5 Things You Should Register For — & 5 You Should Skip

Once upon a time, registries were a way for couples moving in together after the wedding to establish their first home. Now, with so many people choosing to live together before they tie the knot, the purpose of a registry has changed dramatically. Meanwhile, the needs of modern couples have also shifted; gone are the days when every proper household required a minimum of eight soufflé dishes.

We tapped Jennifer Spector of wedding-registry site Zola to give us the lowdown on five things you should register for, and five things you should skip. Follow these tips when building your registry, and you'll wind up with wedding gifts you can really use — plus, your house won't look like an episode of Hoarders when you return from your honeymoon.

Read These Stories Next:
Here's What Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Want As A Wedding Present

Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Do Register For: Luggage & Travel Gear
Let's be real — one thing that no one wants to invest their own money in is a set of luggage. But it's so essential, especially if you're going to be taking off on your honeymoon after your wedding. Spector suggests signing up for a timeless set that'll last forever.

"Absolutely register for travel gear!" she says. "Good luggage lasts a lifetime and makes traveling so much easier. Go for a four-wheel roller, so you can really maneuver when running through the airport while trying to catch a flight."
So timeless!

Steamline Luggage The Diplomat Carryon In Black, $795, available at Steamline Luggage.
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Do Register For: Honeymoon Or House Funds
In the past, it may have been a no-no to ask guests to make cash contributions. But in this day and age, it's super-common (and smart!)."Funds are a great way to save for experiences or big-ticket items," says Spector. Sites like Zola allow you to include designated funds for things like your honeymoon, or even a down payment on a house, alongside your other registry items in a way that doesn't feel tacky.
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Do Register For: Big-Ticket Items
Have you been itching to add a new sofa or refrigerator to your casa? Maybe a few family members will want to go in on a big-ticket item for the two of you. "You should register for what you really want, and what will help build your home. So if that is a couch or chair, make it a group gift so people can contribute, and think of them every time you take a seat or a nap," Spector says. You never know, and it doesn't hurt to register for a few dream pieces you've both been eyeing.
Because a new sofa is a must.

Benchmade Modern Riley Sofa, $1,740, available at Benchmade Modern.
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Do Register For: A Few Nice Kitchen Items
While a full cookware set is nice, it can be very expensive, and it's a huge commitment to have so many pots and pans. It's also a bit overwhelming to own an array of tools you might not always need. Instead, invest in a few key kitchen items that will stand the test of time. Says Spector: "Most cooks use the same few tools in the kitchen over and over again. So select a few spectacular knives, pots, and pans and you'll be cooking like a pro in no time.”
Classic knives definitely deserve a spot in your kitchen.

Wusthof Classic Cook Knife, $140, available at Zola.
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Do Register For: Personalized Items
While this may have been the case in the past, there's no rule that says you should only register for household goods. Register for a few personal things that reflect your interests as a couple. "Guests want to give gifts that make them feel connected to the couple, not something that will sit in your parents’ basement for years," says Spector. "So if you love music, register for speakers, and if you’re an adventurous couple, then make sure you register for the tent of your dreams." You could even register for books, records, or movies — nothing is off-limits!
Are you both into tunes? Register for a beautiful wireless speaker for your home — like this one by Vifa.

Vifa Helsinki Speaker, $499, available at Vifa.
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Don't Register For: Things You Don't Have Room For
The last thing you want to come home to is a house that feels like a maze. When it comes to furniture or housewares, make sure you really have a place in mind for each item on your registry. If you find the world's most beautiful rug but you have no place to put it, then you may need to consider skipping it altogether.

"Know who you are as a couple, and know how much space you have," advises Spector. "My husband and I registered for a wine fridge, and one day we hope to unpack it and relax with a nice glass of perfectly chilled wine. But since we live in a 450-square-foot apartment, right now we just fondly step over it every night."
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Don't Register For: Small Kitchen Appliances You'll Never Use
We know: The idea of that brand-new KitchenAid sitting on your counter is so dreamy. But that fancy stand mixer — or, say, a bread-maker, or a pizza stone, or an ice cream maker — probably won't get used very often. Unless you're a chef, you probably don't need all those small appliances that take up counter space and just collect dust. "If you don’t cook before you get married, register for cooking classes or meal delivery instead of elaborate tools that you may never use," Spector says. "That way, you won’t go hungry."
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Don't Register For: Niche Items
You'd be surprised at how many obscure kitchen items are out there, and how many people register for them with no practical intention of using them. Before you start adding things willy-nilly, ask yourself: Do we really need a dedicated egg holder, or soufflé dishes? Probably not. Spector points out, "Guests love to give gifts that they can picture couples using. So if you love making elaborate pastries, register for that crème brûlée set, but if you love ordering takeout, skip the niche bakeware."
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Don't Register For: A Wedding Fund
Okay, a honeymoon or house fund is totally cool, but there's something a little tasteless about asking your guests to help pay for your wedding. Spector says that if you are going to do it, your best bet is to ask for cash toward specific elements of your big day, rather than just adding a general wedding fund. "If you need help paying for your wedding, a fund is a great option, but I would break it down into smaller categories like florals or a photographer. One large wedding fund may rub your guests the wrong way."
Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Don't Register For: Expensive China
Unless you throw a lot of formal dinner parties (and really, does anyone do that?), don't ask for over-the-top, pricey china you'll only use every so often. Instead, consider registering for beautiful ceramics you know you can get daily use out of.

"The way couples entertain has shifted to be more casual. So, a mix of everyday dishes and just a few special pieces to provide the flexibility to host a pizza night or your first major holiday meal is a good idea," says Spector.
Show More Comments...