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A Mom’s Guide to Her Wedding Registry

Ah, to be an unencumbered bride. Engaged to be married, she registers for a fantasy future of fine china, crystal goblets and lily white hotel bedding. One never knows when The Queen might visit.

But what if you already have kids before you get married?

Then you know the truth: fancy, fragile, stainable shit is not going to survive 10 minutes in your house.

RELATED: I Want to Bring My Kids to a Wedding

Sure, in 20 years when you have an empty nest, you may decide to throw some elegant dinner parties, but will the items procured two decades before have survived all the “indoor baseball” and “teddy bear tea party” incidents? I think not.

I recently married my baby daddy, and though we’d been cohabitating for years, we still needed STUFF. Specifically, I felt that if my family was going to continue to demand home-cooked meals, then I had a right to replace the rusting pots and pans I’d had since college. After all, how much damage could our daughter do to All-Clad? If she wanted to use my new pots as bongos, it was fine by me.

Who has room for fine china anyway, what with all the Legos?

But once inside Bloomingdale's, I struggled mightily against the bridal fantasies of my youth. Holding that registry gun in my hand, with the power to click on anything my heart desired, I started to covet the cut crystal vase that I imagined filling with fresh peonies on our mahogany entry way table (never mind that we don’t have a mahogany table. Or an entry way).

When that vase later arrived at our home in about 9 million pieces, despite having been bubble wrapped and boxed, it was the universe telling me, “No. This is not for you.” If UPS couldn’t protect the flimsy thing for one day, it was not going to survive years with a small child.

I woke up and smelled the coffee maker: When you’re a bride with kids, plastic (BPA free of course!), melamine and metal are your only friends. Who has room for fine china anyway, what with all the Legos?

Someday, maybe orthodontists will offer registries, because I know we’re going to need that. Until then, here’s a list I came up with of fun, kid-friendly items that are wedding registry-appropriate and practical too:

BEACH TOWELS: Nevermind the thread count — are they cute and absorbent? Will they withstand double duty as a super hero cape or staircase sled? If so, those are your towels.

BAKING SUPPLIES: You may not ever get around to that elegant dinner party, but you’ll definitely bake for the bake sale, decorate birthday cakes and sneak spinach into mini muffins.

GRILLING TOOLS: Set yourself up right for that 4th of July BBQ while making your husband feel like something on the registry was actually for him.

PICNIC BASKET: Make that “glamping” fantasy a reality with the right supplies.

BEVERAGE DISPENSERS AND COOLERS: These appear to be for the happy couple, but they’re really for your kids’ birthday parties for years to come.

POPSICLE MAKER: A busy mom isn’t too likely to use a bread or pasta maker, but something that turns juice into a dessert? You need that.

WAFFLE MAKER: This'll make yours the coolest house on the block for sleepovers.

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SNUGGLE BLANKET: Choose a great throw for movie nights on the couch, preferably popcorn colored.

PICTURE FRAMES: No matter how casual your lifestyle, you’ll always be taking pictures of your kids.

See moms, you can still have a fabulous bridal registry — all it takes is the right stuff.

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