10 things couples should register for, but don't


View gallery

(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

A wedding registry is such a guilt-free opportunity for couples to get the things they want that sometimes what they need gets lost somewhere behind the espresso machine.

Wedding site TheKnot, part of the XOXO Group of Web properties, put together a registry study last year and determined that 1.5 million couples registered for gifts each year. Nearly 70% of couples strongly prefer getting gifts from their registry, and their guests for the most part are more than willing to stick to the list in exchange for a free meal. Last year, about 54% of wedding gifts came from couples' registries.

When 38% of couples have their moms picking out wedding gifts for them and another 20% are leaving the window shopping up to friends, there's a strong chance a few things they actually need or want are going to get left out of the mix. That couple is going to be told to make sure there's a lot of variety in the price of the items, which is how 72% of couples determined how many gift ideas to put on the registry. They're going to be told to consider the number of guests they invited (as 50% did) or just to shut up and listen to your mother (as 30% did).

Few (11%) consider that they might have to vacuum a rug or carpet sometime after the honeymoon. Only 16% seem to think they'll ever have to repair or install something during their bout of wedded bliss, as power tools rank just above movies, books, games and personal care items on registry lists dominated by bakeware (on 91% of all registries), kitchen appliances (90%) and kitchen accessories (87%).

With help from a crack team of wedding experts including WeddingWire editor Kim Forrest and Sharon Naylor, the author of more than 35 wedding books including The Ultimate Wedding Registry Workbook (Citadel, 2005), we've come up with 10 items most couples aren't registering for, but probably should:

Cleaning supplies

View gallery


(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

Items such as bathroom accessories, irons and vacuum cleaners don't exactly get couples fired up about filling out their registries, but they come in handier than that double boiler they registered for and will clearly use once, if at all. If they're living in a house with pets and their rugs and carpets are laden with enough fur to be declared another species of mammal, picking up a high-powered vacuum or air purifiers for each room will go a long way toward calming the post-honeymoon coughing spells and keeping guests from begging for Benadryl.

"An anti-allergen vacuum cleaner is a brilliant choice for a bridal registry, since today's new models are excellent at removing pollens, dust and other allergens from carpets, couches and curtains," Naylor says. "Breathing easily is a top priority for newlyweds, no matter how severe their own allergies are."

Organizing items

View gallery

(Photo: _Josh_Lowe_ / Flickr)

(Photo: _Josh_Lowe_ / Flickr)

A garbage pail on tracks that slides out from beneath the sink isn't exactly a showstopper wedding item, but couples who get it should be grateful.

Why? Because they'll use it daily -- which is more than can be said for their milkshake maker -- and because it moves their home one step further from the Wall-E style landfill of miscellany it was before they got married.

Unless that couple has all the space they're going to need for the rest of their lives going into the wedding, they're going to need something to get them from now to the bigger place.

"Organizing is a hot topic for newlyweds, whether or not they've lived together before marriage," Naylor says. "We all drool over those great magazine features showing super-organized kitchens, so be sure to add those great metal racks for your pantry, an upgraded spice rack and fabric storage bins for the tops of closets, as well as lidded plastic storage containers for the basement."


View gallery

(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

Unless a couple declares its new love next to a museum and keeps everything remotely fragile under laser tripwires and glass, it's going to break things.

Think about it: If a couple just got married, chances are they're going to move sometime down the road. That means glassware and delicate China patterns are going to spend some time getting lugged up stairs or loaded onto trucks by movers. If all of those items survive the move, there are still dinners, parties and regular use and cleaning to worry about. If there are children coming into the picture at any point, that's going to require at least one place setting taking one for the team during that child's lifespan.

"Register for more china than you think you'll need," Forrest says. "China patterns are often discontinued and dishes do break, so register for 8 to 12 sets, more if you have a big family -- it may seem like a lot, but it will be worth it."


Couples are going to be spending a big chunk of their marriage in bed, so it may as well be comfortable. Reply "bow chicka wow wow" all you want, but on nights when it's chilly and everybody involved has had a tough day, the comfort of a couple's blanket and sheets can count a whole lot more than anything that's going on underneath them.

"Brides and grooms often forget to register for every season, so if you live in a region that gets some chilly nights, a great, cozy throw blanket is perfect for cuddling up together while watching a movie," Naylor says. "Register for sheets for all seasons, such as light, jersey fabric sheets for summer and heavier, flannel sheets for winter."

