This is the second installment of a two-part series on simplifying your wedding registry. You can read part one here.
When Dan and I were engaged, we weren’t exactly minimalists yet, but we were definitely “practicalists.” We were at the beginning stages of wanting to own less and live simply, though I wouldn’t say we had a clear strategy or ascribed to it as an all-encompassing lifestyle.
What we did know was that neither of us owned dishes or silverware or really anything practical for the kitchen. We had both relied on roommates who did have these things, so we knew we’d need to register for most of the basics. We also knew we would be having only about 100 people at our wedding, so we knew we needed to be choosy about which items made it onto our registry. We wanted to register wisely for the things we really needed, without going overboard on things that would eventually collect dust in the cabinet or sit in boxes in storage for “someday.”
We didn’t have a clear plan for how to tackle the registry process, except to add only the items that we knew we’d use frequently. We opted for mid-range quality and pricing on most items to make sure they’d last us for a while, and we double-checked online reviews and made necessary adjustments from home. These are the basics we ended up with.
(Side note: These are the items that met our needs based on the tips I shared a few weeks ago. I don’t think that these items necessarily make up the best or the smartest or the simplest registry. Your needs and your list could look so different from this and still be every bit as practical for you. I hope this simply gives you an example of how we put our guidelines into practice.)
- Set of sturdy dishes (We received one set of 4 pieces/4 settings as a gift. Since we didn’t need 4 more of everything, we bought ourselves 2 extra salad plates, dinner plates, and bowls. There was no need to buy more coffee cups.)
- Serving platter and serving bowl to match the dishes
- Set of 4 red-wine glasses
- Set of 8 water glasses and 8 juice glasses (We really didn’t need the juice glasses, but we’ve found ways to put them to use. I eat cereal out of them because it makes me feel less guilty than pouring a big bowl!)
- Basic set of silverware
- Chip and dip server (Because we always, always serve chips and guacamole.)
What we skipped: fine china, real silver, crystal, drink pitchers, white-wine glasses, beer glasses, every kind of cocktail glasses, additional coffee mugs (we already had a bunch), appetizer platters/servers/trays/tasting cups/etc., placemats, linen napkins and rings, knives (we already had these).
- A 5-piece set of cast-iron cookware (You don’t need a 12-piece set. This is plenty, and we cook a lot.)
- Stainless-steel cooking utensils (measuring cups, measuring spoons, can opener, etc.)
- Wooden cooking utensil set
- Ninja blender (I’m obsessed with it.)
- Salt and pepper grinders (Looking back, I’d skip these.)
- Nested mixing bowls
- 3-piece baking pan set
- Cookie sheet
- Glass baking pan with a lid and carrying case
- Slow cooker
- Kitchen-Aid mixer (I don’t use this every week, but I definitely use it enough to make it worth it. And they last forever.)
- Popcorn maker (This does, in fact, get used every week. Sometimes multiple times a week.)
What we skipped: Coffee maker (already had it), espresso machine, Keurig, toaster, pie pans, cake pans, food processor (the blender works just as well), rice cooker, immersion blender, juicer, waffle maker, grilling machine, storage canister set (I wish we had these and will probably purchase them myself after we move.)
- 2 sets of sheets
- 2 extra pillowcases
What we skipped: Um, everything else. We used the bedding I already had for our master, and my older college bedding for our guest bedroom. We didn’t think the guest room bedding was worth upgrading, because we have overnight guests approximately once a year.
- 4 bath towels for the master bathroom
- 4 hand towels for the master bathroom
- 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels for the guest bathroom
- Matching soap dispenser, apothecary jar, and toothbrush holder for the master (Sorry guests, you don’t get pretty things.)
- Bath mat for master (already had these for the guest bathroom)
- Shower curtain for guest bathroom (master bathroom has a stand-alone shower, not a tub)
What we skipped: matching wastebaskets (Really? Why do these need to be pretty?), decorative towels, bath mats for guest bathroom (already had them), washcloths, drinking tumbler, bathrobes, magnifying mirror, electric anything (razors, toothbrushes, etc.)
- Decorative candle holder
- Pillar candles
- Ledge photo frame set
- 1 lampstand with matching shade
What we skipped: wall art, clocks, furniture, throw blankets, decorative pillows, vases,
- Trash can
What we skipped: hamper, iron, ironing board, steamer, luggage, camping equipment, patio furniture, grill
Some things were easy to skip because we were moving into an apartment and didn’t have the space or need for certain items. Other things would certainly have been nice to have, but we didn’t want to end up with these items instead of what we really needed (for example, a waffle maker we’d use once a year over the blender we use every day). And many of these things we already had and just didn’t feel the need to upgrade. We could have seen our wedding as a chance to get brand-new everything, but it felt like a waste to replace my one-year-old bathmats or the bedding we already had that worked just fine.
My biggest takeaway from our wedding-registry experience is this: Don’t fall for the lie that you need to have a perfectly stocked and decorated home right away. It’s okay to build your home over time.