. Every small kitchen appliance we passed and did not already own, he was scanning it before I turned around. That is why we have a popcorn and ice cream maker. And that is also why we haven’t taken back the popcorn and ice cream maker. I guess some battles just aren’t worth the effort! He also realized that he only enjoys shopping in the Beyond part of Bed, Bath, and Beyond. He lost interest quickly when we started registering for bedding and towels…which is when I finally got to hold the scanner.
“We definitely registered for too much stuff. We got a lot, so I do feel it was worth the time. But looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have wasted my time registering and deciding on things like bathroom rugs, napkin holders, and décor.
“We had three wedding registries: Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Dillards. Our guests used Target and Bed, Bath. and Beyond for the most part—which was fine with us because that’s where most of our items were. But looking back, I wish I would have put all of the important and practical items on those two registries. We missed out on some things (like silverware) because they were registered at Dillard’s. We ended up having a set that we already owned, so we use that. One day we’ll splurge for some new ones, but for now we’re good! But looking back, I wish we would have put more emphasis on those practical things.
Like I said earlier, wasting time on small items won’t get you anywhere. When it comes down to it, people are going to get you what they want to get you…or what’s on sale. It’s important to register for things you know you will like and use, then from there just appreciate all the things you get.
“Also, don’t immediately take things back (unless you absolutely despise it). I found that we actually use some items that I thought we never would, or that I thought we wouldn’t have space for.” —Olivia
6. “We registered at Target. It was convenient that our out-of-town family and guests could order online if they didn’t have a store nearby. When all was said and done, there were a lot of items left on our registry. Most of them were nonessential fluff items to make your house look trendy. One of the few things we really needed were plates and bowls; the honeymoon phase of being okay with using plastic plates was over.
“In our experience, the average wedding guests recognize what is a must-have and overlook décor. It can be disappointing if you expect to get certain items and they remain registry ghosts haunting your decorating dreams. If I had to register for wedding gifts all over again, I would tell myself, ‘Don’t plan on getting everything that you register for!’” —Megan