Kitchen miscellany

View gallery


(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

With nine out of 10 couples registering for kitchen appliances, nobody's forgetting about toasters, blenders and slow cookers.

Then again, nearly half of couples consider those items of utmost importance. When it comes to getting their hands on a good set of knives, though, 70% of couples register for them but only 13% give them any sense of priority. Couples should keep this in mind on their one-year anniversary, when their bargain-rack utility knife fails to puncture a tomato.

"I love the idea of upgrading to higher-quality, chef-style cutlery, since knives dull over time and dishwasher steam can weaken handles on knives," Naylor says. "You might even want the gleaming silver knife block as opposed to the wooden one to coordinate with those great countertop kitchen appliances."

Even something much smaller than an expensive set of knives can make a huge difference in a kitchen depending on who's doing the cooking. Naylor still cherishes her julienne peeler that juliennes carrots, zucchini, eggplant and other vegetables for healthy cooking without having to pull out a larger contraption. If peeling the fine, flaky skin off a clove of garlic amounts to slow torture for a home cook, there's a narrow, cannoli-shaped plastic tube that does the job with far less mess and aggravation.

Seasonal/holiday gifts

Of all of the items listed in The Knot's registry survey, only one segment grew more popular year over year: grilling and barbecue equipment. A full 43% of couples registered for outdoor items, more than those who registered for luggage (36%) or fine china (32%).

"Consider the entire calendar when you register," Forrest says. "Even if you're picking out gifts in the middle of winter, you should still register for barbecue sets and gardening tools -- it will be warm out soon enough."

Those forward-looking couples are making a big difference in where people register as well. The percentage of couples registered at Williams-Sonoma grew to 10% from 9% within the past year, while Home Depot registries have risen from 2% of overall registries to 3%.

"And think about holidays, too -- if you're registering in June, don't forget to consider Christmas ornaments, menorahs, holiday-themed china, etc.," Forrest says. "Just be aware that some stores won't stock these seasonal items year-round, so you may need to revisit your registry several times throughout your engagement to add holiday-related gifts."

"Fun Stuff"

View gallery


(Photo: Courtesy of MainStreet)

There's a school of thought that you shouldn't register for Blu-ray players, cameras or other tech toys because they won't stand the test of time. To couples facing this registry dilemma, we suggest going to your parents' or grandparents' house and asking them if you can see that sweet olive green electric knife they registered for in the '70s.

Only 16% of engaged couples register for movies, books and games, with only 20% more registering for sports or outdoor gear. That said, if a guest is aware a couple is going to use those items more than they're going to break out a set of crystal wine glasses, why not make it happen? Those items are usually cheap and, if the couple has opted for DVD seasons of old WB network shows instead of kitchen items, it's not like you have to cook for them to atone for your purchase.

"Yes, it is totally acceptable to register for electronics like DVD players, cameras, and speakers, and for entertaining items like board games and DVDs," Forrest says. "Just don't go too overboard with these types of gifts ... only register for a few, carefully chosen 'fun' items."


Perhaps a decade ago this idea would have turned heads, but 11% of engaged couples now have honeymoon registries to cover the cost of their post-nuptial excursion.

There are a handful of sites that allow couples to hit up guests to pay a share of the cost for airfare, hotel accommodations, car rentals and activities such as spa services, meals and snorkeling. While the concept isn't new, wedding professionals acknowledge it's still taking wedding guests a little time to come around to the concept.

"Other guests wrinkle their noses at the idea of giving you a 'share' of something -- they'd rather give you an experience, such as a romantic private dinner on the beach, the chance to swim with dolphins, a couples' massage or a zipline tour of the rainforest -- so be sure you add in experiences," Naylor says. "And be sure to mention that gift cards to your resort are always welcome ... those are great for room service, or gift shop shopping, or meals, what have you."

Of course, there are guests that will turn up their nose to the idea altogether. Forrest says its best to pad the registry with more traditional items for those folks, while maintaining a honeymoon registry for guests who'd be on board with giving couples a nontraditional gift.

Wedding costs

If couples are going to make the guests flinch anyway, they may as well get some freebies out of it.

For couples willing to press the issue and test guests' comfort levels, Naylor suggests asking them to chip in and cover wedding costs as a gift. Couples can announce on their personal wedding Web site's registry page that they welcome gift cards to their photographer, videographer, floral designer and beauty salon. Whether this gambit actually works and reduces the cost of the wedding by any degree is in question, but you don't get an open bar tab covered without trying.

