Broke-Ass Tag: wedding registry


Affiliate Disclaimer New

Etsy PenandFavor Gift Boxes

Gift Boxes available from Etsy seller PenandFavor

So you’ve broken down and started a registry — or two — but now you’re not sure what to add. Maybe you’re all adult-like and already have the basics like bedding and cookware. Maybe you’ve never lived on your own and have no idea what you might want or need right now … and don’t really care. Or maybe your guests are trendy and prefer a nontraditional registry. (Lucky you!) Choosing your registry items shouldn’t be so tough, but the possibilities really are pretty much endless. How do you choose? 

Here are the ultra basic “rules”: If you’re going to register (makes life easier for guests and it’s customary), you should register for about two items per guest. Register for items at different price points. And make sure to have at least a handful of traditional registry items for those guests who have their heart set on buying you bakeware and linens. I recommend erring on the traditional side and sprinkling your registry with nontraditional items if that’s what you want, but you can increase or decrease the ratio as it suits your situation. Other than that, you can pretty much add anything that you want and need to the registry — with the expectation that you probably won’t get everything on your list. Make sure the items are for shared use (sorry, ladies, you shouldn’t register for shoes), but hobby items are fair game if you and your partner enjoy the activity together. You might get the side-eye from guests if you add a surround-sound home theater system to your registry, but today’s couples are registering for experience items (think honeymoon registries and movie tickets), sports equipment (bikes, skis), and other out-of-the-box gifts. And plenty of guests are thrilled at the option to buy something other than a deviled egg tray or toaster oven for a close friend or family member, especially if they know you’ll love it.

Whether you’ve decided to keep it traditional or to shake it up with some unusual or super-sweet registry items, here are a few that walk that fine middle line:

The High-Powered Blender

Vitamix Blender

Vitamix Blender, $630 at Amazon

Guys. This is a blender with horsepower. It makes ice cream. It makes soup. It makes nut butter. You have not blended until you have Vitamixed. And it’s a kitchen item, so it’s pretty darned traditional except for the supercharged motor action. Fun fact: They’re made in my home state of the O-H! (I-O!)

The Taco Holder

Taco Holder

Taco Holder, $9.29 at Amazon

While I’m not typically a fan of unitaskers, you can imagine how this small gadget is life changing. Tacos 4-Evah!

Convertible Outdoor Furniture

Covertible Picnic Table and Bench

Convertible Picnic Table / Bench, $137 at Amazon

Contrary to the unitasker above, this picnic table doubles as a bench! Guests will be impressed by your resourcefulness in finding affordable double-duty furniture pieces.

High-Tech Linens

Memory Foam Pillow with Cooling Gel

Memory Foam Pillow with Cooling Gel, $35 at Amazon

Got enough linens for a while? How about a pillow or sheets that keep you cool?

The Swanky Bar Set

9 Piece Barware Set, Copper

9 Piece Barware Set, Copper, $106 at Amazon

Around half of the items on a traditional registry are there so that you can entertain guests in the future. Flatware, china, napkins, extra fluffy towels, etc. The bar set fits into that category nicely. And bonus: If the set looks mod, your older guests will appreciate your sense of style!

The Cord-Cutting Enabler

Amazon FireTV Stick with Voice Remote

Amazon FireTV Stick with Voice Remote, $50 at Amazon

Still using cable? Ask for one of these and you might be able to cut it for good! Who doesn’t love a tech-forward, long-term, money-saving choice?

Fur-Kid Items

High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door

High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door, $315 at Amazon

New pet parents? Why not register for a doggie door or a cat climbing tree? It’s nontraditional to register for pet items, but this doubles as a house item. (And why don’t we have showers for new pet parents, anyway??) 

The Non-Bread Maker

Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker, $71 at Amazon

Move over bread makers, it’s time for the cooler cousin, the ice cream maker! Yeah, it’s another unitasker, but this one is 100% worth the counter (or cupboard) space. This one makes soft serve, but others make unfancy ice creams, sorbets, and gelatos just as well. Opt for a model with an ice pack that pops in the freezer, or check out the heftier versions with self-contained cooling units. Either way, fresh frozen treats FTW! Add an ice cream cookbook to your registry for a lower cost, totally useful item.

– Party on!


Planning a wedding in Northeast Ohio? Here’s where you can find me for wedding planning assistance.

