Creating Your Registry with Debi Lilly

I LOVE helping brides design their dream wedding registry – and am here to spill and share all my secrets.
Register at stores that match your personality as a couple – your style, stores that feel like an extension of your home.  More casual?  Crate and Barrel.  Love fancy french dinner parties?  Bloomingdales.  Top Chef in the making?  Pampered Chef or Williams Sonoma.
Don’t feel obligated to choose items you don’t see yourself EVER using – or don’t have room to store in your home or apartment.  Won’t use expensive china?  Like – ever?  
Choose two different designs for everyday settings instead, one solid, one pattern.
Choose items from stores that work for the geography of your guests.  East coast?  West coast?  There are loads of people who still do enjoy walking into the stores, and seeing exactly what they love best off of your list.  
Make sure your registry list offers items in various price points, for all guest budgets.


 Top five must haves:
1.  your everyday dishes should be neutral chic – white ironstone is my favorite
2.  great coffee maker – it’s the first thing you need when company comes over, houseguests spend the weekend
3.  plush, hefty bath towels – love heavy, oversize white hotel towels
4.  fantastic, organic bamboo sheets – they are soft, silky and sleep’s best friend
5.  overstuffed down pillows – oh boy are these a necessity – and don’t forget about your guest room
Every couple should splurge on: China! I am a china collecting fiend – confession – I began with Spode, English Garden, on a family trip to England when I was a child.  True story!  When I studied in London in college, I walked to Harrods daily, stalking their bridal registry, and buying Wedgewood by the pound.  Crazy.
Your wedding china is a collection to cultivate not just for yourselves as bride and groom, but to hand down generation to generation in your family.  I can think of no more beautiful, long lasting design detail that you can cherish and share at each and every family celebration, special occasion and all of your life long.
Favorite registries: Love Poladora, Simon Pearce, Bloomingdales, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Pampered Chef…I could go on and on!


Debi Lilly is a nationally renowned event-planning expert based in Chicago. She is the founder and president of A Perfect Event – Chicago’s most successful special event company with a faithful (and famous) following, including Oprah Winfrey.

Headshot by Anthony Thalier; Registry Photos by Amanda Hein.

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