"These gift cards can cut down your wedding expenses and allow you to get those extra things you wanted added on to your order down the road," Naylor says. "Guests don't have to get you these -- so you don't have to worry about anyone being offended -- they're just there with your traditional gift lists."

Charitable causes

If all of the above seem like the most self-absorbed solutions imaginable, that's kind of the point. Your registry is perhaps the most inherently selfish portion of your wedding and the one time in life people won't shake their heads at you for trying to shake them down for gifts.

Then again, it doesn't have to be all about you if your heart is all about something else. Charity wedding registries such as those set up by the I Do Foundation either donate a percentage of all gift purchases to the charity of your choosing or substitute wedding favors with charitable donations.

Just be warned that two can play at this game. Guests also have the option of ignoring a couple's registry altogether and buying a gift card from a charity card giver such as Tis Best for use at the charity of their choosing.

"If you're a couple who truly has everything, you might consider setting up a registry that will allow your guests to donate to a cause that's near and dear to your heart," Forrest says. "Some couples ask guests to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts, others include it in addition to a more traditional gift registry."

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • So What Happened Last Night In Sweden? Donald Trump Saw It On Fox News – Update

      Updated 2:07 pm Sunday, with Trump response  President Donald Trump has explained his Sweden comment: He saw it on Fox. “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” he’s just tweeted. My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19…

    • Priscilla Presley Confirms She's Caring for Granddaughters as Lisa Marie Presley’s Husband Is Investigated for Child Abuse

      Priscilla Presley has broken her silence over her daughter Lisa Marie Presley’s bitter custody battle and confirmed she’s caring for her twin granddaughters. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for “all” your positive support,” she wrote above a photo of the sisters smiling and cuddling one another.

      Us Weekly
    • Inside Edition
    • 12 workers fired for skipping work during 'Day Without Immigrants' protest in Oklahoma

      Twelve employees of a Tulsa-area restaurant are without a job after skipping work on the "Day Without Immigrants."

      KABC – Los Angeles
    • Father and Son Killed in Head-On Collision After Their Cars Crash into Each Other While Returning Home

      Alabama investigators claim that alcohol played a considerable role in a horrific head-on collision that killed a father and son that were driving separate vehicles early Saturday. According to AL.com, Jeffrey Morris Brasher, 50, and Austin Blaine Brasher, 22, were both killed in a crash that occurred shortly after 4 a.m. on Saturday. • Pick up PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: Cases That Shocked America, on sale now, for the latest on Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey and more.

    • Reminder: Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs Are Still Crazy in Love (4 photos)

      In case you needed a refresher course on the current state of Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs 's relationship, they provided one on the red carpet Thursday night. The engaged couple made a rare joint appearance in London at the premiere of Pattinson's new movie, The Lost City of Z . Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage sually low-key about their love affair, these two couldn't hide their obvious affection on the carpet. RPatz only had eyes for his lady, who embodied cool-girl style in a black zippered jumpsuit with flared legs. Meanwhile, FKA Twigs held on tight to her man, proudly supporting him while he promoted his latest project. VIDEO: Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs's Cutest Couple Moments 5327375581001 Yup, these two are still goals. But there were other celebs on the red carpet, and somehow photogs managed to pull their eyes off of this loved-up couple for just enough time to snap a few pics with their cameras. Keep scrolling for all of the stars who RPatz and his fiancee showed up (just a little) on the carpet. Sorry, guys.

    • Here’s what Trump’s reference to Sweden was about

      President Donald Trump raised eyebrows Saturday evening during a rally in Melbourne, Fla., where he delivered a lengthy campaign-style speech, defending his recent executive orders and outlining his political ...