  • 6/7

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewAside from determining the guest list, registering was one of the most uncomfortable and awkward parts of the wedding process for Matt and I. When I was younger, I would write up page-long Christmas lists and distribute them to family members. I did this in part for the obvious reason, which was the fact that I was hoping to find the items off the list under the tree each year, but also because every year that I didn’t do this, I was inundated with people asking me what I wanted and I wanted to simplify the process by telling them ahead of time. This, coupled with the fact that I’d often get most if not all of the gifts that were to be found on those pages, gave me somewhat of a reputation of being spoiled. I might’ve been. I might be. I feel like the title of “spoiled” relates more to your expectations of others, as well as the appreciation (or lack thereof) you have when receiving a gift, but all the same, it’s definitely something I’ve developed a complex over because of the accusation of being spoiled. Couple that with the fear of the dreaded bridezilla modern brides (even those of us that reject the existence of the b-word) have shoved down their throat throughout the planning process and the idea of registering becomes a total nightmare.


    Despite any “nightmares,” I have to admit, that’s a pretty sweet spread behind us!!

    Personally, I really like when other people register when they’re getting married or having a baby. I love buying people gifts in general, but rarely do because I’m broke and I’m perpetually afraid that what I think will be perfect for someone might not actually fit what they’d like/need. When you’re broke, every dollar counts so spending money on something someone doesn’t want or won’t use is just a waste. Buying something someone will actually use and enjoy would probably be a big deal for me even if I wasn’t broke and I second guess myself like crazy when it comes to this kind of thing. When people actually register for things, you get a list of items you KNOW someone wants and they usually run the gamut of affordability so even my broke-ass can find something that works. I love the idea of giving a gift that will become a part of a couple’s marriage. I’d like to think there are gifts that people receive on their wedding day or at their shower that they will enjoy throughout their marriage and remember the person that gave them it as they enjoy it. I know there are items my mom would point out as I was growing up like this. For me, every time I use an item from our wedding, or think about a gift we got, I also think of the person (or group of people) that got it for us and smile.

    11254566_10100525671911250_6296102286379248560_oA balloon and flowers I got from a co-worker at the shower my friends from work threw me! I still have the balloon and teapot that the flowers came in. This was a beautiful day!
    So despite my misgivings about it, I knew that registering was a good idea. We knew our bridesmaids were likely going to throw us a wedding shower (which they did in a completely epic fashion) and our guests were going to want (or unfortunately in some cases, feel obligated) to get us something. Some would know right away what to get without any help from us and give us thoughtful, awesome things we love. Others would help us pad our bank accounts for the big day and after … and still others would fall into the same boat as me and want a guide to be sure what they were getting was just right. Every gift we got has special meaning for us, no matter how our guest arrived upon the decision to give it to us. The nerve-wracking part was leading up to the shower/wedding and trying to figure the whole thing out. 11960208_10154258073629418_1983341211331207698_nSeriously, this is just a tiny snapshot of the beautiful things they put together for us for our shower.

    I think one of the hard parts about creating a registry is that it does make people feel as though they are obligated to give something. I know there are unspoken rules that say you’re “supposed” to pay for your plate with your gift or something along those lines, but truly I don’t believe a wedding guest (or even a shower guest for that matter) is obligated to give you anything. You are not inviting them to help you pay for your wedding or give you gifts. You’re inviting them to celebrate your love and a life-altering event. If they can’t afford to pay their way, do you really want them to not show up in lieu of being part of your day?

    It’s hard to really express that to guests though because 1. Guests who WANT to and are excited about buying you a gift might feel alienated if you say “no gifts please”; 2. Talking about wedding presents out loud is tantamount to using the name Voldemort instead of He Who Shall Not Be Named, unless you’re a super ballsy savior figure or a clueless muggle who was raised outside the wizarding world/Wedding Industrial Complex and you’re fearless; and lastly 3. (this is the still very much spoiled part of me) gifts are cool and maybe it’s nice to have them even though it feels completely uncomfortable to ask for them/you don’t want anyone to feel like they HAVE to do anything special for you.

    You can’t change how somebody else feels about your registry (or lack of one if you decide to forego one for that matter) no more than you can change what they think of any of your other wedding plans. This isn’t a conclusion I came to easily. I stressed about what people would think about me for having a registry, and about what they would think about every little item I put on there. I was a very guest-oriented bride in that it was a really big deal for me to be sure my guests were comfortable at my wedding. I didn’t so much subscribe to the idea that it was “my day or the highway” the way that brides are often encouraged to. Your registry is different though. Aside from trying to be accommodating to a number of different budgets, what you are putting on that list is ultimately just for you and your husband. You are the only ones that will ultimately get the use out of what you register for.

