Photo: Tabula Tua via Instagram
It may be time to put down that price gun. After you've added the essentials to your registry, some local options can give in-town (or tech-savvy out-of-town) friends and family a chance to think outside the big box. We've rounded up some of the Chicago area's best alternative registries for one-of-a-kind gifts and more.
Kneen and Co.
With an extensive collection of luxury flatware, glassware, home décor and other goodies from brands like Lobmeyr, Hermes, and Saint-Louis, this private salon may have just what your fancy aunt is looking for — and the attentive customer service to match. Plus, one percent of all online sales are donated to nonprofit Water.org (founded by Matt Damon), so you can feel good about the splurge.
For the couple that's looking for something a little different, this shop's two locations offer traditional and contemporary handmade pieces including bed and bath items, kitchen accessories and more. Read real brides' reviews here!
Adler may be a national name, but the sculpter and artist's funky Gold Coast shop has plenty to choose from for an eclectic or artsy Chicago couple. A bud vase shaped like a banana? They've got it. Graphic needlepoint " Mr. & Mrs." pillows? Yep. You can even design your own geometric throws and rugs.
This adorable shop, located in west suburban Glen Ellyn, is a foodie couple's fantasy. Stocked with pro culinary tools, specialty foods and charming table toppers, the store and its friendly staff will help you pick out everything you need to feel like a chef. And you'll score a $50 gift card for registering that you can use toward one of their in-store cooking classes or that cutting board no one bought you.
You'll be ready to host your first big holiday dinner for the in-laws once you've received a few items from this Highland Park shop that specializes in table linens and accessories.
Registering at one of this home goods' collection's three Chicago area locations gets you a selection of international goods sold exclusively at Tabula Tua, but also a bunch of perks like a $50 gift card for every $500 is spent on your registry, 10 percent off anything left on your registry for up to six months after your wedding date and free gift wrap and shipping for items more than $125.
Photo: Getty Images
If you think house cleaning is just for Cinderella, this roundup of the best cleaning products to add to your wedding registry might not be for you. But, if shiny countertops make you happy and your floors are so clean you can eat off of them — read on.
All too often, brides-to be can get caught up registering for housewares and appliances — forgetting that their registry is the perfect place to step up their cleaning game, too. After all, for the many couples who are soon to be living together for the first time, you'll need to start with the basics to keep your new shared space spic and span. From vacuums to hampers and beyond, check out our favorite registry items for neat freak brides everywhere.
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon
Shark Steam Mop
Say goodbye to your old manual mop and splashing dirty water. The Shark Steam Mop, available in a few varieties and models, cleans and disinfects all hard floors, leaving them gleaming AND eliminating 99.9% of bacteria and germs. With so many advantages over the traditional mop and bucket, once you use this steam mop, you'll never use another kind again. ('Lift Away' steam pocket mop, $89, Shark available at Amazon)
Photo: Courtesy of Dyson
As a leading vacuum manufacturer, Dyson combines the latest technologies with efficiency and ease for these dynamic machines. Whether you prefer a canister, upright, cord free, or hands free vacuum, Dyson has a dirt and dust sucking solution for everyone. With each machine comes a free 2 or 5-year warranty (depending on the model) and there are endless accessories to help purify air, access hard-to-reach spots, and more. (Ball multi floor vaccuum, $299, Dyson)
Photo: Courtesy of Target
Bona Ultimate Hardwood Floor Care
Hard wood floors are easy to love, and hard to clean properly. Streaks and stains are enough to discourage even the most avid cleaner. Enter: Bona Ultimate Hardwood Floor Care. This innovative product is biodegradable, nontoxic, and leaves no films or residue after cleaning your hardwood floors. ('Ultimate Hardwood Floor' cleaning kit, $60, Bona available at Target)
Photo: Courtesy of Crate & Barrel
Something that can make laundry a little less annoying? Yes please!
Available in tons of textures, materials and colors to suit any décor, this hamper allows you to sort your dirty clothes by his/hers, colors/whites, dry clean/machine wash, and more. By organizing your clothes as you store them, you take a bit of work out of the laundering process, and who doesn't want that? ('Dixon' large bamboo hamper, $169, Crate & Barrel)
Photo: Courtesy of Simplehuman
Simplehuman Trash Can
Aiming to simplify life's day-to-day tasks, Simplehuman hopes to streamline chores and help people live more efficiently. Both their sensor and pedal operated trash cans have custom fit liners to make disposing of trash a hands-free, stress-free chore. Taking out the trash just got a whole lot easier, and less messy! (38 litre rectangular step can, $130, simplehuman)
See More: 8 Ways to Avoid Wedding Registry Remorse
Photo: Getty Images
There seem to be a ton of rules when it comes to registering for your wedding. From what price points to include, to how many items to select, to which items are "worth it" — it's easy for a fun task to turn into a head-spinning chore.
While we agree that there should be a variety of affordable items on your wedding registry, it is certainly okay to have a few big-ticket items as well, since some gift-givers love to give a communal gift, and friends or family close to you may be willing to splurge for your big day. Check out our favorite higher-end items to consider adding to your bridal registry.
