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First thing’s first: CELEBRATE! Whether a couple is scraping by together in a studio apartment or well along the way of a successful career, two people joining their lives – mismatched dishes and all – is a beautiful thing. Before the wedding, couples often live off a collection of houseware donated by older siblings or purchased at one of New York’s numerous thrift shops. But as they grow together, styles and needs evolve, and the wedding registry is intended to be a guide for gift giving that allows wedding guests to give wedding gifts that will help the new couple start their life together.

That being said, as bride and groom, the registry poses a great temptation for you to load up on every conceivable household item on the premise that it will somehow make your life easier. But living in New York often means small kitchens, long work hours, and a lot of takeout, so if if you don’t cook, an elaborate set of Le Creuset cookware might not be practical. While certain wedding guests might be traditional about gift-giving and tend towards physical presents, your loved ones want to give you something you will really love, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t register for a blender just because you feel like you you have to. Build a registry that will fit your experience, your personality, and your dreams, while also avoiding potential clutter by choosing innovative ideas over the expected wedding fare.



  1. Before you go crazy with the scan gun or click “add to list”, decide which items you would like to replace or upgrade. Towels unraveling at the edges? Want to upgrade from a blade to a burr coffee grinder? The older guests might go for these more traditional gifts. Donate anything you replace that’s still in good condition!
  2. How many people can fit in your apartment dictates how many dishes, flatware, and serving items will need. Don’t purchase multiple sets: instead find something of quality you really love.
  3. Do a little bit of research on items that would make your current routine easier. Try not to fantasize about making daily morning smoothies if you never shop for groceries and sleep late every morning – a Vitamix blender is great, but it takes up a ton of space, and you might never use it.



  1. Register for your honeymoon with Honeyfund. Want to swim with sharks in South Africa? Invite your guests to help you achieve unforgettable travel experiences. They can also treat you to specific activities, like zip lining, couples massages, or dinner.
  2. Register for home improvements. If you are a bookworm, a wall of built-in bookshelves would organize and beautify your space. A new paint job for the walls, too, or dream bathroom tile would be an incredible way to refresh your current home after the wedding.
  3. If you choose one-stop-shop that can fill all of your house needs, go with one that has an unlimited return policy, like Bloomingdales. If you find yourself drowning in gifts and not using all of them, you can return several unused items something exceptional, like a fantastic set of sheets.
  4. Subscriptions for food are amazing, because they let you be adventurous and they don’t take up space for too long. Whether your taste is wine, whiskey, or third-wave coffee, here is a list of food subscriptions that might work for you. (We can personally vouch for Craft Coffee – it is exceptional.)
  5. For the busy couple, Sweet Roots NYC is a farm-to-table meal service that is perfectly tailored to your schedule and dietary needs. On a weekly basis, they will deliver pre-prepped ingredients and simple recipes that make cooking at home a breeze.
  6. For the socially conscious couple, the I Do Foundation will allow your guests to make donations in your name to the cause of your choice.
  7. At Down Payment Dreams, your guests can help you raise money to buy your first home.
  8. Our favorite: have your guests contribute to an “Art Fund.” Guests love this one, as art is a great investment and emotionally significant. It might even become a family heirloom!


Remember to take stock of your household a few years ahead – if you haven’t used an item in four seasons, chances are you don’t need it. But someone else might, so have a party, invite your friends, and do a swap! You can rest easy knowing that your wedding gift is finding a new and loving home.

Ultimately, the tradition of receiving gifts at your wedding is optional – you can specify on your invitation that your guests’ presence is present enough . But realistically, your guests will want to show up with a sign of celebration and respect for your union. Focusing on what you will love and use is perhaps more practical than sentimental, but in our opinion, it is the key to honoring your guests and their contributions.

And, lastly, don’t forget to write a thank you note!

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