Items You Must Register For (and What You Can Skip)

These are the gifts you'll really use after the wedding.

Items You Must Register For (and What You Can Skip)

Photo: Courtesy of Villeroy and Boch

When you head off to your favorite department store to create your wedding registry, you'll want to go in with a plan. Once you get that scanner gun in your hand, it becomes all too easy to add every item in sight to your registry, without considering what you and your fiancé really need. We asked the team at Villeroy & Boch and Sarah Bratholt, gift registry manager at Crate and Barrel, to reveal which often-overlooked items all couples should add to their registries, as well as items couples should feel free to skip (or forget entirely). Here's how to create a registry filled with items you'll actually use for years to come!  

Registry Must-Haves
1. Bedding
Quality, timeless bedding will last for years and looks a lot more sophisticated than the inexpensive sheets available at your local discount store. Villeroy & Boch recommends adding a duvet and two duvet covers to your registry. "This way, you can change the look of your bedding seasonally if you’d like," the team says.

2. White Dinnerware
Neutral dinnerware easily mixes and matches with linens and other tableware, making it easy to personalize your table, Bratholt points out. Plus, "nothing shows off food better than a beautiful white plate," she recommends.  

3. Blender and/or Food Processor
"If you plan to make family meals, you will use a blender and food processor more than you know," the team at Villeroy & Boch reveals. Choose a high-quality appliance that won't break down after a few uses, and look for one that includes both blending and processing settings, to cut down on the number of tools that must be stored in your kitchen. 

4. Table Linens
Bratholt says this is an easy item for couples to overlook, but linens allow tables to be easily updated and are a beautiful way to add color. "Linens can be percieved as formal, but they don't have to be," Bratholt shares.

5. Your Favorite Hobbies
Registries have gotten more creative in recent years, allowing couples to register for experiences and tools not found in department stores. The Villeroy & Boch team suggests registering for specialty items like a cooking class or great camera – anything that actually reflects your interests. Do some research to find an online registry service that allows you to add non-traditional items. "It’s okay to stray from antiquated wedding registry checklists and to add something that you and your new spouse will genuinely enjoy," they share.

6. Storage and Organization
You'll need somewhere to keep all of your new registry items (besides shoved in the back of your cabinets!). Bratholt recommends adding items like wire and woven baskets, glass canisters, and serving trays that double as displays. "This often-overlooked category is a perfect opportunity to add both style and organization to every room in the home," she says.

7. Towels
Between everyday and guest use, don't underestimate how many towels you'll need! Bratholt recommends following the "Rule of Six:" two towels hanging, two in the hamper, and two backup. 

Registry Items To Skip
This category can be summed up in five words: Anything you won't actually use! There are no items that are required to be on your list, so never feel compelled to add something just because you think you should, or because you hope to use it in the future. The following guidelines will help keep you on the right track.

1. Sterling Silver
Don't be tricked into thinking your home won't be complete without a set of sterling silver forks. "There’s no need to spend an excessive amount of money for sterling silver flatware when other flatware sets are truthfully just as high in quality," the Villeroy & Boch team shares. "And, who will be polishing all of that silver anyway?" Good point!

2. Serving Pieces That Don't Match Your Entertainment Style
Register for items that complement the style of get-togethers you actually enjoy hosting. "If you prefer casual gatherings to sit-down dinners, register for lots of fun appetizer plates and casual serveware – cheese knives and slate cheese boards – rather than 12 place settings of dinnerware," Bratholt says. Otherwise, that dinner-party-ready set of dessert plates will just sit in a drawer.

3. Fine China
It sounds contradictory but you should never register for fine china that's only going to be pulled out for rare formal occasions. Instead, add a set only if you're going to use it regularly. The Villeroy & Boch team recommends registering for items of quality, but in a pattern that you truly love, not because you think you should register for it due to formalities.

4. Too Many Appliances
It's pointless to register for an abundance of small appliances that might look fun, but won't really be used (think popcorn makers and pasta machines). Instead, go for multi-purpose tools like a KitchenAid mixer and Vitamix blender, Bratholt recommends. Also, the Villeroy & Boch team shares that "unless you aspire to be a skilled baker, there is no need to register for every piece of bakeware out there." 

5. Anything You Already Have
More couples than ever are marrying after combining households and living together for a period of time. If you two already have traditional registry items that you're happy with, take this opportunity to register for furniture, artwork, and specialty items that you love. "Consider registering for that beautiful sofa that will look great in your new home or that chic bar cart that will help you entertain more," Bratholt suggests. And trust us, your guests will appreciate being able to select a more creative gift than mixing bowls and wine glasses!

Opening photo courtesy of Villeroy & Boch