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How to Ensure You Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Registry

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It’s been nearly 5 years since I registered for my own wedding, but I can honestly say that I’m still pseudo salty about not having gotten a few things that my husband and I really hoped for. I won’t get into what they were, because we’ve since gotten them on our own - water under the bridge - and are living our best lives. BUT, the bummed-out feelings still happened, anyway, and we’re hardly the first couple to have felt ‘em. Just like kids feeling twinges of post-holiday sadness, when they’ve gotten pretty much everything they asked for, save just a few things that Santa ‘must have forgotten to leave under the Christmas tree.’ It sucks, but oh well, we move on! #stillblessed. 

That being said, when it comes to a wedding registry, the ULTIMATE wish list, there are definitely a few things couples can do to make sure they make out like bandits at the bridal shower. There’s no ‘rigging the system,’ it just takes a little strategy… and Crate and Barrel helped us put together some tips. Because your registry should never be the cause of your #somethingblue for the wedding. Unless, of course, you registered for some amazing blue tableware… We’ll allow that 😉. 

Crate and Barrel Caspian 4-Piece Blue Reactive Glaze Dinnerware Set
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Here goes. 6 ways to help you get everything you want out of your registry ((literally and figuratively))

Start planting seeds early.

As soon as you get engaged, people will want to know what they can get you to celebrate this next chapter in your lives and swiftly usher you into planning mode. They’ll ask you where you’re registered and they’ll want to start crossing things off your list early on. That’s why you should get ahead of it and start creating your registry as soon as you’re feeling inspired. If you can give your friends and family registry information before they ask for it, then they’ll get acquainted with your wants and wishes well before the wedding. And they might even get you something for your engagement party (if you have one), your bridal shower, your bachelorette (especially if it’s something added from ‘bedroom’ basics), and the wedding itself. Guests like to feel like they’re gifting you something that you want and need, so tell them up front what’s high up on the list!

crate-and-barrel-ostin-blue-duvet-covers-and-pillo Add to your registry:

Enlist some help.

Yes, it’s definitely fun to register. Not sure we know of any brides or grooms who haven’t loved using that scanning gun. That being said, if you’re really ‘in it to win it’ with your wedding registry, then you have to go into it with some kind of game plan, and an extra pair of hands / set of eyes / etc. No, we don’t mean bringing along your besties for their input, instead, we mean asking for help from the pros, when you need it. Crate and Barrel actually hosts private registry events where you get to be the guests of honor and get one-on-one attention and advice from their dedicated registry experts. The ones who can give you all the product pointers and design direction you need to build out your best registry ever.

Crate and Barrel Reese Witherspoon Indigo Vine 90'' Table Runner Add to your registry:

Consider those checklists.

Registries are rad not only because they grant you permission to ask for presents, but because they come with blueprints. You seriously don’t even have to think all that hard, because your registry partner has done it for you with their comprehensive checklists. From things to turn up your tablescaping skills to supplies to stock in your kitchen, fabulous furnishing finds to bakeware basics, Crate and Barrel has a complete guide to all the goods you need for your newlywed life (and beyond), so we suggest you do your due diligence and make your registry as exhaustive as possible.

You know that old Wayne Gretzsky saying ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take?’ Well, it applies here, too. You miss 100% of the items you don’t put on your registry. Kidding, you’ll inevitably get a bunch of things that your didn’t put on the registry (some good, some bad), but if you’re really feeling something and can’t imagine your married life without it, then add it to your registry!

cuisinart-ice-cream-and-gelato-maker Add to your registry:

Curate a little with your craves.

Not saying that going overboard with one or more of the items will instantly make your guests realize how amped you are about getting something. Case in point, my brother-in-law put eight maybe nine really high performance knives on his registry, and only received one or two of them. From looking at the registry, you could obviously tell that as the cook in the family (and I say that with love, my cousin - like me - is no crackerjack in the kitchen - she does what she can), he wanted lots of ‘toys,’ but to the people buying the presents, it was kind of like a knife is a knife is a knife. My apologies, I know this would make any impressive home chef shudder. And if one is already struck from the list, then it might as well be all of them. In my mind, though, whenever I see a couple curating little gift vignettes, like a coffee maker, flavor syrups, a beverage bar, home mugs and travel/portable thermoses, I think - okay, this is obvi high priority in their world. So, let’s make a well-thought-out purchase for them, and if it means group gifting, then so be it! At least they get what they want! This goes for couples who like to entertain, too, and might register for a bar cart, tons of barware, ice buckets, whisky stones, peelers, zesters, coasters. Guests get the picture, they’ll see your requests and raise you one of their own - to throw one of the sickest cocktail parties around after you’re married and make sure they’re on the guest list. Duh!


Play to your audience a bit.

This is absolutely your registry, so it should be personalized to you and your partner; however, if you’re hoping to get a lot out of what you put on it, then try not to alienate any of your guests. You’re inevitably going to have a mix of younger and older attendees at your parties, so it’s smart to anticipate what guests will want to spend on a gift and also what they’ll even be inclined to purchase. Yes, there’s absolutely no shame in going ultra modern-trendy with your wish list, whether you want to buck tradition with your tableware or fill your cabinets with the most high-tech kitchen gadgets in the game. But your guests might not be ‘there’ just yet and hesitant to go all out on any item they really have no interest in or knowledge about. It’s not about them, of course, but they’re the ones buying things for you. So, make it a little easier on them! Include a variety of high & low price point items to fit everyone’s budgets ((your little cousin who’s just finishing her frosh year of college might only have the funds to spend her Ramen budget on your wishing well wares)), and beware of adding toooo many appliances on the level of that Polyscience Sous Vide Professional Creative Series Immersion Circulator or Dash PancakeBot Pancake Printer. Grandma might just not get it…

Tip within a tip

Don’t discount the basics - they’re approachable and universally utilitarian - and add at least one or two heirloom items to the list // those that will undoubtedly withstand the test of time. It goes without saying that guests want to see their gestures go to good use. And they can feel good about buying something they know you’ll use for years.

crate-and-barrel-le-creuset-heritage-covered-recta Add to your registry:

…. One last thing.

While we HATE to use a word like ‘don’t’ in a post about creating your registry ((really, you do what you want, this is your wedding)), we’d offer a word of caution just to avoid feeling pressured to add things you absolutely don’t want to your list. Your parents+grandparents might try to coax you into the bone china collections, but if that’s not your style, then don’t surrender to the squeeze! Otherwise, you’ll end up padding your registry with things you have no precisely no passion for, and when guests buy those things instead of the items you really, really want, you’ll be crushed. TRUE STORY!! It happens!

crate-and-barrel-xcel-steam-plus-handheld-steamer Add to your registry:

And even IF you don’t get everything you wanted (despite your best efforts)

You can purchase them at a 10% discount (on any item) after your wedding in Crate and Barrel stores and online (yes, even furniture) for a full six months after your event. It’s just one of those special things that comes with your Crate and Barrel wedding registry.