The MANual: Wedding Registry

Get What You Want AND Get What You Need

The traditional wedding registry play is to fill up your list with things that you need: towels for your bathroom, sheets for your bed, pots and flatware for the kitchen. While you should get that stuff if you need it, don’t miss this rare chance to get some ultra cool items you want, items you might not otherwise purchase.

“It’s all about what the couple will use,” says Jennifer Spector, the newlywed-at-large for the online wedding registry zola.com. “Sometimes in a couple—if it’s one bride and one groom or two brides or two grooms—one might be more into cooking or one will be more into DIY projects. Some items might be for both of you.” We asked Spector to go through the different rooms in a typical new couple’s first home and make recommendations. Then we added some of our own.

THE BEDROOM

What you need:

Here’s a chance to get something you may not even realize you need: quality bedding, including high-thread count sheets and blankets. In case you don’t know, high-thread count cotton sheets are a lot more comfortable than the cotton-poly blend you’ve been sleeping on. (Also, make sure your blankets are enormous, because you know she’s going to be pulling them off you in the middle of the night.)

What you want:

  • A  deluxe ambient noise generator for your bedroom, the kind of machine that can mimic the sounds of 15 different types of rain forest;
  • A rotating circular bed, for Austin Powers-style fun.
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THE LIVING ROOM

What you need:

Your living room is not just the place where you and your honey sit on the couch and binge watch old episodes of 30 Rock. It’s also the place where company comes over to hang out during the big game or to enjoy a post-dinner drink. This is the perfect chance to get a new sofa, chairs and a coffee table that you can put your feet up on when your wife isn’t looking.

What you want:

  • A re-DONK-ulous sound set up—not only for those grownup house parties, but also for those times when your wife is out of the house and you can indulge in some Injustice 2 at cat-spayingly high volume. Which will also require…
  • A re-GODDAMN-donkulously big High-Def TV. That one is not just for you: remind your fiancée that she’ll be able to watch Say Yes To The Dress in full 4K: resolution so high she’ll be able to see the stitching in Randy Fenoli’s ties.

THE DINING ROOM

What you need:

If you’ve never lived with a woman before, here’s a tip: most, if not all, of your meals are going to be eaten while sitting at a table. Eating out of Tupperware containers while sprawled in bean bag chairs is a thing of the past. Dining room furniture is required, and Spector also suggests adding some specialty items like a carafe for water or a wine decanter, as it looks classy and helps you fill the room.

What you want:

  • A hi-tech dining table that can expand from seating for six to big enough for 12 at the touch of a button.
  • A “Doctor Who” Sonic Screwdriver spork from LootCrate;

THE KITCHEN

What you need:

Spector says that when it comes to kitchen items, the decisions should be left up to the one who’s most likely to be cooking. “It depends on how skilled you are in the kitchen,” Spector says. “If you don’t cook at all, I wouldn’t recommend registering for a new kitchen garden.”

If you’re the type who can barely cook instant ramen without having to call the fire department, ask for some basic items like new silverware and sets of glasses.

What you want:

  • One of those Darth Vader-shaped waffle makers;
  • A huge, incredibly powerful blender/mixer, something like the Ankarsrum Original, which can mix 18 eggs at once, or an entire loaf’s worth of bread dough, or probably even a quart or two of concrete, if your regular cement mixer is out of commission.
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THE BATHROOM

What You Need:

If you’ve never shared a bathroom with a woman, you’re in for more than just a simple adjustment. You’re about to learn the NASCAR pit crew-level procedure that is the average woman’s morning bathroom routine. So make sure you’ve got plenty of bathroom essentials in stock for the both of you–even though your morning routine consists of putting on deodorant and sniffing your shirt to see if it’s still wearable after two days without washing. Spector suggests adding items like new sets of plush washcloths and towels and a hamper to throw them in after you’ve enjoyed them.

What You Want:

  • A shower head with so much pressure it feels like you’re being beaten by a Thai prison guard;
  • A deluxe towel-warming rack, because you’ll need to wrap yourself in something warm and soft after such a brutal massage;
  • A Japanese robo-toilet, which will spray your most intimate area with a gentle jet of warm water, so your forbidden stronghold will be spared the rough chaffing of grocery store toilet paper.
Bottom Line

Your registry should have stuff that you want as well as stuff that you need. Now is the time to get that towel warmer and that enormous TV: when someone else is paying for it.

Join The Plunge (Don’t Worry: It’s Free)

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In virtually every gift-giving scenario, we are conditioned to give something personal, something creative, something they'll cherish. Yet something is different this time: the wedding registry.