Too many times, articles on wedding registries read like a product placement ad by wedding influencers, without ever getting to the heart of the matter. Sometimes, the why of a wedding registry is more important than the what. So, we are going to break down wedding registries for the modern couple as well as for the wedding guests they've invited.

See It For Yourself

There are tons of wedding registries, both online and in stores. Yes, some people still shop in brick and mortar stores, and it's actually something you might want to consider. While many of us are used to ordering online, going into a store to see the details and quality of some of the items you might be considering adding to your registry is huge for things that may become heirloom pieces.

Give Them Options

It's OK to register in multiple places! Many online registries allow you to register for everything from home goods to travel accessories, tools to appliances. But some allow wedding guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund or sign you up for wine clubs or meal delivery. Listing multiple registry links on your wedding website is not only perfectly acceptable but will give wedding guests multiple options to choose from.

It's Never Too Much

Do yourself a favor and register for more things than you think your wedding guests will possibly purchase. There are several reasons why this is the way to go. Many guests will select several smaller items and bundle them together for a more substantial gift. Some guests may group together to purchase a high dollar gift, so don't be afraid to add more expensive items to your list.

And, many registries allow you to purchase registry items not bought by your wedding guests at a discounted price after your wedding is over. Sometimes with discounts as high as twenty percent off.

Gift an Experience

Gen Y is probably changing wedding registries more than any other generation in history. They're less about stuff and more about experiences; registries are finally catching up. It's absolutely OK to register for a hot air balloon ride or a day with a Maasai family on your Kenyan honeymoon. These things may mean more to you as a couple than getting a slow cooker, so don't feel guilty about adding them to your registry.

Words of Wisdom

Here are a few wedding 'must haves' and 'oh noes' that you might not think about now, but will thank us for later:

  • Register for a set of good dishes; something elegant that fits your design aesthetic. Now use them every day. Don't wait for that special occasion to come. Enjoy them now.
  • Be sure to add a dozen excellent quality wine glasses. From dinner parties with friends to hosting family gatherings in the future, these will absolutely come in handy.
  • Include one or two sets of beautiful, luxurious, high thread count sheets to your registry. There are times in your life, both celebratory and during rough patches, that fabulous sheets are just what the doctor ordered.
  • Pots and pans might not make you a better cook, but they make learning and experimenting with cooking a little easier. Registering for a high-quality set that will last you for years is an excellent investment, and if you are a foodie, it's a must-have.
  • Sorry guys, but registering for two champagne glasses might seem like a fun thing for your wedding day, but after the wedding, the occasions to use just two glasses are often few and far between.
  • His and Hers sounds cute when you are in wedding mode, but a collection of towels, pillows, and glasses emblazoned with "His and Hers" or "Mr. and Mrs." will end up getting pushed to the back of the cabinet.

Make It Personal

If you are a close friend and want to go off script, make it personal. If you know they are really wanting to try a new restaurant that's out of their budget, a gift card can make a great wedding gift. The same goes for concerts or sporting events. If they are into whiskey, wine, or craft beers, a collection of well-crafted glassware and a few wish list bottles make an excellent gift they won't forget. And, few things can beat a couples massage, dinner, or pampering staycation after wedding planning!

Wedding registries are not hard to navigate, enjoy yourself, and truly make it a wish list of items and experiences you will enjoy for years to come.

Hero Photo Courtesy of Meredith Lynn