Did I ever tell you that B and I were engaged for a little less than 3 months? We had just turned 23 and I had never really dreamt of a big wedding, so we thought why not? Our main goal was to be married, so why not just get married quickly? I also had a small budget to work with, so I knew dragging it out wouldn’t make my budget any larger. From October to January, I quickly planned our wedding and wouldn’t change a thing when I look back. My wedding dress was the 3rd one I tried on and it was perfect. We decided on our venue within the first one we saw. Wedding cake tasting was a breeze. We made decisions quickly and finitely, never looking back. It’s actually the way we make decisions now. We know what we like and we decide. (Our first home, even though we saved for years, we ended up going under contract after just starting looking for a few days. We like to move things quickly, I suppose.)

But the one decision that we made in haste was our registry. I wish we would have slowed down and thought through what we would really need versus running through the store with the registry gun like a light saber toy.

I learned after we got married that the engagement period is a very special time in your life when people will buy you things that they never will again. There is no reason for someone to buy you A WHOLE SET OF DISHES, but they do. I say, embrace this kindness of family and friends, but do it with care. Less panini presses, more essentials. Because let’s be honest, someone is bound to regift you a panini press. Show me a recently married couple and I will show you multiple sandwich maker appliances.

So after 8 years of being married and setting up our first home this past year, I’ve come up with my list of registry essentials every newly married couple needs. (Panini press optional.)

A few things to think about when building your registry. Always choose need over want, think quality over quantity, and stick with the essentials. I would suggest, and maybe not the most popular of opinion, to stay away from registering for home decor, or at least do it sparingly. Decor preferences change over the years and it’s easier to replace frames than it is a kitchen appliance. This I know well.

Below are what I consider the essentials of a registry and my personal favorites linked beside them.


Think outside of what your expertise of cooking is right now and think for the future. I tried to think about things I use almost daily and those things that are a staple in any working kitchen.
+ Utensils & measuring tools // Martha Stewart Kitchen Utensil Set
+ Food processor // Cuisinart 8-cup Food Processor
+ Stand mixer // KitchenAid Stand Mixer 



Unless you are having fancy dinner parties each weekend, I would suggest staying simple and essential with this list. Classic shapes and neutral colors will last for years to come. 

+ Plates & Bowlsthis might also be an unpopular opinion, but register for just your everyday ceramics and leave the nice china for something to invest in later, if you have a need. Also you might get mad one day and throw a plate. You’ll be glad it’s not fine china. // Martha Stewart Everyday Entertaining Collection
+ Flatware // Kate Spade Maimo Rose Gold Flatware
+ Glassware // Luigi Bormioli Glassware, tall and small 
+ Stemware // Kate Spade ‘Yours & Mine’ Wine Glasses

Bed & Bath
This is the leanest registry essentials. My best advice? Register for high quality pieces that will last for years. Be sure to ask for dual sets of sheets — wash one while you already have a clean set ready to go back on the bed. It makes laundry day a breeze. 

+ Sheets sets // Hotel Collection 600 Thread Count Sheets or Martha Stewart Collection Sheet Set
+ Duvet comforter // Hotel Collection Primaloft Comforter
+ Towels // Martha Stewart Plush Bath Towels 
(a rule of thumb for towels: two sets of towels for each person the household and two additional sets for guests)
+ Bath mat sets // Ralph Lauren Palmer Bath Mat


This is probably the least ‘fun’ list to register for but this list of essentials will be some of your most used items. 


+ Vacuum Cleaner // Shark Navigator Vacuum Cleaner
+ Steam Mop // Shark Steam Mop 
+ Trash Can // Simplehuman Rose Gold Trash Can (my personal favorite 😉)
+ Iron // Rowena Pro Master Iron 
+ Ironing Board  // Neatfreaks Iron Board Hamper (I have this one and love it!) 
+ Luggage // American Tourister 3 Piece Set 


What were some of your favorite registry items from your wedding? Feel free to add your registry essentials below!

*Special thanks to Macy’s for collaborating on this post! You can find more information on the perfect registry on macys.com

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24 Responses

  1. I’m getting married in August so I found this post super helpful! We have lived together for several years and already own a home, so we have a lot of the basics. That being said I’m looking to upgrade things like the funky Anthropologie dishes I bought when I was 22 and looking to the future to what will work for us 5, 10, 20 years down the road.

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  2. Please share some of your wedding pictures! I’d love to see your wedding dress!

  3. I’m with you on almost everything—I wouldn’t do a knife set or a pots-and-pans set, because you really only need a few good ones of each and can get nicer ones for the money if you register for them individually, and that way they don’t take up much space.

