Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

A Better Registry: 9 Places to Shop for the Modern Couple

Search

A Better Registry: 9 Places to Shop for the Modern Couple

July 26, 2019

I don’t know about you, but very rarely have I perused a wedding registry and thought: These things are beautiful and useful. I find myself looking at registries a lot these days, and many I’ve encountered fall into two camps: the ones filled with lots of un-special stuff, and the ones that feel too special, fussy and old-fashioned.

Consider, for example, the time I logged into one couple’s registry to find an assortment of drain covers and plastic scrub brushes—nothing befitting a celebration of a marriage. On the other end of the spectrum, another friend I know registered for a monogrammed silver punch bowl, sure to sit in a cabinet somewhere and collect dust. Think the scene in “Father of the Bride” when the family unboxes yet another silver tea set in a room crowded with ornate clocks and fancy statues for the mantel.

Part of the problem, of course, is that the earliest version of registries (way back to marriage chests and hope chests, Racked reports) came about to help a couple outfit a home from scratch—but now, with young people living on their own before getting married, or even sharing a place with their partner beforehand, modern couples don’t really need towels or china or sheets, like they used to. So there’s a tendency to fill the registry with stuff for the sake of stuff. (More and more alternative registries are popping up, like HoneyFund, through which wedding guests can donate to the honeymoon; Blueprint, where cash gifts can go towards a down payment for a house, for example; and sites like The Good Beginning, which forsake gifts entirely for donations to a cause.)

But there’s something nice about a lasting, physical something to mark the occasion (both Francesca and Margot, when I sent an email around to the editorial team in advance of this post, told me how much they both still treasure and use something they received on their marriage days—a flatware set for Francesca, a set of Duralex bowls for Margot). As a wedding guest, I want to give (and spend my money on) something like that: both beautiful and suitably celebratory that will be useful. But I’m also conscious that getting non-returnable off-the-registry gifts can be annoying for a couple, and I want to respect their wishes. (Yet another friend I know told me she spent weeks spent trying to return off-the-registry gifts—and we all know somebody who’s ended up with some gaudy thing they don’t want and have no way to return.)

All of this to say: there’s a better way to do wedding registries. Several years ago we rounded up a few of our favorite registries; here, we’re expanding on that with this year’s picks of smaller, non-big-box stores with registries, for those planning their own. If you’re attending a wedding (or a half dozen), we’ve included a gift from each that’s a little bit different, a little bit special, and—fittingly—built to last. Just tuck in a gift receipt.

1. March

March is one of our go-tos for gifts for all occasions; Francesca reminded us they offer a wedding registry, too. The Christiane Perrochon Sand Bottle Vases in the featured image, starting at $500, would make an extra special gift, as would this Blue on Blue 18-Inch Spatterware Serving Bowl, $240.
Above: March is one of our go-tos for gifts for all occasions; Francesca reminded us they offer a wedding registry, too. The Christiane Perrochon Sand Bottle Vases in the featured image, starting at $500, would make an extra special gift, as would this Blue on Blue 18-Inch Spatterware Serving Bowl, $240.

2. Heath Ceramics

Heath Ceramics has an excellent registry, where couples can choose from tableware, vases, linens, housewares, or even tiles for a kitchen or bath remodel. The David Mellor Flatware Provencal Set of Flatware would make a lovely gift for daily use.
Above: Heath Ceramics has an excellent registry, where couples can choose from tableware, vases, linens, housewares, or even tiles for a kitchen or bath remodel. The David Mellor Flatware Provencal Set of Flatware would make a lovely gift for daily use.

3. Etsy

Those who prefer vintage or hand-made will be happy to hear that Etsy offers a wedding registry. “It’s a good source for things like vintage Scandinavian candlesticks,” Julie says, like this one, a one-of-a-kind Swedish Gabriel Keramik Three-Arm Candelabra, $46.13.
Above: Those who prefer vintage or hand-made will be happy to hear that Etsy offers a wedding registry. “It’s a good source for things like vintage Scandinavian candlesticks,” Julie says, like this one, a one-of-a-kind Swedish Gabriel Keramik Three-Arm Candelabra, $46.13.

4. Canoe

Francesca let us know that Canoe, a longtime favorite, offers a registry; shop there for simple goods to outfit the home, like this Imperial Ranch Throw Blanket, $150, made in Oregon.
Above: Francesca let us know that Canoe, a longtime favorite, offers a registry; shop there for simple goods to outfit the home, like this Imperial Ranch Throw Blanket, $150, made in Oregon.

5. Design Within Reach

For lovers of design classics, DWR offers a stellar selection—and a registry. We think a classic light would make a nicely symbolic gift for the start of a marriage; consider this Nelson Pear Pendant Lamp, from $395.
Above: For lovers of design classics, DWR offers a stellar selection—and a registry. We think a classic light would make a nicely symbolic gift for the start of a marriage; consider this Nelson Pear Pendant Lamp, from $395.

6. East Fork

Another pick of Julie’s: Remodelista favorite East Fork allows soon-to-be-newlyweds to register for their trademark ceramic dinnerware and more. Consider it a twist on traditional wedding china. (And see our previous posts on them in A Ceramics and Kitchenware Company to Watch and A North Carolina Studio from a Matisse Heir.)
Above: Another pick of Julie’s: Remodelista favorite East Fork allows soon-to-be-newlyweds to register for their trademark ceramic dinnerware and more. Consider it a twist on traditional wedding china. (And see our previous posts on them in A Ceramics and Kitchenware Company to Watch and A North Carolina Studio from a Matisse Heir.)

7. MoMA Design Store

The MoMA Design Store, yes, has a registry (and a roundup of picks called “Modern Wedding Gifts,” for extra guidance.) Head there for art-y gifts and finds for the home, like this exclusive Hay Moment Candlestick Holder, $40, which we coveted in Object of Desire: A Self-Extinguishing Candlestick. An art print would also make a great gift.
Above: The MoMA Design Store, yes, has a registry (and a roundup of picks called “Modern Wedding Gifts,” for extra guidance.) Head there for art-y gifts and finds for the home, like this exclusive Hay Moment Candlestick Holder, $40, which we coveted in Object of Desire: A Self-Extinguishing Candlestick. An art print would also make a great gift.

8. Ikea

 Ikea might not come to mind when you think “wedding gift,” but we on the Remodelista team use many of their wares again and again in our own homes (just see The Ikea Essentials: Editors’ 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools), and a wedding gift from Ikea is sure to get lots of practical wear. This Blanda Glass Serving Bowl (only $4.99) remind us of Margot’s workhorse glass nesting bowls that she got on her wedding day and still uses.
Above: Ikea might not come to mind when you think “wedding gift,” but we on the Remodelista team use many of their wares again and again in our own homes (just see The Ikea Essentials: Editors’ 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools), and a wedding gift from Ikea is sure to get lots of practical wear. This Blanda Glass Serving Bowl (only $4.99) remind us of Margot’s workhorse glass nesting bowls that she got on her wedding day and still uses.

9. Anthropologie

Anthropologie has an increasingly good selection of housewares—and a registry. The Mavis Wine Caddy, $78, might make a jaunty gift for a more casual summer affair.
Above: Anthropologie has an increasingly good selection of housewares—and a registry. The Mavis Wine Caddy, $78, might make a jaunty gift for a more casual summer affair.

More in the world of weddings:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network