Let’s cover Wedding Registry Basics
You should register well in advance of any showers.
Guests will use your registry for shower gifts, as well as wedding gifts.
You might receive registry gifts for other occasions.
My family also loved buying Christmas and birthday gifts from our registry the year of our wedding, so be prepared for that. How often do they have a full list of items you want at their fingertips?
I'd suggest registering at multiple types of places.
- A site/store that allows you to register for the home goods you want.
- A site that allows you to register for travel, house funds, etc.
- A store that has items your partner will want.
There are calculators out there for how many gifts your registry should contain.
If you can't find one or need a quick guide.
The general rule of thumb is Number of Invited Guests x 90% = Ideal # of Gifts
Make sure that you have a variety of options at each price point.
The majority should lie in the middle ($50-100), but there should be a good number under $50 and a handful in the higher price points.
A registry isn't something you look at once and forget about.
You should check on your registries before and after each shower and a few times the week of the wedding. You are checking to make sure there are still items in each price point.
Let’s say all of the items at a certain price point are purchased. You don’t want/need anything else that is at that price point and all you really want is one of the bigger ticket items. I get you. I was there. Unfortunately, I am here to tell you that you need to add an item in the missing price point and you can always take that item back to return it.
What to Register for
What could you upgrade?
New sheets. Fresh Towels. Replace that rusting grill. Say bye-bye to that college pan set.
Consider your hobbies.
Camping gear. Travel Backpacks. Home Electronics. Car Accessories. Furniture.
Register for Travel/Honeymoon Funds.
Instead of just saying “We are going to Jamaica” tell break your trip into small gifts. Massage for Two for $200, Snorkeling Excursion for $100, Happy Hour $50, etc. Add pictures and descriptions of your excursions. Not only does this allow the guests to really appreciate what they are gifting you, it also gives you something specific to write about in the thank you card.
Register for Large Household Items
Couches, Kitchen Appliances, Grill are all great large gifts to ask for. Many websites such as Zola and My Registry allow guests to contribute what they wish towards that particular gift.
Register for Experiences
One of the most creative registries I have ever seen included 12 date nights for the couple’s first year of marriage. Each date night included an exact itinerary. Dinner locations, Golf Green Fees, Movie tickets, Quick weekend getaways and guests loved it! Classes or lessons that you will do together are also a great option. Some ideas would be sailing lessons or cooking classes.
Consider your Guests
Variety of Price points, again.
I already touched on having a variety of price points above. I can’t stress this enough. Everyone coming to your wedding has different thoughts on what is appropriate to gift.
Guests want to bring presents to showers.
Be sure to register somewhere that allows guests to receive the gift, wrap it, and bring it with them. This is why it is important to have an Amazon, Target, Macys, Bed Bath and Beyond.
Some Guests will purchase gifts as soon as they receive the invitation.
So many couples are shocked when they receive their first gift a week or two after their wedding invites went out. It is incredibly common for a guest to purchase you a gift immediately so they don't' forget about. You might also receive a gift from a guest that is unable to attend. Be sure that your registry is up-to-date and ready to go when you drop those invites in the mail.
Register somewhere that regularly offers sales.
Everyone has that one guest that prides themselves on shopping the sales. Be kind to them.
Last year we attended 7 weddings. Honestly, I kept my eyes on sales and bought larger ticket items months ahead so that I could save a bit on our gift. Those big wedding years add up fast.
Consider for Yourself
Double check whether there are fees for returns.
If you are receiving your gifts from an online retailer, there might be return shipping or restock fees.
Consider the Completion Discount you’ll receive after your wedding date.
Every store is different, but many will give you anywhere from 10-20% off anything on your registry for a month or two after your wedding date.
Are you the kind of person that wants to register online or in the store?
Everyone has that vision of walking through the store with the scan machine. We did that and found a bunch of great items. However, we were limited by what that store carried and when I got home and checked the Macy’s registry online I ended up swapping out about half of our items for other items I found online. In the end, we much preferred to open up the website and register from the comfort of our couch with a glass of wine/whiskey in hand.
My Favorite Wedding Registries
- Ability to choose when something shipped
- Ability to exchange online before shipping an item
- Ability to add items from anywhere on the internet
- Ability to choose to not ship an item and receive the cash value instead
High-Quality Items. Variety. A top-notch selection of kitchen basics and gadgets. I love their tabletop collections -- dishware, delicate stemwares, sleek flatware.
Curious what I registered for and how I stock my cabinets? Take a look at what tools I use.