Register for what you need/want. Don’t register for more just to fill some made-up quota. Stores will tell you this because they want to sell more stuff. Don’t listen to them or feel pressured.
However, be sure to have a varity of price points so that guests of all financial backgrounds have something to choose from. It’s also best to not have tons of expesive things on there, lest you look greedy.
I would focus more on things you can use in your new home – linens, towels, things for your bathroom, dishes, cups, flatware, small kitchen appliances, kitchen utnesils, etc. Feel free to register for upgrades to stuff you already have. You could also register for tools (we did).
It’s also acceptable to register for supplies for a hobby you share or things you can enjoy as a couple – such as camping gear or board games. We registered for some camping and rock climbing gear and those were the first things to be purchased.
I would stay away from big ticket entertainment and electronic items, such as a TV, gaming system, DVD players, iPads, Kindles, etc. A camera could be ok as long as it’s not super expensive (<$300-$400) and your registry isn’t full of other non-home goods options. Basically, you don’t want a registry that contains a $700 camera, $500 iPad, TV, 30 DVDs, and a Wii. Sure you’ll use all of those things as a couple, but it’s probably going to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.
I also think it’s ok to have one big ticket home item – so I would say go ahead and register for patio furniture. But I wouldn’t register for patio furniture and a new sofa and a new mattress, and a new dining table.
It’s all about balance. And remember, lots of people give cash. So even if there’s something you want but don’t register for, you might be able to purchase with wedding money.