The Complete Guide To Your Wedding Registry

Answers To All Of Your Wedding Registry Questions

*Updated for 2022-2023 

Before your professional wedding DJ packs your dance floor, you need to plan your wedding registry!  You really should consider it a special moment with your future spouse as you get to pick out things you want to start your life together as a married couple. Your wedding registry is the list of gift ideas that guests can choose from. It’s the proper way of telling guests what you want and need. Setting up your wedding registry is exciting, but you may also have many questions on how to approach it. This guide answers all your wedding registry questions including proper etiquette, what to include, when to register, and more. 

Wedding Registry Etiquette

You’re probably ready to rush to the store and start scanning all your wants and needs… but first, let’s talk about wedding registry etiquette. The wedding registry is a longstanding tradition, and your guests likely have some expectations.

Don’t Include Your Registry On Your Invitation

Including your registry information on your invitation may appear greedy. Instead, include your registry information on your wedding shower invites. Most guests will know where you’re registered if they attended your wedding shower. You may also choose to include wedding website on your invitation, then include your wedding registry information on your wedding website. Usually guests don’t like asking you directly where you’re registered, but including that information directly on your invitation can come off too direct. Including this information on your wedding website still makes it easily accessible to guests, without putting too much emphasis on gifts. 

Bonus Tip: Share your registry information with your bridal party and parents. Chances are, guests will approach your bridal party and parents with questions on your registry, instead of asking you directly. Your bridal party and parents can help spread the word where you’re registered.


Register For Things In a Variety Of Price Ranges

Don’t be afraid to register for that high-end espresso machine or KitchenAid mixer, but don’t forget to include some other things in lower price ranges. While you will likely have some guests who want to gift you that high-ticket item, there are likely many more guests who just won’t feel comfortable with that. You should also be mindful that your guests all have a different budget, so be sure to register for enough that they have options. 

Bonus Tip: Still register for those high-ticket items! Group gifting is becoming extremely common, so you may be surprised when a few guests go in on a gift together.


Register For More Things Than Guests

Your engagement party, wedding shower, the wedding day… it’s no secret you will receive many gifts for this new time in your life. So don’t be afraid to fill your registry. Don’t expect to get everything, but guests will appreciate having options (and price-range options) when purchasing your gifts.


Don’t Be Afraid Of “Unusual” Wedding Gifts… But Do it Right

We’re talking about cash here! Your wedding will be expensive, that’s a given. After the wedding, you’ll likely just want some cash. It’s just not proper wedding etiquette to simply ask for cash. However, many online wedding registry tools now offer a better way to approach this.

  • Wanting to afford the honeymoon of your dreams? Add a Honeymoon Fund to your online registry!
  • Paying for the wedding yourselves? Set up a Wedding Fund!
  • Wish you could add a wedding album to your wedding photography package?
  • Is your budget holding you back from getting a professional wedding videographer? Consider creating a fund for these items!

Most guests would be thrilled to contribute to capturing memories of your wedding day. These funds appear right beside your other registry items, and some guests might love the opportunity to contribute to these bigger ticket items. 


Don’t Forget The Thank You Cards

Whether it’s an engagement gift you received via mail, a shower gift, or a wedding day gift you must send a thank you card. The most efficient way to send thank you’s is to send them as you receive the gifts. You may start receiving gifts soon after your engagement, so send the cards as you receive gifts. This helps the amount of work to not pile up. Also, keep track of the thank you cards you send.


Where To Register

Wedding registries used to include a handheld scanner and a walk around your favorite department store. If that’s your style, those are still around. But now there are so many online options available. These online registries allow you to register all in one place, creating maximum efficiency for your guests. You can easily link your registries on your wedding website. Some online registries also offer other perks like free shipping for guests, ability to link registries you’ve already created at department stores, and discounts off left-over items after the wedding. 

Check out some of these popular online registries: Zola, The Knot, and My Registry.


When To Register

As early as you want! We recommend starting early, and taking time to really think about what you want to begin your life as newlyweds. You can start early to really build your registry, then share it when you’re ready. In general, be sure your registry is done at least four to six months before the wedding. If you’re using an online registry, you can add things as you get closer to the wedding. However, have the majority of your registry built with a variety of items and price-points four to six months before the wedding and prior to the wedding shower.

Read More: 30 Must-Play Bridal Shower Songs


What To Include On Your Registry

The fun part… making your wishlist! Be sure you and your future spouse are involved in creating your registry. You’re choosing items that will help you begin your life as a married couple. So what exactly should you include?

Think about what you need for your lifestyle now, and also down the road. There typically won’t be another time where everyone is pitching in to help build your home. For example, you might not be hosting a ton of gatherings now, but serveware will be a practical option in a few years. Think you already have enough kitchen cookware? Use this as a chance to upgrade! Register for any appliances you think you could benefit from. While it’s important to be practical, what do you envision you needing as a married couple? Now is the time to register for items to build your home. Also, registering for the classic items like China, kitchen utensils, wine glasses, and linens will please those guests who don’t feel comfortable contributing a cash gift.


How To Build Your Registry

Start by going room by room – kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room. Make a list of the items you know you want. Now go through that list and take note, are you asking for mostly high-ticket or low-ticket items? Go through the list again, and fluff it up with some additional items in another price-range. Did you notice you’re mostly asking for low-ticket items? Add some higher-ticket items like small appliances, furniture, or fine China. Did your list mostly include higher cost items? Add some lower cost items such as linens, serve ware, or decor essentials. Having a well-rounded registry of all price-points, with both things you need and things you want ensures your guests have options. 


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