North Olmsted, Ohio... Ah, the wedding registry. For many couples, there's nothing more exciting than perusing the shelves of their favorite home goods store, stocking up on all the essentials to add to their wedding wish lists. Almost half (45 percent) of U.S. adults who are married, ever been married or engaged/ever been engaged have had a bridal registry, according to a recent Moen survey conducted online by Harris Poll. But, compiling a registry that is "just right" can be a complicated process. Moen, the number one faucet brand in North America, went above and beyond to discover all the in's and outs of wedding registries.
While nearly 85 percent of brides* want you to buy a gift from their registry, many realize post-nuptials their list may have been less than ideal. If you're headed down the aisle, plan ahead to avoid these common registry mistakes:
- Adding on impractical items: Think twice before registering for large or specialty, one-purpose products that take up precious storage space...but may rarely or never get used, like an espresso machine, panini press or ice cream maker.
- Aspirational registering: While strolling through the stock of stemware and crystal, it's easy to get caught up in dreams of fabulous parties hosted by you and your special someone. But, be sure you're registering for pieces that fit who you really are, not who you want to be.
- Sticking too much to tradition: Don't feel compelled to register for traditional items, like silver flatware or formal china, unless you think you'll truly use them -- especially because they're often expensive.
"There's no need to register for what's expected," says Andrea Maher, senior marketing communications specialist, Moen. "In fact, our survey finds that roughly 2 in 5 (42 percent) of those who have ever had a registry have registered for non-traditional items, like electronics (20 percent) or wine (13 percent). So why not think outside the box a bit when it comes to making your list?"
"Instead of registering for traditional go-to's you'll rarely use, consider requesting products that will make your life a little bit better every day, like a kitchen faucet with a pulldown hose for easy clean-up, or a soothing rainshower showerhead to provide a moment of relaxation after a long day. Your registry should be built for you and your partner, not to meet the expectations of others."
Sneaky Soon-To-Be Spouses
Of those who have had a bridal registry, over a quarter (27 percent) have added or removed something without telling their significant other. And it's the younger folks that are the worst culprits. Those aged 18-34 (43 percent) are more than twice as likely as those aged 45+ (12 percent) to have added or removed something from the registry.
What changes did they make?
Housewares were a popular behind-the-back addition, with one bride saying she added "a dish set I knew he did not like but I did," while another "added household décor and removed a gaming system." One married female said she got rid of "tacky stuff he picked out," with another bride saying she took off "some impractical glasses that he chose and added some I thought were better."
From the male perspective, sporting goods and electronics were prevalent additions. One married male added a "mini basketball hoop" to the registry, while another requested a "gaming console." A third male added "a bunch of Blu-ray movies to our registry without permission from my bride." Whoops!
Thirty-four percent of brides** returned 6-10 wedding gifts...and there's likely a reason why. Even with a registry, sometimes wedding gifts miss the mark. Here's some of the worst gifts real-life married couples received:
- "A cake holder that was re-gifted. It had a card in it for the person that gave it to us. And to top it all off it was from a good friend."
- "A $100 bill, in case things did not work out."
- "A bag of grits -- I'm from Brooklyn, N.Y."
- "A casserole shaped like a duck."
- "A chia pet."
- "A machete."
- "A meat griller...we're vegetarian."
- "An engraved holder for our wedding video VHS."
- "An IOU."
- "Ball and chain underwear."
But luckily, it's not all bad -- couples received plenty of great gifts, too. Many folks stated their spouse was the best present they received, while others raved about generous monetary gifts, fantastic cookware and even a cruise to the Bahamas.
"Whether you're dying for fixtures and accessories to complete your new kitchen, or camping gear for a nature-filled trip with your partner, the most important part of any registry is that it's a reflection of you as a couple," adds Maher. "So don't get caught up in convention -- register for what will make your future home and life feel complete."
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Moen from May 24-26, 2016 among 2,026 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Courtney McGeever, email@example.com.
* Knot, The. "5 Rules of Wedding Gift Giving." Theknot.com. The Knot, n.d. Web. 11 July 2016.
** Hallett, Stephanie. "Wedding Do-Over: Brides Reveal What They Would Have Done Differently In NY Magazine (INFOGRAPHIC)." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 July 2016.