Building your wedding registry can be one of the most fun parts of preparing for married life. You and your partner can decide what you need and want most and give your guests one less thing to think about when it comes to the big day.
Gone are the days of scanning items at your local department store and waiting until your wedding day for all your gifts to arrive. These days, you have a lot more options when it comes to your wedding registry.
Here’s a quick guide on what to put on your wedding registry, as well as which sites are the most helpful.
These days, the act of building your wedding registry is easier than ever.
Large department stores and online-only retailers give you the option to create your registry online, so your guests can select an item or two and have it shipped directly to you. Easy to create, easy to share, and easy to shop. Check, check, and check!
You and your partner can find the perfect items for your new life together right from the couch…you know, the one you might be looking to replace. And if in-store registration has always been a dream of yours, it’s still an option at most major retailers. Once you pick out your selections, your guests can shop online and have their purchases gift wrapped and sent directly to you.
As for when you should start building and sharing your registry, the answer is actually sooner than you think. You can—and should—start putting together your registry as soon as you get engaged. This is especially true if you are planning an engagement party or bridal shower. Give your guests plenty of time to find the right gift (and give yourself more time to send out thank you cards).
Know that you might need to go back for a second registry session closer to your wedding date. If you are planning your wedding about 12-14 months out, you may discover more items that you need throughout the planning process, or you may have received a good amount of items on your registry during the parties leading up to the wedding. If so, you could potentially provide more options for wedding guests!
If you and your betrothed have been living together for several years before your wedding, it’s likely you’ve already amassed a number of “traditional” wedding gift items, such as kitchenware and appliances. However, this could be the perfect time to upgrade and say goodbye to some of those older items.
Before you start adding gifts to your registry, take stock of what you have. Are there definite keepers? Are you missing anything? Is anything getting a little old or outdated?
Maybe in your younger, single years, you saved a few bucks on your stand mixer and you’re now ready for a KitchenAid. Maybe you’ve been using a mismatched set of dishes and you’re in the mood for a full matching set.
Whether you’re planning to move after your wedding or not, it’s still a transition period in your life. Determine what items that you currently have that you’re happy with, what could use updating, and what items you still need as you head into married life.
If you need help deciding what to put on your wedding registry, major stores and wedding websites have all the tools you need. There are tons of “Best Sellers” and suggested items, like this list of top-rated registry items on Amazon.
Just remember, this is your life. If you don’t plan on hosting many dinner parties and holiday meals, don’t be swayed into buying a 12-piece serving set just because an online etiquette guide told you it was necessary.
Some of your guests may love the idea of spending hours scrolling through your registry to find the perfect gift, but most of them probably don’t have that kind of time. Make it easier on everyone by giving your guests plenty of options.
Try to select items from a wide range of categories—kitchenware, tech, entertaining, home décor—and at a wide range of price points. This makes it easier for guests to find a gift that fits their budget, which in turn makes it more likely you’ll get the gifts you really want. No one wants random, unwanted gifts because they didn’t register for a wide range of options!
Some of your guests might not be shoppers at all, which means registering for cash or unique adventures or experiences could be the best way to go.
Whether it’s a contribution toward your dream honeymoon, home renovations, or one of the larger items on your list, your guests can play a part in gifting you something big without breaking the bank.
Honeyfund.com allows you to register for contributions to the wedding itself, down payments for a home, donations to charities, and most popularly, travel.
Blueprint.com allows you to easily create a page itemizing things you’d like contributions for (airline tickets, experiences, hotel stays, etc.), or you can simply create an overall fund that will go toward the honeymoon. Want to splurge on a Roomba? One guest might not be willing to pay $600 but maybe 10 guests will pay $60.
Maybe you have everything you need, and you have no desire to add to the kitchen collection. There are sites like JustGive.com that allow your guests to donate to charity or philanthropy of your choice.
In the past, wedding etiquette guides recommended registering at two or three stores to give your guests plenty of options. Nowadays, wedding registries are even easier, and you can offer multiple alternatives!
The Knot, Zola, MyRegistry, and Thankful give you the option of pulling items from all over the web and putting them under one link. You can include everything you want, and everything your guests need with quick and easy access.
When choosing where to register, consider the perks offered by each retailer. Large stores like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond offer discounts, price-matching from competitors, bonus gifts, and helpful tools like a thank you list.
Some businesses offer discounts for items that you put on your registry, but don’t end up being purchased by guests. For example, at Dillards you receive 20% off the remaining items on your registry after the wedding. (Check with your local store for details.)
Macy’s Registry Star Rewards Program gives couples 10% off every eligible purchase they make throughout their registry’s timeline. Couples also receive 5% back in rewards (in the form of a gift card) at the end of their registry timeline based on every eligible gift someone purchases from your registry.
Once your registry is done, make sure it’s easy to find on your wedding website. If you’re sending virtual save the dates or invitations, make sure your registry link is included.
Give your guests the quick-access link to your registry, as well as the name it’s under, so a quick search will send them right where they need to be.
Building your registry shouldn’t just be a fun process for you and your partner, but an easy and enjoyable shopping experience for your guests. Thanks to modern technology, it is!
Make your list, pick your favorite retailer or website, add items, share links, and you’re done! The only thing that will be left to do is the thank you notes.
Deciding what to put on your wedding registry is one of the easiest parts of wedding planning. If you are still in the initial stages of planning, and are looking for a wedding venue, consider the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. Take an online tour or schedule an in-person visit today to see how we make planning your wedding day easy!
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