Zoe Settle and Lisa Blumenthal, partners in MaxwellSilverNY.com, online registry service
What exactly does your website do?
Blumenthal: We expose couples to great stores they didn’t know about. Or if you did know about them, you didn’t have the opportunity to create a registry there.
Settle: We give couples access to independent local boutiques in Manhattan and Brooklyn, plus direct access to showrooms and vendors that aren’t open to the public. We’re bringing the romance back to the registry process.
Settle: There’s no charm or enjoyment in it anymore! Usually once the couple sets the date, the deluge of Where are you registered? starts. The gift-giving begins! The couple hasn’t thought about what they really want, and they wind up in a big-box store with a salesperson and the scanning gun in their hand.
So a registry should be one of the first things a couple thinks about?
Settle: Consider it a marriage registry, not a wedding registry. A wedding is a one-day event. You’re going to live with these things for the rest of your life. You may pass these items down to your children.
What do you say to people who feel awkward asking for so much stuff?
Blumenthal: First off, when you’re creating your wish list, you’re really helping your family and friends. You’re making it easy for them to buy you a gift.
Settle: The more you put up there, the more cohesive and clear your style becomes. Grandma’s next-door neighbor might want to buy you a gift, but she’s never been to your home. She may not have met your partner, but you can give her a better idea of what you really want or need. Look at it as a tool.
Blumenthal: Some couples who are uncomfortable with material goods can also list gifts that are experiences, like museum memberships or cooking classes.
What should couples avoid?
Settle: Don’t force cheap gifts. Guests can pool together to buy some of the more expensive items. You can have a mix of price points represented, but a five-dollar spatula isn’t built to last, and as a gift-giver, no one wants to be associated with that. You can find inexpensive gifts that are meaningful. And don’t register for the same item at several stores. You’ll end up with duplicate orders.
As gift-givers, what drives you crazy on a registry?
Settle: When I see ten friends with completely different personalities registering for the same place setting, that’s ridiculous! There’s so much gorgeous stuff out there.
“You don’t have to stick to tabletop, cookware, and appliances. Consider design elements like rugs, lamps, and chairs.”
Photo: Illustration by Gillian Blease