How to Pick Awesome Gifts for Your Wedding Registry

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I was a recently engaged bride-to-be and standing in the middle of Target with a wedding registry scanner. Eager to cross the wedding registry off our to-do list, we were there bright and early, feeling chipper. As we began to scan, the questions started piling up, and I felt so uncertain and overwhelmed.  Tears of stress and frustration welled in my eyes. This was supposed to be a happy day, but I was so completely overwhelmed registering for gifts that I sat in the middle of Target and cried. My sweet fiancée comforted me (first world problems, for sure!), directed me to a large leather armchair, then brought me dark chocolate and Starbucks, which only further confirmed his “keeper” status.

how to pick awesome gifts for your wedding registry

There are a lot of choices to be made when registering and it can be overwhelming. How do I KNOW I want to wake up every day to that comforter? Will this fork feel weird in my mouth? Will I hate these plates in two years? Will they all break? I can’t answer every question for you, but I will share some of my favorite things from our registry that we still use and love and some of the things I wish we hadn’t registered for, so you can learn from our mistakes and pick awesome gifts for your wedding registry!

For the Kitchen

Food Processor— A practical gift that will get tons of use–chopping vegetables, pureeing dates, making guacamole.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer–When we were registering I told my husband this was “too much” and no one would buy it for us. He said we should put it on our registry anyways. And he was right. I have been blessed with the cheery buttercup mixer to help me whip up cakes, cookies, pancakes, pizza dough, and everything in between.

Immersion Blender –This is actually on my list of appliances to buy and something I wish I had registered for! Perfect for using in soup and bisque to create a creamy texture or mixing up a quick smoothie or humus.

George Foreman Grill–If you didn’t get one in college or in your bachelorette days, get one now! Ours has the removable grill plates and we use it at least once a week to make burgers, grilled sandwiches, and chicken all year-long!

Burgers on the Foreman

Things to skip–Single use appliances like waffle makers, Panini makers, tea makers, quesadilla makers, etc. Some people may find they never use these things or even more common small appliances like a toaster! Know thyself and choose wisely!

For the Home

High quality sheets–Register for one ridiculously expensive set of sheets and one nice, but not as pricy set.

Board Games–It’s something you may not think about, but getting a couple of fun group and one on one games is a great idea! Then you will be all set for hosting game night at your place or a date night in! Some of our favorites are Settlers of Catan, Apples to Apples, Scrabble and Clue.

Soft throw–I’m a sucker for a warm blanket to curl up with while reading or watching movies. A big soft one is perfect for cuddling!

Something with Your New Initial–Whether a monogrammed door mat or beach towel or coffee cup or galvanized letter for your new gallery wall your new home needs something to represent your new life together!


Things to skip–Decor items in general. I would wait to establish your style, see what kind of home you will be decorating, and if you get all decor from Target…it will look like you got all your decor from Target! Use the gift cards and cash for buying well-loved pieces with character. I love to shop Etsy, antique stores, and boutiques for unusual and personal finds.

For the Outdoors

Camp chairs–No matter what you will probably want these–for extra seating at barbecues, baseball games, parades, maybe to sub in until you get your couch delivered.

Basic Gardening Supplies–Rake, snow shovel, gardening gloves, hand trowel, hose–not things you think about, but they will definitely come in handy!

Basic tool kit–If your husband to be (or you, let’s not be sexist here) doesn’t have a set of tools, get a basic one to start out with. Even if he has some tools, he may not have everything you need or random things like an Allen wrench to set up all your Ikea furniture.

Wreath for your Front Door–Nothing says “Welcome Home” like a beautiful wreath on your front door!



Wreath Sold Here

Things to skip: Any outdoor activity you haven’t already done. Not sure you are into camping yet? Take lesson from me and don’t register for a full arsenal of camping supplies; you can borrow them from a lot of people before investing in all the gear. Same goes for rock climbing or disc golf or whatever else you may take a hankering to register for while in the sporting goods section of the store!

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Your wedding registry will be the guide your friends and family use to help you start off your new married life together. Make your choices thoughtfully and with a wide variety of price points. Consider what you will actually use and what is a novelty. Remember you can always go back and edit your registry too! Learn from this once-panicked bride-to-be and choose awesome registry gifts that will bring you joy and use for years to come.

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Did you register for anything you regret? What is the weirdest present you’ve ever received? 

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    1. Aren’t they awesome? I got one for my mom a few mother’s days ago and she says it changed her life. 🙂

  1. Great list…so many good choices! We registered for a pizza stone….and have never used it but regularly use the plates and glasses that we received.

    1. That’s funny! We use our pizza stone all the time! I guess that “know yourself” is so true in this case. 🙂

  2. I still have most of the items I received from the registry for my first wedding. Some things were random but I only scanned things I thought I’d use.

  3. We’ve been married for 20 years, so it’s been a while. The one thing I don’t regret was choosing to NOT register for china. I ended up getting a set from an antique store for a steal and I hardly ever use it, so I’m glad I didn’t get a huge set as presents. Funny thing though, we registered for 8 chili bowls. Somehow the number wasn’t put in the computer right, so it never got taken of the registry. We ended up get more than 50 of the darn things! I returned all but 16 and to this day, those bowls get used all the time, so I’m glad I kept some extras.

    1. We didn’t register for china either, we don’t really have room to store something we don’t use everyday. We did keep a few doubles of plates/cups/silverware so we could refresh after a few years. 🙂

  4. What a great list! HOPEFULLY getting married in the near future but who knows lol. I will definitely be saving this. So many things I Want now for my apartment that I can’t wait ot put on my registry 😉

  5. That’s a smart way to create a special occasion or Wedding gift list… I love the way your organized it all and selected appropriate items; Perfect! 🙂

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