"Go register for your wedding," the other brides said. "It will be fun!"
Turns out, I was not programmed with that particular bridal chip.
I don't use the word "literally" lightly, so when I tell you that I literally stood in the middle of the Macy's housewares department only kind-of-jokingly yelling, "Representative!" as if to an automated answering service, I assure you that I am telling the truth.
My husband-to-be and I had made the ambitious decision to do our wedding registry at the oversized Macy's in New York City, and my fiancé, thrilled to finally have the fabled "scanner gun" in hand, was more or less frolicking through the four floors of relevant merchandise, joyfully making selections.
I, however, had burned out somewhere around casual china, and was seriously considering putting myself in a time out on one of the mattresses (which was way too expensive for any of our relatives to buy for us) and under the chenille throw (which we agreed someone could probably spring for).
I was overwhelmed, and in that moment I would have been happy for all of our guests to show up to our wedding empty-handed. I would have still sent them thank you notes!
Together with my stronger-of-heart man, though, I survived the experience, occasionally throwing out requests for items I never knew I wanted. After a full afternoon in the store and an additional hour or two making edits online, we had a completed registry. And, a few glasses of wine later, I had moved past the day's trauma.
Regardless of which camp you fall into — scanner gun-wielding registry superhero or panic-stricken bride-to-be — deciding what to register for is hard! Who can say whether you will, in fact, want that waffle maker?
Well, seven months after our wedding, I can say with some authority that you will probably not want that waffle maker — especially if, like us, you live in a 650-square-foot apartment. To be fair, we knew from the beginning that some of the items so generously gifted to us by loved ones would likely spend some time in my parents' basement — and we've made peace with the fact that it may be years before we can enjoy them.
Still, in hindsight, I feel we could have made better decisions on our registry — decisions that would have been a better investment for our guests, and more immediately practical for us as a couple. And in no category is this truer than appliances, because cabinet and general storage space is at a particular premium in our home.
In the spirit of helping future married people everywhere, I decided to conduct a bit of an audit of the appliances we registered for (or didn't) and received (or didn't) for our wedding. Here are five small appliances that, in my opinion, totally belong on your registry — and two that definitely don't.
5 Small Appliances That Belong on Your Wedding Registry
If we thought we loved making smoothies and green juices before getting our Ninja blender, we had no idea what was coming when we welcomed this new little appliance into our urban family. A Ninja blender was at the top of my personal wish list when we registered, and it hasn't disappointed. While counter space is limited in our apartment, I was happy to move some other things around to make enough room for this. A registry score!
Buy it: Ninja Professional Blender, $71
2. Coffee Maker
Given our limited counter space and the fact that only one of us (my husband) drinks coffee, we spent a lot of time negotiating whether or not a coffee machine would be a logical addition to our home. In the end, we decided against registering for one, simply because we didn't think it would be a great use of the room available to us in our kitchen.
A few months after the wedding, though, we ran some numbers and realized that having our own coffee maker would probably save us money in the long run — and I ended up buying my husband one for the holidays, anyway (and finding space for it on the counter). It would have been smart for us to register for this in the first place, and to store it at my parents' house until we were ready to rearrange our counters.
What we should have asked for: Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System, $130 at Bed Bath & Beyond
3. Stand Mixer
I've loved baking since I was a little girl, so I've dreamed for years of having my own stand mixer. I wanted to recreate the recipes from my childhood with less of an arm workout. And I wanted to do it with a KitchenAid, no less. Early in our registry experience, I made a beeline for the selection of mixers and selected one in a soft butter yellow.
The price tag on the stand mixer was definitely on the higher end of the gifts we requested, so I was only a little surprised when my baking fantasies were unfulfilled after the wedding. My family knew I was disappointed, and generously surprised me with my yellow mixer for Christmas — which means more cookies for everyone!
Buy it: 5-Quart Artisan Series Stand Mixer, $200
4. Rice Cooker
I purchased my first rice cooker as a sophomore in college, and this appliance has been a personal staple for the last decade. We use the rice cooker at least once a week in our house, and although ours was in pretty good shape when we registered, we decided to ask for a new one, anyway.
Instead of investing in more expensive versions of this appliance, I've always purchased a more middle-of-the-road model, so it was good to have a back-up ready to go when our old one stopped working.
Buy it: Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker, $44
5. Electric Kettle
My husband and I have become walking advertisements for the electric kettle, and I am so glad we made the last-minute decision to register for one. Tea is an important part of our nightly ritual, and this makes the process easy and neat. It was definitely a smart appliance choice.
Buy it: KRUPS BW442D Electric Kettle, $54
2 Small Appliances That Don't Belong on Your Wedding Registry
1. Waffle Maker
I approached this particular small electric with nothing short of gusto. I imagined hosting weekly brunches, covering our kitchen peninsula with berries, crispy bacon, freshly whipped cream, and a steady stream of just-made waffles.
When I opened the waffle maker at my bridal shower (gifted to me, appropriately, by one of the friends I imagined would be in attendance at said weekly brunches), I squealed.
While my waffle fantasies may someday be a reality, it was perhaps not the most realistic registry item at this stage. My beloved waffle maker will likely be one of the last appliances called up from the proverbial bench that is my parents' basement.
Oh, my poor toaster, still sitting in a box in the basement. While I'll occasionally have a craving for toast, I've learned in my years of apartment living that putting a piece of bread under the broiler for a few minutes will do the trick.
Because we're not big toast eaters and we really don't have the space to store another appliance, we knew it was the practical decision to leave the toaster behind. Maybe we shouldn't have even registered for it in the first place?
What did you register for that you absolutely love? What could you have done without? Discuss in the comments!