      MarketWatch q
    • SB Nation q
    • J.K. Rowling has the best response to Trump's non-existent Sweden attack

      The internet can't get enough of President Donald Trump's "last night in Sweden" remarks, including, of course, J.K. Rowling. Never one to shy from a little fun at the expense of the U.S. president, the author joined in on Twitter's response to Trump's confusing reference to a terrorist attack that didn't actually happen. SEE ALSO: Internet turns to @Sweden on Twitter after Trump appears to invent terror attack Literally the biggest incident of Sweden last night was a horse called Biscuit being rescued from a well. https://t.co/CAYsHhpt6z — Grapey (@Grapeykins) February 19, 2017 #MakeBiscuitDryAgain https://t.co/C7rPpZrcNf — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 19, 2017 Naturally, Rowling's hashtag kicked off a whole new riff on Trump's Sweden comments.  Poor Biscuit, after #BowlingGreen, why didn't Sweden see this coming and do something to prevent such an atrocity? #MakeBiscuitDryAgain — Bren (@bnboring) February 19, 2017 Thanks to your prayers @jk_rowling Biscuit soon dry again #MakeBiscuitDryAgain @ChelseaClinton pic.twitter.com/shs4SnlM7P — Leif Pagrotsky (@leifpagrotsky) February 19, 2017 What's that, Lassie?! Who fell down the well?? #swedenincident #MakeBiscuitDryAgain https://t.co/6Aoc9yfzz0 — MJ (@meencat) February 19, 2017 A quick refresher: During a speech at a rally in Melbourne, Florida, held Saturday night, Trump sandwiched a vague reference to Sweden between references to recent terrorist attacks in Germany, France and Belgium.  From a transcript of his speech:  As many have noted, nothing close to the attacks he referenced in his speech happened in Sweden on Friday night. Even Sweden's former prime minister struggled to make sense of Trump's comment: Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj — Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017 As for the horse, let's all hope its OK after its terrifying ordeal.  [H/T: Huffington Post] BONUS: The secret love affair between Harry Potter and Voldemort

    • Under Armour made some huge mistakes that are turning into a nightmare

      Under Armour isn't cool anymore, according to a recent analyst note. 

      Business Insider
    • Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another

      Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

      Inside Edition
    • Dozens fired after skipping work to participate in 'A Day Without Immigrants' protests

      Across the U.S. employers fired hundreds of protestors who skipped work to participate in rallies.

      CNBC.com q 40 min ago
    • Plus-size model Hunter McGrady looks amazing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and on the red carpet

      Hunter McGrady is amazing body-positive role model in the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

      Hello Giggles
    • The Eagles' Timothy B Schmit interview: ‘Tensions ran very deep'

      ‘It seems like people are just dropping off the Earth,” says Timothy B Schmit. The Eagles bassist is contemplating the death last year of Glenn Frey, the group’s founder and the man who co-wrote some of the most popular songs of the 20th century, including Hotel California and Take it Easy. “It’s just so f---ing weird, you know?” says Schmit.

      The Telegraph
    • Don Lemon Cuts Off Show Early Over 'Fake News' Comment

      CNN's Don Lemon cut off the last segment of his own program early Friday night after Paris Dennard, former staffer in President George W. Bush's administration referred to his discussion as "fake news." "The president is not breaking any laws, and he's not doing anything," Dennard had commented during a discussion of the taxpayer costs for President Donald Trump's frequent trips to Florida and other locations of Washington D.C., reports Talking Points Memo.  "Fake news is when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know that it is wrong," Lemon said, while interrupting Dennard. "This story that we’re doing right now is not to intentionally deceive anyone. We are simply talking

      Newsmax q
    • NFL: Here's Who Vegas Is Picking to Win Super Bowl 52

      Will the New England Patriots defend their Super Bowl 51 title in 2017? These 10 NFL teams have the best odds of winning Super Bowl 52 according to Vegas.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Fox News' Chris Wallace to Reince Priebus: 'You don't get to tell us what to do'

      Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clashed Sunday over President Trump's tweet labeling the media an "enemy of the American people." "I don't have any problem with you complaining about an individual story" or bias, Wallace said. "But you went a lot further than that — or the president went a lot further than that he said that the 'fake media' — not certain stories — the 'fake media' are an 'enemy to the country.'" Priebus pushed back, arguing that the issue is "not just two stories" that may be marred by bias or error but "24 hours a day, seven days a week" of cable news programming that focuses not on the Trump administration's policy accomplishments

      The Week q
    • John Oliver picks apart President Trump’s ‘crazy’ press conference

      John Oliver on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s latest week in office, saying nothing epitomized it more than his “bat-s— crazy press conference” on Thursday. At one point, Trump’s first solo press conference as president found him going back and forth with a black reporter who asked whether he planned on including the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in discussions about his urban agenda. Do you want to set up the meeting?” Trump asked her.

      Entertainment Weekly
    • Unidentified man in photo called suspect in Indiana girls' killings

      The girls disappeared while hiking in a forest.

      ABC News q