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How To Create The Best Wedding Registry

Are you getting married soon? Congratulations! Now that the big day is finally here, it’s time to start thinking about what type of registry you want to create. There are lots of different options for registries out there, and some have more benefits than others.

One important thing to consider when creating a registry is how well-known the store or website is – not just because they offer better prices, but also because if your guests don’t know where to find something on your list, they might get frustrated and give up looking for it altogether!

Many couples are looking for ways to make their upcoming wedding a little easier. One way is to create the perfect registry list, which could save you time and money as you try to figure out what pieces of furniture or appliances your new home needs. Follow these steps and tips on how to create the best registry.

The first step in creating the best registry is to create a list of things you need for your home, including utensils, appliances and furniture.

It’s also important that everything on this list is something you would use because it will be hard to find items you don’t want when guests are looking through the lists online or at the store.

There should be enough dishware to have more than just plates and glasses; there should also be serving dishes, bowls, platters, casserole and casseroles dishes-you name it!

The next thing to do is list all the other gifts that people might buy for newlyweds. This includes every possible gift someone could think of- from dishes and bedding sets to kitchen supplies and electronics.

Having these lists ready will help people shopping for wedding presents know what they can get and how much money they’ll have leftover for maybe their outfits, for example.

Creating your perfect wedding registry is the best part of wedding planning! Wedding registries serve as an opportunity for a new beginning, with wedding gifts that complement both you and your partner.

By choosing your wedding registry gifts thoughtfully, and ahead of time, you’ll be able to check one item off your wedding to-do list. Follow these tips to create a wedding registry that is perfect for you and your partner!

If you’re still trying to decide which kind of registry will be best for you, this blog post will help guide you through all of the possibilities.

General Wedding Registry Tips

1. Time Your Wedding Registry Planning Right

It is best to complete your wedding registry four to six months in advance of the wedding date. This allows your wedding shower hosts and guests to start lining things up for the shower. It also gives out-of-town friends who cannot attend the opportunity to order a gift and send it to you.

Once you pick the big date, putting together your wedding registry feels like a dream. A good starting point involves compiling an inventory of what you already have. Look at items in both your house and your partner’s house to see what you own. You don’t want to end up with something you both already have in your possession.

Starting early on your wedding registry early will allow for the additional time necessary to take inventory of your items and so you don’t miss out on things you need, like a basic cookware set or serving bowls.

2. Choose Stores To Register For Your Wedding At

While you may feel tempted to register at a variety of stores, you’ll want to narrow your retailer list to about two to three.

Start your search by visiting big-name retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and even Amazon. These stores offer a good assortment of items, and since they are chains, they are most likely convenient for your guests, as well.

When creating your registries, keep in mind that it will be easier for your loved ones to navigate a smaller number of stores and links. But, of course, this also applies to you: you’ll have to keep track of each wedding registry that you end up creating to upload them to your wedding website or email them out later.

Overall, choosing which stores to register at is all about finding a sweet spot. You don’t want to go overboard in choosing retailers, but you want to ensure your wish list is covered. So select locations that have what you want and eliminate retailers that do not.

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3. Add Items To Your Wedding Registry That You Want

To decide what you need, take inventory of the things you already have and talk about the home style you’d like to share. For example, now is a great time to upgrade mismatched wine glasses or ask for a nice set of knives.

Make two lists before you start — what you want & what you need. When you sit down to create your registry, it is easy to get ‘click’ happy and begin adding everything and anything you see. However, to ensure you get what you need – and some of the things you want – you should first map out two separate registry lists to ensure a good mix of both.

Does it seem that your house is fully furnished? Well, you might still need household items that are typically associated with a wedding registry. A wedding registry can help you upgrade your home style or get that expensive porcelain set you’ve been secretly craving for.

You will want to add items to your wedding registry that you genuinely love and use once you start your new life. Work together with your partner to create a list and reflect on the things you know that you’ll need for your home together.

