In the past, couples were quite young when they got married. Therefore, they were setting up their first home and needed all the basic essentials. Things have changed over the years and now couples are getting married later in life. Therefore, wedding registries have changed slightly. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t as important as ever! If you are unsure of how to set up your wedding registry, this guide can help you every step of the way. 

We cover everything from what a wedding registry is and when to start one to how to choose the perfect retailer and tips for creating the perfect registry. All your questions will be answered, and you will never wonder again how to plan a registry for your upcoming nuptials. 

How to Plan a Wedding Registry: The Ultimate Guide

What is a Wedding Registry?

The first thing you must know, before planning your wedding registry, is what a wedding registry is. Basically, it is a large list of things you want or need for your home. This list will be used by everyone attending your wedding shower and your wedding. Everyone will use this list, so they do not need to think of the perfect gift for you. Instead, they simply choose an item off the list. This is an excellent way to avoid duplicates of the same gifts too, because items are marked as purchased as people buy them. 

As the bride and groom, you can ask for anything on your registry. Nothing is off limits! Therefore, if you have always wanted to own kayaks, put them on your registry! That espresso machine? Ask for it! Toolbox for the new hubby? Absolutely! A new couch to replace the one that is falling apart? Please, put it on your registry! 

When to Start Your Wedding Registry? 

Since people will want to have some idea of what you want when they are preparing for your wedding shower, there is no problem with you creating a registry as soon as you get engaged. The good news is if you create your registry right away, it is one major thing checked off your to-do list. And that means you can focus more of your time on the details of your wedding and honeymoon. 

How to Choose a Retailer for Your Wedding Registry

No bride and groom can have just one retailer for their wedding registry. It is just impossible! After all, no store is going to sell all the exact items the couple wants. Therefore, plan to have at least two retailers for your guests to choose from. We recommend not having more than three retailers, because that just makes things more difficult for your guests. This is especially true if other guests have purchased all the items on one or two of your registries and the last one is full of items a person either doesn’t want to buy or can’t afford. 

If you have a favorite boutique you like to frequent, you can add it to your registry. However, it is usually best to make sure at least one of the stores is a national option. That way guests who want to shop in person can easily do so before they travel for your shower or wedding. 

There are a few things you must keep in mind when choosing the retailers for your wedding registry. First, the retailers you choose should have a good return policy. This will ensure you can return duplicate items if you happen to get them. 

Second, some retailers, like Target, offer group gifting features, which is perfect if a group of people is purchasing one gift. 

Wedding Registry

13 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Registry

1 Consider What You Already Own

One of the first things you should do before creating a wedding registry is look at everything you already own. What looks like it needs to be replaced? What items don’t you have that you want? What are a few of your must-have dream items? What items do you not need anymore of? 

These are all important questions that have answers that you need before you start creating your wedding registry. 

2 Consider Your Life Now as Well as in the Future

You may not have tons of people over at your house now, but that may change if you have kids. You may not be the world’s best cook yet, but in a few years, you may be cooking up a storm in your kitchen. We don’t want you to ask for anything you know you won’t use. However, we urge you to be prepared for the future when your lifestyle changes once again. 

As you are looking at items to add to your wish list, think about what life might be like, five, ten, and twenty years from now. You may not know exactly what the future holds, but you can start to plan for it anyway. 

3 Areas of Your Home to Consider When Creating Your Registry

If you are unsure of what areas of your home to look in to see what you have and what you might need, we completely understand. Creating a wedding registry is an overwhelming task that most people only do once in their lifetime! 

These are the areas and items we recommend considering when thinking about your wedding registry:

  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Bathrooms
  • Patio and Garden
  • Smart Home Items
  • Outdoor Equipment
  • Storage and Organization Options
  • Home Décor
  • Appliances
  • Luggage
  • Bedding
  • Furniture

As you can see, we didn’t leave any area of the home off this list. If you can think of something you really want, then add it to your list. You will be surprised when it shows up at your house around your wedding day! 

wedding registry gift

4 Create Your Registry Together

The groom may have no interest in setting up a wedding registry, but honestly, he should have some input. This is why we recommend couples create their registry together. The groom may think of items the bride won’t and vice versa. Plus, this is an excellent way for the groom to get that one item he has always wanted for a certain room in the house. 

