You just got engaged! Congrats!
If you’re beginning to plan your special day, you might also be thinking about creating a wedding registry. From dinnerware to duvet covers, it’s a fun, special time to decorate and furnish your household together.
For brides who are pregnant or who already have kids, planning a registry can be different than it is for those without children, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable. Here are some of our top tips for getting the products you’ve been dreaming of while remaining practical about the needs of a family household.
Where to begin
First and foremost, this is your wedding. Register for what you want for the household, and don’t feel any pressure to register for items you truly don’t think you need — even if some friends or relatives think no registry is complete without a complete set of bone china specifically reserved for Thanksgiving dinner. That being said, keep in mind that registering for personal items (like an iPad) may not sit well with some guests, so stick with items for the home you and your whole family will use and enjoy.
Ask for what you need
The easiest way to begin planning a wedding registry is to think of items you need around the house. Don’t be afraid to go from room to room and make a list of things you are missing or that could be upgraded. It’s OK to replace items that still might have a little bit of life left, like your partner’s dishes from college that have seen better days, or your well-worn striped bedding set that has been washed countless times.
Also consider how you, your future spouse and any children will be spending time together. When my husband and I created our registry, we didn’t take into account our favorite family-night activity during our weekend visits with his two girls: movies, popcorn and milkshakes. Every other Friday night, we snuggle up on the sofa together and enjoy homemade treats. Looking back, it would have been a great idea to register for throw blankets and pillows that are easily laundered (hello, chocolate ice cream!), and to add drop-proof melamine cups and bowls as well. Items like these are generally at lower price points, making it easier for budget-conscious wedding guests to give you things you’ll use and love.
As you begin to add to your registry, be sure to take durability and ease-of-cleaning into account. A delicate dish set may be exactly what you want for special occasions, but if you plan to host family dinners with lots of children (or even just one!), consider also registering for a separate set of kids’ dishes that can more easily withstand rougher handling. Don’t forget to think beyond the kitchen as well. That dry-clean-only alpaca throw blanket may look perfect in a formal living room, but it may not last in a family room where the construction of blanket forts or games of tug-of-war are regular activities.