If you’re just starting out in life, chances are you don’t own much. When I moved in with my husband, all I had to bring was my desk, twin bookcases, twin bed, a cereal bowl, and one spoon. As for Anthony, well, he brought a TV, a computer, a couch, a fluffy blanket, and a PS3.  While these items were certainly useful, we didn’t exactly have what we needed to fully start our lives together.

Have fun together as you plan your registry.

Today, many young couples find they’re far from having the essentials for daily living, especially after years of mixing and matching supplies with various roommates. That’s why wedding registries are a Godsend to a young, married couple. A registry allows you to go to a store of your choice, inquire about their wedding registry program, man yourself with an incredibly fun laser gun, and target the SKU labels of anything and everything you’d like guests to purchase for you as wedding gifts.  You can register at one store or several, like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Dillard’s, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It all depends on what you like. Plus, registering at several stores gives wedding guests the opportunity to pick their price range.

If you already have a fully functioning home, don’t feel like you need to set-up a traditional registry, like the one below. Instead, consider setting up a honeymoon fund online or have your guests donate toward a charity of your choosing.

However, if you do need the essentials, here’s my groom’s and my top twenty registry items from our Las Vegas wedding. After several months of marriage, we’d like to pass along which registry items we’ve found most useful.  Please feel free to add and adjust to fit you and your groom’s lifestyles.

1.     Bed sheets: Come on, let’s not be shy. We all know what happens in the bedroom is a core part of every marriage.

Enjoy special dinner on your special dishes (plate, glass, and silverware from Bed, Bath, and Beyond)

2.     Dishes: What else can you eat on? Traditionally, you’ll want a place setting of plates, bowls, and mugs/tea cups for twelve people. With twelve, you can have several guests over, and you won’t fret if one dish cracks. If you want china and prefer low maintenance, make sure it’s dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Try using your china for date nights at home, rather than holidays-only, and let yourselves feel a lot more special.

3.     Silverware: Without a full set of forks, knives, and spoons, you’ll confine yourselves to finger food. Sure, that can be fun for the first week. But eventually, you’ll want to eat your meals without having sixty-two napkins on hand.

4.     Glasses: Now that you have the tools to eat a tasty meal, add water glasses for drinks. Depending on your preferences, you may want to add wine goblets, martini glasses, or margarita glasses.

5.     Towels: When you step out of the steamy shower, you’re going to need a fluffy towel to dry off. Register for bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths. Consider color coordinating.

6.      Coffee Pot/Tea Kettle: All right. You’re going to need motivation to get you up, out of bed, and on your way to work in the morning. Register for a tea kettle or coffee pot with features you’ll actually use.

7.     Knife Block: You’ll use this more often than you’d expect. From cutting meat to slicing vegetables to halving bagels, it’s handy to have knives in your kitchen.

Instead of mix-matching your towels (like this), keep a consistent theme.

8.     Cutting Boards: Register for a cutting board, and preserve your counter tops. Also, many cooks recommend you own several cutting boards—one for meat, one for vegetables, and one for bread—to avoid cross-contamination.

9.     Pots and Pans: To save your pennies, make your own food at home using strong pots and pans. If you’re a cooking beginner, stick to the basics. Register for a pots and pans set, and receive what you need with skillets, saucepans, and a stockpot.

10.  Cooking Utensils: How can you use your trusty pots and pans set without cooking utensils? Register for a variety, including a spatula, wooden spoons, ladle, slotted spoon, solid spoon, and whisk.

11. Toaster/Toaster Oven: Breakfast in a box. Enough said.

12. Trash Can: Surprise! While this is infinitely less glamorous than a shiny toaster, it’s one of the essentials. You’ll need one for your kitchen and an additional small trash can with a lid for your bathroom.

13. Silverware Sorter: When it’s 7:00 a.m. and you’re looking for a spoon to stir creamer into your coffee, you really don’t want the challenge of navigating through numerous utensils. With your forks, spoons, and knives in a particular place, you’ll be more organized and less stressed.

14. Pyrex Set: From cooking to storing food in the refrigerator, a good set of Pyrex bowls and pans makes our go-to guide. Try to find a set that comes with lids, transforming your mixing bowls into holding containers.

15. Lamps: If your apartment is like ours, there aren’t any lighting fixtures in the bedroom or living room. While you could go to sleep at sundown, we recommend registering for two floor lamps and a couple table lamps for best lighting.

16. Vacuum: Chances are your home will have carpet. Register for a vacuum to keep it clean. Not to mention, this is a big-ticket item that you probably won’t feel as excited about purchasing yourselves.

Salt-and-pepper shaker and cooking utensils from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, tea kettle from Target, and utensil holder from Wal-Mart

17. iHome/CD Player/Sound System: Music = awesome. It’s fun to have your favorite tunes play while you cook food, clean your home, entertain friends, and romance each other.

18. Tool Kit: What if the hot water heater breaks down? How are you going to fix it? Okay, so you could call your landlord. But what if you have to hang some pictures on a wall or put together a table and chairs? You’ll need tool kit basics, like a hammer, screwdriver, nails, and pliers, to let your man take care of your place to the best of his ability.

19. Home Décor: From furniture to artwork, add some items to your registry that will make your house feel like a home.

20. Home Entertainment System: Whether it’s a small television or surround-sound speakers, any additions to your home entertainment system will give your groom something to get excited about amidst all the girly gifts. (“Oh, a scented candle, why thank you!” vs. “Oh my gosh, look at the wires on this baby!”)

Feel free to add additional items that fit your lifestyles. For example, we registered for a tortilla warmer and an avocado slicer. Now, we wouldn’t recommend those items to everyone, but we use them quite frequently. Adjust your registry list as necessary, and don’t forget to have fun! You and your groom are planning your lives together, and this is one foundational step toward that dream.

Come find out more about bridal registry companies at the next Bridal spectacular.

(Author and Photographer: Allyson Siwajian © 2010)


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