"The first rule of registering is to register for what you actually want," says Peggy Post, the columnist behind the New York Times Well-Mannered Wedding column and the director of the Emily Post Institute. "With sites like Simple Registry and Thankful Registry, you really can register for absolutely anything."
Here are some au courant gift ideas and tips to get you started:
- You’ll want to register for a mix of essentials, improvements, and extravagances. Consider a set of towels, a few good knives, and the not-so-exciting-but-very-useful-vacuum. Upgrade from the mismatched silverware or the plastic vase that came with a 1-800-FLOWERS order. Then, throw in a few items that you two would want to unwrap first.
- "Register for more gifts than attendees," says Post, "guests should be able to make a selection that’s within their price range." She suggests registering for pots and knives individually instead of in the larger sets. "As a general rule, you’ll want to have a good amount of gifts under $50 and under $100, especially if people are trekking to your wedding."
- Two overlooked registry spots are the MoMA Store and ABC Carpet & Home. Most couples register with at least one national chain. Make sure to check return policies; Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, and Amazon are more lenient than Target and Crate & Barrel.
- Kitchenware has long been a central component of the registry, but if both of you favor takeout over elaborately prepared meals, you'll probably never use the KitchenAid mixer. Instead, go for a panini maker, which turns even the simplest sandwich into a delicacy. If you lean more modern than traditional, swap out a Le Cruset cast iron for a Dansk Kobenstyle.
- Keep in mind future use. You’re not hosting Thanksgiving now, but if that’s something you see happening in the next few years, register for a cohesive set of china. You’ll want entertaining supplies to make that first party as newlyweds even more festive.
- "Couples get a bit overwhelmed when registering, but you should have fun with it by adding items that’ll give you joy," Post says. You can add monthly subscriptions to your registry for an especially sweet first year—with chocolate, meats, artisanal foods, and cocktails, there really is something for every couple.
For more tips on how to shop for the modern home, check out Dwell's Buyer's Sourcebook special issue, on newsstands now.
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