Elegant Dishes
Photo: Modern Art Catering, For the Love of It

When it comes to contemporary wedding registries, there are fewer rules than you think. While you're welcome to stick with tradition, you're no longer obligated to register for the following things.

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China and Silverware

At one point, these items were considered essentials, but not anymore. If you already know that fancy dishes will just sit in your cabinet collecting dust, or that you won't want to commit to polishing real silver, reconsider registering for them. If you do want them—which is entirely fine—think about your circumstances. Are family sets getting passed down to you? Do you want or need more than those?

Only Practical Items

Gone are the days of feeling embarrassed to ask for something fun. If you already have a well-stocked abode, for example, you don't have to register for home goods. Instead, look to your hobbies and interests for inspiration. If you are registering for home goods, they don't have to be basics—feel free to add that cool gadget you saw!

Just Material Possessions

Modern couples aren't limiting themselves to physical items like bowls or towels. Register for an experience, like your honeymoon, your future first-anniversary trip, or something else entirely.

Anything You Don't Want or Need

Just because everyone else wants a stand mixer doesn't mean you want a stand mixer, and that's okay. While researching popular registry items can helpful if you're feeling stuck, in the end, what you choose comes down to you, your partner, and your unique interests and lifestyle. Nowadays, couples are customizing their registries, rather than checking off a standardized list.