Let’s be real – few times in your life you will be able to ask for gifts and not have to be shy about it. Creating a massive wish list is fun, but ending up with items you don’t know where to put or what to do with later is not, so we’re sharing advice from our own personal experiences. These are tried and true tips that you will pave your way for a no regret wedding registry with items you will love, use and cherish:
1. Your Lifestyle > Traditional Registry Staples
Don’t pick what you think you HAVE to register for. If you love camping together, register for camping gear! If you love to host people at your house, register for an abundance of platters. If you guys love funky patterns and bold colors – go for it! It’s YOUR registry, feel free to make it your own!
2. How Many Items Should I Add To My Registry?
Guests need a wide range options in varying prices and categories. so don’t be shy: guests WANT to shower you with gifts. Don’t get hung up on meeting specific # of items versus how many guests or invitations you’re sending, but aim to have 1-2 items per guest. If you feel like that’s a stretch for you, consider adding gift cards and cash registries – you can even have specific amounts for specific purposes so guests have a better idea of what the gift would be for. Remember, your registry isn’t just for invited guests, but coworkers, neighbors and other aquaintaces might be looking for gift ideas as well. Run a quick google search to see if people can find your registry to test 😉
3. Choose a Mix of Online + Local Registries
Let’s face it, we don’t all shop from one store only. Older guests like to buy gifts directly in stores while the younger crowd tends to buy everything online. We recommend having both options and picking a registry store that is local to your area for your older guests.
If you’re going on something like a cruise, your guests can purchase things like bar packages or provide money to your cruise account for fun excursions! You can also setup an independent honeymoon fund account that can help pay for airline tickets, hotel stays, etc.
4. How Soon Should We Start Our Registry?
As soon as you say yes 😉 Loved ones might be searching for your registry potentially as soon as you announce your engagement, so you can have a public registry whenever you and your honey want to hit a store or a registry website to get one started and build it overtime as you approach your bridal shower if you’re having one.
Remember that seasonal items go out of stock as the months go by, so update your registry periodically!
5. Research Store Perks
A lot of locations will give you a 10-15% discount after your wedding date for all items you registered for! So if you didn’t get all of the towels you wanted, use some of that wedding money, and buy the remainder using the perk! This will be a great way to get the most bang for your buck.
6. First Things First
We recommend starting your registry as a foundation for a home, built upon timeless staples and high quality items you will always use. It’s to tempting to dream of hosting your first Thanksgiving and having a whole tablescape specially designed for the occasion, but think of all the other items your guests could be gifting you with that you would use everyday. Your style will evolve and so will your storage space! Instead of picking a set of Fine China and a set of Casual China, you can pick one set of high quality dishes in a timeless, solid color, and dress it up or down with patterned salad plates and linens. When it comes to decor, what is irresistible right now may look tired years down the road, as your taste and style as couple will change over time. We can’t recommend choosing timeless enough, because you can always style it differently!
7. Register for Things You Use NOW
The idea of receiving a shiny standup mixer as a gift might set you off to making plans of bakeoffs and delightfully airy pastry puffs, but trust us on this one: you won’t use it unless that’s something that’s already part of your lifestyle. There are so many kitchen gadgets and decor items for everyhing one can imagine, but focus on items that you can:
1. replace for better quality, long-lasting items such as knives, linens and dishes;
2. items that you or your honey have been wanting to buy for a while and/or will potentially improve your routine as a couple such as an Instant Pot for dinners during the week, new camping gear or a grill for hosting parties on the weekends if you are moving from an apartment to a house for example.
8. Keep Your Guests In Mind
Make sure to register for things that cover a variety of budgets. Meaning, your friend just out of college probably won’t be able to afford your standup mixer, but your Aunt and Uncle might! I know it can feel indulging to pick everything you want, and sometimes it can feel greedy, but as my mother-in-law told me when I was engaged: This is YOUR chance to ask for anything you want and everyone will be happy to buy it for you! Truer words have never been spoken.
9. Consider the Season
Try not to register for seasonal items as these will often be discontinued before your wedding day. On that same note, about 3 weeks before your wedding day, it’s a great idea to look through your registry online and make a few tweaks. If there’s something you really want or need, feel free to add it! If you see something has been discontinued, remove it and look for an alternative.
10. Add Your Registry to Your Wedding Website
Now that you’ve set everything up, make sure that people know where to look! Essentially you want to make it easy for your guests and putting things online is a great way to do that. Also be sure to include this info on your invitations to bridal showers and the wedding day as a separate card or discreetly towards the bottom of your bridal shower invite.
Off you go to pretend shop!
If you’re in the spirit of gifting, we love these bridesmaid gift ideas!