Some Thoughts On the Registering Process From a Groom Who Survived It

And some thoughts on his thoughts from his wife. (He still wants a kayak.)

Some Thoughts On the Registering Process From a Groom Who Survived It


Lenox chargers. Martha Stewart Dutch ovens. KitchenAid stand mixers. There was a time, not that long ago, when I didn’t have a clue as to what these things were, or did, or looked like. Then I got engaged.

Suddenly, I found myself arguing (1) with my beautiful future wife in the King of Prussia Mall over the necessity of each, their colors, and how many we might need. And I stumbled on a wedding truth that nobody seems to talk about: The registry, um, conversations start almost immediately after the proposal, and continue right up until the honeymoon. (2)

I had initially resisted the whole idea of registering (3): We’re not really stuff people, and we don’t have any storage space. But like most grooms, I nevertheless found myself at Crate & Barrel with that little stun gun, zapping the water goblets of my future. And also like most grooms, I learned some things I wish I’d known sooner about this ongoing process. (4) Here, some of our hard-earned wisdom, which will hopefully make your registry conversations go a little more smoothly.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff that you think you’ll need, but you don’t actually need. These things include:

• Ice-cream makers, bread makers, pasta makers, etc., all of which you will have and hold, from this day forward, most likely in your basement.

• Twelve of every piece of dinnerware—unless you plan on hosting your family and the in-laws every Thanksgiving and Christmas. (5) At $70 a saucer (cup not included), less is better.

• That brightly colored, extremely expensive KitchenAid stand mixer. Though I’m sure it works phenomenally the one time a year you use it.

• More than three registry stores. Simple is good.

It helps to have the following tools in your arsenal:

• Patience. You’re choosing stuff you’re going to have for years, so don’t be hasty. Also, be ready to compromise. (You can always go online and secretly change the registry afterwards.) (6)

• Snacks. You’re going to need energy: trail mix to munch on in the sheet section; granola bars for the china-choosing. A burrito and a beer for lunch doesn’t hurt.

• An eco-friendly sensibility. Most places allow you a no- gift-wrapping option. Take it. The amount of packaging alone will astound you, even without ribbons and bows.

What we’d have done differently had we known better:

• REI registry. We could own a tandem kayak right now. (7)

• Buy stamps one time, in bulk. It was honestly a delight to write thank-you notes to our friends and loved ones. Going to the post office 45 times for postage? Not so much.

• There is no such thing as too many cloth napkins. (8)

• Remember: This is not stressful. This is fun. This is not about greed, like I originally thought—it’s not even really about stuff. It’s about the beginning of building a life together, which family and friends seem to enjoy helping you do. Registering is you having fun helping them help you. (9)


(1.) Hi, I’m Jer’s wife. And I prefer to think of it as conversing, not arguing. (2.) And beyond. See numbers four through nine. (3.) Resistance is futile. (4.) Like how an herb-keeper really is a good idea. And how pretty KitchenAid stand mixers are. (5.) If anything, 12 is too few. Dinner parties! (6.) Ha! Right. And then your betrothed can change it back. (7.) Not if we only get to register at three places. (8.) Or too many trips to Crate & Barrel. (9.) See? I was right.

{Ed Note: This piece was written for the current issue of Philadelphia Wedding by Jeremy Lejeune, husband of Christy Lejeune, Philly mag‘s deputy editor. Christy has written for Bridal Bulletin before on both her and Jer’s Nashville wedding and Mexican honeymoon, and shared her tips on how to change your name without making yourself nuts. She also wrote the footnotes here to Jer’s piece, in case you can’t tell.}