Wedding Registry Advice

Normally, I'm in the camp of giving completely unsolicited advice on this here blog, but Allison's roommate and best friend, Kailin, just got engaged and asked for my thoughts on wedding registries.

Keeping in mind that we live in a small apartment and therefore try to keep things simple, here's what I would recommend registering for:



4x6 Version

12 dinner plates
12 side plates
12 bowls
12 glasses
12 wine glasses
16 settings of silverware

* I would say that's the bare minimum. We do have and regularly use other pieces: 4 juice glasses, 8 coffee mugs, 4 ice cream dishes, 8 mini latte bowls, and a tea set {pot, cream, sugar}. Well, I don't use the tea set very often, but I sure do love it. We also have sets of 12 festive side plates for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and birthdays.

Serving Ware
Cake stand with dome
Glass pitcher
Large platter
Large serving bowl
Corningware set
Gravy boat
Butter dish

* Also in the entertaining category, we have a beverage dispenser, a beverage tub, two fondue sets, a cupcake stand, a cheese board, a cupcake carrier and a cake carrier. Since we have limited space, our large serving bowl actually serves as our fruit bowl most of the time.

Kitchen Linens
8 dish towels
16 dish cloths
4 pot holders
Oven mitts

* My thoughts on dish towels and cloths are that I'd like to have one towel and two cloths per day for a week. We also have 12 white cloth napkins and 8 place mats. We don't have any tablecloths, but we do have some seasonal table runners and napkins that I've made myself. And I love using my apron that matches the pot holders and oven mitts. 

2-quart saucepan
4-quart saucepan
5-quart saute pan
6-quart stockpot
8-quart stockpot
8-inch frying pan
10-inch frying pan
2 wooden cutting boards
2 plastic cutting boards
Vegetable steamer
Cheese grater
Knife set

* We have a square griddle pan that's perfect for making pancakes and grilled cheese. We also have a smaller colander that we use often for rinsing berries and grapes. I'd love to have a Dutch oven and a real roasting pan one day.

Cooking Utensils
Slotted spoon
Serving spoon
Spaghetti spoon
Pizza cutter
Ice cream scoop
Vegetable peeler
Potato masher
Meat tenderizer
Meat thermometer
Microplane zester 

* I'm a big fan of things being dishwasher safe, so I try to use stainless steel utensils whenever possible. When writing this list, I realized that we should really get a can opener, just in case the power's out and we can't use our electric one.

2 cookie sheets
2 pizza pans 
2 cooling racks
2 muffin tins 
2 cake pans
2 Pyrex sets
Pyrex mixing bowls
Liquid measuring cup
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons

* We also have a bundt pan, spring form pan, and two pie shields. I really like the Pyrex sets that include all three sizes of casserole dishes with lids as well as a loaf pan and pie plate. I love Pyrex products because I love my dishwasher, which is why I also have silicone muffin/cake pans and stainless steel measuring cups/spoons.

Baking Utensils  
Wooden spoon
Pie server
Icing spreader
Rolling pin
Pastry blender
Pastry brush
Candy thermometer
Cake tester
Biscuit cutter

* Again, I really like using stainless steel utensils whenever it's an option. And every time I bake cookies, I think about how much I'd love a cookies scoop!

Crock pot
Stand mixer

* I feel like appliances are really subjective. It's really about what you like and how much space you have. For example, we don't have a coffee maker because we don't like coffee. But we do have an electric can opener, a waffle maker, and an ice cream maker. I'd love to have a food processor and an immersion blender one day. An electric griddle could also be really nice at some point.

Misc. Kitchen
Spice rack
Utensil crock
Spoon rest
Paper towel holder
Dish rack
Soap dispenser
Salt and pepper shakers
Napkin holder
Plastic pitchers
Food storage containers for pantry
Food storage containers for leftovers

* I really like the Pyrex storage containers for leftovers. I'm also a big fan of storage containers in the pantry {because we got weevils in the early months of our marriage - eww!} and have a lot of the Martha Stewart ones from Macy's. The flour and sugar canisters come with measuring cups, which is just so handy. If I was moving right into a house, I might skip the spice rack and install racks right on the inside of my pantry door or something instead.

