everyday dishes

Wedding Registry Must-Haves

Wedding Registry Must-Haves

Your wedding planning is off to a good start, so now it is time to create your wedding registry and fill it with your must-haves! We’ve all purchased gifts for friends from their registries, but creating our own can be overwhelming. How many plates do I need? Is China really necessary? While each couple’s style and priorities are different, there are a few must-haves we recommend you put on your wedding registry. Here’s some help to get your registry started with the most important items.

Pots and Pans Set

The number one cookware item you will use daily is your pots and pans! Whether you are a can of soup or a homemade chicken cordon bleu person, you must put them on your registry. Not only are they useful, but they are also made to last and are expensive. Many registries allow group gifts so friends can team together to give you a more expensive gift.

Bath Towels

Now that you’ll be married, it’s time for your college bath towels to become cleaning or beach towels. Register for some nice, new towels. You will be so glad you did! It is fun putting together the color scheme of your first married home together. Towels are a great way to decorate your bathroom with a splash (pun intended) of color. Pro tip: Register for bath sheets! Bath sheet towels are towels but are longer than typical bath towels, so you will be wrapped and cozy after every shower without a chilly breeze.

Bed Sheets

Speaking of sheets, you won’t want to forget to register for quality bed sheets! We recommend cotton sheets for spring/summer and flannel sheets for fall/winter. Cotton sheets will breathe and not hold in your summer heat making for a more comfortable night of sleep. In contrast, microfiber sheets will hold in your heat, so we don’t recommend those. Flannel sheets are so cozy and perfect for the infamous Chicago winter windchills!

A Clothes Steamer

This one might surprise a lot of people. You may think, “Why do I need a clothes steamer when I already have an iron?” Well, let me tell you! Many an event and weddings have been saved by my inexpensive clothes steamer! A bridesmaid forgot to iron her dress? Steamer. The groom ironed his pants wrong? Steamer. Table cloths laying strange on the tables? Steamer. Trust me, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Every household needs a clothes steamer!

Your Everyday Dishes

Unlike China dishes that you only use about once a year, your everyday dishes will be used, you guessed it, every day. Because of how often you will use them it is important to register for quality everyday dishes. Read reviews and ask questions, don’t just go by looks. We recommend registering for 8 place settings. If you are not registering for China dishes we recommend registering for 12 place settings. These dishes will ideally last for decades, so be sure to choose a pattern and color you know you will still like in a few years.

Have you registered yet? Which of these items were on your must-haves list? Would you add something else? Tell us in the comments below. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

Monogram Newlyweds

Five Holiday Gifts Ideas For Newlyweds

Five Holiday Gift Ideas For Newlyweds

The holidays always sneak up on us. As they are quickly approaching, there is no time to waste in choosing your holiday gifts. for the newlyweds in your life! Here are five great, helpful newlywed gift ideas for the newlyweds we know they will love!

Unpurchased Registry Gifts

An easy gift idea is to buy them any wedding registry gift that was not purchased. You know they’ll love it because they picked it out. Often, there are a bunch of little things left over. This situation can make a fun gift set by wrapping each small gift individually and putting them in a decorative bowl. You can purchase small gifts as one theme, such as baking, to make a well thought out gift.

Newlywed Christmas Ornaments/Holiday Decor

Every family celebrates different holidays and differently at those holidays. Regardless of what holiday the newlyweds celebrate, a great gift idea is to get them “our first married (insert holiday here)” gifts. Whether you choose an ornament, customized wreath, or wall décor; it’s bound to be a keepsake they’ll treasure for years.

Monogrammed Gifts

If the couple changed last names, this is a great gift! You could get the bride(s) their new monogram in a necklace, clothing, or home décor. You could the groom(s) a newly monogrammed leather wallet, cufflinks, or cellphone case. The exciting and new changes couples experience after there wedding are something to celebrate. What better way to recognize their new life together than using their new initials on a gift?

Framed Wedding Photos or Newlywed Family Photos

Wedding photos are some of the most cherished photos for families. We think a great idea to welcome the newlyweds as a family and into their greater families is framed wedding and family photos. Often until weddings, there aren’t many photos with the full family, including both newlyweds. Giving wedding, or new family, photos is a great way to welcome the spouse of your loved ones into your family.

Home Appliances Or Tools

Often, after couples get married they purchase a home or move to a new rental. A great way to help the newlyweds make their home their own is gifting small home appliances or tools. If the couple loves coffee, there are plenty of fancy coffee and espresso makers to choose from. Home improvement tool sets are always useful. If the couple has new furniture to put together or fixer upper projects; tools are the perfect gift.

