I'm a fan of tips in a list (Organizing Tips for Every Room), so when I decided to write about wedding registries, I knew I wanted a list of good tips to pass onto readers, and I went straight to the best source: my recently-married friends.
Here are their best tips for organizing your registry, including the things they wish they registered for more of, and what they never used.1. Keep your expectations in check.
Most of my friends say they ended up with some things they love, some things they never use, and some things they truly wish they never registered for in the first place. Make sure to keep your expectations in check. Building a home really takes a lifetime: your tastes will change, your needs will change, and your housing situation may change. That's why sticking to really nice basics is your best bet.
2. Cover the basics.
First cover the basics, then move on to more specialized items. My friend Jen, a marketer in New York City puts it best: "I've been married for three years and still haven't used my waffle iron. Honestly, if I really wanted to make waffles - couldn't I just go out and buy a new iron today rather than having to stare at the one sitting in my kitchen cabinet every morning?"
The key to not getting overwhelmed while registering--especially in the kitchen--is to start with the basics like kitchen tools, every day appliances and dinnerware, and then move onto more specialized items like waffle irons, ice cream makers, and woks when you begin to need them more regularly. Jen concurs, "I would advise people not to register for the non-essentials -- they'll grow to hate them taking up space in their cabinets."
3. Think long-term.
"Think about things that will have a long life-span: people like to buy things that you will have for a long time and you will think of them when you use them," says my friend Heather, a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. I can assure you that this is true: when Heather married her husband Dan, I got them a huge food platter because she loves to entertain. I wanted to give them something they'd use and would last. Keep your guests' desire to get you something substantial in mind when registering.
4. Don't buy sets.
You get more quality for your money if you buy a la carte than in a set. Think about pot and pan sets; you really only need three pots (2 sauce pots and a stock pot) and maybe a fourth if you're boiling lobster or preparing soups in extra large batches.
Instead, register for fewer, higher-quality pots and pans. It may seem easier to just register for a set, but if you only use 3 of those pots, choose the ones you will use the most, and register for a good brand (like All Clad).