I’m engaged. After four years and five months of dating though college, I got down on one knee and popped the question.
If you couldn’t guess from the first sentence, she said “Yes” and now we’ve begun all the tedious planning that eventually results in a wedding. All the meetings, phone calls, rehearsals, and empty wallets can be major stressors while you’re planning this huge event, but one of the more fun aspects of planning a wedding revolves around something everyone enjoys: presents. The Wedding Registry for the soon-to-be newlyweds is one of the most beneficial and fun things for a couple to do. We recently made a “dry run” and made a list of things we liked/wanted after we get married, and being Captain Organized, I put it all in a spreadsheet. You can organized it by price, by how many pieces there are (for instance, a set of towels has 3 towels) how many units we would like, etc. After painstakingly entering all the information, I set about researching and comparing various brands of the same product to find the “best” one to put on the registry. By the time I was finished, I had come to a few realizations that I thought every couple making a registry should know.
A few things that you should know before we start: I’m going to give you the best advice that I can on some of the things that every newlywed couple should have on their registry, as well as what they should not have. I’ve based my opinions on hours upon hours of researching that includes consumer reviews, forums, and even professors at my university believe-it-or-not. I’m not going to include the obvious things (flatware, plates, cups, etc.) unless there’s something special you need to know. Without further ado, let’s go over the things you might not think of:
1. Shower curtain and rings. Odds are if you’re going to get married, you probably are going to live in an apartment or buy a new house. Either way, you need shower curtains and the rings that hold them up. Make sure to get a liner for the inside of the shower that’s not made of cloth so it won’t mildew when it gets wet. Even better, try and get one that doesn’t have a hem at the bottom that water can collect in. Cost for all three is about $20.
2. Crockpot or slow cooker. You can drop some BBQ sauce, onion slices and pork chops in this thing, let it cook for 8 hours while you’re both at work, and come home to BBQ pork chops ready to eat. It’s a wicked good time-saver and the epitome of multi-tasking. Costs around $20.
3. Tupperware set. You can wash them and put all kinds of leftovers in them and a 40-piece set will cost around $20. You probably thought of this one, but it’s just so useful that I had to put it on here to make sure that you didn’t forget.
4. Serrated steak knives. I cannot stress the serrated part enough! The easiest way to dull a good knife is to cut on glass or ceramic, which is probably what those nice plates you want are composed of. Besides, when you cut meat, you use a sawing motion, and only the tips of the serrated edge will actually make contact with the plate. You will save yourself a lot of trouble by getting serrated: trust me on this one. Costs range from $15 to about however much you want someone to pay; they can get expensive.
5. Storage containers. You’re married. You’re going to have stuff that needs to be put up at some point, so it’s not a bad idea to put some of these guys on the registry. Besides, you can pack them full of stuff at the shower(s) once the presents are opened! Price and size vary but they come pretty cheap. A 91 quart size is about $15 depending on brand
6. Drying rack. Not everything can be thrown into a dryer and set on Sahara Dry Heat. A collapsible, wooden rack for delicate clothes costs around $10 and will avoid wardrobe malfunctions.
7. Electric griddle. Get this especially if you love breakfast. You can cook sausage, eggs, pancakes, bacon, and pretty much anything else you want short of cereal on this thing at the same time. The best part? They’re usually $20 or less.
8. Cordless drill. A must-have in just about any home repair. Don’t settle for the $30, 7.4-volt either, as it’s just about useless in any practical situation. You want a name-brand, 14-volt or higher drill, with an extra battery and a Two-position gear box for high-speed drilling and high-torque driving. This one will cost whoever gets it, but maybe Dad or the Father-in-law will get this one. $80-120. You won’t regret it 20 years from now when the same drill is still performing like a champ.
OK, that covers a few things you might not think of (or maybe you did and you’re just that awesome). Part 2 will cover the things to avoid, and it might just surprise you what I’ve included on that list.