We hope this gave you some easy, helpful holiday gift ideas for the newlyweds in your life. No matter what holiday you celebrate; we know the newlyweds in your life would love these great gifts! For more wedding planning inspiration and advice, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy planning!

Where to Register

As part of the wedding planning you and your fiance will need to decide where to register! If you already live together it might be a great time to get some upgrades or try new appliances. But, if you’re still living separately then you both should decide what you’ll need when you move in together. You will need to decide which stores suite both your needs and style! And, for the couple who already has it all, perhaps you’d like to raise funds for a charity!

The first places you can register are the usual suspects like Crate and Barrel and Bed, Bath and Beyond. These stores can be found all across the U.S. and they offer affordable and great styled pieces for a new couple. It can also make it a little cheaper for your guests to browse through some options that aren’t all over $100 or more.

The second place you should think about is Snowe, an online registry that caters to those who enjoy minimalist looks and modern silverware/place settings. It’s easy to register online and they have free standard shipping across the States. A fun detail on this site is that you can also request “Hold Gifts Until” option and Snowe will wait to ship gifts until a certain date. They also have discounts: 15% post-wedding discount, 20% discount on the couples first year anniversary and $20 discount post wedding for wedding guests with their purchase of $100 or more.

The second fun place we recommend to register is Etsy. This is a fabulous online shop where you can find hand crafted treats or vintage treasures. Since it’s so broad there’s bound to be something for everyone on here. And, since most sellers are self contracted they’re happy to personalize things for you and the communication is personal – not through a corporation. You can easily register online. The only possible con to this is the return policy – each seller is individual so the policies will differ.

Wherever you choose to register have fun with it! Try not to go overboard since you won’t get everything you register for.

Registry 101

Registry 101
Registry 101 is going to take you through an often forgotten wedding task! Weddings are full of rituals, and here’s one you might not have thought about much: the ritual of walking through a department store with that little scanner as you create your gift registry! Some brides and grooms see this is a fun way to pick things out for their new home. Other people hate shopping and find this to be yet another annoying wedding chore. Registry 101 will give you some tips on how to go about this task.
Wedding registry 101:
• Pick a store that suits you as a couple. If you prefer casual things from Target or WalMart, don’t let your snooty sister-in-law talk you into registering at Neiman Marcus. And don’t let your hipster friends talk you into
registering at Pier One.
• Pick national stores. If you have guests coming in from all over, this will help them shop. Registering at a
local store is a nice thing to do for your community, but if you do this, also register at a chain. Registering
atonline stores is convenient, but not for older guests whodon’t know how to use that dang Internet thing, so register at a traditional store as well.
• Create your registry together. Really, the term “bridal registry” is pretty archaic. You should both pick out things for your home. Have fun together, don’t take it too seriously, and remember to compromise! If he wants gray linens and she wants loud floral patterned linens, middle ground will have to be found.
• Get help — but not the unwanted kind. Not much of a shopper? Bring along a friend who is, especially if your friend is married and knows useful things to put on a registry. Be careful though. Don’t ask for help from someone who wants to take over the registry.
• Select gifts for different price ranges. It’s very rude to only include expensive gifts on your registry. Don’t make assumptions about how much your guests can and should spend.
• Register for sets of things in pieces. Select a bathroom coordinate pattern and register separately for the shower curtain, the matching rug, the toothpaste holder, etc. This will allow people to buy as many pieces as they want within their price range. Do the same for comforter sets, dishes, and so forth.
• Do you really need china? If you’re into formal dining, register for fine china. If you’re not, don’t feel obligated to sign up for this traditional gift. Register for a good set of everyday dishes instead. Besides, if you ever need china, chances are that someone you know has a set they never use that you can borrow.
• Don’t be limited by “traditional’ choices. The cool thing of registering at a store like Target or WalMart is that you can register for all kinds of stuff — DVDs, electronics, camping equipment, board games, or whatever you enjoy and will actually use.
• Consider ditching the registry. Do you and your partner have big incomes and all the stuff you need? Some people ask their guests not to give wedding gifts, and perhaps suggest a charity for guests to donate to instead or to put money towards their honeymoon through
Wedding Registry Trends 2014

Wedding Registry Trends 2014

HuffPost Weddings is one of our favorite sources for all things matrimonial including Wedding Registry Trends 2014.  This week, they featured a checklist of the new trends for wedding registries and we have to say the list was spot on! We scoured through some of the best picks we think you need to know about and found out which ones are must haves and where to find them!

