Wedding Wednesdays: What You Should and Shouldn’t Register For

What To Register For: What You Do and Don't Need - JanessaMann.Com

For 9 months leading up to my wedding, I worked full-time as the main customer service person at the nearest Bed Bath & Beyond to me. No, it wasn’t a great job, related to my field, or particularly fulfilling, but I did learn a lot about how to set up your home.

People will tell you tons of things about what you need, pressure you into certain brands or gifts you’ll never use, and make you get ridiculously priced items. Depending what you ask for, you won’t get much of it. Registries are a pretty conventional wedding thing, so some people are trying to step away from it. However, it’s really helpful for guests to know where to go for things you will actually use-it saves headaches, and is less up-front than “please give us cash.”

Here is a standard checklist from, which as some great references, but there are some pitfalls.


1) Items you already have

If you’ve been living on your own or together for a while, you probably already have lots of these things. You have two routes: request replacements/upgrades of your current stuff, or stick with what you have and save gift requests for things you wouldn’t/couldn’t buy on your own.

For instance, my brother and sister-in-law had a terrible toaster that burned the toast all the time since it was like 20 years old. They registered for a new one. However, their microwave was fine. Why bother asking for another one?

2) Things you don’t want

Sometimes your parents, in-laws, or someone else will try to pressure you into requesting gifts that you don’t foresee yourself using. Stay strong. If it’s a gift they really want to give you, compromise is fine. If it’s something they think you need, but wont’ get you, why do they want you to get it? It’s just a waste of someone else’s money.

Nic and I did our registry at my store, and the whole time my managers were pressuring me into registering for china. They figured I would regret not asking for it, and that the IKEA set we wanted would not cut it. To get them off our back, we put it on the registry. Later that night I logged in and deleted it all. I have half of the Royal Dalton Old Country Rose set, and Nic doesn’t like it. Why would I bother getting more or another set? My plan for the long run is to mix in nicer pieces with the IKEA ones, which fits our current lifestyle.


3) Things you don’t need

I will admit that a KitchenAid standmixer was the first thing on my list, and I was super pumped when I found out that my Dad’s family bought ours for us! No, they’re not necessary. Have I loved it completely? Yup. But you don’t need one.

If you’ve never  made juice in a Magic Bullet, you don’t need a juicer. Neither of you bake? You don’t need very much baking stuff.

As greedy as it sounds, the registry should be things that you really want. Don’t fill up a registry of things people are buying for you with things you don’t actually want. Some guests might remember what they got you, and when they visit, will be happy to see you’re using the item on a regular basis.


4) Consider different routes

Nic and I needed towels, sheets, some cooking stuff, so we registered at Bed Bath & Beyond. However, we also registered on and

Honeymoon registries are super cool: if you’re planning a honeymoon, you can get some of your activities paid for! Our camping in Cape Breton was covered, we got money for dinners and ice cream breaks, and whale watching. Writing those thank you cards were so much fun, because we had such a great time doing it all. Honeymoon registries are even more helpful for couples who already have all their home stuff, and don’t want to just get cash.

We used MyRegistry because we wanted a universal registry where we could put our camping supplies from MEC, various items from IKEA, and our Nikon DSLR fund. If you don’t have a specific store you want many things from, this is super helpful, and makes sure gifts aren’t doubled. Are you super into rock-climbing and want some more gear for the two of you? That’s your time, and guests love to give gifts they know you’ll really enjoy. Like to go to art galleries? Request year memberships to places on your universal registry. The sky is the limit.

5) Gift budgets

If you only have gifts above $100, you’d better hope all your guests are rich. For the rest of us normal people, you need to have a variety of budgets so that no one is uncomfortable.

Once I knew some ladies from my church were throwing me a bridal shower, I added some cheaper baking supplies that were $5-20 so people could choose whatever they were comfortable spending. For most of my friends, we all spent an average of $50 per person, so we had a bunch of gifts that were around that range. Relatives who could spend more chose the pricier items (standmixer, towel sets, sheet sets).

Don’t be like many of my friends who requested super expensive dishes, got maybe 2 dinner plates, one soup bowl, and no cutlery. If you request only expensive things, your guests won’t be able to buy them for you unless they all go in together. And you’ll be stuck eating on your old dishes. Giving wedding gifts should be a fun process for the guests-it’s always exciting (for me at least) to look at what they’re asking for, and see if I can top up the gift with something special (gift receipt included, of course).



It comes down to being considerate of your guests’ budgets, what will help you and your partner set up your home together, and what the two of you find important in your lives. Make sure to write in a spreadsheet what gifts you got from whom so you can write a thank you card or email-one of the wedding traditions that I hold firm to!

IKEA Vanity Tour

Vanity Tour - JanessaMann.Com

For my birthday last year, Nic boughtvittsjo-laptop-table-brown__0135390_pe292080_s4 me the IKEA Vittsjo Laptop table to use as a vanity. I only installed it this summer when I moved to Toronto, and have been incredibly happy with it. During university, I just used the top of a
dresser and a small mirror on top of that to do my makeup, but I would always be hunching over it. When I was at my parents’ in Ottawa, I had it all spread out on my large bathroom counter. I knew for our first home, I wanted something I could sit at, and was minimal so it could be used for other purposes later in our life.

The Vittsjo table was only $39, as opposed to their actual vanities of above $100, and I’ve seen really cool adaptations of it into hallway consoles and bar carts. I just use a simple dining chair with it, and it’s perfect for my vanity.

