Registry 101: What to Get

Sometimes I get a little obsessive.

Today’s example: The Registry.

In my defense, I worked part time in retail for eight years, where I did a fair amount of registry consulting. That means I’ve set up dozens of registries, explained the scanner, and even spent hours walking around the store with a bride (make an appointment!).

So when it came to setting up our registry, I had a lot of background to draw from. I also just had a lot of stuff, and so did Shamrock. So what’s a girl to do? Make a spreadsheet (bet you never saw that one coming).

I started with a ridiculously obsessive list of ALL OF THE THINGS. From there, I started noting what we actually needed (news flash: not a whole lot). That wasn’t crazy enough, so then I put whether things were high, medium, or low priority for us.

The goal in all that crazy? Decide where to register. My reasoning was that if there were only a few things we really needed, we should make sure we picked the right stores for those things. I didn’t want to choose two stores and then realize the two things we really wanted weren’t really our favorites there. (If this makes no sense to you, I’m not surprised. I sucked at explaining it to Shamrock too.) I just didn’t want to register at Macy’s and BBB, only to find the perfect plates at Crate & Barrel.

This is a semi-finished version of the list I completed for us. It has some of our info in it because I was too lazy to clear it all. It’s ridiculously comprehensive. I’m not sure if I should say I’m sorry or you’re welcome.

View this document on Scribd

For us, the highest priority (and largest thing overall) was dishes. There were some other things that I figured would be equivalent plenty of places (like appliances, dish towels, and steak knives), and others (sheets) that we would register for if we liked them, but not worry about if we didn’t.

So we made our list, checked it twice, and then started trying to find those elusive plates—more on that one later!

How did you decide which store to register at? Anyone else make an obsessive list?


Mrs. Clover

Wedding Date:
June 2014
Gallery of the Day: January 16, 2014
Wine, Women, and Sushi


  1. Member
    daphnedescends 119 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:57 pm

    @Miss Pyramid: “My work computer is blocking it for porn!”

    *in Beavis and Butthead voice* heh heh heh… spreadsheet… heh heh

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    mecypher, Guest @ 1:36 pm

    I am so thankful for this list as I feel like I am so far behind for our wedding in August, but really I’m not (I think). I have this same problem of us both having what we need and not wanting anything more besides maybe a soup laddel as we found out last night :) We live in a 620sqft appartment in downtown Vancouver, so we don’t really have the room for anything either, so I am really confused on what I should even ask for.

    Also we have another thing to throw in is I am from the states and he is from Canada, so where do you register stores in the states don’t always ship to Canada and stores in Canada don’t always let you use an american card online. Plus we are getting married on the otherside of the country so we dont really want gifts at our wedding that we are going to have to fly back with.

    Any of you ladies have the same issues?

  3. Member
    greatdanelovingmrs 44 posts, Newbee @ 3:33 pm

    We also did & Crate & Barrel.

    We chose amazon because i buy EVERYTHING on amazon already so I knew their selection was great. They also just added a special offer for registries so we will get 10% off (up to $100 discount) after the wedding on more stuff we want.

    I also chose crate & barrel so that guests could go to a brick & mortar store – but we never went in and had the scanner experience. We did it all online!

    I used some checklists to help me but really we are using our registry as a way to upgrade out current things- like hopefully we can replace our mismatched crazy hand me down silverware and also some of our pots & pans are older than we are haha! I would never do a cash registry personally.

    I like being able to put comments next to items on the amazon registry to explain why hat particular item is something we would like.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Melissa, Guest @ 3:34 pm

    I am doing a destination wedding and was actually considering a honeymoon registry. We love to travel and don’t really need stuff. Although, I do worry that it’s bad etiquette. Fly to my wedding and then pay for our honeymoon! Might be tacky. I can’t really decide.

  5. msclover Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:12 pm

    @eidnic: OMG prices–I did not get that in there! Well done!
    @Miss Pyramid: We host Thanksgiving and Christmas (and a Christmas party) so we kept writing down little things that would be nice for the whole season. And I’m amused your work computer thinks my spreadsheet is naughty!
    @GreatDaneLovingMrs: The comments option is great! Shamrock keeps up an Amazon wishlist for Christmas, and I love how you can see priority and add in comments. So helpful.

  6. Member
    ssmess01 28 posts, Newbee @ 7:25 am

    I’m from the north & he’s from the south, so we needed to choose stores that were found in both locations. BBB is FI’s favorite store, so we started there. He is also a HUGE Alton Brown fan, & his mother had given him Alton Brown’s, “Gear for Your Kitchen” book for Christmas the year before, so we had some good advice on what we’d need for that room. We are also in our 30s, but we’re grad students, so most of what we have is from our college days, which could definitely use an upgrade! We chose to also register on Amazon since location doesn’t matter. In the end, we also registered at Belk, which is a southern store, because his aunt spoke to his father & insisted that we really HAD to register there. And guess what, no one, not even she, has purchased anything from that list!

    I love that we are in the age of the internet, because this has allowed us to make changes to the registry as we think of things we may need, or remove items that were cute in the store but we’ve now realized we would never use. However, in the end, we are really hoping that the majority of guests give us cash because we are poor graduate students, and financial security is more important to us than having new towels & bed sheets.

  7. msclover Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:52 pm

    @ssmess01: Its so convenient to be able to make quick switches on the internet!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Tiffany, Guest @ 1:36 pm

    @mecypher, @Melissa: I understand the concern about a tacky cash registry; however, I attended a wedding that used a honeymoon fund website and it was fabulous! They were very creative with their descriptions so it didn’t feel like simply giving them money, and it was fun to buy a portion of their trip. I gave money in euros (they were headed to Italy), and with their thank you for each guest they sent a photo of their purchase (motor bikes, fresh food from the market, etc.) – it was very personal and touching!

  9. Member
    ssmess01 28 posts, Newbee @ 7:37 pm

    @Tiffany: It’s a great idea in concept, though older generations (baby boomers & later) seem to have an issue with it. My friend got married right out of college & they did a honeymoon registry. Unfortunately, they never sent the photos of themselves doing the activities we helped pay for for like they had promised. I should have known better since she never replies back to anything, email, voice mail, Facebook, what have you. Heck, I was surprised to get a thank you card at all!

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