By Riley & Grey||August 11, 2023

Registry Wins and Woes: Six Real Brides Reflect on Their Wedding Registry Choices

Photo by Trần Long

The anticipation and excitement of planning a wedding often includes the creation of a wedding registry, a curated wish list of items that will help newlyweds embark on their journey into married life. From the lavish to the practical, these registry selections are meant to set the stage for a couple's shared experiences and future together. Yet, as time marches on and years pass by, those once-cherished items can take on new significance, becoming symbols of memories, growth, and the evolution of a marriage.

Here, six brides who have been married for various lengths of time share their perspectives on the wedding registry items they chose. From the surprising revelations to the sentimental connections, their reflections offer a unique glimpse into the role these items play in their everyday life, long after the last song has been played and the cake has been cut.

Tracy, married six years

“I use and still love my plates and bowls, and the linens that I registered for, like sheets and towels. I love that these gifts are things that we literally use every day, years later.

I wish I would’ve gotten more silverware. Ours has slowly gone missing over the years, it’s so weird. I had service for 12 and think we have one small fork left. Who would have known! We also paid for the majority of our wedding, so any financial gift was appreciated. Oh, and I don’t use my iRobot.”

Kendal, married two years

“We love our Dyson, even more so now that we have a baby who is in the thick of the food-throwing phase. And the ability to control shipping and/or convert to cash was a huge benefit, because sometimes what you think you need changes, or you want to reconfigure where the funds are going. I think that led to us not feeling any regrets when it came to our registry.”

Amanda, married two years

“I love my dishes and bedding most! I maybe regret some of my serving pieces, because we really don’t host. But, that could change when we finally move into our new home later this year. I loved getting physical presents. Now, I have the memories and we did have a need for the items.”

Sara, married two years

“We were really hoping most of our guests would gift cash, so I only added little things to the registry because I knew some people just like to gift tangible items. But honestly, I don’t remember much of what we got. I think serving stuff and barware are what we use the most. I had some silly vintage radio on there, and I don’t think I’ll ever use that.”

Vanessa, married two months

“Living in New York City without a doorman, it was nearly impossible to receive our registry gifts without having some go missing, so using the cash equivalent feature for all of our gifts has let us control what items we get now, and what we want to wait for when we move next year.

I don’t think we have any regrets or second thoughts on what we registered for. We had a pretty established kitchen and home, and with my husband’s love of cooking, our gifts are well-loved upgrades that we’re already using regularly.”

Brooke, married five years

“Our cash gifts helped us through a brief move to New York and back, our epic honeymoon, and the purchase of our home that we’re in today, so they were greatly appreciated. In terms of physical gifts, our dinnerware and, surprisingly, our Vitamix are our everyday favorites these days.

I thought we totally overdid it in terms of glassware and place settings when we unexpectedly moved to New York three months after getting married, trying to cram service for 14 in our Brooklyn apartment. But, we host a ton, and it all has been put to good use. The memories we’ve created from the use of our gifts, and the fact that we remember who got us what, really means a lot.

We didn’t have use for our outdoor dining ware for years, and it seemed so silly to hold onto it, but now we’re glad we did. There are a few other items that don’t get regular use, like the KitchenAid mixer or our roasting pan, but when the holidays come around and we pull them out, there’s always a sentimental memory that triggers and they’re so useful in that moment.”

In the end, it's clear that the risk of regret is fairly low, and thoughtful choices on your wedding registry can lead to lasting satisfaction. As you navigate the maze of options, remember that it's not about chasing trends or seeking perfection; rather, it's an opportunity to lay the foundation for your future as a couple. So, with a bit of consideration and personalization, rest assured that the chances of future wedding registry regret are refreshingly slim. Your registry items are there to enhance your life together, and with a mindful approach, you'll be enjoying that joy and functionality for years to come.