Kathryn (née Barron) and Stanley Elton had recently purchased their first home and were living together when they created their wedding registries. Though the pair had basic kitchenware, such as dishes, pots, pans, and utensils, Kathryn confides they had just enough for them to get by. “We planned to register for practical products, but also a lot of unique ones,” she adds.
With a background in fashion, the bride admits that between the two of them, she’s more interested in organization and design aspects, while Stan works as a stuntman and is typically the logical one in the relationship – though he still has a great sense of style. “We are usually on the same wavelength… until he wanted to register for a jet ski,” Kathryn laughs. “This time, I had to be the one to reign him in, saying that was probably a bit too over the top which was a complete role reversal on our parts.”
For their first stop, they elected to visit Gearys together. They also invited Kathryn’s mom – since she has great taste – to help make selections in areas they weren’t familiar with, such as crystal candlesticks, china styles, and silver trays. “Gearys is the go-to store in the Los Angeles area for high-end housewares and keepsake pieces,” says Kathryn. “It’s imperative to see the colors for mixing and matching china patterns. I was able to blend very high-end pieces with some less expensive – they actually balanced out nicely and offered various price-point options.” The bride fell in love with Anna Weatherley’s “Spring in Budapest” collection of porcelain dinnerware. Also chosen were a beautiful “Black Swan” salt cellar from L’Objet, a lovely marble coaster set adorned with French roses by Studio Vertu, and classic William Yeoward crystal candlesticks.
Though grateful for the gifts family and friends purchased, the bride was disappointed that she didn’t receive a few sentimental choices. “I did not receive any of the Baccarat crystal butterflies I registered for,” reveals Kathryn. “They have personal meaning to me because my grandmother collected them and passed on her love of butterflies to me.” For circumstances similar to Kathryn’s, Gearys boasts an excellent wedding registry program where all items purchased go into a reserve and couples can easily exchange items to add those that weren’t fulfilled.
The couple found that Bed Bath & Beyond was a registry must. “They have anything and everything you need to stock a household, have stores practically everywhere, and are reasonably priced,” describes Kathryn. “Plus, their website has a plethora of awesome items that are not available in-store.” Some neat selections from this retailer included a tufted bench by Safavieh, a personalized throw blanket, and “Bee” tumblers by La Rochère. The only challenge they faced here were that some gifts were shipped from a third-party company and sometimes they did not come with a receipt that included the sender’s information. Luckily, Kathryn was able to visit a nearby location where the store manager helped her to retrieve the details she needed to write thank-you notes.
Their third wish list was created at Zola – an online registry site that gives couples the option to create a fund to collect monetary gifts for a specific purpose of choice. Kathryn and Stan only focused on one area, however: landscaping to help them redesign their backyard. “When my mom was young she said it was considered impolite for guests to gift money to the bride and groom, but these days most couples are already living together and have many of the items that used to be customarily given as wedding gifts,” illustrates the bride. “So many of my friends who have gotten married have requested money for their honeymoon, etcetera. I love this new trend of ‘funding’ that has normalized the gifting of monies.” Kathryn and Stan also note they were surprised at the number of people who gave cash via the Zola website, especially older guests who they assumed would forgo it for a more traditional gift.
Some loved ones gifted personalized items in lieu of an item off the registries. “One of our good friends gave us a gorgeous hand-carved wood sign with our newly shared last name and wedding date,” says the bride. “Our wedding date was very special to me because we chose to get married on my parents’ anniversary. My dad passed away in 2015 from cancer.”
The couple agrees that both bride and groom should be involved in the registry process. “It is an experience that brings you two closer, as you start to really picture your life together,” Stan admits. “Savor it… and go for the jet ski!”
Get personal. “Even if you feel an item is superfluous, register for it if it symbolizes something that has personal meaning to you.”
Seek a wide range. “It is good to have a healthy assortment of products that will fit different price ranges. You don’t want to make a guest feel like they have to over extend themselves when buying your gift.”
Be creative. “Don’t be afraid to register for something out of the box creativity makes everything more fun, for both the giver and the receiver!"
Think teamwork. “Have a selection of gifts that caters to both the groom and the bride – it might look a little selfish to have it one-sided.”
See Kathryn and Stanley's wedding here: A Romantic Wedding with Lush Florals in Autumnal Hues. For more ideas, discover must-have tabletop items and gifts for the holidays, view 15 popular wedding registry products, and find out how to decide where to register.