This is a blog by Madison Frank, Head of Client Relations for Imagine it Done, who was recently engaged and has started the process of registering for gifts on Zola, an online registry.
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When asked the question “How is your registry going?” what I really want to say is my head is spinning. However, I take a deep breath and realize that I have it under control. I need to not be dramatic and take advantage of that fact that I really have the inside scoop when it comes to registering. I know exactly what people use most, and what NOT to register for.
I can’t tell you how many times I have walked in to do a consult at a client's home, where all I see are wedding and engagement gifts that are either still in the box or completely untouched, taking up prime real estate in the kitchen and/or apartment. When starting my registry, all I could think about are the countless projects I have worked on, and how to make sure that I don’t end up in the same position.
To give a little background, I just moved into a new apartment in September with my boyfriend (now fiancé) and we are both well aware that this is not our “forever home.” We did keep in mind when buying items for this apartment that we weren’t going to purchase specific things as we knew the registry process wasn’t too far away. With that being said, many items on our registry will be super useful in our current apartment whereas other stuff may need to live in my mom's basement for the time being.
We are having a destination wedding in 2022 and do not want our guests to feel obligated to purchase a super nice gift, on top of all the travel expenses. I wanted the bulk of registry items to come from affordable vendors. However, it is still important to make sure that we are registering for items at all different price points.
My taste is minimal when it comes to kitchen items and decor. I do not like anything loud and I certainly don’t know what my house is going to be decorated like 5 to 10 years from now. With the help of Lisa, my mom, and Tracy from AnnSandra, I started to build my registry on Zola.
When starting to build a registry, most people start with everyday dishes and formal dinnerware. I made the decision that I wanted to use my everyday dishes both for casual and more formal occasions. I know that space is a commodity in our apartment, and full sets of dishes occupy too much of the real estate. Tracy from AnnSandra was helpful and completely understood why I felt this way. She worked with me and helped me select a set that I loved for both formal and everyday use. I was also able to find some everyday flatware that was anything but boring! Tracy was a huge help here and even put together a vision board so I could envision the full place setting.
After finding my everyday set, I moved onto searching for the servingware. Crate & Barrel and AnnSandra both have an amazing selection of serving pieces that work perfectly with all the items we added to our registry. I am a little OCD (maybe a lot), quite specific, so it was important that all of the serving pieces matched, with no random pieces. We selected all the necessities that will work for football Sundays to Thanksgiving.
The bar area is definitely my most favorite for buying new stuff. CB2 ranks high on my list of top favorite home stores. They had some beautiful wine and cocktail glasses that will set up perfectly with the other barware I found at AnnSandra. For some of the higher price point items, I went with some crystal from AnnaSandra that I know will be beautiful to display in our bar one day. I know for sure in 20 years my friends and I will probably still be drinking tequila on the rocks, and I am not having a 10-person after dinner tea party. So you probably won’t find any tea cups and saucers on our registry.
I do love to cook and had a lot of fun researching and looking for small appliances. However, I also know how much room these items take up, no matter how large your kitchen is. Keeping that in mind, and also planning a bit for the future, I decided to stick with what I think is most important. I know my mom's Vitamix has held up for forever, so that was a must. My Nutri Bullet may be fine for now, but I do not expect it to last forever. An Airfryer is my go to kitchen item right now, and I am all for letting that take up some prime real estate on the counter top. Nothing is better than NOT having to wait 30 minutes for the oven to heat up. When it comes to small appliances, it’s all about investing for the future.
I feel strongly that a KitchenAid mixer deserves its own paragraph. Unless you are a baker, I (as well as my IID team), will advise you NOT to register for this item! Most of our clients who have a KitchenAid really do not know its purpose. Either it lives on a counter taking up SO much space or you will see it in a cabinet so high up that even if you wanted to use it, you would need an army of Imagine it Done staff to help you get it down. It definitely is decorative, but boy it is super heavy! That said, Zola offered the perfect alternative, a hand mixer that will get the job done!
I chose not to add a lot of decorative items to my registry, keeping only a few photo frames and vases. Additionally, CB2 has some great organizational accessories that we work with all the time. Their canisters for both the kitchen and bathroom are not only gorgeous but so functional in the home.
As for linens, I am officially a Boll & Branch addict and made sure to add some of my favorites, directly from Zola! Zola has been a great experience thus far as you can pretty much add anything from any website. For example, our favorite suitcases from Away were not offered on any of our original registry websites, but we were able to add them directly to our Zola page. I highly recommend registering for your favorite luggage and packing cubes (use code imagitdone for 15% off)!
Last but not least cleaning supplies are always a great and useful category to have on your registry. For me specifically, I love the Bona for hardwood floors and of course the Dyson vacuum! I also think a garment steamer is important if you have the room for it. Trust me!
Feel free to check out our cleaning shop page on our website for more ideas!
I hope my advice will be as helpful for you as it has been for me, to make this experience fun and important for setting up your new home in life as a newlywed!