Tips For a Stress-Free Wedding Registry

Disclaimer: As I type this, I am watching Fixer Upper reruns, I am feeling super inspired/domestic-y...

Image  via  Green Wedding Shoes

Image via Green Wedding Shoes

This past month we finally tackled a job on the wedding to-do list that intimidated me: figuring out our wedding registry. I was a little fearful because, this seemed like IT...the one time we'd be able to ask for products that will be with us, for, who knows...the rest of our lives!? These are big ticket items because these are the items we intend to use forever.

And that's a little scary. Because now, as 26 year olds, we're trying to see into the future to figure out what our 30, 40, 50, hey, 60 year old selves will be needing. Of course, I'm thinking in a rigid mindset, but how can you not think of the future when it comes to your wedding registry? That's a part of the fun, too. We envisioned our future home, future family, and all that warm-and-fuzzy fun stuff. 

So what began as intimidation became one of my favorite parts of the whole planning process. Sure, we needed to think about it, but I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed the registry process! I think S and I really paced ourselves with a combination of steps. We found them to be very successful! So here's what we did, with some of my reflections thus far on how it has turned out. Keep in mind, none of our wish list items have been fulfilled...yet.

keep it simple

We stuck to two stores for our registry. Most sites will suggest somewhere between 2 to 4, and we decided to keep it simple for a few reasons. First, we went with Bed Bath & Beyond (a universal fit for registries) and Crate and Barrel (for a little more upscale housewares). We decided on these after talking to other brides and grooms. It's important to make choices that offer brick & mortar stores as well as a great online option.

We also kept it simple because we figured that most of our guests, especially our younger guests (friends our age), will not be using the registry at all. I know that when we go to weddings, we prefer to give a monetary gift to the bride and groom. And that's what a lot of couples like, let's be real! Whether its used toward the honeymoon or a down payment on a future house, it's absolutely vital. We didn't want to go crazy with having more than 2 registries for this reason.

go on a dry-run trial

Another idea that worked beautifully was our plan to visit the stores BEFORE actually establishing a registry. For instance, we had never before been to a Crate & Barrel, but heard great things about it. So we went. No pressure, no registry, no pesky salespeople hounding you the whole time (trust me, they sniff you out and find you!!). The dry-run helped us get a feel for the store, the price ranges, and of course gave us plenty of inspiration for the kinds of items we would end up requesting.

download the apps ahead of time

When you're ready and the proper preparations have been made, the actual "shopping" is so much fun. As S put it, it's like going on a shopping trip without money! One thing that a sales clerk had mentioned was the recommendation to download the stores' apps ahead of time and setting up an account. This was such great advice. We were able to easily download the apps and create registries - we were particularly impressed with Crate & Barrel's app - so that we could scan away like happy little newlyweds-to-be.

Another amazing plus with the apps - you can edit and add items even after your shopping trip is over. S and I definitely did this as we had conversations after the fact, and it was incredibly useful after seeing the items in person.

the actual items

I'm not going to recommend what items to get - obviously, that's entirely up to you and these days, there are almost no limits as to what sorts of products you request. However, I think Pinterest has great infographics and checklists to consult if you're feeling completely overwhelmed or clueless. We went for the basics - housewares, kitchenwares, and some minor appliances. I will tell you I asked for a Chemex pour-over coffee maker, and I am super excited!! 

I've done more wedding talks, from everything to the dress to the season to the venue to getting in shape.