10 Overlooked Wedding Gifts to Add to your Registry

by Caitlin Kelch


A few weeks back, we were lucky enough to share our team member Lauren’s beautiful outdoor wedding. So many of you reached out to thank her for the inspiration that we started to think about how hard it is to tackle the wedding registry process, between choosing flowers, a venue and all of the other details for the big day. We thought we’d share some of the most overlooked pieces that don’t end up on the list in hopes that any of you out there planning (or helping plan) a wedding find it helpful in the throes of wedding planning stress.

Take a peek and let us know what you’d add to the list so we can incorporate it into our upcoming wedding series that will come with a printable guide of tips from us here at Design*Sponge and you, our readers! We’re teaming up with Macy’s who has mastered the registry process, making it quick, easy and stress-free with nice surprises like really good price points on big-ticket items. I registered with Macy’s years ago and everyone literally thanked me for keeping it down to one registry venue. I wish I would have had this list, though! Not a day goes by that I don’t long for a fancy vacuum to battle my daily pet hair clean-up ritual. —Caitlin

*Image above from our team member Lauren’s beautiful outdoor wedding this summer in Iowa.

No. 1: A Great Vacuum

This is a must-have, especially if you’re a pet owner! Laying out a small fortune is often not in the newlyweds’ budget, so getting a little help from family or friends for a reliable (and powerful) vacuum is a huge help. Our favorite is the Dyson Animal Canister vacuum.



*This post was created in partnership with our sponsor, Macy’s. All images, words and opinions are from Design*Sponge for our readers. Thanks so much for supporting partners like Macy’s who help us bring you original content three times a day! 


No. 2: A Floor Lamp

When you have no idea where or what your forever home might be, a floor lamp always comes in handy, providing a similar amount of light that built-in overhead fixtures do. They also allow you to create cozy ambient light without taking up valuable side table space. We love floor lamps with multiple globes and big personalities like this one.



No. 3: Classic, Casual Dinnerware

Most registries will steer you towards formal dining sets, which are useful if you do a lot of entertaining for family and holiday events. If you’re still eating your meals on plates that you picked up here and there or are merging place settings with your new spouse, add a good, classic set that appeals to both of you for everyday meals. They’ll remind you of the special day every time you use them, which will be more frequently than your fancy china. We love the Dansk Kobenstyle collection in blue or grey.



No. 4: An Ice Bucket

The concept of an actual ice bucket can seem a bit dated or formal, but once you’ve struggled to keep a bowl full of ice cold during a warm evening, you will long for one. There are a lot of modern versions out there that are stylish and functional. And don’t be shy about registering for more than one — you’ll spend far less time nudging your new spouse to “refill” and can spend that time enjoying friends and family. This ice bucket is definitely on our list.



No. 5: Luggage

This falls under the “unified front” category. Traveling is stressful enough without having to gaze at the fraying trim on your old suitcase. Having a well-made set or even one quality piece that you can share for carry-ons is registry worthy. We like the idea of this piece holding things that are important for both of you on a flight.



No. 6: A Portable Grill

Whether you and your spouse are outdoor types or not, a good portable grill can be used now and for years to come as your family grows. This one is perfect for urban dwellers as well as suburbanites testing out their grill chemistry, as it’s not intimidating to those new to grilling. It also comes in handy during times when weather knocks the power out. PS: A rooftop picnic is a great recipe for romance!



No. 7: Portable Fan/Heater

This is another practical choice. Luckily, the best unit comes from the design-worthy Dyson company so no matter if you need a heat or cool boost, you’ll be covered. You can install ceiling fans down the road.



No. 8: Outdoor Furniture

We’ve heard from so many readers and friends about the high cost of quality outdoor furniture. Don’t be shy about adding some appealing options to your list. If you’re a city dweller without a dedicated outdoor space, look for pieces that can work inside or out. We love this Adirondack chair (it folds, too!) and can see it used as a club chair alternative in a chic apartment.



No. 9: A Mandoline

This is a piece that, at some point in your life, you’ll want to try. And this is also a piece you most likely won’t buy for yourself. Add it to your list if you’re remotely into cooking and the fine art of fancy, wispy-thin slicing. It’s also a lower-priced item that most can afford.



No. 10: Lovely Coasters

Yes, we said coasters! No more paper towels or napkins under your iced tea glasses. And, no more water stains once you’re able to upgrade to some forever pieces in your home. Trust us, these will come in handy and be your new love, after your ice bucket, of course. There are so many great options out there, but our favorites — made of marble or studded with beautiful, natural stones — aren’t inexpensive. Have someone gift you a higher-end set like these.


*This post was created in partnership with our sponsor, Macy’s. All images, words and opinions are from Design*Sponge for our readers. Thanks so much for supporting partners like Macy’s who help us bring you original content three times a day! 

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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  • One of the greatest lists of all time! Yeah I said it – of all time! Wish I’d had this list ?

  • Nice list. There’s certainly no wedding registry in my future (been there, no more -!) but the all-time best gift I ever got was a Miele canister vac. With a houseful of rescued dogs, that baby got a daily work-out for well over a decade before I decided: time for a new one. Decided to try Dyson, which is in the same price ballpark, but my experience with it was not good. The motor died in its third year, along with the warranty. So, back to Miele! I found just the one on Amazon and love everything about it, including its sleek design.

    I’m not in the bag for any particular brand, but based on my rich (-!) vacuuming history, I think I’ll be a Miele girl forever.

      • I had a terrible vacuum in college and splurged on a Miele after a while of research—pricy, but I didn’t want to keep buying vacuums. Eight years later, it’s still going strong. Best vacuum I’ve ever used.

  • One thing that we put on our registry and recommend to everyone (besides luggage) is a generator! We received a smaller one, but it’s powerful enough to keep the refrigerator going. With our crazy Midwest storms, it has certainly come in handy! We’ve been tempted to upgrade to a whole house generator after storms have knocked our power out for multiple days, but haven’t pulled the trigger.

  • We always give a #8 (or slightly larger) size cast iron pan as a wedding gift- we look for good quality vintage ones because they were made better back then and it means we’re not consuming new things, but since you’re partnering with Macy’s a new Lodge version would totally work. They’re the perfect gift because they last forever so you’ll never need a new one, that size is perfect for everything, and good kitchen pieces are timeless. We also always include a care guide though because not everyone knows how to take care of them forever ;)

  • Something that my in-laws’ friends told us, and it was the best advice!: it sounds super boring, but nice folding chairs are SUCH a good investment. They’re not something you’d buy for yourself, definitely not an aspirational item, but come in so handy in so many situations. Between homes and not about to invest in a new dining set? Additional guests at Thanksgiving? We found some nice ones with cushioned seats and use them all the time. On a similar token: a nice folding table.

    Something people don’t register for but I LOVE giving as a sort of fun add-on are great cookbooks that I love and swear by. Often people register for some kind of cookware, so I like to get cookbooks that complement the item or meet the recipient where they are. Baking books for cake pans, etc, or a good cookbook with helpful writing for a couple that doesn’t cook much but wants to master some basics (Julia’s book is going to be my go-to for this!!), etc.