5 Always Register for More than You Want

So many couples are afraid to add too many things to their wedding registry. They don’t want to look greedy, nor do they want it to look like they have nothing. However, it is always best to register for more than not enough. You don’t know how many gifts your guests will buy between your shower and wedding. Therefore, we always recommend registering for two gifts per guest and adding a few extras on just in case. This will ensure all your guests have enough choices and you still get exactly what you want. 

If you don’t register for enough gifts, you will find that you have guests giving you items you will never use. Of course, you won’t want to throw those things out, so they will sit and collect dust in your home for years. We want you to avoid that, if at all possible, so make sure you have enough options on your wedding registry. 

6 Include Multiple Pricing Options

Some guests won’t mind dropping hundreds of dollars on a gift for your wedding day. Some guests may even join together to get you that expensive item you have been wanting forever. But there will be guests that don’t have a lot of money to spare, especially if they are traveling for your wedding. Therefore, it is important to make sure you include multiple pricing options when you create your registry. This will ensure there is something on there for everyone to buy. 

7 Keep Your Wedding Registry Updated

Ok, so above we told you that you could knock this item off your list early on. However, you probably should check in on your registry from time to time. This will ensure you keep enough selections for people to choose from. After all, you don’t want a guest to go on to purchase something for you and have nothing to choose from!

wedding registry

8 Check Out Other Registries

If you have no idea of what you want or need, you can easily check out other wedding registries. Perusing other registries will give you an idea of what would be perfect for your home. You can ask friends and family members for help too, but remember, the final decision must be yours. 

Basically, you can just start adding items to your registry too. You can always remove items before you finalize your registry, so don’t stress about adding the right things in the beginning. Simply get a feel for this type of “window shopping”. The more you get into it, the easier it will be. And before you know it, your registry will be filled with items that you love, want, and need. 

9 Skip Seasonal Items

You may find yourself creating your wedding registry after the Christmas rush or when Easter decorations are coming out. We recommend skipping adding seasonal items to your registry, especially if you have months until your wedding. These items will be out of stock long before someone purchases something from your registry. Your guests could become frustrated if the one item they wanted to give you is permanently out of stock. 

10 Consider Shipping Options

The easiest thing for your guests to do is purchase an item and have it shipped directly to your home. This allows them to avoid the post office and additional shipping costs. We recommend only choosing items that can be shipped to your home. Oh, and it is a good idea to make sure you have your address chosen, so all items that are shipped go directly to you. It’s never good if they are lost out in the world of shipping with nowhere to go! 

11 Make Sure Everyone Knows Where You are Registered

Sharing the news that you have a wedding registry is never easy, because this is not something you can place on wedding invitations. However, you can share this information on your wedding website and on your shower invites. Having friends and family share your registry when they talk to others is another excellent way to ensure people know where they can find your wish list. 

cash gift

12 Consider Other Registry Options

You are not bound to the basic wedding registry, where you need to list dozens of items for your home. You can easily choose other registry options if you wish. 

If you have everything you need for your home, you can consider a honeymoon wedding registry. This will allow guests to contribute to the cost of your honeymoon or even pay for a special tour, excursion, or meal. 

Another option you have is to have your guests contribute to a household fund. This is a popular one for couples who are saving up for their first home. 

13 Simply Ask for Cash

There is nothing wrong with simply asking for cash for your wedding. It usually helps to let your guests know what you are using the cash for, but it isn’t necessary. You may think you are letting your guests down by asking them to give money instead of shopping for the perfect gift. However, guests only want to give you exactly what you will use. So, if you want cash, let your guests know!

This ultimate guide has everything you need to know about creating the perfect wedding registry for your big day. This can seem like an overwhelming process in the beginning, but it honestly is not that bad. Think of it as shopping for yourself and your spouse, without spending all the money! You shouldn’t have any issues finding items you love, that might be out of your budget, for other people to give you for your wedding. And trust us when we say even those truly expensive items will be in your home before you know it. After all, everyone you invite to your wedding loves you and they only want the best for the new couple! 

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