Wedding registries used to be so predictable, with everyone adding the same expected items to their lists—like expensive china, frames, and crystal goblets. These days though, it's not usual for couples of all generations to ask for things that they actually want and can envision themselves using after the big event. Whether it's a set of comfy lawn chairs or some dough to pay for wedding expenses or the honeymoon, the possibilities of what you can request are endless.
Of course there are many still who prefer the traditional route, and there’s nothing wrong with that either (not everyone regrets asking for those fancy plates that they don’t often use). Case in point: Our list below of winning picks, straight from our very own editors, reveals that there really isn’t a universal list of items that's right for everyone. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what works for you and your boo. And if you’re still stressed, just remember the magic of gift receipts.
1. Drink Dispenser
“We received a drink dispenser from Crate and Barrel and have used it so many times for various parties over the years. I've learned it’s much easier to serve a batch of punch, rather than individual cocktails, to guests when entertaining. Plus, it creates less chance for spills.”—Sheryl George, Beauty Editor
Crate & Barrel available at Crate & Barrel | $50
2. Fancy China
“As a bride, everyone told me I would never use my formal china and I have to tell you: It’s 100% true. Still, I don¹t have any regret about getting a very fancy service for ten. My pattern is Bernardaud Etoile and 13 years later I still love it as much as I did then. It’s contemporary but classic with shades of mint, eggplant, and gold. I received it piece by piece off of my registry and I have hopes of passing it down to my daughter one day. Hopefully she will use it more than I do!”—Selene Milano, Senior Beauty Editor
Bloomingdale's available at Bloomingdale's | From $60
3. Lawn Chairs
“My husband and I spend most weekends at the beach, so in addition to some very practical and very beautiful home items, we registered for fun Tommy Bahama accessories. Friends of ours got us the chairs, which, I have to admit, I use way more frequently than china.”—Christina Shanahan, Senior Features Editor
Tommy Bahama available at Tommy Bahama | $70
4. Steamer Pot
“Of all the things I registered for, I'd never have guessed that the most helpful, useful thing would be a two part steamer pot. This All-Clad Steamer set, to be specific. It’s perfect for steaming vegetables, making dumplings, and lightly cooking fish. I honestly have used it at least five days a week for the past seven years of our marriage. I like that you can also use it as a regular pot as well. It’s a great size for making pasta, sauce, or mashed potatoes for two to three people. I had never used a steamer pot until I received this, so I have no idea what led me to put it on our registry, but I’m so glad I did!”—Leigh Belz Ray, Features and News Director
Williams Sonoma available at Williams-Sonoma | $180
5. Honeymoon Funds
“We didn't have any qualms about asking people for money for our honeymoon but were also sensitive to the fact that some guests might not feel comfortable writing out a check, so we also set up a small registry of hard goods as an option. If you want to ask for dough but are stumped on how to do it, Zola is a great option. It’s a registry site where you can list all the products you want (so that it looks like a “real” registry), but also include funds as an option for things that you want some extra money for, like your honeymoon, flowers, or the shoes that you’re dying to have.”—Anne Vorrasi, Lifestyle Editor