Ah, China. The one item that can send brides-to-be over the edge while registering and asking themselves, "How can this be so expensive?" "Will I ever really use it?" while you SHOULD NOT register for fine china just because you're told to do so by your future mother-in-law, or "just in case," you SHOULD register for it if you truly believe you will be hosting holidays, dinner parties, and more — fairly frequently. Think of it this way: It's the only time in your life people may be willing to buy you a place setting that costs hundreds of dollars, so if you even think you might want or need fine china one day — go for it.
Once you decide to add the big-ticket item to your registry, the next challenge lies in picking a pattern. We recommend going for something timeless and classic, that will look great on any table, in any dining room — because who knows what your future may take you?
High Quality Bakeware & Cookware
Every budding chef needs some quality cooking items in their kitchens, so when adding cookware and bakeware to your registry, don't skimp. Go all out and add those items and brands you've always dreamed of owning, even if you would never spend that kind of money yourself. Not sure what brand to scan? You really can't go wrong with Le Creuset. The company's first colorful cast iron piece made it's debut in 1925 and it has been taking the culinary world by storm ever since. Not only are these pieces — ranging from lasagna pans to dutch ovens to cast iron skillets — vibrant (adding a pop of color to kitchens everywhere) they are also functional, durable, and versatile and have pretty great warranties.
A Knife Set Fit for Top Chefs
Even at the most basic level, anyone who cooks would agree that quality knives can make or break your cooking and kitchen prep experiences. Rather than stocking up on individual pieces, you really can't go wrong by selecting a superb knife set, with bonus points for a sturdy and eye catching block in which to hold it. Luxury brands like Wusthoff and Chicago Cutler offer a variety of set pieces, including steak knives, pairing knives, scissors, and bread knives, gathered together in exceptionally crafted counter-ready blocks. Select quality stainless steel sets with sharpeners to ensure your knives last through the years.
See More: Everything You Need to Register For
A Top Caffeine Machine
At home coffee enthusiasts and on-the go sippers alike can attest to the fact that the machine really does make a difference between so-so coffee and a quality cup of joe. Aside from the fact that a quality coffee maker can help you save hundreds each year by skipping a daily visit to your local barista, there's nothing better than enjoying your drink of choice in the comfort of your own home. (Poured into some cute mugs also gifted from your registry, perhaps?) While registering, consider Nespresso and Delonghi, as trusted manufacturers in the art of espresso, as well as Keurig and Cuisinart for high rated coffee brewers.
Luxe Stemware and Glassware
Every home needs a little sparkle, that's a given. When it comes to adding a touch of elegance and luxury to your home, one of the best places to start is with your stemware and glassware. A classic go-to brand for high quality crystal is Waterford. First established centuries ago in Waterford, Ireland, this company has become the leader in luxury glassware as well as a staple on many bridal registries. As the brand has evolved, partnerships with designers like Monique Lhullier and Robert Mondavi have added a modern touch to classic designs. Perhaps the best part? Waterford has a more affordable branch, Marquis by Waterford, that offers sets at more modest price points so that everyone can experience the glamour of crystal stemware.
Photo: Ira Lippke Studios
Congratulations, you've said, "Yes!" and now your ever-growing wedding to-do list probably wont stop until you say "I do." Amongst the slew of wedding-planning tasks between celebrating your engagement and walking down the aisle is registering for wedding gifts — a fun yet time- and thought-consuming task that you certainly won't regret. But determining exactly when to register within your giant timeline of events can be confusing, so we're here to help!
If You're Having an Engagement Party...
If you and your new fiancé decide to have an engagement celebration, or if a close friend or family member is throwing one for you, it's important to consider creating your wedding registry beforehand (unless it is a surprise, of course!). While some couples opt for a "no gift" message to spread before an engagement party, most people will still want to give a gift to celebrate your milestone. Without registering prior to the celebration, you might end up with a ton of "Mr. & Mrs." paraphernalia, or stuff you don't really need (or want). While all gifts should be graciously accepted and appreciated, if you can register before your engagement party, it's ideal.
The Must-Register Deadline: Your Bridal Shower
This is a must. As long as you're having a bridal shower, you really need to register for wedding gifts. Even if it is a surprise, you should aim to have your registry completed at the time your invitations are created and/or mailed. Whether you opt for filling your wedding registry with traditional housewares, honeymoon funds, or newlywed adventures — it's all relative in terms of timing. Guests at your shower will want the guidance to help them select the perfect gift, and you'll be happy that you did.
General Rules of Thumb
In terms of general etiquette guidelines, most professionals agree that within the 7-9 month range before your wedding date is the ideal time to register. Within this time, it's implied that your bridal shower and any other pre-wedding festivities will take place, and with your registry created and ready to go, gift giving (and receiving) will be a breeze.
DON'T go out to celebrate your engagement by scanning everything in sight right away. There are many more wedding tasks to complete before creating a wish-list of wedding gifts, and jumping right into it might very well give off the wrong impression, and add extra stress that you don't (yet) need. As with everything in wedding planning there is a time, and a place!
Consider Your Needs
Don't feel obligated to register at one of the "standard" retailers all your married friends registered before you. If you and your fiancé already live together and/or don't have a need for new bakeware or monogram towels, don't register for them. Your guests want to give you gifts you will truly love, not that you've added out of obligation.
Remember, nearly all registries are digitized now, and you can edit and update your lists at any time, so if you go in person to scan for wedding fits, try not to feel too pressured into making the perfect registry — and happy "shopping"!
See More: Everything You Need To Register For