DIY Wedding Ideas

Must-Have Wedding Gift Registry Items

Silver tea sets? A crystal punch bowl? If you think that's got you covered, think again. Get the scoop from wedding experts on the items you won't think to register for, but should!

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Wedding Registry Gifts Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Thinkstock

Registering for your wedding seems simple, but when faced with the proposition of making a giant joint wish list, it can be hard to know where to start. Weddings are built on cultural and societal traditions, but your gift list is one thing that shouldn't be stuck in the past. (Honestly, are you two ever going to use a soup tureen?) We asked three wedding pros for their modern registry must-haves and secrets for building a smarter gift list.

The Experts
Joanna Kartalis, director of The Registry at Bloomingdale's President Nancy Lee
Cathleya Schroeckenstein, Editor in Chief, Weddingbee

What are the registry must-haves for just about every couple?

Joanna says: "1) A great frame to capture your favorite moment from your wedding, 2) china to make even the most casual meal feel special, 3) stemware to glisten on your table and make every day feel like a 'cocktail party', 4) the basics for your kitchen — stainless-steel cookware and a stand mixer, 5)bedding and bath towels to create your new 'honeymoon suite', 6) luggage! It's the first gift you'll use, as you'll need it for your honeymoon!"

Cathleya says: "Good knives! It's not enough that you pick ones by price — test them out — the heft, weight, how comfortable they feel in your hand. To me, they're investment pieces, so choose wisely."

What traditional registry items are okay to skip?

Cathleya says: "If you're a city dweller in a small space, I'd omit fine china. Considering many of us starting out live in smaller apartments or condos (sometimes with a small-to-no dining table), it'll end up sitting around for years before you use it, and worse, could go outdated by the time you use it if you go with a trendy pattern. Buy everyday china in all one color — white's the easiest — in different interesting shapes. It'll end up going great from everyday to entertaining. You can jazz it up with great table decor and chargers."

Nancy says: "If you and your fiancé do not need any more kitchen essentials and do not predict formal dining in your future, then by all means do not feel obligated to add traditional items to your gift registry. The registry is supposed to reflect the two of you as a couple, and what you need or want for your new life together...whatever that means."

Joanna says: "Anything you don't love! There are no rules here, so don't feel pressure to register for gifts that you don't want/already have/don't see yourself using. There are plenty of fun items that will make your home the nest you've always dreamed's all about you!"

Any “just-for-fun” items that couples should consider?

Cathleya says: "The sky's the limit. People often look at vases, decor and accents as 'frivolous' registry items, but they end up being the things that you use and/or look at the most in your house, so go for it in the home decor department. And, of course, really luxurious, high-thread count sheets are a personal fave!"

Nancy says: "Absolutely! Anything that the couple will enjoy is fair game. At [pictured], we have seen an increase in specialty electrics from panini and bread makers, to electric grills and juicers. But really, anything from mountain bikes to His & Hers iPads are all fair registry items these days."

Joanna says: "Think about how you actually live and what you do in your home today. Love margaritas? How about a blender in your favorite eye-popping color? Ready for a beer? Try a set of pilsner glasses. Toast the good life with a dazzling pair of crystal flutes."

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