Wedding Registry Tips & Advice from a Real Couple

Learn more about this couple's registry at Gearys, Bloomingdale's, and Williams-Sonoma.

As Ashley (née Berk) and J. Hardy Ehlers planned for a beautiful fall wedding in Los Angeles, California, they also took time to create a wish list for their future together. Though they already lived together and had what they needed, they used their registry as an opportunity to fine-tune their home and add items they truly loved.

Before they created their wish lists, Ashley and Hardy discussed their strategy and determined which retailers they would use. They thought it would be best to complete the registry process together and visit their selected stores in person. Later, they planned to continue adding products using the online format, making sure they continually had a variety of choices in different price points for their guests to choose from.

engagement photo ashley hardy and j hardy ehlers wedding registry tips
Photo by Adam Ottke

Gearys Beverly Hills was selected for its wide range of luxurious offerings. Ashley and Hardy began their appointment by meeting with a consultant who wanted to better understand what they were seeking to add to their wish list, and then helped them in selecting pieces and patterns that would work well with the couple’s style and the aesthetic of their interior design. They opted for classic Hermès plates, a sleek Alessi ice bucket, and modern Georg Jensen place settings to replace worn items they already owned. “We were looking for quality pieces, not just ‘right now’ things,” asserts Ashley. “We wanted beautiful utensils, gorgeous drinking glasses, and brilliant dinnerware.”

The bride adds that though the registry process at Gearys is more time-consuming than other stores, it’s well worth it. “It was helpful, and we’re so glad we did it because some of our favorite items are from there.” Another added bonus for Ashley and Hardy is that Gearys does not ship right away when a gift is purchased; they instead credit the couple’s account until they are ready to finalize the purchase. “It’s essentially there forever,” illustrates the bride who was relieved to learn this policy. “Having boxes and boxes waiting at home when you return from the honeymoon can be overwhelming,” she admits.

mosaique au 24 series dessert plate by hermes wedding registry ideas gearys
Mosaique Au 24 series dessert plate by Hermès, $180; Gearys

annieglass roman antique collection four point bowl wedding registry ideas gearys
Annieglass Roman Antique Collection "Four Point" bowl, $137; 
Gearys

christofle mood flatware set wedding registry ideas bloomingdale's
Christofle "Mood" 24-piece flatware set, $1,490; Bloomingdale's

When they visited Williams-Sonoma, the plan was pretty straightforward. “We wanted handy appliances and useful gadgets for the kitchen,” says Ashley. While at the retailer, they settled on Goldtouch® baking sheets, a kitchen torchWüsthof knives, a molcajete, a vintage-inspired Smeg toaster, and a Vitamix blender. “Another upside of Williams-Sonoma is that their gift cards are redeemable at sister stores, Pottery Barn and West Elm,” explains Ashley. “Many friends of ours who were recently married shared this tidbit with us – it’s a great way to buy furniture pieces without requesting them on the actual registry.” 

At Bloomingdale’s, their selections were more of a mixture of items – from kitchen products to home décor accents – which is what the bride loved most about this store. “The overlap of choices was great!” she affirms. Ashley and Hardy found cool new pillows, matching Victorinox Swiss Army luggage, stylish Michael Aram serving bowls, and Orrefors Beer Collection taster glasses. “It was a pretty easy process, and I was happy to find many things I liked,” shares the bride.

georg jensen cobra oval tray wedding registry ideas bloomingdale's
Georg Jensen "Cobra" oval tray, $245; 
Bloomingdale's

nambe braid salad bowl and server wedding registry ideas williams-sonoma
Nambé "Braid" salad bowl and server, $210; Williams-Sonoma

michael aram ripple effect triple bowl set wedding registry ideas bloomingdale's
Michael Aram "Ripple Effect" triple bowl set, $135; 
Bloomingdale's

Making selections together worked well for the couple. “We were on the same page as far as design: clean colors, sleek, and simple,” describes Ashley. For those engaged who are not on common ground, it’s helpful to discuss what you both want before visiting a brick-and-mortar store. Many retailers have checklists available online, and it’s a good way to get started.

In the end, the newlyweds were happy with their selections and were glad they had listened to the advice of their recently married friends. It was an enjoyable process they gratefully admit. “Have fun with it!” encourages Hardy.

Staub tomato cocotte fall wedding registry ideas williams-sonoma
Staub "Tomato" cocotte, $295; Williams-Sonoma

Cuisinart wine opener wedding registry ideas williams-sonoma
Cuisinart wine opener, $80; 
Williams-Sonoma

wedding registry ideas smeg four slice toaster vintage inspired williams-sonoma
Smeg 4-slice toaster, $200; 
Williams-Sonoma

Registry Tips from Ashley & Hardy:

Be in the present. “Don’t worry about what you’ll need later in life; register for beautiful items you will use now.”

Consider spending limits. “Be sure to add products in different price ranges, even including some bigger-ticket items where groups can chip in to purchase as a whole.”

Select with purpose. “Have fun with it and really think about what you want to showcase in your home.”

See Ashley & Hardy's wedding in our summer issue, available digitally on Issuu. For more ideas, discover another real couple's registry, view 15 popular wedding registry products, and see this couple's registry tips.