Weddings

Tips for Setting Up Your Wedding Registry

pile of presents purchased from a wedding registry with a "thank you" sign in front of them

Guests appreciate having a well set up wedding registry to give them ideas for your wedding gift. Not everyone will buy from the wedding registry. However, it will give guidance to those who prefer it. Following a few tips will help you set up the perfect wedding registry.

Do It Early In the Wedding Planning Process

Although not the most important wedding planning task, set up your wedding registry on the early side. This way, guests can check the registry before purchasing wedding-related gifts. They will want to do so for your engagement party, wedding showers, and other wedding-related events. Most people prefer not to leave purchasing wedding gifts to the last minute. Plan to register at least four to six months before the wedding itself.

Set Up the Wedding Registry Together

Engaged couples should set up their wedding registries together. Choose items both of you will enjoy. It shouldn’t contain only kitchen items or things for only one member of the couple. Opt for things that will help you create a life and a home together.

Set Up More Than One Registry

It’s a good idea to set up more than one registry to offer guests more options. Most couples register at two to four retailers. These typically include a home goods store, a department store, and a kitchen store. At least one store should be a store with locations nationally. This way, people can visit the store instead of shopping online. Make sure the stores offer simple return policies in case you decide something won’t work. Consider stores that give couples discounts on unpurchased items from their registry after the wedding. When choosing where to register, consider stores you shop at regularly first instead of specialty stores.

Consider Merging Registries Into an All-Inclusive Registry

You can do this online. This makes it easier to keep track of what you have received. Guests will also appreciate being able to see everything in one place.

Include a Range of Prices

Some people can afford to or wish to spend more money on gifts than others. Choose options in a variety of price points to make sure everyone can find something that fits their budget. However, skip the outrageously expensive items. People who want to spend more can buy several related items. This will keep it from looking as if you’re trying to take advantage of them. Choose about 1/3 of the items in each the lower, medium, and higher price ranges.

Choose Useful, Long-Lasting Items

Don’t choose things for the registry simply because everyone else does. Choose items you’re likely to use on an almost daily basis that will last a long time. There’s no point in asking for things you’ll never or will rarely use. Therefore, many modern couples skip the fine china. Novelty kitchen items are another thing to skip unless you will use them. Most people don’t make donuts, paninis, or icees regularly, for example. Likewise, skip items that wear out quickly, such as bedding and bath towels, even if they are on many traditional wedding registries.

Take Stock of What You Have

Search for gaps in your current belongings that need filling. Also, consider items you have but want to replace with better versions.

Pick Individual Items Instead of Sets

While stores sell some products in sets, you may do better choosing items individually. Most people don’t use every item in a set. Why have unwanted items cluttering up your space? Sets are also more expensive. You may get more of the items you need if people can buy individual items instead of a set. Multipurpose items make good choices for your registry.

Make It Personal

If there’s something you love to do, include related items on your wedding registry. Your wedding registry should be personal to the two of you as a couple, not a generic list. Skip the random small products everyone needs in their homes, such as batteries and dish soap. Who wants to buy these boring impersonal items? However, include nothing that you wouldn’t be comfortable opening in front of all your guests. Only register for things you love.

Choose Plenty of Options

If you have 100 guests, register for 200 items. This gives people more options to choose from, especially if they’re shopping at the last minute. Also, it allows for people to buy multiple items and leave enough for other people to choose from.

Consider Alternative Registries

If you don’t need material items, consider an alternative registry. Some wedding registries allow people to buy experiences for you. Ideas include add-ons for your honeymoon, cooking lessons, or money toward a down payment on a house.

Tell People About Your Wedding Registry

It’s impolite to list your wedding registry on any wedding stationery. It is okay to list it on your wedding website. You can include the wedding website on wedding invitations. The wedding party should also know where you’re registered. They can pass the information on if anyone asks. Other people sending out engagement party or shower invitations can include this information. That’s because these invitations aren’t directly from you.

Ask About Shipping Options

Some stores will let you receive items on your schedule, holding them until you’re ready. The store sends notifications when people buy things. Then you can write your thank-you notes, but receive the actual gifts later.

Keep Track of Your Wedding Registry

Throughout the engagement, keep track of what people are purchasing. You may need to add more items in a price range if the registry appears empty. Also, ask that the store keep the registry open for two weeks after the wedding. Some people buy gifts late.