Whether that’s new bedding, kitchen utensils, or fine china, make a comprehensive list on a notepad. Then, divide and conquer. Look at your retailers and assign categories. Perhaps you’ll cover kitchen technology while your partner covers things relating more to dinnerware or linens. Then, come back together and check to make sure everything looks correct.

Ensure you only have one of everything and that something on your list wasn’t accidentally skipped over. In doing so, you’ll ensure that you’ve got everything covered and in the right amount.  No matter what, be true to yourself. Your registry should feel authentic and reflect your personal style.

4. Know your price breakdowns

The dynamics of each group will vary, and you will know your guests better than anyone else. However, a basic breakdown of how much guests will spend on a wedding gift is: 25% of guests will spend under $75; 50% of guests will spend between $75 and $200; 25% of guests will spend over $200.

5. Consider Registering For Your Wedding Online

Some of your guests will want to order you a gift online and have it sent to your home directly. Others will want to buy a gift in-store and bring it with them to the wedding. Make sure you offer them both options.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, registering for your wedding in person may be harder. While some retailers are still offering wedding registering services in person, many stores are now offering their services online while still maintaining the level of personalization you would have in person.

Registry experts are available to guide you in choosing the right items for your list in a more comfortable way for you. But, no matter what you decide, know that there are many options available to provide you with a safe way to register for your wedding.

Guests appreciate having these details on the wedding website, so they don’t have to go searching for where a couple is registered — it’s bad etiquette not to post this information. While this rule has changed over time, it is still in poor taste to put any gift-giving guidelines on your wedding invitations.

Most wedding website services provide a registry tab, where you can list all your registries and post a message to your guests …When addressing your guests, say it from the heart. Remember, your registry wording will be read by your closest family and friends, the ones who want to celebrate you with a gift you will enjoy!

6. Registry information doesn’t go on the Save-The-Dates 

While your guests will likely want to know where you’re registered, it’s in bad taste to include this information on your save-the-dates. Gifts, of course, are not required. Instead, you can wait to include a link to your wedding website (where your registry information should live) on an invitation insert, and guests will know to ask bridal party attendants or your parents for the scoop if they need to do so.

7. Word of mouth registries can be problematic 

Spreading news of a registry by word of mouth was fine when everyone was from small, tight-knit communities and barely left their hometowns. Now the internet exists, people are all over the place, and it’s pretty likely that the person most effectively able to get the word out is you.

8. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your registry 

Consider your registry a revolving list of things you and your fiancé want for your new life together. You can always add or subtract as you see new things.

You always want to have a good variety of different price points on there, so if you notice some of the lower-priced items are all bought up, or some of the higher ticket items have been purchased, you will want to add more items to that price range so your guests can buy something in their comfort level.

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9. Compromise with parents

If a registry makes you feel icky, but your mom insists you have to have one, meet in the middle. You can register for a few items that you really would love and use, but keep the registry info off your wedding website entirely.

Then your mom (or anyone close to you) can let guests know through word of mouth about the registry if they ask about it, but you won’t feel like you’re pressuring people to buy you something.

10. Replace your chipped or damaged items 

What’s broken or worn out in my kitchen? If you’re getting married right out of school and you have no kitchen equipment to speak of, this probably doesn’t apply. But if you’re like us and you have a fairly well-equipped kitchen already, look over your tools.

Are your tongs rusted and falling apart? Is your only stockpot thin and flimsy? Does any lack of equipment trip you up when cooking a basic meal? Look for the sore spots of your kitchen; this would be a good time to replace them.

11. Add Some Of Your Dream Items To Your Wedding Registry

Even though it’s important to be practical and add in things you know that you’ll eventually use, you can add some more coveted items that serve a more celebratory purpose.

These can be items that relate to any hobbies you feel passionate about, like hiking or artwork, or could even relate to large outdoor purchases, like a grill or patio furniture, if you and your partner enjoy spending time in your backyard.  No matter what you choose, it’s a great idea to include something that reflects your unique styles and passions.

