Needs, not wants, fill reporter Ally Kraemer's wedding registry

9 On Your Side reporter Ally Kraemer got engaged in November. She will be writing about her wedding planning experiences until her wedding in August. Expect to see the good, the bad and the bridezilla. (Just kidding!)

CINCINNATI -- Registering for wedding gifts is the adult version of writing a letter to Santa.

I thought scanning towels, frames and plates would be a breeze, but I'm wildly methodical and really particular about things that I'll probably have in my home for a long time. "I'll have it forever" is my favorite way of convincing my fiance, Jake, that we need an expensive new item. If you ask him, he'll say I use that reasoning for everything we buy. (I really will have the china forever, right?)

The elephant in the room

Can we talk about how weird it is to tell your guests exactly what you want? I've seen wedding registries for people who requested $500 vacuum cleaners; I even had a friend register for not one but two KitchenAid mixers. That is over the top!

I think registries can make people look really greedy. Sure, everyone wants nice things, but I don't expect my friends or family to spend $300 on a toaster. All it does is make your bread a little crispy, and I can think of 100 better ways to spend $300.

However, I know registering for some gifts is helpful for wedding showers and guests. So I'm going to try to do it without looking like a crazy person.

Do I need that?

Before we went to the stores, I printed a registry list and narrowed it down to things we actually needed.

Jake and I lived long distance for more than two years. When we moved back to Cincinnati together, we had two sets of everything -- and I mean everything. Only a third of it fit into our home, so we gave away a lot of stuff.

I'm very fortunate that I already have a lot of the typical registry items. I love baking and have a beautiful KitchenAid mixer. Jake can't live without his Keurig. We got a new vacuum for Christmas. (What an adult gift.) I guess I could replace them with bright new shiny versions, but why? The $10 cookie sheets from Sam's Club do just fine.

Where to register

Before you jump into registering, do your research! This article from Brides Magazine walked me through the best places and the best perks. For example, Crate & Barrel gives you free wine glasses for registering. Most places give you 10 percent off items that aren't purchased after your wedding. If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, choose wisely.

My registry

(Disclaimer: No, this is not my way of telling you where to buy me a gift. In the spirit of this brutally honest blog, I'm simply going to tell you where I registered.)

I wanted to register at places that I actually shop and that I think other people go to as well. I've mentioned this in earlier blogs, but I LOVE Macy's. It has a great selection, good deals for my guests and good perks for registering. It really does have it all.

I registered at Williams Sonoma because it has the best selection of cookware. I've had the same two skillets for five years -- I got them on sale at Macy's for $50 -- and they're on their last legs. (I probably shouldn't cut in them or use my metal spatula.)

My mom helped me pick some non-stick Calphalon or something like that. I don't need copper core stainless cookware. I'm not much of a chef; I just want something basic for my very basic cooking skills.

I also registered at Pottery Barn because I have a great everyday dish set from there. It would be nice to have matching salad bowls, and I love the cake plates. There's only a few things I want from there, so I might end up deleting the registry. I don't feel like I have to decide just yet!

Things I didn't register for: wooden spoons and spatulas. I always think it's silly when people put little $5 trinkets on the registry. I guess it's a nice add-on to a gift? But does anyone really want to buy you wooden spoons? Maybe I'm off base here, but it's not for me.

How many is too many?

Three registries seems like more than enough. They say you need 200 gifts or something like that for a wedding the size of mine, and I'm nowhere close to that. But if I don't need or want it, I'm not asking for it just to hit that magic number.

We really thought about registering at Amazon. We hope to buy a house soon and know we're going to need some tools and gadgets. But again, I don't need to decide right this second. If we buy a house, maybe our registries will change.

If it were up to Jake, we'd be registered at Home Depot and Bass Pro Shops. Maybe Amazon will be a good compromise.

Honeymoon registries

I've had friends use those honeymoon registry websites. They register for things like a flight, a dinner, a couples massage, etc. Each item lists a price, which I've seen range from $50-$500. Isn't this just a fancy way of asking for cash? It's great for some people but not for our wedding and guests.

What's next

My main vendors are booked, but now I'm starting on things like flowers and cake. Hello cake tastings!

I'm always looking for advice! If you have some to share, send me an email at ally.kraemer@wcpo.com.

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