It’s easy to go crazy with the scanner when you’re high on your engagement and planning a life together: That’s the throw pillow you’ll rest your head on while you watch movies together; that’s the wine cooler where you’ll store bottles for romantic nights in; that’s the toilet brush holder that’ll…hold the toilet brush. But, ask a real-life bride (like these two C-VILLE Weddings alums, both featured on these pages five years ago), and she’ll say this after five years of marriage: Only choose what you know you’ll use and likely won’t replace yourself as time goes by. In other words, be realistic about your needs. Here are three must-haves and a few things to reconsider when you’re walking down the aisles.
Pots and pans: Go big or go home. Paige Harden and her husband Elliot had a very focused registry: only things for the kitchen. As a result, they use nearly everything they received. Paige recommends a set of All-Clad cookware, which will last a long time. “We use these every single day; they are still in great shape and will easily last another five years,” she says.
Dinnerware: Lara Croce and her husband Daniel registered for both formal and informal dinnerware, and Lara says they use both every day. Paige’s advice? Go simple. White china coordinates with everything—“including a less expensive set of everyday dishes from IKEA that we bought ourselves.”
Kitchen tools: Lara suggests asking for a good set of knives (“They’re not something I’d ordinarily spend money on,” she says), and Paige and Elliot found that their bright yellow mixing bowls have seen a lot of use—both for cooking and as occasional toys for their 3-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter. Talk about future planning!
Wine glasses: Says Lara, “I’m not sure if we registered for especially fragile ones or if we were really careless with them, but we recently had to replace them all.” The better option, she says, is to register for something you know will last a long time. Paige and Elliot asked for Waterford crystal glasses and, while they were a bit more expensive and the couple only brings them out on special occasions, “It is nice to toast using something from our wedding,” Paige says.
Hand-held vacuum: Convenience may be king, but unless you’re registering for the world’s best handheld vacuum, you may find it still sitting in the closet five years later. Lara advises registering for an actual vacuum instead.
Towels: It seems like a good idea at the time (and a nice inexpensive option for gift-givers), but towels may need to be replaced every few years—for wear and tear or a change in décor, for instance—so you’ll end up buying your own eventually anyway. “I wish I had registered for something else that would last longer,” Lara says.