Michelle & Todd
When it came time to register, 36-year-olds Michelle, a marketing executive, and Todd, a trader, made the most of high-end retailer Michael C. Fina's flexible policy of holding off on shipping gifts. This allows couples to revise the items and quantities on their registry and put the cash value of already purchased items toward something else entirely.
"We spent hours picking out a fine china pattern and matching crystal, but we changed our minds about it after our safari honeymoon and wanted a pattern to remind us of the trip," explains Michelle. "Michael C. Fina let us convert the credits we received from other gifts and put them toward purchasing different china [Africa II by Hermès]." The couple also decided to forgo the crystal and stick to the glassware they already owned, so they put those credits toward the Hermès dinnerware as well. While a lot of the couple's fine china is still in boxes, "We've used some of it and I know we'll use it for dinner parties once we have a bigger dining table."
The couple also registered at Bloomingdale's, Williams-Sonoma, and Crate&Barrel for more useful kitchenware such as Le Creuset cookware, Wüsthof cutlery, and All-Clad pots and pans. "We chose quality items that would last a lifetime," Michelle explains.
Michelle also took advantage of the ease of registering for some gifts online, a process that lead to impulse items. "I selected a silver candleholder online, but when we received it, I realized it wasn't something I would use often enough to keep," she says, adding that she learned some returns were easier than others. After the hassle of having to return some gifts ordered online by schlepping them to the post office, Michelle suggests couples investigate and really understand the return policy and what your role in the process is before starting a registry. "And remember, monogrammed items can't be returned at all."
The orange boxes contain Hermès china—Todd and Michelle's favorite gift, which replaced their original china and crystal selections.
Some decorative objects added online, like the Oscar de la Renta bowl, are "pretty but not really functional," and are still in the box.
Because the couple loves to entertain and travel, some friends and family gave wine and luggage not on the registry.
When it came to the kitchen, "We registered for upgrades of stuff we already had."