A big welcome to our first guest blogger, Kari Johnson of Whisk, and thanks for a wonderfully informative -and charming!- post all about creating a truly personal wedding registry.

You just got engaged! Congratulations! Now it’s time to set up a registry. Pick out a china pattern for twelve. Choose fine linens that are three times the cost of your rent. Select crystal vases for every room in your house. Don’t forget the matching luggage. Does this sound, well, crazy to you? It is! Just like your wedding is a celebration of you and your partner in crime, your registry should be as well.

Sure, it might be great to have expensive china for twelve, but let’s face it – we live in Brooklyn! Most of us are lucky to have a dining room table, let alone one that fits twelve comfortably for dinner. If you want crystal vases, and are going to use them, by all means register for them! However, don’t register for items you’ll never use just because you feel like you should. Old-fashioned wedding must-haves are being replaced with alternative aspects that are most important to the couple, and gift registry has changed, as well.

Why not register for the things that you want, that make you happy? As much as some people would like you to think there are must-have items to register for, I’ll happily tell you to register for whatever you like. Do you have a set of plates already that you like? Keep them! Do you have a pretty well stocked kitchen already? Or would you like to upgrade your gear? This is what registry is for! Register for what you want and what you need – not what you think you are expected to. We recently had a couple register at our store that registered for tons of cool bar accessories and bitters. It fit them, as the groom is a bartender, and the couple wanted to have a fully stocked home bar. Guess what was purchased off their registry first? The bar stuff! Upgrade the things you have already and register for the things you want. Friends and family will be happy to get you things that they know you will enjoy and use. We’re not going to judge you if you register for two dozen margarita glasses and nothing else, and your guests shouldn’t either!

There are lots of registry alternatives as well. Honeymoon registries have gotten as popular as the ubiquitous Mason jar, for good reason. Take that trip you’ve dreamed of. There are great online registry sites that combine web stores from all over the internet to get you everything and anything you desire. Friends of mine registered for a Nintendo Wii – and got it.  Think outside the box. Have you always wanted a pinball machine or something similarly crazy and “you?” Find it online! Remember your independent stores, as well. They may not have the flashiest websites, but I guarantee you’ll get better customer service and be a priority, not just another number. Talk to your favorite local stores – even if they don’t offer an official registry, most will be happy to help you get the gifts of your dreams. Many wine stores, florists, and small boutiques will offer registries. What would be nicer than getting a fresh flower delivery for the first year you’re married? Or some fancy-pants booze you can’t afford to splurge on?

If you want those expensive linens, or that fancy China, or a trip to Tahiti– go for it. Your registry, just like your wedding, is about you and your partner, and ultimately what you want. Just remember – your registry is only a suggestion to your guests. You may just get that china, or you might get the gift of your dreams.

Kari Johnson