Wedding Registry 101

Tips on how the modern couple can build their wish list.

Photo by Effie Legaspi Photography

Photo by Effie Legaspi Photography Provided

One of the most Jekyll and Hyde moments in a couple’s engagement period is creating a wedding registry. You begin with the best intentions, giddy with the possibility of filling your home with gifts you actually want. Then the scanner falls into your hands, and your mood falls flat with frustration. Do you really need that 14th place setting? Should you get fine linens or ones you can drip BBQ sauce on? Will you ever use the crystal punch bowl, or is that industrial wrought iron rack more “you”? Conundrum.

Lekker Home co-owner Natalie Carpenter works with couples at the South End store to ensure this pre-wedding shopping spree is as blissful and stressfree as it should be.

First off, don’t be shy. People love choices, so give them choices.

“A registry is an ultimate wish list of items
 you’ve always wanted and now finally get to have as you embark on 
this adventure called marriage,” Carpenter says. “A wedding is a happy occasion
 and guests want to spoil you more than you think. If you need lots of things, put them on a registry.

According to Carpenter, the rules have changed. There are no more “must
 haves,” but instead “must wants.” You want a Keurig? Ask for one. A crème brûlée torch? Put it on the list.

“A lot of couples get married a little 
older and already have good basics, so the registry usually reflects some
 nice upgrades,” she says.

Think: better stemware, bar accessories, linens, and dinnerware. Carpenter also sees more
 couples adding furniture to their registries.

There are still a few “nice to have” items that are personal to each couple.

“It’s anything that complements your life. If you’re a big entertainer, then
 extra serving pieces, decorative items, and such are great add-ons,” she says.

Back in the day, people registered for china and crystal right away
, but it’s rare to see those luxe items on today’s list.

“A lot of couples live in the city and have smaller homes, so storage
 becomes an issue when you have two or three sets of china,” Carpenter explains. “But a few heritage items are a nice 

In terms of where to register, the sky’s the limit. Housewares, garden shops, department stores, furniture, Home Depot…think of your favorite shops and ask about registry options.

“There aren’t rules for that anymore. Online
 registry sites have a lot to do with that.
 Nowadays couples register at at least four places for different
 things,” Carpenter says.

Keep in mind not everyone is web-savvy. Have at least one brick-and-mortar location on your list. And if you have unique interests, think outside the box. Consider a wine registry or a honeymoon registry—guests can pay for hotel rooms, meals, etc. for your trip.

Charities are also unique places to register, with guests donating money in the couples’ name for a thoughtful gesture in lieu of gifts.

Since weddings can get expensive for everyone, Carpenter suggests keeping your items in an array of price points.

“Smaller items are fun to give for the showers or bachelor
 parties and also give younger friends a chance to buy something they know you 
want without going broke,” she adds.

When all is said and done, Carpenter says, “I always try to gently remind couples that this is the least of their
 worries and to keep it fun.”

Now that’s a concept we can buy into.

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