Wedding Registry Trends 2014Classic China:  Dinnerware has always been the most important staple to any traditional registry. Typically these china patterns come in sets and are prefect for more formal entertaining but can also be used for daily coffee and dinner plates can of course come out for every day meals.  And while your Grandmother may gasp on horror at the idea of using your fancy ( and pricey!) plates for pizza night and Taco Tuesdays, we just can’t see the point in not using your stuff when you can. Making everyday a celebration and enjoying your dishes is the new way to go. Just…be careful. Our favorites for timeless dinnerware with lasting power? Vera Wang, Marchesa, Lennox, and Martha Stewart make fantastic, durable and beautifully designed sets that you can use for decades to come and will look just as good as the day you got them!

Cocktail Party Essentials: Young couple love to entertain. And over the years, entertaining in general has Wedding Registry Trends 2014become much more casual than a formal sit-down dinner. So naturally, your registry should be packed with bar tools, appropriate glassware for corresponding cocktails, and gadgets like wine openers and even a wine rack to store your bottles. Canape or dessert plates and cocktail napkins are a perfect way to fancy- up your next cocktail soiree and don’t forget things like a bar tray, ice bucket, and fun decanters to round out the put –together, yet accessible look. These are components you can use everyday and also double as really chic décor for your first place! We love trays from West Elm ( they come in every color and texture and are also affordable.) For canapé plates, check out One Wedding Registry Trends 2014Kings Lane for specials on caterer sets in all white.

Gold Flatware: We saw this one coming from a mile away with sites like Style me pretty and Snippet and Ink featuring the chicest of weddings with tables dressed in the gilded look.  Although the look has a very vintage feel, it is suddenly very modern and romantic and takes a break from the everyday silver flatware we have become so accustomed to.  Registry experts say it’s a welcome change for couples looking for something a little bit different that still goes with everything.

Guy Gear: Why should the girls have all the fun? In the past few years, couples are getting smart about registering for items that suit their lifestyle and hobbies. Items like grills, tents, camping gear and bikes are all sure to make the grooms happy and also cut down on the costs of activities that couples like to do together. It’s perfect for the outdoorsy couple or for any pair that already have a fully stocked kitchen! Wedding Registry Trends 2014.
Wedding Registry Trends 2014

wedding registry

Wedding Registry Do’s and Don’ts for Modern Couples

Not Your Grandmother’s Nuptials: Wedding Registry Do’s and Don’ts for Modern Couples

wedding registryOld wisdom says to keep the registry on the down low; uncivilized talk of gifts occurs in whispers behind kitchen doors or cupped hands. Modern etiquette recognizes the practicality of the wedding registry, and a lot of things have changed since your grandmother’s wedding. In fact, it’s a recognized truth that etiquette evolves–organizations such as the Hayward Area Historical Society have even created exhibits highlighting the differences between today’s good manners and etiquette of yesteryear.

To List the Gift Registry…Or Not

Traditional etiquette experts who follow Emily Post frown on including the gift registry information on wedding invitations, although it is seen as proper form to add the registry locations on bridal shower invites. Modern couples have long ignored Ms. Post and emblazoned registry information on tasteful inserts that come with the growing package of direction sheets and response cards found inside a wedding invite. Modern etiquette experts either agree with this practice or collude to look the other way because they recognize the practicality of the measure. Guests don’t want to wait until the bride’s sister tells Aunt Sally, who can tell them, where the couple is registered. In the pace of modern living, no one has time for that.

A Registry That’s Refined and Online

Couples who want to go big and formal, who just like old traditions or who have an adamant grandmother or two on the guest list can get around the ban on registry inclusion with technology. Services such as let you create free wedding websites, and you can also use blog tools including Blogger or WordPress to keep guests informed about wedding plans. List your wedding site URL in the wedding invitation or in an insert, inviting guests to share your wedding journey. You can link to your registry on the site as well as share updates, pictures and stories about the big day.

