By Jennifer Steffy Swanson
When it comes to weddings, there is room to be whimsical, romantic and slightly over-the-top, but that place is outside of your registry. Here, practicality should be number one. Sure, twenty or thirty years ago certain items were standard: monogrammed towels, twelve complete settings of fine china (lucky you, you pick the pattern!) and silver flatware for those special evenings when you’re entertaining your parents, your in-laws and six other random people.
Your guests and friends really want to help you and your intended with useful gifts, things you don’t have or things you’d love to have but are unlikely to purchase for yourselves. It may sound ridiculous, but nine years after the fact, I’m still using the non-skid mixing bowls, stainless steel measuring cups and serving spoons that someone purchased off my registry.
And although practicality is the priority, pretty doesn’t have to go to pasture. Skip the embroidered towels and put your new monogram to good use on a versatile baking dish or complete set of wine glasses. If you entertain a lot, register for that blender you’ve always wanted but can’t swing on your own. If you and your sweetie have lived together for several years, you may not need another set of sheets. You may, however, really like to have a new bistro set to replace the one that’s falling apart on the patio.
What it comes down to is, other than making sure you register for a variety of items in different price points (Great Aunt Grace might be in a position to be more generous than cousin Sara, the college co-ed), forget the old-fashioned “musts.” Register for things you’ll actually use. Your guests will feel better about making those kinds of purchases, and you’ll thank yourself later.