Registering for your wedding can either be a really fun experience with your spouse, or it can be an overwhelming shopping trip that leaves you both feeling like you missed out on the things you really wanted to build your first home together. It can be a stressful time for any couple — but it doesn’t have to be! Havenly’s Head of Design Shelby Girard has all of the newlywed registry tips you need to know to make registering fun and easy.
1. Go beyond the traditional registry "must-haves” like china, silver, sheets and towels. Instead, think about outfitting your whole home and how you want it to look and feel. Maybe you’re imaging a cashmere throw for some cozy afternoons on the sofa, or some beautiful frames for your wedding photos. Start with that vision and work backwards as you compile your initial list. Havenly also offers a “Design Quickie” feature on our mobile app where you can talk to a designer for free — so if you need help articulating your vision, chat with an expert first to get your ideas flowing.
2. Don’t be afraid to splurge! It’s easy to feel guilt about adding pricey items to the registry list, thinking that maybe your guests will be offended or put-off. The truth is that this is one of those few times when people want to spend money on you and are happy to do it, so feel free to add some more expensive items to the list.
3. Feel free to think out of the box — and outside the home — by registering for pieces that will jazz up your outdoor space. Think outdoor rugs and pillows, overhead string lights, a fire pit and some classic rattan patio furniture. The best outdoor patios have plenty of room for conversation and ambiance, so if you have the space for it, try to create two to three areas for your guests to mingle.
4. When it comes to registering for entertaining and kitchen/décor items, you’ll want to make sure you start with a cohesive vision. Ideally you’ll end up with items that all work together and all have their place in your home. This can be challenging to do, so it’s a great idea to add something like a Havenly gift card to your registry, so you can get a designer’s help to bring it all together after the wedding.
5. Try registering for an experience that you can share with your spouse, like cooking classes. It makes a great date night outing and will teach you how to make the best use of all your new appliances.
6. For big ticket items that you likely won’t want to replace in the next five years, err on the side of classic, high quality finishes that you can live with forever (like marble serving pieces or classic porcelain dinnerware). Keep the trendier picks to your linens and other easily interchangeable décor. Your wallet will thank you!
7. When trying to decide between items, think about that dinner party you’ve always wanted to host. Is it a backyard barbecue with friends, or a big Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family at your home? Choose your entertaining pieces, server ware and cooking essentials based on that vision of your future flawless hosting skills.
8. Don’t exclude large pieces just because they might exceed a single guest or couple's gifting budget. Go ahead, include that sofa, rug or even mattress you’ve been coveting! Group-gifting allows wedding guests to gift a portion of the total price of a larger-ticket item that they know will have an important and lasting place in your home.
9. Don’t get too carried away with items you feel like you should have on your registry. Focus on only adding the items you’re excited about! So many times we feel like we have to register for certain pieces we don’t actually want or need, and may never really use.
Shelby Girard is the Head of Design at Havenly. She’s an expert in home decor whose signature style is Parisian modern: a chic contrast of the minimal, the ornate, and the edgy. Her work has been featured in publications such as MyDomaine, Glitter Guide, Style Me Pretty, and Design Sponge.