Remember that in the end, the choice of gift is up to the giver. Appreciate every gift you receive and show your appreciation with a handwritten thank you note. For more information on planning your wedding, contact Knowles Hospitality today.

12. Destination weddings still need a registry 

No matter the type of wedding you’re having, people will want to give gifts. But if you’re asking guests to shell out a little extra cash to attend, keep that in mind when putting your registry together.

Opt for a larger quantity of more affordable items, allowing guests to mix-and-match gifts to meet a price point they’re comfortable with. Ideally, guests should mail their gifts directly to you, so make sure your registry is set up to do so.

13. You can ask for money for your honeymoon 

An emerging trend that’s tempting many millennial brides and grooms is the idea of a honeymoon fund, either through companies catered solely to this purpose, like Honeyfund or via donation on their nuptial website.

Requesting donations to help pay for the many expenses of a honeymoon—travel, accommodations, excursions—is a practical thought, but is the approach, well, tacky? According to top wedding planners, no.

14. Plan for your future 

Try to focus on how you live now and how you think you will continue to live and entertain over the years. Whether you’re a casual couple or are fancy and formal, embrace who you are and think about what you’ll truly use and love.

Chances are you’ll still be who you are in a few decades – you might evolve a little. But still, you probably won’t become a completely different couple with a completely different personality and lifestyle.

The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Registries

You’ve been requesting and receiving gifts all your life (hello, birthdays, holidays, and just about every occasion in between), but when it comes to asking for and receiving wedding gifts, the exchange is a little more nuanced.

No matter where you register, and the products that end up on your final wish list, our dos and don’ts will simplify the entire process.

1. Don’t Go Overboard

When registering, stick to two or three stores you love. Choose a national department store or chain with many household basics, and you may also want a local specialty store to add to your registry.

Think of your guests—you may want to choose low-, medium-, and high-end stores, so guests have gifts in a variety of price ranges to choose from.

2. Do Register Ahead of Time

Complete your registry four to six months before the wedding. This will give guests time to purchase gifts for the big day and your engagement and a shower.

While it’s okay to have more than one registry, draw the line at three. You want to be helpful by offering your guests variety, not indulgent, by listing your every wish in the world.

3. Don’t Tell Guests Where You’re Registered in Your Invitation

Once you have registered, give the information to the immediate family and the wedding party, and let them spread the word. If you are asked where you have registered, it is fine to tell, but it is not proper to include registry information in a wedding invitation.

Registry information can be included on a wedding website, as long as the store’s actual name is not included on the same layer; organize your website so that guests must click down one level to find the details. ​

4. Do Register for Enough Gifts

Register for more gifts than you have guests, so there will be plenty of items to choose from. Think about who your guests are, and register for gifts at a wide range of prices, or select individual items rather than sets, as with pots and pans, for instance. Putting a few expensive things on your registry is fine, but balance them with more affordable and equally lovely options.

Make sure you have enough gifts. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times wedding guests go to pick out a gift, and the only thing they find is an empty registry!

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5. Don’t Ask for Money

While it’s still taboo to ask for money directly, financial registries try to make this less awkward; for example, couples can now register for stocks via a website such as GiftsofStock.com or for their honeymoon through a travel agency or an online service such as TheHoneymoon.com. Saving up for a house? Some banks have programs that let brides and grooms establish a special account to which guests can give money earmarked for a down payment.

6. Do Review Your Registry

If your registry doesn’t automatically notify you when a gift has been purchased, review your registry every few weeks and more frequently as the wedding approaches. Then, use your updated registry to help you keep up with writing thank-you notes.

7. Don’t Limit Your Registry

Don’t think just about your lifestyle as it is today. You’ll be entertaining more in the years to come, so create a wish list of items: a platter for your first Thanksgiving dinner or champagne glasses for a New Year’s toast. Keep those special occasions in mind; it’s a wonderful way to include loved ones in those important milestones.