Choose Registry Carefully

There aren’t hard rules about registry item selection, and you aren’t obligated to include an entire collection of china. Modern couples tend to register a mix of traditional and contemporary items. Select things you would enjoy for your home, but keep your guests in mind. Not everyone has deep pockets, so include gift ideas in a range of prices. For those who have a tighter budget, include items such as dish towels, glasses, and utensils. For those guests who want to spend a little more, include kitchenware from your favorite designs, such as the Kate Spade line found at at Macy’s, or choose select pieces of crystal from their Waterford collection. Finally, simply asking for cash isn’t as taboo as it used to be, especially if you need assistance with a down payment for a home or other large purchase, though it’s a good idea to give gift options as well.

Something Small, Something for All

A number of department stores offer great registry options. Since individuals can also order online with these stores, you don’t have to worry about access for guests. Some couples like to support small business, but registering with a single store that is only available in limited areas places undue stress on gift buying. If you’re choosing to support a small business, consider a limited second registry with a major chain for out-of-town guests.

Check out Music By Design for more wedding registry websites.

Engagement Party Basics

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now, let’s celebrate. The engagement party, while not an absolutely necessity by any means, is a fun and relaxed way to kick off the wedding festivities early. Here’s a quick overview on the engagement party essentials

Who: Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for hosting the engagement party, but every couple is different. It’s completely acceptable to have a party hosted by the groom’s family or a group of close pals. Or, if you prefer, host your own party in your home and invite friends to celebrate your good fortune with you.

What: The engagement party itself can be anything you want it to be, from a classy, lavish soiree to a backyard BBQ. Essentially, it’s just an opportunity to celebrate the news with the people you love so the theme can be as elegant or laid-back as you want.

When: The engagement party is the first official event of the wedding and traditionally happens shortly after you and your fiancé get engaged. There’s no set rule on how quickly a party should be hosted after the question is popped, but it’s typical for the celebration to be held in the first few weeks or months. This can vary depending on how long the engagement is slated to last. The important thing is that the engagement party is a separate celebration, not scheduled too close to the actual wedding.

Where: Determining a location for the engagement party is entirely up to you, or the party’s hosts. Some couples opt for their own home, or the home of a family member, while others go all out and rent out a hall or outside locale for the festivities. Just like the wedding, the party can be held anywhere you like.

Why: The main point of an engagement party is simply to celebrate that you two lovebirds are engaged. Gifts shouldn’t be expected, but don’t be surprised if some guests decide to bring one along. Bridal registry information shouldn’t be included on the engagement party invites, but it isn’t a bad idea to already have your registry completed (or at least started) by the time the party rolls around to give guests some direction on gift purchasing should they choose to buy one.

Bridal Registry: 5 Items Every Bride Needs

Creating the wedding registry can be very overwhelming, especially if you have little experience in the kitchen or other household endeavors. When you get to the store, you may be distracted by the beautiful china and wedding picture frames, but don’t forget these essential items.

Mixing Bowls

You can never have too many mixing bowls. Don’t believe me? Just look at a few recipes and you will discover that just one dish can use several bowls. Also, consider requesting various sizes. Sometimes you may only need to break up an egg; other times you will need to mix several cups of dry ingredients. Your life will be easier, if you try to do these tasks in the appropriate sized bowl. Bed, Bath & Beyond offers a great set that comes with several sizes in fun colors.

Measuring Cups

Even if you already have a kitchen stocked with measuring cups, register for more. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a recipe and having to wash out a measuring cup because it was already used. Having multiple sets will save you time and sanity. This collapsible set from Bed, Bath & Beyond makes storing the cups effortless. No more jammed kitchen drawers.

A Food Processor

If you plan to have kids (or your future husband is a picky eater), the food processor will become your favorite tool. You can make your own baby food instead of buying expensive, processed baby food, and you can hide vegetables in everything from desserts to lasagna. This gadget is also great for making homemade sauces.

A Crockpot with a Timer

Crockpots are one of the best inventions in the world. You throw everything inside before you leave in the morning, and when you get home at night, dinner is done. You can make everything from dessert to appetizers to one-pan dinners. The best crockpots have a timer, since many recipes cook for a specific amount of time. You simply set the timer, and the crockpot will stop cooking when the time is up (but it will still keep the dish warm). A good choice is this six quart programmable crockpot at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Cute Serving Trays

Even the simplest dishes (pepperoni and chess, veggies and dip) will look extravagant on cute serving trays. These will come in handy when you have to add a dish to a holiday dinner or guests unexpectedly show up for an impromptu dinner party. Stores such as Macy’s, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond offer dishes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Whether your style is modern or classic, you can find the perfect dishes.

