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We got married seven (7!) years ago, and wedding registries looked SO much different then. Our choices seemed limited to one store or one brand, which meant we ended up compromising not only the quality of gifts we registered for, but the style. I don’t shop at just two or three stores, so why would I register for gifts that only came from a few places? Combine that with the fact that I honestly wasn’t even sure what we needed or wanted, and we ended up with a wedding registry that felt a little random (except for our Pottery Barn dinner plates. I still LOVE those).
Couples today have some great choices when it comes to not only where they register, but what they’re able to register for. The things that used to annoy me about universal wedding registries (like being super confusing for couples AND guests) have now been solved by wedding registries like Zola, who not only curate amazing products I didn’t even know about, but feature so many of the brands I already love. Basically it’s the best of both worlds when it comes to wedding registries, and I’m honestly kind of super bummed it wasn’t around when we got married!
While we can’t technically register for our wedding gifts again (or can we?!), I can live vicariously through all you lucky couples and create a wedding registry based on what I WISH I had registered for. What I learned while going through this process again (and in the 7 years since we got married, in which time we’ve hosted holiday dinners, cocktail parties, houseguests galore…you name it!) is to come up with a wedding registry plan. For instance, if you tend to have a lot out of town guests, you should register for more than two sets of towels (you’ll need two sets for you and another two for guests…remember about laundry day, people!). Or if you and your partner are wine drinkers (like we are) you’ll want more than six wine glasses, which is how many we registered for and I’m still asking myself why. Zola’s checklist makes it SUPER easy to register for everything you need. They walk you through every room in the house and suggest items you might love based on your style and price range. Plus, they automatically recommend the number of sets you’ll need. It’s pretty genius and actually super fun to use.
The new “dream” wedding registry I created (which you can check out here!) features several types of gifts I had managed to register for before (like a food processor, stand mixer, and some cute appetizer plates…all of which we still happily use), but I also got a second chance to think about what I WISH we would have registered for. More on those items, below! And, um, some of these may or may not already be in my shopping cart and ready for me to check out. (That’s another perk about Zola.com. They’re a great place to actually shop at AFTER your wedding, too!).
1. Heirloom-worthy flatware
By the time my husband, Cory, and I got engaged we had just moved into a new apartment together and did a big run to Costco to buy basics such as flatware and dishes. So when we got engaged and registered I left flatware off the list, figuring we’d get it at some point later when we moved into a house. Well, we’ve moved cities but are still apartment dwellers, and we STILL have that same flatware mixed in with another random set I bought online. I wish I had registered for a nice set of flatware that I could take with us no matter where we lived, and a set that would last for longer than our lease.
2. Enough wine glasses
I LOVE our Riedel wine glasses (we got the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay ones), and these glasses are super sturdy, surviving a cross-country move and my clumsy hands. But I only registered for 6 of them and honestly, we could have used another set. There have been several occasions where we’ve had 8 or even 12 people over, all drinking wine. I would make sure to get at least 8 wine glasses if I could do it over again.
3. An entire cookware set
Um, why did I register for just one dutch oven and two saucepans? I would definitely make this one of my big-ticket items and register for a top-of-the-line cookware set. I love our dutch oven and use it all the time (Le Creuset is my fave), but our current random assortment of pans makes me sad. Don’t do like me.
4. A carving set
A great set of knives should definitely be on your wedding registry list, but another thing you should absolutely add is a carving set. We JUST got one two months ago and it’s made a huge difference. You should have seen us trying to cut rotisserie chickens or roasts using a salad fork and a regular knife. (This article is making me feel bad about myself! LOL.)
5. Nice (like really nice) sheets
You know that feeling when you stay in a schmancy hotel and you wake up refreshed and you just want to be fed pancakes and lounge in your robe all day? Great sheets can make you feel like that at home, minus the room service. P.S. Maybe you should also register for a bathrobe now that I think about it.
6. Upgraded appliances
Already have a slow cooker but want one that browns meat so you don’t have to wash TWO things. (Let me answer this for you: YES). Or what about a blender that can barely mix together fruit for a smoothie? Upgrading your appliances that are on the way out or don’t perform very well will save you from just having to purchase the one you really want in a couple years, anyway. Not sure what to do with the outdated appliances you have now? Call your local shelter or mission and see if you can donate any appliances you no longer need.
Ready to register? Sign-up for Zola and get a $50 spending credit.*
7. Speciality glasses
There’s something super fun about pulling a frosty beer mug out of the freezer. Or serving a round of after-dinner drinks in some proper whisky glasses. And nothing says party like a pitcher of margaritas served in some big ol’ margarita glasses. I wish we had registered for a whole bunch of these.
8. Fine china
If you have everyday dishes you love, I would definitely add some higher-end place settings to your wedding registry for entertaining (or just because!). While I LOVE my Pottery Barn everyday plates as I mentioned earlier, when we have people over it would be nice to pull out plates for a special occasion. Plus, you can always mix and match your everyday plates with fine china for a shabby/chic look (especially if your everyday ones are white).
I was super happy when we got our wedding photos back but, surprise, we had nothing to put them in. To this day I have like two 5X7 frames and one 8X10 frame, and that’s it! I wish I would have registered for a cohesive collection of frames for the wall and to display on our desks and tables.
10. A splurge item
Do you drool over the latest espresso machine every-time you pass by a kitchen store, or is that just us? Registering for something you really, really want but would probably never buy for yourself is probably my #1 piece of wedding registry advice (that’s a thing, right?). Plus, big-ticket items like an espresso machine or crazy vacuum make perfect group gifts, something you should definitely have a couple of on your wedding registry.
So, will I get to register again? Sadly, no. But the wedding gifts that I WISHED I had registered for will live on…hopefully in your wedding registry. Or in my husband’s inbox when I accidentally send him my list for our upcoming anniversary. 🙂
Don’t forget about your $50 spending credit on Zola.com!* Sign up here.
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