How To: Registry

Did you know that iTunes recently released seasons one through four of Will & Grace, as well as the pre-sale of the 2017 – 2018 season? It was one of my favorite shows to watch while it was on the air. My fiance and I digested the four available seasons over the past two weeks; I can confirm that the series holds up as a favorite. One of the best episodes back then and today is “Wedding Balls.” In it, Will volunteers Grace to assist his cousin’s fiance (the groom) in wedding preparations, as his cousin (the bride) is bound to the west coast with an ear infection. There is a wedding registry scene which takes me back to registering for my own wedding last fall.

Credit: NBC

I planned for a long engagement. Highly recommended. The fiance asked me to marry him on Thanksgiving of 2015 and we are getting married this Saturday. Do the math. Yes, our engagement was nearly two years. Within that two years, the fiance moved back to the east coast, I relocated up 95 to live with him, I joined a new company, and along with an amazing planner, we organized a DC wedding.

We waited nearly one year after the engagement-slash-six months after moving in together to register for gifts. Again, highly recommended. This allowed us each to take inventory of our “stuff” when we each moved out from our single abodes and again when we moved in together. We were able to make a list of items that would need to be replaced and items that neither of us had but required for a happy home life (example: waffle maker). We kept a record of this on a shared pinboard. While it was not necessary to pin the exact make and models, we wanted to keep a record of what we needed so we would resist getting sucked into scanning everything within the store.

Speaking of the store, I recommend visiting several stores before committing to a registry. Crate & Barrell, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Anthropologie, L.L.Bean, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorg Goodman, Barney’s – try not to get overwhelmed. My wedding planner advised to have registries at two to three different stores with registry accessibility online and at least one of them with copious locations of brick and mortar stores, for the older guests who tend to be adverse to online shopping.

We went with two of the above and a local boutique that offered registry services, where we discovered the most amazing set of Scandinavian porcelain dishes and mugs. The two above that we registered at offered a discount post-wedding for the bride and groom to finish purchasing anything that was leftover.

This brings me to how much you should include in your registry. It is a personal decision for every couple. Have you ever seen those wedding registries that are so grand, only to be told by the bride that she is trying to keep the wedding intimate? Those leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Does this barcart come in tall?

This is why after putting together our registry, I developed a spreadsheet. It analyzed the number of guests slash invitations, dollar value of our three registries, and breakdowns of gift price points. It was asssuring to know that we had not registered for more dollars per invitation than my fiance and I tended to gift in the past. Impersonal? Maybe. But when you analyze numbers for a living, real data is crucial!

These are my top ten picks from my wedding registry:

waffle iron // cocktail glasses // cocktail shaker // casserole dish // mixer // bath sheets // bed sheets // sterling silver frame // mugs // dinner plates


  1. I totally agreed about the brides with the intimate weddings and the king Midas guest list. However I was one of those brides and not because I wanted people to buy the big ticket items but because after the wedding most places give you a 10-20% deal of things that don’t get purchased after the day of. It’s how we got a washer and dryer. 🙂

    1. I don’t disagree that your strategy is not a great one! In fact, I added the $400 Dyson hairdryer to my BB&B registry, but only the day prior to the wedding.

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