The One Thing I Regret Putting on My Wedding Registry

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Hanneke Vollbehr/Getty Images)

Registering for your wedding is, in my opinion, one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. (To be fair, I am the sort of person who finds all parts of wedding planning fun.) When my husband and I got engaged, we each brought a scattering of hand-me-downs, mismatched cutlery, and cheapie appliances to the relationship. And much of it needed to be replaced — especially the ancient Fiestaware that had many chips and cracks, thanks to my years of sharing apartments with roommates.

So my then-fiancé and I happily visited stores and shopped online to put together a list of essentials to build our fresh new home together.

Certainly, a wedding registry is as much about who you think you could be as a couple as it is about how you live right now. Why else would you register for fine china, or serving platters, or a set of 12 of anything, when you’re sharing a 600-square-foot apartment with no dining table? Same goes for just about any gadget: One day we, too, will be the sorts of people who linger over home-brewed premium coffee instead of buying it at a cart for a dollar during the commute in to work!

Shockingly, as we approach our 10-year wedding anniversary, I can say that we have honestly used just about everything we registered for. We have grown into the sorts of people who own a dining table, on which we entertain friends that we can trust with real glassware. We even drink our coffee at home most mornings!

In fact, there’s only one thing that I regret registering for: trendy everyday dinnerware.

It was a registry item we put a lot of thought into. I wanted the dinnerware to be something with a little flair (a scalloped edge and beaded details, to be exact), and my now-husband went along with it. But after just two years, we donated it. There wasn’t anything wrong with it — it just happened that my tastes changed and it wasn’t my style anymore. As we grew together, we grew out of it. And because the style was so specific, it felt like the plates were stuck in 2008.

(Image credit: IKEA)

We replaced it with the most basic white dinnerware from IKEA, which we’ve now had for eight years and I still like. I like that I can dress the pieces up or down, depending on the meal and the occasion. I like that I can eat a sandwich off a plate in front of the TV and not feel weird about it. And I like that I can use them for a steak dinner with our friends around the table. This set is also way more functional, now that we have kids, than our registry set would have been. (The pieces are super durable and relatively light for little hands to carry.)

So my lesson for you is this: Register for items that are classic and timeless, and beware of registering for anything you may like just because you’re seeing it all over Instagram or on prominent display in a store window. You may find that you grow out of it sooner than you’d like. Sometimes, you just need to go as simple — and as IKEA — as possible.

Do you have a similar story to share? Anything else you registered for that you later regretted?