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What's Up Weddings

Top Tips for Creating a Wedding Registry

Mar 19, 2012 11:34PM ● By Anonymous

However, couples can easily get confused when it comes to a wedding registry—there’s a lot of unspoken etiquette and questions about what is appropriate. We have the answers to all your questions, wrapped up in one helpful little guide. On top of that, we even have the Ultimate Wedding Registry Guide, a handy pull-out checklist that will ensure you will remember to register for everything that will make your newlywed life as blissful as possible.

 Check out the wedding registry checklist here!

Q. When should we register?

A: Feel free to register as soon as you get engaged, as there will likely be a friend or family member who would like to send you something as congratulations. However, don’t feel pressured to have your full registry complete within weeks of your engagement—you can visit a store or a website to begin a registry and revisit it later in the engagement to fill it out.


Q: Where should we register?

The actual stores are your choice, but select between two to three options. Go for a high-end store for the items that are timeless and the pieces you want to last forever. (This is where quality matters!) You should also register at a less-expensive retailer for trendier pieces, as well as to give guests some lower-priced options. If you want a third option, consider a “universal registry” (more on that below), a honeymoon registry, or a charity option.

Additionally, before you register, ask if the retailer offers a “completion package.” Some stores offer you to between 10 to 20 percent off any items left on the registry so you can buy anything you still need yourself (handy when you receive 8 napkin rings, but no napkins to put in them).


Q. How many gifts should we register for?

You might feel greedy, but more is better in this case. Give your guests a lot of variety, as well as multiple price points. Remember, some guests will buy you a gift for both your bridal shower and wedding, while other might scoop up a variety of lower-priced items, such as kitchen utensils, to make up a fun gift basket. It only makes sense to have at least 50 percent more gifts on your register than you have guests (i.e. register for 150 gifts if you invite 100 guests).

It’s also important to have gifts at many different price points available. The amount a guests can afford to spend a wedding gift for you can vary widely, and the last thing you want is someone who feels like they can’t afford anything on your registry (or, alternatively, someone who wants to spend more on you!)

Only you know how your guests will react to your gift registry. In some social circles, it’s certainly appropriate to have gifts up to $500 or more. In others, registering for more than a couple of gifts that approach $200 might be seen as inappropriate. However, do include a few higher-priced items on the list, as a group of family members or friends might want to pool together and purchase a larger gift.


Q. What sort of gifts should we register for?

A. Traditionally, registry gifts are items for the home, which is why you see so many stand mixers, blenders, and sheet sets. However, couples that have already set up house are wondering what to do if they really don’t need any more house wares. It’s perfectly acceptable to register for non-traditional items, such as camping equipment for outdoor enthusiasts or tools if you’re planning some remodeling projects.

There are even entire alternative registries for couples that aren’t into registering at standard department stores. For example, if you have plenty of wine glasses and table settings, but are planning a fantastic honeymoon toHawaiiorEurope, you can register for fun travel perks. Guests can purchase you a massage on the beach, a fancy dinner at a bistro down the street, or snorkeling equipment rentals.

However, before you skip registering for everything traditional, think about if there is anything in your home that would do well to be updated. You might not need a new set of towels, but wouldn’t it be nice to wrap a fluffy new towel around yourself after getting out of the shower? Don’t limit yourself to just one or two stores—universal registries such as let you add registry gifts from any website on the Internet.


Q. Is there anything we shouldn’t do?

A. Though people are getting more and more relaxed about traditional wedding etiquette, there are two registry-related rules that cannot be broken. First, it is never acceptable to ask for cash outright. If you would prefer money, do not register and hope that your guests get the hint. Let your family and bridal party spread the message that you’re really working hard to save up for a down-payment for a new home. You’ll probably still get some traditional gifts, but just find a nice place for them when you finally purchase that new home.

Second, do not reference your registry or gifts in any wedding stationery, including your save-the-date or invitation. If a guest asks where you are registered, go ahead and tell them. You can also include the URL for your wedding website, which can link to your registries.

Finally, don’t forget the most important thing—thank-you notes! Ask any former wedding guest, and they might not be able to tell you what they got the bride and groom for a wedding five years ago, but they can likely tell you if they were never properly thanked for it. While tradition dictates that you have up to a year to send a thank-you note, do yourself a favor and do it within one to two months. (Come on—what else do you have to do on the plane on the way home from your honeymoon?)