    All of this comes up now because Matt and I have decided to start a baby registry. We have no expectation of a baby shower or anyone buying us gifts for our baby (although again, it would be nice, because gifts are cool), but we decided to start a registry all the same. What’s the point, you might ask? The nice thing about registries, aside from telling people exactly what you want, is that they can come with a lot of perks such as free gifts when you register, completion gifts and coupons and the ability to earn points toward a gift card we can use after the baby is born. This was the nice thing about the wedding registries, too, and when all was said and done with the wedding, we used the registries we had established for it much the same way we plan to use this one. For at least a few of the items that were left over, we bought them for one another for the holidays.
    For the baby, our plan is to use the registry as a place to keep track of what we’d like or need for the baby and purchase items as we go, getting the registry benefits. I won’t lie though, when we made the trip out to the store, all the same insecurities resurfaced. I worried about what people would think if they found our registry. I worried about people who found out we had created one feeling forced to do something for us when that’s not what we’re looking for at all. I worried about picking the right items to suit our baby and the baby’s needs. In the past year, I’ve had three new babies enter my life (not counting the one that’s currently taking up residence inside me) and only one had a baby shower prior to it’s arrival. For the other two, every time I would buy them something, I would go crazy with worry that their moms weren’t going to like what I got them. For the baby with the shower/registry, I was able to get her a few different things and one of those weird booger sucker things (partially as a joke, partially because it was on the registry) with the comfort of knowing I was actually contributing something that the baby’s parents wanted and needed. I’m grateful that she had one set up so I could do that. Even if my intention is that the registry is mine alone to use, I’m glad I’m giving people an option and I’m happy I did for the wedding too. I’m also happy that people gave with their heart and didn’t worry that I would be upset if they went off-registry and got me something that made them think of me. If people do decide to buy us items for our baby, I look forward to pointing the items out and letting the baby know who was thinking of it before it even arrived. When all is said and done, I know Matt and I are both spoiled not just with the gifts we received, but with more love and friendship than we could have ever asked for or expected.


    One of the many beautiful gifts we were given that couldn’t be found on our registry! My sister and her family brought it back from Disney for us. Photo by SK Photography

    How have you felt about setting up a registry? Have you received any backlash?

  • 1/18

    Etsy JDesignPaper Custom Fox and Antler Kraft Paper

    Who doesn't love gifts? Esp. if they come in adorbz paper like this. Available from Etsy seller JDesignPaper Registering for your wedding is hard when you're trying to be budget-conscious in other areas. You have to get yourself out of the broke-ass mindset, and allow yourself the idea of some luxuries and splurges. We already own  a home and have lived together for a few years,…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Macy's Wedding Registry

    Amidst all the hustle, bustle and must-dos on your list now that you're in the throes of wedding planning sits one single little nugget of awesome -- your registry! Now, of course it's not "proper etiquette" to discuss gifts, but you're "supposed" to inconspicuously set one of these bad boys up then let it be discovered by your guests through word of mouth. Everyone knows…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!



    There are a ton ... nay, a fuckload of registry options out there. And let's be real: Registering for gifts can be a little awkward. Maybz you and your partner have been together forevz and have all the ish you need, so the cash-money could come in SUPER handy. Maybe you need a few smaller-dollar thangalangs for the abode, but are all about stashing some…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 7/27

    With our wedding day fast approaching, we've started to pay more serious attention to our registries. As a second time bride, I can't emphasize the following enough: REGISTER FOR THE WAY YOU LIVE. From bridal websites and magazines to the consultants in the stores who take advantage of your excitement over holding a scanner gun,  there is a lot of pressure to register for a…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!



    Have you figured out what you're doing for your registry? More and more couples are going the cash registry route for their wedding wishlist -- whether they're saving up for a house down payment, are whittling away at starting their marriage debt-free or are looking to go on an adventure of a lifetime with their honeymoon. And, y'all, there are a TON of cash registry options…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Big Ticket vs. The Little Guys Registry Showdown Target Edition

    One of the super fun parts of planning your wedding is getting to set up your registry ... because let's be real: Gifts, y'all. I was at a specialty store this weekend making an exchange (though, it's not like I really ever need a reason to step into said store) and my newly-engaged spidey sense was kicking into high gear as I realized that at…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 10/17

    Ask Heather: What are My Other Registry Options?

    Yes, it's totally OK to register for your honeymoon. Dear Heather, I'm helping my daughter with her wedding details. She and her fiance are 31 and 40 years old and have been living together for several years, so they don't need the normal registry items like a toaster, a blender, towels, etc. They are hoping to buy a home together and maybe some larger pieces…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!