Window Shopping: The Registry

I keep meaning to make a quick visit to Crate and Barrel, where we’ve set up the bulk of our registry, just to feel our chosen silverware in my hands. Aside from that, however, we’ve bucked common wisdom and done all of our registry online, both at C&B and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Like many, we’d love money. Heh. But while I was going through the pages of each website, I did see many a thing we can use, mostly in the kitchen area. For one, we do not own a Kitchenaid Mixer (oh for shame!!!) or a proper food processor (shame, shame). We could use a few more serving pieces, but we absolutely do not need any china – I inherited my grandmother’s semi-formal china that we use every day, and her formal-formal china for special occasions. Not to mention, we’re not inviting nearly enough guests to hope for more than a soup turren and a couple of saucers in our pattern.

The registry was super fun to set up – it’s like window shopping! That we don’t have to pay for! – so I thought I’d take a few minutes to introduce you to our Top 10 Favorite God-I-Hope-We-Get-It Registry Items.

1. Hamptons Serving Bowls (yellow, below, and green)

Image via Crate & Barrel

We don’t have many big, adult serving bowls – just a few plastic ones from Target. I love the shape of this, and funny enough, I requested them in this color above and an avocado green, while our plastic versions are indeed yellow and green. This will be a much more classy way to bring mashed potatoes, pasta salad, and the like to our table.

2. Biggs Glasses (Highball and Double Old-Fashioned)

Image via Crate & Barrel

Our cups and glasses are fine – we can drink out of them, they’re not chipped or broken, etc. etc. But they’re not the nicest. Again, four heavy plastic cups from Target, one New York Yankees Tervis tumbler, several small IKEA glasses, and a few 1960s-era state souvenir glasses I’ve begun collecting from thrift stores and garage sales. An eclectic collection, yes, but these are better for company, and just more “married couple” and less “single college graduate” in general.

3. 20-piece Charlotte Flatware Set

Image via Crate & Barrel

Actual exchange:

Mr. LF: Why do we have all this stuff on our registry? Don’t we just want money?

Me: Yeah, but it would be nice to have some real towels, real glasses, real silverware…

Mr. LF: Oh, yeah, our silverware sucks.

Me: See??

Mr. LF: We have like, three real spoons. One is all bendy, and the rest are huge. We just have three nice-sized small ones.

Me:  There’s only one small one in the drawer…

Mr. LF: Yeah. I think the other two are in my car somewhere.

I rest my case on the silverware front.

4. Ona Pitcher

Image via Crate & Barrel

Aren’t these fantastic? They’re sculptural, vaguely mid-century. I want to serve raspberry lemonade out of these. I want to put them on my shelves for show. I love the Ona Pitchers.

5. OXO Stainless Steel Mandoline

Image via Crate & Barrel

There are two types of people: those who love kitchen gadgets, and those who shun them, believing all you really need is one bowl, one wooden spoon, one knife, one pot, and one pan. I’m clearly not the latter. My mom had so many kitchen gadgets the drawers were bursting. I take a slightly more practical approach, desiring only the ones I’d use. I like this for onion and tomato slices, apples, crinkle cut potatoes… classic.

6. KitchenAid Artisan Black Stand Mixer

Image via Crate & Barrel

I don’t know how I’ve lived without you for so long. My little hand mixer has been passable, but left me with weak arms and plenty of frustration. Christmas cookies would have been so much easier with you. Bread would be so much easier with you. I’d make so many more of those red velvet cupcakes with you. Please, come to me.

7. Cuisinart 9-cup Food Processor

Image via Crate & Barrel

Have you ever tried making pesto in a blender? Point made.

8. Cuisinart Classic Toaster

Image via Crate & Barrel

We’re not being fancy here: Yes, we have no toaster. No toast, no toaster waffles, no toaster strudels, no toasted bagels. No toaster.

9. Butter Dish

Image via Crate & Barrel

Classic, simple, white. We have no butter dish. True. Our butter sits awkwardly on a saucer that’s too big for the butter shelf. It collects fridge smells and looks sad. You should have gifts for all price points on your regstry – big honking items down to little $3 and $4 gadgets. This fits our $10 price point nicely (also, make sure to regularly visit your registry and add more low-priced items as needed to keep it suitable for all pocketbooks).

10. 3-Piece Spring Potluck Baker Set

Image via Crate & Barrel

These are fun, flexible, portable, and wonderful. I love everything about these. I can imagine breezing into a friend’s potluck carrying this robin’s egg blue dish filled with lasagna, or perhaps a cherry cobbler.

Some more registry tips:

  • Register enough items for 2-3 times the number of guests you’re inviting. This may seem excessive, but you’re not sitting there assuming you’ll get everything. You’re giving your guests a choice. If you invite 50 people and have 50 items on your registry, 80% of which they can’t afford, you leave people in a bit of a bind. Give them more options rather than not enough.
  • Revisit your registry frequently, not only to add variously priced items, but to make sure nothing has fallen out of stock or is no longer available online. I do all my registry shopping for friends’ weddings online, simply because it’s more convenient. For us, there’s been about a 6 month gap between when we registered and when my shower will be held. There’s bound to be discontinued items, so comb regularly for those.
  • Be OK with not receiving even one thing off your registry. Do not include where you’re registered on or in with your invitations. Ignore this tip if cultural or social differences exist within your circle – some families expect to be notified formally of where the registry exists. Feel it out – but as a rule, no, don’t put that in with the invite. People will ask you, or your parents, or your bridal party, and word of mouth will carry that information.
  • You may not want a registry. You may be 100% adamant that you don’t want to be a gift pig. You may think, we have everything we need. You may think, we just want cash, so we won’t have a registry. But seriously, people want to look at your registry and buy you things from there. By and large, people are at a loss for what to get. Some people just DON’T want to give cash. Don’t make your aunt wrack her brain trying to figure out what you want. Make it easy on them, and just do the registry. Really.

How was your registry experience? Did you visit in person, online only, or both? What were your favorite items – and if you’ve already begun receiving gifts, what have been your favorite ones to receive?

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