Weddings are a beautiful thing. We're always happy to see the people we care about get married. Along with the ceremony and the dancing and the cake, of course, come the wedding gifts. Couples traditionally create a wedding registry, so they can receive the things they need to set up a household together. And most guests are happy to know what to buy; a registry ensures gifts are wanted and will go to good use.
However, sometimes a couple gets carried away with the registry. We don't know why -- maybe the two of them become overexcited surrounded by all that crystal. Or perhaps, with registry gun in hand, they become drunk with power, and lose sight of practicality. Or, maybe they just have champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Regardless, many of these items will wind up unused, packed away and forgotten.
Let's take a look at some wedding registry items that have left us scratching our heads.
Sure, we all love quesadillas. And, yes, using a quesadilla maker is a little easier than making quesadillas in an iron pan. But before you register for such a specific cooking appliance, consider how often you actually eat quesadillas. And don't say, "But we'll eat them all the time if we have one of these!" No, you won't. You also need to consider how much counter space this appliance will consume. Will you be able to store it in your cabinets when it's not in use?
If you're dying to make quesadillas at home, put a nice cast iron pan on your registry, instead. Cast iron pans make fantastic quesadillas and have a zillion other uses, as well. Plus, they last forever -- which is more than we can say for most appliances today.
Is putting furniture on your wedding registry practical or tacky? That depends on your guest list. If you know your friends and family have the means and the money to buy you expensive furniture, and you genuinely need it, then go right ahead. But since most stores offer a discount on any unpurchased items from the registry, many couples register for furniture solely to receive that discount.
The problem is your guests don't know that. And if you have a large number of expensive furniture items on your registry, some guests may feel obligated to spend more money than they'd really intended to spend.
If you're really desperate for cash to spend on furniture, you might consider adding some store gift cards to your registry, instead. If you're uncomfortable with that, simply let your family or wedding party know that you would prefer gift cards, and they will spread the word to your guests.
While there's certainly nothing wrong with being a sports fan, sports-themed linens might not be best item for your wedding registry, and here's why: First of all, for the most part, these linens usually look and are pretty cheap, and many guests don't want to buy a cheap wedding gift. Secondly, sports-team bedding doesn't exactly scream "romance," either. Thirdly, your gift registry is supposed to include practical items that you really need. What if you wind up with one set of sheets, and it's the one with tiny footballs on it? You'll regret not registering for the plain, white, practical sheets you now desperately need.
If you have kids, it might seem like a good idea to put toys on your registry. But here's why you shouldn't.
Your wedding is for you and your partner. Even though the marriage might be bringing two families together, the wedding itself is just for you two. Adding gifts for your kids to the registry could be a nice way to make them feel included -- we get that. However, you need to remember that not all your wedding guests may even know your children that well. And they want to celebrate your special occasion with a nice grown-up gift, not with a Super Mario Brothers video game. If you really want to include the kids in your wedding registry, think about gifts that the entire family can use, like a popcorn popper or pancake griddle.
Unless you're the kind of person who hosts weekly formal dinner parties for all your friends, you don't need to register for shrimp forks. Things like shrimp forks, egg cups, silver napkin rings and crystal candlestick holders are fun to think about having, but let's be honest -- how often are you really going to use something that specific?
Before you go crazy with the cool registry gun, take a minute and think about a few things. How many times a week do I have the need for a shrimp fork? Where will I store the shrimp forks when I'm not using them? Will I remember I even have them when that once-in-a-lifetime shrimp fork occasion comes up?
These sort of fancy schmancy items were de rigueur on bridal registries of yesteryear. But times have changed, and today's registries are more practical. Ditch the shrimp forks and get some extra flatware for dinner parties instead.
Yum. Who doesn't love a nice frozen margarita during the dog days of summer? And they're easy to make, especially with a mix. Just throw it in the blender with some ice, push the button -- whirrrrrr -- and you're good to go. So, don't be fooled by the fancy "margarita machine" on the shelf of the home goods store -- the one with all the cute cacti and coyotes on it.
These machines really aren't that much different from a blender, except that a blender probably is sturdier and will last longer. So don't waste your guests' money on a specialty appliance that does the same thing as an appliance you already have. It's just another thing that will take up space and gather dust.
A pancake warmer is one of those silly things that you always think would be "nice to have." And they are kind of clever. But again, you have to ask yourself, how often do you really make pancakes? And how many pancakes are you making at a time so that you'd need a whole piece of stoneware to keep them warm? Usually, pancakes get eaten pretty quickly!
Plus, this is another one of those kitchen items that will take up a lot of space in your cabinets. So, instead of registering for one, try putting your cooked pancakes on a baking sheet in a warm oven while you cook the rest. Or, if you're really a pancake fiend, register for a griddle with a warming drawer built in.
When you think of a wedding registry, the first thing that usually comes to mind is sparkling crystal and fine china. These are among the most traditional wedding gifts. However, times have changed, and mealtimes aren't as formal as they used to be. If you or anyone you know registered for wedding china -- and spent hours deciding on a pattern -- think of the last time you've even seen it.
Most people are so afraid of breaking their china and ruining the number of place settings that they almost never take the china out. They just keep it in a hutch or packed away. Same with crystal candlesticks and champagne flutes. Too fancy to use every day, and too expensive to trust people with at a party. So what do you do?
There's no reason to register for something just because you think you're supposed to. Register for things you'll really use. If you do plan to use your wedding china on a regular basis, then go for it. But if you plan to just hide it away in a cabinet, you might consider registering for some more informal place settings, instead.
If you or your beloved enjoy cocktails, you know there's nothing better than a perfectly made martini. Freezing cold, yet not full of ice -- a good martini is, of course, shaken and not stirred. Part of the magic around the martini mystique is the way a bartender shakes the cocktail. Everyone has their own particular style of shaking a martini.
So, why on earth would you want a machine to do it? This might be the ultimate gift for the laziest person in the world. It will actually take longer to go to the cabinet, take the machine out of the box, and plug it in than it would to simply shake the martini by hand. Again -- avoid the "clever" appliances. They seem fun for the moment, but they're likely fodder for tomorrow's garage sale.
Our last entry isn't really a "thing" as much as it's an "idea of things." But it's definitely a wedding registry hazard, and plenty of brides and grooms have regrets. We're talking about registering for gifts that you can't use yet -- gifts you aspire to use.
Think registering for a Dyson vacuum when you currently live in a small walkup with hardwood floors. Or giant appliances to go into your fantasy kitchen, when today you have zero counter space. You never know what the future will hold. Don't register for 20 place settings because you hope to one day have a huge dining room with lots of friends and family over for the holidays. Those place settings will end up in storage and every time you move (if you even do), it increases the likelihood that they'll break. Don't register for a grill if you don't have a backyard.
A wedding is very special, and your gifts should reflect that. When your loved ones come to visit, they want to see the gifts they chose for you being used and enjoyed. We could go on and on, but our message is this -- live for today.
For more on weddings and gifts, check out the links on the next page.
Many brides can't believe they received these outrageous gifts for walking down the aisle. Learn the 10 most outrageous gifts brides have received.
- 10 Registry Dos and Don'ts
- 10 Gifts that Should Be On Your Wedding Registry
- 10 Things Your Groom Will Love About Wedding Planning
- How -- and Why -- to Build Your Wedding Registry Online
- Ultimate Guide to Alternative Wedding Registries
- Groom's Gift: Totally Optional, but Totally Awesome
- How to Design Your Own Engagement Ring
- Are guests expected to give engagement, shower and wedding gifts?