The Strategic Wedding Registry

wedding gifts

The Strategic Wedding Registry (cont.)

Alternative Registries

Charity registries.
If helping others rather than getting a better mixer is more your style, try signing up for an online charity registry such as the I Do Foundation.

Honeymoon registries.
These sites allow you to plan your honeymoon—from the airfare to the mud baths—and your guests to pay for these activities. Honeyfund is one of the few that don’t charge a service fee.

Adventure registries.
At Cloud 9 Living, wedding guests can buy you “experiences,” like dune buggying in Las Vegas or spelunking in Texas. You select a geographic region, price, and type of adventure (among the types are “driving,” “water & snow,” and “action & adventure”), and then choose from a range of activities.


Glasses break all the time. If you register for pricey glasses, it’ll cost you that much more to replace your set when you break them.

You don’t need a bunch of different-size glasses. Get something versatile that works for what you drink most often. Tall water glasses, for example, can double as highballs. Attractive juice glasses can work as tumblers. Unique tumblers look sharp holding everything from milk to wine. Riedel “O”s do the job as wineglasses, juice glasses, and tumblers. Bodum double-walled glasses could hold a martini, orange juice, wine, or milk. And you can serve just about anything in a goblet.


Measure your cupboards, dishwasher, and table, and compare to plate sizes. “We registered for chargers [big plates], and they didn’t fit on our table,” says Margaret Magnarelli, a New York–based magazine editor.

People who never eat off china often register for it anyway, because they worry it’s their only chance to get such a luxury item. But you won’t use china as often as you think, and your tastes may change, making the pattern you love now seem dated in a few years. CHOW recommends picking out neutral, dishwasher-safe dishes that can be used every day, but that are elegant enough for entertaining when dressed up with the right serving pieces and linens. The classy French porcelain line Apilco is a good bet. Or the Eva Zeisel collection. If and when your tastes change, the subtle patterns won’t be annoying, and you can switch them up with colored or patterned chargers and salad plates.

If you’re worried about space, don’t sign up for salad and dessert plates. Inexpensive appetizer plates can double as both, and they’re a classy addition at parties.


Things to consider:
  • You don’t need tiny forks, because how often are you going to eat oysters?
  • Pieces that have a lot of curlicues and details are going to wear strangely, and dings will be more noticeable.
  • Think about how a piece feels in your mouth (yes, most stores will let you put flatware in your mouth) and in your hand.
  • Will you want to use it every day?
  • Remember, your tastes will change. You may have liked the Tuscany look three years ago, but now you’re into midcentury modern. Choose simple flatware, and you’ll probably like it longer.
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