8 bath towels
8 wash cloths
2 hand towels
2 bath mats
Shower curtain
Curtain liner and hooks
Shower caddy
Bath rug
Soap dispenser
Toothbrush holder
Trash can

* We've only had one bathroom thus far, so I'm not sure what you'd want if you're moving into a place with more than one. I'm guessing you'd want to multiply everything by the number of bathrooms, except for maybe the bath towels. We only keep a bath rug in front of the sink, because I feel like ones in front of the tub can have mildew/mold problems if you're not careful. So we just put a bath mat down instead. We also don't use wash cloths, so the ones we have are just for guests.

2 sets of sheets
Pillow protectors
Mattress cover 
Bedding {comforter, shams, etc}

* I've definitely seen people register for bedding for their room and a guest room. The kind of bedding you'd pick is another really subjective thing. We like to have a comforter with duvet cover, quilt, shams, and only one decorative pillow.


* You could really do as little or as much as you wanted in this category. We registered for a personalized shadow box for wedding memorabilia and really, really love it. But you could do frames, wall art, pillows, throws, lamps, and whatever else strikes your fancy.

Tool set
Electric drill

* Again, you could definitely do a lot with this category. Depending on the season, you could register for beach towels or Christmas stockings. If you like camping, you could do a tent and an air mattress. I've seen people register for barbecues, coolers, board games, and all sorts of other home-related items.

Where to register?
I've heard that you should register at three places - one low, one medium, and one high. We registered at Target, Macy's, and Pottery Barn. I feel like you could also do a low, medium, and specialty store. Like registering for tools at Sear's or furniture at Ikea.  A lot of my favorite kitchen items are from Anthropologie. If you also drool over their stuff, Amazon registries let you add stuff from other sources. There's also more specific universal wedding registry sites out there. I think it'd be totally fine just to pick two stores if that's what you feel like, but only one store seems like not enough and more than three seems like overkill to me.

How much to register for?
Definitely keep in mind that wedding registries aren't just a list of everything you'd like in your future home. They're meant to give your guests ideas for wedding presents. I've heard that a good rule of thumb for a specific number of items to include is to have between 1.5 and 2 times the number of families on your guest list. Not the total number of guests, but the number of families/couples invited. I've also heard that it's a good idea to have 50-60% of the registry items in the $30-$60 price range, since that's the average spent on a wedding gift. So then you'd want 20-25% of the items below that price range and 20-25% of the items above that price range.

What not to register for?
Registries used to be exclusively for china, crystal, and silver. China is still a really popular item to see, with crystal maybe a little less so. I don't know anyone fancy enough to register for silver! But, nowadays, it seems like anything home-related is fair game. I have seen people get carried away and register for things like hair straighteners and slippers, since Bed, Bath, and Beyond sells those things. Maybe not such a good idea. Also, I feel like it's totally fine to include a few board games, but registering for a Wii could be a little weird. And I know wedding guests can have mixed feelings about honeymoon registries, so I would consider that option really carefully before going for it.


  1. Ooh, what a fun and helpful post!

    Our registry list would be very similar to yours I think, but a great non-traditional thing we registered for was an iHome. It's in our living room now and it's so nice to play music quietly while entertaining (or I can play music loudly while cleaning the house... haha!). Jeff convinced me to go with a toaster oven rather than a regular toaster (I was hesitant due to the counter space issue), and I LOVE it. We use that thing so much (it's great for heating leftovers, toasting sandwiches, etc.), and I don't miss having a pop-up toaster at all.

    I am shocked that the average amount spent on a wedding gift is $30-60. I've always heard it's somewhere around $75-150 (here's a fun infographic from American Express - https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/infographics/average-cost-of-a-wedding/), but I guess the only "real-life" data I have is what we received as gifts at our wedding and what we give as gifts. Maybe we can start saving money on wedding presents... haha!

  2. Whoa! I better get registering! This is so helpful & of course perfectly organized. Helps my brain get all of it in order. Thanks so much for the wedding wisdom. Many more questions to come!

    P.S. Lots of praying for Maggie & you. How great that we can trust whatever the Lord is doing. How hard it is to wait to see!


You are awesome.