Wedding Registries: Brainstorming & Beginnings

Kass and I have been engaged for about 7 months now and we’ve finally gotten around to start making our wedding registries. This has been a small struggle for us for a handful of reasons. First of all, it feels awkward and almost selfish to list out specific gifts that we would want people to give us. Secondly, we already live together and have a lot of housewares already, so what do we include? Third, asking flat out for money (whether cash or money towards a honeymoon registry) we feel is tacky (although we know not all agree, you do you folks) so we’ve decided against that. Finally, we’re doing a small ceremony and then reception/dinner a few months later for those we couldn’t invite to the ceremony, so any wedding registry we make needs to stay open long enough for both events.

The Knot’s Wedding Registry Etiquette breaks a lot of these registry and gift rules, do’s/don’ts and such down pretty clearly (and has some honestly solid advice). I’d definitely give it a solid read-through before you begin creating any registries.

So on topic #1: Asking for gifts. We’re not including the link(s) or store information for our registries in our invitations (again tacky/rude), but we will include information to our wedding website. (I’ll be writing a separate post on that, so stay tuned.) From there friends, family, and guests can get more information on the registries and everything else related to our wedding. If there’s anything we don’t get (of which we assume a lot) we can buy it for ourselves at our convenience. All of the items one here are wants/it would be nice if, rather than absolute needs.

Where do you even register? What should you include? It honestly gets overwhelming pretty fast.

Picking a place or multiple places has been honestly a small challenge. In my research, blogs, magazines, and websites all have varying pieces of advice but boil down these few key pieces:

  1. Register at at least 2 places but no more than 5 or so
  2. Make sure the registry incentives/perks work for you
  3. Include storage (especially for any china you may add)
  4. The way you entertain now will not be how you entertain in five or ten years, so plan ahead!
  5. Timeless timeless timeless (if it’s too trendy you might not want or like it in five years!)
  6. Include things that you’ll actually use (ex. if you’re really into camping, include things like that)
  7. Keep your guests’ budgets in mind. Have things for all price points (broke college friend who can barely afford to come vs rich relative who wants to buy you some crystal candlesticks or something like that).
  8. Charity. Make donating an option. Choose a charity or organization either you want to donate to or give your guests a series of options of where to donate.

First we settled on an Amazon registry. We already have AmazonPrime so I believe a shipping (and shopping) discount is included. It’s also a universal registry, so you can easily add items from outside of Amazon if there are better deals elsewhere or if the item isn’t found on Amazon. It’s also helpful if you only want one or two items from a store and it’s not worth it to create a separate registry. What I love about Amazon in general you can read all the reviews to see if something is good quality, will last etc. which you can’t really get in stores. The full list of Amazon Registry benefits can be found here.

We’ve created a second registry at Crate & Barrel for things like glassware and tableware. We have everyday table settings already, and are inheriting a set of china from my grandmother (which is incomplete so when we take inventory of that, we’ll add to it to complete it), but what we have isn’t lasting very well (thanks IKEA). That and we hate our silverware and how old and beat up it is (sorry mom). I absolutely recommend going into stores like Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Target, or Bed, Bath, & Beyond in person because you have an opportunity to touch and feel items to make sure you like them in person rather than seeing them solely online.

To help you start figuring out where to register, I’d check out these places:

The Knot’s Top 26

Vogue’s Top 22

Bride’s Top 27

Bride’s Rewards & Perks Breakdown

So on what to include:
Well, the easiest place we found to start was the kitchen. We’ve included some kitchen gadgets, like baking items and a food scale. We have a Kitchenaide stand mixer that I inherited from my grandmother that was made in the 1960s I believe. The only reason we included one is because the one we have is a bit small (only 4 or 4.5 qt, rather than 5 or 6qt which is today’s standard) and since our current one is so old, it needs some maintenance to function safely, as it sat on the counter for many years (honestly probably about two decades) collecting dust.

I asked one of our chefs at the restaurant I work at for recommendations for knife sets, because that is something that can get very pricey very quickly if you’re not careful. His favorite brand is Victorinox, which he uses both at home and in the restaurant kitchen. They’re not crazy expensive, especially compared to some other brands out there, and are NSF (National Sanitary Foundation) approved which is pretty neat. We settled on this 15 piece set which includes a set of stake knives, which we absolutely need.

Outside the kitchen, we included more sheets and towels. We love board and card games so we included a few of those, like Jenga and Scrabble, to expand our ever-growing collection. Our splurge item is an iRobot Roomba to help keep the cat hair/dander and dust down.

After speaking to my mom and a few more observant friends, we’ve (I’ve) decided not to register for any Judaica at this time. Not that I don’t want any, but rather would like to pick out the pieces myself. I might create a Judaica-specific registry in time but most couples, at least according to my mother, use the money gifted to them to purchase their Judaica together. My other friends were gifted much of their Judaica at their bridal shower and only registered for home essentials/decor that they didn’t already have. I’m still rather torn, truth be told, over the issue. What do you recommend? I’m not really finding any solid advice online.

To start brainstorming your own list (and to take inventory of what you already have) I’d recommend starting here:

The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Registry Check List

Buzzfeed’s Compilation of Ultimate Registry Items

FrumBride’s Wedding Registry Check List

Wedding Yenta’s Very Jewish Wedding Registry List

OneCountry: 50 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed

Emmaline Bride: 9 Things I Wish I Had Included
Young House Love’s Registry Dos & D’ohs

Charity/Tzedakah
Kass and I love Morikami Museum & Japanese Garden in South Florida and on our wedding website have asked our guests to consider donating there. We are members there and plan on making a donation there as well.

Hope this helps you as you start customizing your registries. Happy planning!

Shabbat shalom

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