    I also know that if I didn’t register for fine china I’d never get any. It’s so expensive that I feel like I wouldn’t be able to justify it unless I did it little by little, and then I wouldn’t get to use it—and I want to have something to be able to host showers/luncheons/other similarly formal parties. It does seem to be unpopular, and mine is living in my parents’ house collecting dust, but it brings me joy just knowing I have it.

  4. I so agree, Kendi. I was so happy that we registered for the things that we really needed. I’d add a coffee maker and toaster and blender to the list… pretty standard things we’ve used quite frequently. Sometimes wedding registries just seem so greedy… people registering for huge amounts of expensive stuff and furniture, etc.

    P.S. I’d also love to see your wedding photos! 🙂

  5. Great post!! I think registering for fine china is a total waste – unless you value that kind of thing – I do not. I wanted good dishes to use everyday at home and if we were to host a nice brunch. We got 12 sets of things and some fun plates to use as well. It may be a lot but I wouldnt trade them!

    I think if I were to do it all again, I would have registered for nicer knives — not a set, and only a few pieces for pots and pans. I have a great set, but I don’t use them as much as the Lodge cast iron skillet I have. That is always out, always being used! Now the others are used VERY sparingly and collect dust.

  6. I’m getting married in September, and while I DEFINITELY agree with quality over quantity, we have a very diverse registry, including home decor. A lot of the decor items are from Etsy, so the are sure to be personal! And it ensures that there are items for every budget.

    In addition, many stores offer a major discount on items from a year to six months following your wedding on any item on your registry that wasn’t purchased. We have a lot of items on our list that we hope to buy for ourselves. Later on.

    That being said, you have great taste in kitchen and dining items 🙂

    Jess @ inpursuitofsimple.com

  7. Tools. We’ve been in a world of DYI for years, and we still use the tools that we were gifted.

  8. I’m engaged and have yet to start planning my wedding, let alone set a date, and it’s been over two years since my partner put a ring on my finger, so to speak. I already have a vague idea of what to put on my registry, but I can see quite a few more items that I should add to it. I’d definitely go with tableware, and because I love cooking, a few kitchen appliances would do. I already have a few great knives that I love to the moon and back, but I’d love to add another to the collection.

    By the way, I love your plates and bowls, they are gorgeous!


  9. Ahhhh—where was this a year ago? We got married in August and the registry was a struggle in some ways (so many options!) I really like your table setting & we have been wanting to get a Simple Human trash can—I didn’t even know they made them in white/rose gold. I just added it to my shopping cart 🙂 Great post and pretty pictures!

  10. I did a similar post after a few years being married, because it’s so true that there’s certain items that bubble to the top as truly must-haves, and others that collect dust and get moved from place to place for a decade before calling uncle. We have a big acacia wood salad bowl and tongs that surprisingly gets used 3-4 times per week. We also registered for good knives, and we’ve never once regretted that. (Well, except the time I washed the dishes after too much wine…but I lived. Whateves.) And while I understand that most folks don’t have a need on a daily basis for china, I actually respectfully disagree and think it’s great to have at least two sets for special occasions for Mr. & Mrs. (or just to make a weeknight dinner feel special). That’s one of those things that I don’t think anyone will actually justify years in (especially if you have kiddos), and they’re such a sweet hand-me-down. (And our sets, for the record, are gorgeous and in the neighborhood of $100, so nothing insane. But I heart them.) 🙂 Good tips, Kendi!

  11. Great list and beautiful choices! I also want to add, for the folks in the thick of things, not to feel pressured to register for things that you already have and love–even if they don’t match. For example, all of my mugs are meaningful to me; either gifts or souvenirs. I got a “you’ll regret that!” look from the woman at the department store when I didn’t scan the mugs in the dining set my husband and I were registering for. 5 years later, no regrets whatsoever!

    1. Oh I agree! Do what YOU want, not what someone else wants you to do! I love our mismatched mugs, too 🙂 They are my favorite.

  12. Great Post! I love the overall message to stick to essentials and neutrals. We got married after 7 months of being engaged (but did it abroad), so we didn’t really register. I think this is a great list to stick with!

  13. The story of your engagement is sweet and inspiring. I admire that you prioritized your marriage and planned the wedding decisively. I’m currently engaged and we’re on the cusp of creating a registry, so I really appreciate your advice on what you wish you’d registered for!

    xx Jean

    1. I, too, love your bedding. Would you mind sharing the name or a link to them? Beautiful home.

  14. Kendi, I think we may be soul sisters. The way you described the way you planned your wedding and how you and Brian make decisions is exactly like my husband and I! Nice sheets is a Must on the registry- my mom talked me into adding them to mine and it’s been a nice upgrade from the cheap crap we had before.

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