Style at Home: Wedding season, and going off registry

By Katie Laughridge
Tribune News Service
Antique-inspired boxes are the perfect addition to any tray or tabletop. Not only do they look phenomenal, but you can use them to hold small personal items you don’t want misplaced.  (

Wedding season is upon us — that time from early spring to early fall where it seems like your refrigerator is completely covered in save the dates (I just returned from San Diego, where I was a bridesmaid for a good friend’s big day — congrats to Emily and Adrian!). This means beautiful new dresses, fabulous memories with my family and friends and a huge to-do list of wedding present buying.

There’s always that question: “Is it all right to buy off-registry?” I say of course. I enjoy buying both from registries and spoiling couples with something they might not be expecting. When looking for gifts, I try to find unique items I think the couple wouldn’t necessarily think to buy themselves. I have a couple go-to items I’ve found to be well received over the years. You can find them in any price range.


Nothing kills newlywed bliss like someone losing a new ring. It took my husband a while to get used to wearing a ring, but even as a practiced jewelry wearer, I am sometimes guilty of forgetting my ring on the vanity. Gifting a beautiful tray and stylish ring box is a great way to help a couple avoid this situation. I especially love antique-inspired ring boxes — there is just something romantic about them.


Yes, dishes aren’t a groundbreaking wedding gift suggestion. However, couples often register for whole sets for everyday meals. I love to gift a specialty set for two that can be used during special date nights, anniversaries or anytime they have something to celebrate together. Since you are only setting the table for two, you can go big on the touches that make a gift like this so fun.


I love gifting personalized items, especially to new couples. One I find especially meaningful for a newly married couple is a monogrammed pillow. Not only does it look stunning in their living room or bedroom, but there is a certain thrill that comes with seeing your new, combined initials embroidered.

Blankets aren’t just for warmth. Display yours for a pop of color and texture on your bed, sofa, chair or bench.


Sometimes simple is better. After planning and throwing a wedding, there is nothing better than some rest and relaxation with your new spouse. To enhance the snuggling experience, a luxurious throw and heavenly candle are necessities. These items are perfect to present in a cute bundle or basket and can be monogrammed for an extra personal touch.


Once the wedding is over, the bride and groom get to tackle the fun task of present and card opening, followed by the less fun task of thank-you notes. To assist in both, gifting a letter opening set is helpful when opening their new goodies and makes for a beautiful addition to their desktop. I love using letter sets as decor — they’re functional and pretty. To pair with the kit, a fabulous stationary set is a great way to give them a head start on thank-you notes.

If you take one thing from this, I hope it is to have fun with the gift-buying process. In the end, the best thing you can give to a newlywed couple is your support. I hope everyone has a lovely time this season enjoying the flowers, beauty and love that comes with it.

Adapted from Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at