Lots of engaged friends = lots of people asking me what they should put on their wedding registry. Andy and I registered for most of our needs at Crate and Barrel and Macy's and then a few items at Pottery Barn and Target. Moving on. Make sure your registry has a wide range of items and prices. Put on fun stuff like games and camping necessities alongside linens, dishes and pots and pans.
Register for at least eight plates/cups/bowls/silverware sets. You can always buy more after the wedding. We have eight bowls, twelve plates, twelve cups and twelve sets of silverware. We have so many different sizes of bowls, so eight basic white work fine. **Speaking of basic white-- if you love a patterned set of dishes, go for it! Make sure you find out if they can be used in the microwave and dishwasher. We chose this basic white china set from Crate and Barrel. Another important thing to check when it comes to dishes (and silverware) is their size and how they feel in your hands.
Pots and pans can be tricky. Sets can be appealing, but you may not need every pot and pan that comes in a set. See if you can register for them separately. Andy and I did not receive the set we registered for and we paid for it ourself. I love the set, but I haven't used any of the inserts. Oh look, it's on sale! I bought a small non-stick skillet from the Giada line at Target and it is amazing-- Andy and I have been so impressed by how well it's worked for us.
Now to the point of this post- here's my list of must-haves to register for::
-- OXO good grips mixing bowls (the new colored set is super cute)
-- OXO can opener
-- OXO whisk
-- Pyrex!! (we have this set and it's awesome) -- I would recommend getting one or two insulated bags for your baking dishes- I use mine all the time to take dishes to Bible study and other people's houses
-- stainless steel measuring cups- they are apparently more accurate than plastic and the numbers don't scratch off (I got mine at wal-mart but I can't find them online)
-- a good knife set (we bought this one and love it love it love it-- it's nicer looking in person)
-- games!! we registered for Catch Phrase, Taboo and Scene-It
Don't be afraid to put something on your registry because it's expensive. That being said, don't get your hopes up! You may receive almost everything from your registry, or you may have guests that prefer to give checks or one-of-a-kind gifts.
Also, don't be afraid to return the gifts you don't want! If someone asks about their gift and you've returned it, be honest with them. Tell them you appreciated their thoughtfulness and chose to use the money from that gift towards something you needed more.
Check your registry often as your wedding date approaches. Stores may run low on the items you register for, or worse, run out of stock.