These are just a few of the items every kitchen needs, but these are the items that will make your life easier. The less time and energy  you (or your husband, if you are lucky enough to  find one that cooks) spend in the kitchen, the more time and energy you will to enjoy your new life together.


Wedding Registry Basics

One of the most exciting and enjoyable tasks in the months leading up to the wedding is registering for gifts! Walking through aisles upon aisles of shiny new kitchen appliances, luxury bedding, and beautiful home décor is enough to make any girl want to say, “I do.” Although registering is a blast, it can also be a stressor so here are a few tips to help you prepare for a smooth day of gift selection…

Select Stores: The first step of registering is figuring out which stores you want to choose gifts from. It’s common for brides and grooms to register at 2-3 retail stores for items. Be sure to pick stores that will be easily accessible for wedding guests. If you have a lot of out-of-town invitees, make sure to pick a store that is located in their city or state. Online registries are great for most guests, but certain individuals might prefer to be able to visit a store and examine a potential gift in person.

Preview Items: Once you’ve narrowed down your stores, spend an afternoon or evening simply walking through them and getting an idea of what they carry and what you like. This way you can start thinking about what items you might want to register for ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Compare Prices: Chances are that certain items on your registry will be sold at all of the stores you choose so do your research ahead of time to figure out where you’ll register for which items. Maybe the price on kitchen appliances is considerably better at one shop, while you prefer the bedding at another. Go online to compare brands and prices so you aren’t doubling up on any items.

Schedule an Appointment: Most department and home stores will allow you to schedule an appointment to create your registry. Eliminate stress and guarantee a spot by calling ahead and setting up a meeting. Typically, an employee will explain the process to you and accompany you around the store to offer assistance on choosing items to add to your registry. Plus, as an added bonus, certain stores may offer after-hours registry appointments, complete with cocktails and appetizers, to create a relaxed and enjoyable experience for you and your fiancé.

Update, update, update: Don’t be afraid to add or remove items from your registry in the months leading up to the wedding. Suppose a pal buys you an amazing off-registry blender that you love even more than the one you chose. Be sure to go online or contact the store to have the original blender removed to save you the hassle of having to return it later. Or, imagine that the items on your registry become sparse after all the incredible showers thrown in your honor. Be sure to add more items for guests to choose from before the wedding.

More on Wedding Registry

Operation Groom Involvement

Whether you’ve been planning your wedding for a couple days or a few months, chances are that most of the work is falling on the bride’s shoulders. Many grooms-to-be are willing to help, but they don’t have the faintest idea where to start. Here are a few tasks to delegate in an attempt to get the groom involved:

1. Spreadsheets: The wedding budget and guest list should be agreed upon by both parties involved, but if your guy is the organized type, ask him to put together detailed spreadsheets for both. It’s a tedious task, but it has to be done, and it’ll save you fiancé from being forced to pick out flowers or china patterns.

2. Rehearsal Dinner: It’s customary for the groom’s family to pay for the rehearsal dinner, so why not let him plan it? Ask your mate to choose a theme, venue, menu, and even invitations. This is a great chance to let his personality and tastes come to the forefront in an important, but relaxed, wedding event.

3. Honeymoon Planning: Relinquish control of the honeymoon to your significant other, giving him the reins to plan a dream vacation for the two of you. If you’d like some involvement, discuss guidelines (budget, climate, length of stay, etc), or add to the excitement by letting your groom plan every detail, including the surprise destination.

4. Groomsmen Attire: Task your man with the responsibility of organizing attire for the male members of the bridal party. Have him pick out a tuxedo or suit and make the necessary arrangements for rental or purchase for each of the guys (including your fathers, grandparents, or other family members donning wedding duds). The Best Man’s Job

5. Negotiate: When it comes to wedding planning, everything’s negotiable. If you’re about to marry a no-nonsense businessman, ask him to handle negotiations with various wedding vendors. This eliminates stress from you and results in cash saved.

6. Food Selection: They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so why not play on his strengths and get his input on the wedding fare? Invite him along to taste-testings or task him with the responsibility of selecting appetizers and drinks for the cocktail hour. Wedding Dessert Options

7. Music Selection: If your beau is a music buff, put his talent to work. Ask him to choose songs to be played during the wedding ceremony, photo slideshow, or important dances at the reception.

8. Registry Relief: Selecting items for your wedding registry can be a daunting task. Make sure your groom joins you and turn it into a fun pre-wedding event! Enjoy the time together, browsing through stores, to find the perfect home goods to deck out your new joint home.

Calling All Grooms