Let’s be real: One of the best perks of getting married is the copious amount of gifts you’ll receive to mark the occasion. And while there’s nothing like cold, hard cash in your pocket, some people prefer to shower their friends and loved ones with non-monetary gifts. It’s for this reason that wedding registries have become so popular in recent years. Rather than sit back and see what creative (think: useless) gifts their friends and loved ones can come up with, most couples instead opt to register at well-known retailers like Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond so that they can essentially choose their own gifts.
If you’ve never registered for wedding gifts before, it goes something like this: You and your soon-to-be spouse arrive at the store of your choice, at which point you’re given a "must have" checklist that’s 17 pages long and a nifty hand-held scanner that’s super fun to use. You’re then free to roam the aisles looking for the things you’d like other people to buy for you. When you see something you like, you point your little device in its direction and scan its barcode to your registry.
Now let’s go back to that "must have" list for a second. Any store you go to will try to sell you on the fact that you do, in fact, need 472 distinct items in order to build a life together as a couple. Don’t believe that for a second. Yes, you probably do need some basic cookware, and there’s nothing wrong with trading in your worn, ratty bath towels for a fluffy new set. But there are certain popular registry items you almost certainly don’t need, such as:
Yes, it’s elegant and lovely to look at, but at $100 or more a plate, you could practically trade in that set of dishes for a down payment on your first home. Besides, you know the rule with china: The second you use it, something will break, whereas your $3 bargain-store plates from college will last till you’re old and gray.
An Oversized Stand Mixer
Who wouldn’t want a powerful, colorful stand mixer? They’re handy and fun to look at. But unless you’re truly an avid baker, you probably don’t need one. At $350 or more a pop, you can buy a dozen or so kitchen gadgets that you’re far more likely to use.
A Fancy Coffee or Espresso Machine
There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of brewed coffee, but you can easily find a quality coffee maker for $100 or less. There’s no need to make someone spend upward of $250 on a fancier model.
An Expensive Duvet Cover
Here’s the deal: Fancy duvet covers are a scam. They almost always need to be dry-cleaned, and for $300 or more, you’d think they’d at least come with a blanket. Register for a cozy comforter instead.
That Beautiful but Ridiculously Pricey Crystal Vase
Rest assured: The beautiful flowers your spouse buys you twice a year will look just as pretty in a regular vase. And this way you won’t want to cry if you accidentally knock that vase over and break it.
Remember, the more non-essential items you put on your registry, the more you’ll distract your would-be gift givers from the things you really do need. When building your registry, pretend that it’s your own money you’re spending, and from there, see which items are really worth asking for. You may be surprised at how little you need to make your new home complete.