The countdown is on, friends! Our favorite bride-to-be, Kristen of Maid of Henry is getting married in FOUR months, and today she's sharing her Registry experience with all of you! From what to consider for your lifestyle and home, to some of her favorite shops, she's giving us all of her best tips and tricks!
“The best research you can do is talk to people.” –Terry Pratchett
You type in your iPhone passcode and so mindlessly your brain and fingertips team up and lead you to your current most-obsessed app: Instagram, Snapchat, Gmail? Occasionally, you have that moment: How did I get here? Ah, yes…our brains are magnificent wonders. These days, my brain will tell you that the only apps I want to be taken to on the express route are my registry apps. If you could see their VIP placement on my desktop screen (oh how quickly Weather got booted), you’d know I wasn’t kidding.
I have read so many insightful posts on what to scan and what to skip, how to find the most practical household items ever, and the things I wish I knew before registering. But no one ever prepared me for the amount of thought and work that goes into creating your bridal registry if you want it to be perfect for you…and why wouldn’t you?
If wedding planning were an academic unit of study, the bridal registry would be the culminating activity. We all remember that those requires extensive research, major refinement, and late nights with wine. Oh, but there is one major difference! Creating your registry can be (and should be) one of the more exhilarating projects you take on during your planning. Think of it as your grown-up Christmas list. You should love every item on there, down to the wishing well gifts like the avocado-slicer and bagel-biter.
A piece of advice I have before you begin the registry process is to take into account your wedding guest size and to know your crowd. Your registry should be a reflection of your guest size. It should also have options in range of price points. If you’re inviting 130 women to your bridal shower, you should have a substantial amount of items and options on there for them. Kevin and I went through phases where we felt guilty registering for costly items. Thankfully I always had my mom by my side to give me reminders like how much people love to go in on joint gifts! Keep in mind: your fr-amily members will be getting you a gift no matter what, it may as well be something you want or need. Another piece of advice: register for your future… not for your current walk-in closet size apartment. It’s really hard to take yourself out of your current living situation, but I encourage you to keep your long-term dreams in mind when registering.
I recommend taking the time to plan your home-vision (style and décor) before you begin registering. It is important that everything is cohesive when it comes to the items in each of your rooms: kitchen-dining, bedroom, living room, and bathroom. Registering at least three months before your bridal shower invitations hit the mailboxes is what I did. The amount that Kevin and I tweaked could break registry-records. Many products turned into mini-projects for us. I kid you not when I tell you I spent weeks switching napkin-holders. Call us crazy, but we love our family and friends too much to register for items that we “kind of love” or ones that should be replaced in a few years. We took the time and initiative to research reviews and cross-compare prices to ensure we were registering for the most quality, practical items for the best deal. It was well-worth it. In addition to online-registration, we met with an awesome consultant named Sean for some guidance. It's enjoyable to now scroll through a solid, well-planned registry.
Kevin and I decided to register at Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn, Cutco, and Bloomingdale’s. BB&B for essentials, PB for home and kitchen decor, Cutco for cutlery, and Bloomingdale’s for my everyday dishes (which was totally unplanned). I just happened to fall in love with Villeroy & Boch along the way and there was just no turning back! We planned to register for kitchenware at Williams-Sonoma and were just ecstatic when we saw that the items we loved so much there (All-Clad and Le Creuset) are now carried at BB&B. 20% off for your guests? Yes, please.
Here's a sneak-peak into some of my absolute favorites by category:
- Cookware: All-Clad, Le Creuset
- Flatware: Oneida
- Stemware: Riedel
- Fine china: Lenox, Wedgwood
- Basic houseware: OXO Good Grips
- Kitchen electrics: Ninja, Keurig, Breville
- Cutlery: Cutco (lifetime guarantee!)
Pottery Barn is my dream-home-away-from-home, as I’m sure it’s yours too! The items we registered from here will make our home comfy and cozy. Need classic, timeless white dishes? Check out their Cambria and Gabrielle collection.
Other spots worth investigating!
- Honeyfund: allow your guests to gift you with one-in-a-lifetime honeymoon excursions
- ZOLA: all-in-one extensive wedding collection that will do anything for love
- La Terrine: Italian hand-crafted dinnerware and flatware
When in doubt, I always, always, of course resorted to my master resources…my people! My mom, future mom, bridesmaids, friends, family, and colleagues. Endless screen shots and texts were sent throughout the process. Lucky for me, they’re honest and quick to tell me they’re favorites and what they regret registering for.
Now that my bridal shower invitations from Ribbon + Ink have been shipped, I just love logging on to my registry and having little celebrations when I see that an item has been purchased. This time has become extra special since the registry process and always leads Kevin and I back to our love and appreciation for our friends and family. Seriously, who are we without them?! I hope to share behind-the-scenes bridal shower details and gift inspiration with you in my next post!