I have a confession. Before my husband and I got married, I was horrible about not buying gifts off of couples’ wedding registries. For me, it just felt impersonal and anticlimactic for the new bride and groom to know exactly what they were getting. I know that’s the point, but it just wasn’t my thing.
Anyways, as my own wedding showers approached, I felt a weird amount of pressure to create a curated list of products that everyone else would see as practical and appropriately priced. I know, that’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard — but you live and learn, right? So, I searched and searched on Amazon and read review after review until I found all of the things I thought everyone else would think we needed. And after our family and friends (whom we are so very grateful for, by the way) showered us with love, we were left with some truly wonderful items that helped turn our house into a home.
Some of our favorite items from our registry:
While we were grateful for each gift, we were inevitably given some things that we didn’t have room for, and quite frankly, just didn’t need. And I’ll have you know all of those things were things I had reluctantly registered for in all of my petty, people-pleasing glory. As if I am actually motivated or coordinated enough to cook two side dishes in a dual crockpot simultaneously. I mean come on, Catie, really?
But after all, living in a tiny house teaches you things. Things like how practicality sometimes trumps appearance, and that you can never be too organized. So, after navigating our first year and a half of marriage, I have come across several things I wish I had included in our registry. Some of them we’ve invested in for ourselves, and others I have given as gifts to loved ones and admire from afar.
Whether you’re preparing for your own wedding, looking for a gift for someone else’s, or made the same mistakes as me and need some functionality in your life, I hope these will be useful to you!
1. Instant Pot
Don’t get me wrong, we love our crock pot, but some days we’re gone for so long that what we put in in the morning is overcooked by the time we get home from work. I have several family members who have transitioned to the Instant Pot, and they love it. I wish we had went that route from the beginning!
2. Baker's Rack
With no real pantry and limited cabinet and counter space in our kitchen, we struggle to find ways to make the cookware and ingredients we use regularly easily accessible. Our stainless steel shelving rack has been a true life-saver.
3. Casual Dishes and Drinkware
I love displaying the dishes we registered for, but I don’t think we’ve used them more than two or three times. We don’t entertain or have company often, so with just the two of us, we find ourselves using our melamine dinnerware most nights. And our Tervis drinking glasses are seriously the best!
4. Food Storage
Like I said, our cabinet and counter space is limited, so organization has to be a priority for us in the kitchen. Using storage containers has been a game-changer for saving space when it comes to things like our snacks and seasoning packets.
6. Storage Bins and Baskets
The number of baskets and totes I have bought since we’ve been married is quite ridiculous. It just seems like there is always something that can be condensed, and let’s be honest, they’re the easiest way to get organized without actually getting organized. Even though I’m getting better about sticking to the registry when I give gifts now, I almost always put my gifts in a decorative basked instead of buying a bag, and people love it!
7. Functional Coat Rack
Are you noticing a pattern here? That I love having all the things but have nowhere to put them? It’s a sickness really. But anyways, last winter, I nearly went insane trying to keep our coats put away. The only place we had to put them (our closet is tiny) was on an over-the-door hanger in our bedroom. This winter we got a coat rack that happens to have some super functional shelving, and it has been such a worthwhile investment.
I don’t know about you, but I find very little joy in ironing clothes. In my house, if it can’t be solved with wrinkle releaser and a few minutes in the dryer, it’s probably best to just put it back in the closet and try again. But this past Christmas, I gave both my mom and mother-in-law a handheld steamer, and I am sold. I used my mom’s on a formal bridesmaid dress a few weeks ago, and it did such an amazing job, I ended up holding onto it for a little longer than I should have before returning it to her.
9. Essential Oils and Diffuser
This is another one that just didn’t cross my mind at the time we were registering. I dabbled with essential oils several years back, but now I love using them in our home. While I know there are tons of different options for essential oils and diffusers out there, we love these!
10. DSLR Camera
This one might seem a little odd, and if I’m being honest, I’m not sure if I would’ve felt comfortable putting it on my registry with such a hefty price tag. But something I learned from our wedding shower that I didn’t realize before is that large groups of people love to go in together to buy bigger gifts. My DSLR camera was a huge splurge I just made a few months ago, but I would have loved to have had it sooner, particularly for capturing memories of our wedding and honeymoon.
Well, there you have it, friend! Nothing too fancy—just practical, real-life products that have made a real difference for us.
If you’re a bride to be, my advice for creating your registry is to just keep it simple and think practically. Ask yourself, “What will I actually use?” and “What can I ask for now that I would likely not invest in for myself?” Showers are a truly selfless gift that take so much stress out of the transition into married life. Let your people spoil you, appreciate what you’re given, and above all, be grateful for the love and fellowship of your family and friends.
Until next time,