Creating a wedding registry can be a surprisingly daunting experience. After all, it’s not uncommon to feel obligated to register for a lot of things you don’t want, like that china set that your grandmother wants you to have or the bar cart your old college roommate swears by. Your wedding registry should help you build a new life together as a married couple, not fill your home with unnecessary items that will never be touched. Here we’ll help you choose registry items that you’ll actually use and love.
Need: A good set of knives.
Don’t Need: Those once-a-year kitchen items like china sets.
Kitchen items are always a popular choice for wedding registries, and for obvious reason—the amount of “must-haves” for the kitchen is practically endless. Which items to register for can vary based on how much and what you cook, but one thing’s for sure: choosing a good set of knives is a perfect addition to any kitchen. Not only will they be used every day (unlike china for special occasions), but they’ll also make food prep faster and easier. A high-quality knife set can last for decades, so make sure to try them out and see how they feel before choosing. Undecided? Ask for a gift card instead so you can pick out your set in the future with ease.
Need: A durable luggage set.
Don’t Need: Expensive and overly trendy decor.
Returning home from your honeymoon doesn’t have to be lackluster. Get started on your next adventure with a beautiful, high-quality luggage set that will last you a lifetime of travels with your new spouse. A well-constructed set in leather, aluminum or polycarbonate can stand up to the wear and tear of even the lengthiest of trips and can be used for years to come. In the same vein, try and stay away from registering for expensive or overly trendy decor. More often than not, decor items like porcelain antlers and metallic vases will be outgrown in a few years’ time when your taste evolves. Instead, stick to classic items that serve a function and will outlast your first few years of marriage.
Need: Yard and home care items.
Don’t Need: Novelty appliances you’ll use once.
Use your registry to get items you need for your home that you don’t necessarily want to shell out a lot of money for yourself. A complete toolkit is a handy addition for new homeowners and yard care items like rakes, a mower and gardening tools are necessary for those that have recently upgraded from separate apartments to a house with a yard. If appliances like a new washer and dryer are on your list, a gift card is the perfect way to get help for large-ticket items without asking for too much from your guests.
While not the most glamorous choices for gifts, home maintenance items will come in handy when the unexpected strikes — they’ll also be more useful than novelty small appliances you don’t plan on using often. More often than not, panini grills or ice cream makers will gather dust and take up valuable space in the kitchen. Instead, choose items you know you’ll use often.
Need: Hobby gear and experiences.
Don’t Need: Anything you don’t love.
Many couples nowadays have established homes after living together for years before getting married. Instead of registering for items you know you don’t need, register for experiences or gear aimed towards expanding hobbies you both share as a couple. From hot air balloon rides to a weekend getaway, the possibilities are endless for personalized adventures your family and friends would love to see you enjoy. If you and your partner are exploring a new hobby like mountain biking or painting, register for a gift card for gear to get you both started. After all, it’s all about choosing items and experiences that you know you’ll love. Ten years after you say “I do,” you’ll be able to look back at your first mountain bike or your lovely winery getaway and think of that special gift.
Tell us—what registry items are must-haves for you and your partner? What items are you avoiding? We’d love to hear!
Kerrie Kelly is a California interior designer who has helped many newlyweds choose their “first-home-together” decor. Kerrie writes on her design experiences for The Home Depot, including her suggestions for do’s and don’ts when it comes to creating your online registry.