8. Do Write Thank-You Notes Right Away

Ideally, it would be best to acknowledge every present immediately; writing a note the day you receive it is best, but sending it within two weeks is also acceptable.

Of course, the period surrounding your wedding is a busy time; if you fall behind, make every effort to send a thank you as soon as you can—but no later than three months after the event.

9. Don’t Worry if You Don’t Get Everything on Your Registry

If you don’t receive everything you registered for, don’t fret. Many stores have a completion program, which offers a discount on remaining items, or will keep the registry active for anywhere from a few months to a few years, so friends and relatives can continue to purchase gifts from it as other joyous occasions arise.

10. Do Involve the Groom

He might not be invested in your bouquet flowers, the ceremony backdrop, or the hotel blocks for guests, but here’s the groom’s time to shine! Enlist his help in filling out your registry. There’s room for yard tools, whiskey glasses, sports equipment (within reason), and collectible books amid all of your pretty choices, trust us.

11. Don’t Hesitate to Return Things

It happens to all of us: We order items online, positive they’ll fit, feel, or look as great as the picture indicates. Then, the package arrives, and the conclusion is unanimous: return it. The same can happen for products on your registry!

Don’t feel obligated to notify the gift giver of your exchange, but know that it’s allowed—and common—to replace ho-hum choices with ones you totally love.

12. Do Merge All Of Your Registries In One Place

Even if you request vintage selects from an antique store, china from your local design shop, and kitchenware from Macy’s, you can still group all of your requests in one all-inclusive registry. Doing so not only makes your life easier (you’ll be managing one list, rather than multiple separate ones) but your guests, too, who only have to search one spot to find the just-right gift.

Online registry sites make combining gift lists a cinch, and you can always include a picture and description for that special item that’s only available in-store to raise money for it, then buy it later.

13. Don’t Write-Off Gifts That Aren’t Products

Charitable donations, experiences (visit IfOnly), and contributions to a down payment (try Hatch My House), stock portfolio, or honeymoon (check out Honeyfund) are all valid gift requests. Just be sure to include some physical presents on your wish list, too, to keep your great aunt and traditionalists happy.

14. Do Tailor The Shipping Settings

Many online registries let you select when you want to receive your gifts by mail (either as they’re purchased, in bulk shipments, or at a later date entirely).

For example, if you and your fiancé have moved on the horizon (into a new house or to a brand new city), it might be advantageous to have presents sent to your home once you’ve arrived. Similarly, if you have to take a trip to the post office or local shipping company to pick up packages, it’s practical to have gifts arrive in groups.

Request email notifications when gifts are bought to stay on top of thank you notes (that’s right, those should still be sent within two weeks of the giver’s purchase regardless of when the gift lands on your doorstep!).

15. Don’t Only Register for Fine China, Crystal, and Silverware

Fill your future home with items that feel personal and useful to you and the groom; otherwise, you’ll feel like you’re living in a grand museum featuring someone else’s beautiful objects.

Along with building your collection of family-holiday-worthy pieces (looking at you, gravy boat), leave room for the fun stuff, like a bright KitchenAid mixer, funky mirror for your entryway, and professional camera for those trips aboard.

16. Do Ask for Heirlooms 

Couples should register for items that will stand the test of time in style and quality, and hopefully that they can one day pass them on to their children. This isn’t a time for disposable products or impulse purchases.

This may mean combining a registry of many items into a smaller list of fewer at a higher price point–and that’s okay. These products will endure and live with you over time (long after the blender you registered for has died) but register with a place that lets you shift your credit (or group gifting) to give you the ability to make adjustments to your registry along the way.

17. Don’t forget your décor 

[We wish we registered for] more things for our home like picture frames, decorations and specific kitchen appliances and utensils. Be very specific about what you would like and register for MORE than you think you’ll need. We ran into the issue of not writing for enough, and we had a lot of repeats.

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