That is awesome!
That means that seven years ago (or so) we started dating, four years ago he proposed, and three years ago we went on a shopping spree with little to no regard for reality!
AKA Wedding registry shopping.
Since those care-free days, I’ve ofetn wondered which items I’d register for again, and which were — shall we say — a poor choice. Here’s the breakdown:
These are items we should have thought about a bit more before registering for, or simply didn’t maintain the quality over the years:
Target linens and towels
While we have a few of the original Target bathtowels around still, I wasn’t pleased with how these towels held up. They also discontinued the version we bought shortly after we bought them, so there was no way to replace them and keep a matching set (these Eileen Fisher towels are similar to what we got). If we ever got into a price bracket to afford them, I think we’d go with Crate and Barrel or Ralph Lauren towels (… and I’ll keep an eye out for these products at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx, etc).
Williams Sonoma gold bakeware
This one is tricky, because technically I have used these items and loved them. And moreso, I would never have registered for ones that were more expensive because these are already high-end. That said, Williams Sonoma’s gold baking sheet became uneven about two years into weekly baking, and the auxiliary round pans have kept cooking stains on them longer than I’d like. These changes may have been user-errors, but there we are ;-).
Crate and Barrel Vases
I guess unmarried Sarah thought she’d have a lot of need for these beautiful vases from Crate and Barrel. We ended up returning them, though, so they were not worth the shopping trip. If we had a large dinner table now, I would probably want them and put adorable little lucky bamboo in them. But we don’t, so I don’t.
Wusthof Knife Set (Crate and Barrel)
We were very generously gifted this set of Wusthof knives, but I should have shopped around more and spend money on the knives I use the most. I use knives SO MUCH preparing all of our food and vegetables that a more high quality paring knife and chefs knife would have suited me better. That said, this is a good starter-kit. The scissors are the BEST and the knives have held up “okay” for three years. This might be another user-error situation because we have not regularly sharpened them and we put them through the dishwasher weekly.
These are registry items that have earned their keep in three years and I’d do it all over again.
Crate and Barrel’s Iona Flatware
Crate and Barrel’s Maison Dishware
Classic, useful, and white. In three years, we’ve broken one or two bowls and replaced them. They are otherwise untouched and awesome! However, I am glad we didn’t get full sets and only got four coffee mugs rather than a whole 12-set of them. They’re smaller than we like to drink hot stuff in and we don’t use them as often as we do the plates and bowls. (Again, here’s a similar set from Amazon).
Le Creuset Oval Stoneware
I couldn’t find a link to the exact one we have, but it is an oval version of this piece. It is awesome and I use it weekly. The first time I made lasagna in it was a cooking revelation because it heated so evenly and bubbled the cheese so nicely.
Looking back, here are a few items I wish I’d registered for but didn’t:
Cuisinart Food Processor
This was high on the list of “everyone gets it but no one needs it” products, but looking back it would have helped me segway into Paleo and Paleo AIP a lot easier. I recently bought a 3-cup grinder/chopper, but I think I’m going to return it for a full-size 7 cup with slicer capabilities so I don’t have to buy a mandolin slicer (each of these has great reviews and would revolutionalize a Paleo AIP kitchen).
We got a Keurig shortly after we got married and it was awesome. I don’t know why brewing coffee one cup at a time is so much fun, but it is. We also got re-usable K-cup cups (these are the only ones that worked for us — be careful which one you get!) so every once in a while we can enjoy a random blend.
All-Clad is just amazing. I wish I’d consolidated some of our kitchen purchases to get more pieces from this line (we have a single small sauce pot from my mom). They’re so sturdy, so beautiful, and they heat so evenly that it’s crazy.
Wedding Registry Tips
Looking at this before and after, I have a few tips for brides and grooms doing a little shopping:
- Avoid purchasing lifestyle items. Things like art and vases and things like that aren’t the best investments unless they have sentimental value. Your style will likely change over the years, especially if you haven’t yet lived together or if you plan to move a lot. Money you spend on walls you don’t know yet likely won’t be worth it in the long run.
- Register at stores you love to shop in. We did this, and when we returned items we ended up with $100+ return credit at Target, Crate and Barrel, and Williams Sonoma. Some of this we spent on everyday purchases (Target). But the others we saved and used over the months when things were tight so that we could have fun shopping trips to our favorite stores without getting off budget. In fact, I think I still have some Williams-Sonoma credit left and I love stopping in to browse.
- Spend more than you think on linens. If you find basic color sheets you love (white, black, navy, and other solid colors) and it’s within your budget to do so, spend more. We have one set of Ralph Lauren sheets that JHubbs bought at an outlet for almost $150 — that I completely scoffed at at the time, I mean oh my gosh $150 on sheets at an outlet?? — but they’re no kidding in my top five favorite posessions after years of use. They’re unbelievable sheets, and everythign else we’ve tried wears down and doesn’t feel as good. (I’ve hunted for them at every HomeGoods and TJ Maxx I go to for years!).
- Align your spending with your habits. Like a good budget, wedding registry spending should align with your lifestyle as it is and as you want it to be. If you don’t cook a lot, don’t load your kitchen up with baking supplies or you’ll use up your gifts on things you don’t use or be stuck carrying around boxes of useless kitchen supplies. However, if you eat a lot of food out of cans it might very well be worth a $20 ergonomic, crazy-awesome can opener.
Do you have any registry items you regret, or ones you want to shout from the rooftops?
PS $150 per week on a family of two is normal for us and there’s really only two sane options in life