Vanity Tour - JanessaMann.Com
Vanity Drawers

I ordered these drawers from Amazon several years ago, but you can find similar things at any home goods store. Inside I have blushes, bronzers, tools, and everything else.

I wouldn’t recommend the mirror I got from IKEA, the screws don’t stay tight, and the magnified side is warped a bit. The good thing is that it’s beside my mirrored closet doors, so I can always look in there.

Vanity Tour - JanessaMann.Com
Lips and Box

I also purchased this lipstick holder several years ago. Since I haven’t been adding that many lip products recently, and I get rid of old ones I don’t use, it’s the right size for me. I have it pretty organized, with nudes, reds, brights, corals, and pinks.

In the box beside it I keep sunscreens, primer, BB cream, foundation, and hair products.

How do you store your supplies?

Our Bathroom

Why is there a chair in the middle? I was about to take a bath. With my iced coffee. 

 I love our adorable bathroom in our tiny apartment. There are definitely some weird things about it, like the haunted/murderer light (you switch the light on, and it’ll flicker on and off a few times before staying bright), the fact that Nic broke the towel bar (that’s the guest hand towel hanging on the loop, my face towels have to hide behind the tub), and the whole floor is slanted. However, it’s functional, we have a clawfoot tub (a dream of mine, and I’m taking advantage of it for the time being, since they’re not the easiest to shower in), and it’s cute.

Adorable nautical shower curtain, tub, and tiles.

Originally, I wanted to get IKEA’s Akerkulla curtain, to bring in colour, but it turned out it was too dark in person. We ended up going for Aggersund, which fits our colour scheme really well (navy and grey). We’ve gotten lots of great compliments on it so far, since it’s so pretty, but then still masculine. Lol.

Our counter

The sink doesn’t have much space, so I installed this cute glass shelf from IKEA (Grundtal). Lots of space for the enamelware mug and toothbrush holder, and the soap dish I found at various thrift stores. The awesome postcard of men in speedos was sent to me from my friend David, and it fits in with the theme of our bathroom. And check out that Jack Daniels soap dispenser Nic made for himself.

Our apartment is on the first floor, and faces the alley where our building’s tenants lock up our bikes and the communal BBQ is. So you can make eye contact with people while you poop. To prevent that, I bought some contact paper from Home Depot. Wayyyy better. 

A previous tenant used zip ties to attach some shower caddies to the ceiling rack, which is aweosme, since otherwise it’d be hard to figure out where to store out stuff. 

Our window gardens – apartment living

Nic and I really like plants and greenery around the home. He’s a little better with keeping them alive than I am, so that’s nice. Over the years I have killed cacti, a beloved venus fly trap, lots of different herbs, and who knows what else. With Nic’s help, hopefully I’ll keep my wonderful plants alive a little longer than a season.


I bought this cactus back in the spring from IKEA, and spent hours scouring the internet to find out what kind it was, so I would know how to take care of it. Eventually, I discovered what I didn’t know for my previous cactus: water once a month. Whoops.

Bir’ds Nest Fern and Norfolk Island Pine

In our wedding ceremony, Nic and I wanted to have a unity tree to symbolize our marriage. We had our parents bring soil and water from our childhood homes and then we “planted” the tree. (I have that in quotations because I was wearing a white dress obviously, and didn’t want to get that dirty.) We chose this type because we won’t have a house with a yard for the forseeable future, so we needed something that could survive inside in a pot. Nic’s dad, who is a gardener, suggested the Norfolk. It’s definitely an interesting shape, and I like it.

Bird’s nest fern

A few weeks after moving to Toronto I found this fern at Metro for pretty cheap. It’s supposed to freshen up your air, but I really bought it because it looks really cool.

English Ivy

Nic and I share a love for ivy, so one day at a market buying corn, I impulse-bought this English Ivy. At the top of the window is a nail, so I decided to make a “macrame” hanger for the plant. I found lots of tutorials on the internet, but for my first time I used twine from Dollarama and this one from My Little Sunshine House.  Remember that when watering it, you should put it in the sink. We have cupboards above the sink, so the loop on the plant hanger fits perfectly on the knob so that all the extra water goes into the sink.

Nic’s palm tree
My Jade plant

 I love jade plants, and I’m not sure where that obsession came from. Yet again, I made an impulse purchase at Home Depot in the spring, hoping that having more greenery than my sharp cactus, would help with my depression. It defintely did. The beautiful pot is from IKEA.

The left side

I have no idea what kind of vine that is on the left, and since moving a couple times, Nic has lost the tag. Oops.

Nic was given a clipping of a jade plant from our friends Maddie and Alina, and it’s interesting to compare our two plants.

He also has grown this avocado plant from a pit starting sometime last fall. It’ll be another 6-7 years before we find out if it will grow any avocados, but it’s so cool to watch plants actually do their stuff.

That aloe plant is from IKEA, the short growths were used on Nic when he got a sunburn in July!

What’s next?
We’ve been growing some green onions from the roots, and used the first batch yesterday. We will probably continue with growing food from scraps, both because it’s cool science, and because produce is expensive.
On the same note, I’ve been hunting for a mint plant for our kitchen garden, but that hasn’t worked out. We might end up just growing some herbs from seeds (is that what you do? lol).
We also love succulents, and sinceo our hens and chicks from the wedding centrepieces didn’t propagate well, we’ll probably try another one.