Scan all the things! (Registering 101)

Remember how, as a kid, the Toys ‘R’ Us holiday catalog would come in the mail and you’d go nuts circling everything you wanted? And, of course, you wanted everything? Well, I imagined that registering would pretty much be a grown-up version of the Toys ‘R’ Us holiday catalog – we’d scan ALL THE THINGS, and then people would buy them for us, and we’d all live happily ever after.

Here’s our current situation: Stallion and I have been cohabitating/living in sin for about three years now. Somewhere along the way, we stopped being heathens and acquired trappings of adulthood such as dishes and forks. Shabby though it may be, we’ve more or less set up a household. We’ve got our basic needs covered.

So why register, you may ask?

The basic needs are covered, yes. The items meeting our needs? Not in the greatest condition. Chipped dishes, rusty forks, nonstick pans with peeling Teflon, knives barely sharp enough to cut through a stick of butter – you get the picture. Registering would be the perfect opportunity to upgrade our stuff to “keep forever” status.

That said, we needed to be choosy about what we put on the registry – at the end of the day, we still live in an apartment and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. So how to balance our desire for nice, new, shiny things with our limited space? Priorities, people! Before scanning an item, we decided that, given the item in question or its cash equivalent, which would we rather have? This way, only the things we really, truly want and/or need ended on the registry. (Don’t even get me started on a rather distasteful practice I’ve heard of in which people register for items they don’t want at all, just so that they can return them for cash. Do people really do that? If you don’t need anything and you only want cash gifts, don’t register at all and tell people you’re saving for x/y/z goal. Don’t make people spend time going through your registry and making a selection for you that you don’t even want.)

Our registry items encompass three broad categories, as follows:

  1. Kitchen – I love to cook and spend a lot of time doing so, so having good quality kitchen equipment is important.
  2. Entertaining – This encompasses our everyday dishes/flatware (even meals for just the two of us are entertaining, you know) and special occasion china (because our families have made it clear that we’ll be stepping up to host holiday meals sooner rather than later). I’m not anticipating inheriting any family china, so I figure now would be as good a time as ever to get my own set.
  3. Linens – We’re ready to graduate from our threadbare, bleach-stained college dorm room towels to something a little nicer. As my BFF Donna would say …


For the record, do we expect to receive everything (or even most things) from the registry? Absolutely not. But for organizational purposes, it’s pretty helpful to list things we hope to upgrade in the future. Hello, Christmas and birthdays! Plus, the completion discounts following the wedding will be really helpful should we plan on doing some post-honeymoon shopping.

We opted to register at Crate & Barrel and Macy’s – both have a nationwide presence and are easily accessible for everyone, and they have everything we could possibly want. Since we started our registry on a whim, we didn’t think ahead and attend a registry event; we just showed up at the stores. The experiences couldn’t have been more different! At Crate & Barrel, they just gave us a scanning gun and let us loose, whereas at Macy’s, we had to sit down with a registry consultant first. Since we had no idea what we were doing, the Macy’s consultant (Loveeta at the Burlington Mall, for any Boston-area folks – an absolute gem!) ended up being extremely helpful. Both experiences were good, but if you’re not sure where to start with the registering process, I’d recommend hitting Macy’s or someplace with a consultant first.

What was your approach to registering? Any registry must-haves?


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